February 14, 2010

Sunday Scribblings 202: The Ethic (of Love)


The truck jiggled my teeth.  A tremor plowed through me.  I wasn't sure if it was excitement or fear.

Tom's hands gripped the wheel.  "You've got until we reach the barn to answer me, Neva."

I searched his face hoping to find the teasing charm normally present; but it had vanished and been replaced with a tightened jaw.  I faced the road.  The white-washed barn stood a short distance away--my deadline.  Cattle and grass flew past us.

I was an adult after all, eighteen since June.  But Mother would be furious; she wanted me to go to college like Helen.  And Helen, goodness knows she'd wonder where my head went.  I peeked at Tom.  His dark hair whipped in swirls leaving a flattened place on his scalp.  Even with mussed hair and a worried brow he was endearing.  Was it wrong to go against my family's dreams?  On the other hand, they were always chiding me about being indecisive.

I winced.

Tom darted a nervous glance towards me then back on the road again.  His knuckles paled as they tightened the steering wheel.  I'd never seen him afraid. He wouldn't beg.  If I said "no" he'd be gone.

That thought wrenched my heart. My eyes jumped to the closely approaching barn.  I tried to swallow, which was difficult with my dry throat.  I sucked in a breath and he shot me a look.

"Yes, I'll marry you."

The truck bumped off the road and came to a stop.  A smile bloomed and stretched across his tan face.  "Law me, I wasn't sure you were gonna say yes."

"Me either."

He laughed and took my hand.  "Can you be packed by 4:00?  Mabel and Les'll meet us at the courthouse."

"I'll be ready."

He winked at me and turned the truck around.

15 comments :

  1. The picture was the perfect way to evoke the setting and feelings - and the words seemed very real. I really liked the opening line as well - teeth chattering with daring and excitement. Great stuff.. Jae

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  2. Aw...just perfect for a Valentine story. There comes that moment of decision that love requires. Excellent.

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  3. I felt like I was in the truck, white knuckled and jarring as it approached the barn. Loved it.

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  4. I especially like that moment of pleasant surprise when he got the answer he'd been hoping for. Good post.

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  5. I liked your blog sooooooooo much!

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  6. Aww, but she was second guessing her answer. It was like an ultimatum. I kind of feel bad for her. Why the now or never? So many questions from one scene. Great writing!

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  7. Well she was old enough to make her own decisions. Let's hope she could see something in him that was really going to last. I got the feeling from the writing that he was worth it, especially his sense of humor.

    Good one.

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  8. Jae, I'm glad the picture helped. Thank you.

    Patios, thanks!

    Lilibeth, it certainly does.

    Ann, thank you.

    Aaron, I'm happy to hear you liked that moment because I wasn't sure I'd painted his character enough to cause cheering.

    Marinela, aww, thank you.

    Karen Amanda, yes I realized later I hadn't made reason for the utimatum clear. It's the end of summer. She's leaving for home and he's getting shipped out (army) in four months.

    oldegg, he does have a sense of humor, but I can't believe you pegged that out of this snippet. Good insight.

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  9. Have a great week!

    I'm in starting Wednesday for a week. Last month it was a great decision so I'm doing it again.

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  10. Thanks for sharing that; it made me want to know more about him.

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  11. I think her daddy's gonna be maaaaad!

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  12. I'm trying it myself this week, but alas my focus will be on finishing to paint my house.

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  13. Loved it! For me, it was the wink that brought in the humor. I thought he might be a bit dangerous and controlling until the wink and the smile. I am left wanting to read more!

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  14. I like that he was relieved and almost surprised that she said yes. It balanced the whole "could be an ultimatum" thing. Made me want to wish them luck!
    (and listening to Angel From Montgomery while reading? Awesome - one of my very favorite songs!)

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