Here we are again! Are you ready for Part 6 of my short story series, "The Way Back Home"? If you are new or have fallen behind, follow this link for Parts 1-5.
We are getting closer to the end, one or two more parts should do it. I hope you've been enjoying my story so far. If so, consider sharing, commenting, liking, etc. I would love your feedback. Ok, without further ado-
"The Way Back Home"-Part 6
by Sandy Kay Slawson
Violet stood stock still as she took measure of the boy become man. Her emotions ran the gamut from anger to joy and then back to anger.
"Well, Mr. Knox, I don't understand why you chose to hide or why you've chosen to reveal yourself at this point in the journey."
"I might not have, if it weren't evident you'd figured it out on your own," said Trevor.
Violet stiffened. She thought he'd at least apologize for his broken promise.
"When did you recognize me?" she worked to maintain some semblance of dignity.
Trevor took measure of her, as she'd done to him. Heat travelled from her belly to the tips of her ears.
"I recognized those coffee eyes and chestnut hair the moment I saw you outside the stagecoach office."
"Then for heaven's sake, why did you hide your identity from me?" Violet's hurt caused her voice to quaver. She spun away from him and folded her arms tight against her body.
"I wanted our first conversation to be in privacy. Violet, I-"
"Let's go folks. We're behind schedule as it is. Move it boys," the Whip called the passengers to board the stagecoach.
Violet moved past Trevor to the door of the stagecoach. He jogged to join her by the steps, but she ignored his offer of help. As the first to enter, she claimed the front facing seat by the window. Trevor climbed in after her and chose his place on the same bench by the opposite window.
A moment later, Luther, Lester, Mrs. Howard and Mr. Stuart all entered in their turn. The boys squeezed in between Violet and Trevor. Mr. Stuart took the seat in front of Violet and Mrs. Howard the seat by the other window and the door.
"Miss Lawrence, it's inconvenient enough you didn't help me gather the boys, but you stole my seat to boot," said Mrs. Howard.
Violet's apology stuck to her tongue, when Trevor answered for her.
"I'm sure you know it's customary to switch seats, so others can have a turn at the windows. Vi...Miss Lawrence is the one adult who didn't have a seat by the window last time."
Mrs. Howard clamped her mouth shut and glared out her window. The stagecoach resumed with a jerk, and the countryside flew by. After a while, she retrieved a book from her bag and moved her focus there.
Luther and Lester each played with a simple carved wooden horse they'd pulled from their pockets. Their pretend play seeped into the other background noises.
Mr. Stuart leaned against the window pane, the steady rise and fall of his chest an indication he'd drifted off to asleep again.
Trevor whispered over the boys heads to Violet.
"I apologize for-"
"For what, not greeting me or for your failure to keep your promise?"
"Failure to...what promise?" Trevor's voice rose an octave.
Violet swung a flash of censure toward Trevor. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mrs. Howard's attention had been drawn to them.
"This isn't the time or place to-"
"Oh no, if your gonna accuse me of being a liar, I want to know why."
Violet huffed. She lowered her voice to a level she hoped he alone could hear.
"You said you'd write and you didn't. I waited and waited." Treacherous emotion found its way into her words. She wheeled her watery view out the window and retrieved her handkerchief again. Trevor's next words came as such a shock, she spun around without consideration for the picture she must make.
"I did write. For a whole year I wrote. Are you telling me you didn't receive any of my letters?" Trevor's look of incredulity convinced her he told the truth. He continued, "Why didn't you write to me? You know I did a whole heap of waiting myself."
Mrs. Howard stared with mouth agape, evidence their quiet conversation had increased in volume along with their emotions. Violet chose to ignore her.
"My mother caught me writing to you three times. She forbid me to write again, unless you wrote first. She said it wasn't proper for a lady to write to a suitor unless it were in response to his correspondence. We fought about it more than once the first year, but she threatened to destroy any letters you did send if I attempted to write again."
Violet shrugged. "After a year with no letters, I assumed you'd forgotten me...moved on to someone else."
"I never moved on." Trevor's blues pierced her browns.
"Neither did I." Violet thought she might burst with joy. This. This had been her dream for nine interminable years.
Trevor beamed. His wide grin made him appear even more the boy she remembered. His grin faltered, and a frown line took its place.
"I suppose I have your mother to thank for the destruction of my letters. I have no doubt about it. She hated me, the uncouth rancher's son. I didn't meet her standards."
"You know it's true. If I ever see her again, she's gonna hear precisely what I think of her interference."
"She's dead, eight months ago."
"Oh, Violet, I'm sor-"
"It's alright. This is one more thing I have to forgive her for. I don't blame you. If she were here, I'd have plenty to say as well."
A shout from the roof sent both Trevor and Violet to their windows. Someone hollered from above, "The James Boys are blocking the road ahead."
Trevor pulled out his revolver. "Everybody get down."
To be continued...
Do you have someone who needs your forgiveness? Or maybe you are the one who needs to ask for forgiveness...I know, it can be hard either way, but at some point and probably at many points in our lives we fall into one of those two categories. I admit, neither option is easy for me. But, when I remember the forgiveness I found in Christ Jesus, I know it would not please Him, if I did not forgive in return or seek forgiveness. When I asked for His forgiveness, He gave it and so much more I did not deserve. I know the freedom found in forgiveness and the freedom found in giving forgiveness.
I hope you are having a very Happy Monday and that you will have a great week! I appreciate the comments I have received so far about my story. It is truly encouraging and keeps me going, when discouragement rears its ugly head. Please, come again the Monday after next for Part 7.
May the Lord God bless you and your families with Faith, Hope and Love. In Jesus' Name.