Amish willow, p.1
Amish Willow, page 1
Amish Love Blooms Book 6
Copyright © 2016 by Samantha Price
Copyright © 2017 Samantha Price
All rights reserved.
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No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Scripture quotations from The Authorized (King James) Version. Rights in the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom are vested in the Crown. Reproduced by permission of the Crown’s patentee, Cambridge University Press.
This is a work of fiction. Any names or characters, businesses or places, events or incidents, are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
About the Author
“Here they are, Willow.”
Willow ran over to the bedroom window and stood next to her sister, Violet. They both looked down at the Troyers, who were coming to dinner—again. It seemed the Troyers were always over and they always brought their only son, Samuel.
“It’s obvious both sets of parents have put their heads together and are planning on you and Samuel marrying,” Violet said in a tone that Willow knew meant she thought it was funny.
Willow crinkled her nose and pushed some strands of hair back under her prayer kapp. She took a moment to respond as she studied Samuel tying the reins of the buggy horse. “It’s not that they’ll force me; they can’t do that. They just think that I’ll grow to like him if he keeps coming here. That’s their plan. Now that you’re getting married, it seems they can’t wait for me to go as well. I thought they’d want me around.”
Violet laughed. “Don’t be silly.”
“I’m not. Why else would they keep having them here to dinner? We’ve heard all their stories before and Samuel just sits there looking bored. I bet he wishes he were elsewhere, just like me. It wouldn’t bother me if I never got married. Anyway, I’ve told Mamm I’ll never be in love with Samuel so there’s no point in them being here all the time.”
Violet gasped. “You didn’t tell me that!”
“I thought I did.”
“I meant to. Mamm just said that love grows and develops after marriage. To me, that seems a huge risk to take. What if love never happens and I become stuck with a man I don’t like? Anyway, it seems safer to remain unmarried than to take that risk.”
“You’ll change your mind.”
“I doubt it.”
“What about love?” Violet asked.
“Humph. That’s right. Love should just happen by itself. It can’t be forced like they’re trying to do. They think nothing of love. I don’t think Mamm and Dat could’ve been in love when they married. They don’t understand anything about it.”
Years ago, Willow remembered, she'd had a little crush on Liam Hostetler, but that was a long time ago. Willow figured that true love would be like that crush, but with more intensity and more butterflies in the tummy. Back when she’d had that crush on Liam, she could not wait to get to schul every day just so she could see him. Willow knew that true love was something that lasted and not a crush that one simply outgrew, but she still expected those sorts of feelings.
Both girls continued watching their guests until Samuel and Mr. and Mrs. Troyer walked into their haus.
“I suppose we’d better get back down there to help Mamm again,” Willow said. “She’ll already be cross with us and wondering where we are.”
Willow found the Troyers boring, and the same for their son. She talked to them only to be polite, and because she had no choice. Willow always tried to do what was right.
Just as they were about to head down the stairs, Willow stopped and whispered to her sister, “Marrying Samuel is simply out of the question.”
Violet gave her a little shove. “I know that. Talk about it later. Mamm will be furious we’re not there to help.”
Willow headed down the stairs first.
The girls greeted the Troyers in the main living room and then left to help their mudder with the last of the dinner preparations.
Once they were in the kitchen, Willow whispered to Violet, “He’s too tall and too thin.”
“Mmm.” Violet agreed. “But he kind of looks handsome today with his hair all windswept and now that his skin is darker from the summer sun.”
“Nee, he doesn’t look handsome, not at all,” Willow said, shaking her head at Violet’s bad taste in men. In the past, Willow had had some enjoyable conversations with Samuel, but more recently he had become silent and sullen with her. Now he wasn’t friendly at all; he didn’t even try to make conversation anymore.
Willow and Violet placed the bowls of food in the middle of the table so everyone could help themselves. Their mother put the last of the cutlery on the table.
“Can I do anything to help?” Mrs. Troyer appeared in the kitchen.
“Nee, denke, Louisa. We’ve just finished.”
Willow’s mudder called everyone to take their places at the dinner table. The three men left the lounge room and headed into the kitchen. As soon as they were all seated, silent prayers of thanks for the food were given.
The meal was Willow’s favorite, roast chicken and roasted vegetables, with mounds of creamy mashed potatoes. There was coleslaw, which Violet had made earlier in the day, and both girls had worked together to make cheesecake for dessert.
Willow’s father was the first to speak. “This looks wunderbaar, Nerida,” he said to his wife.
“Denke, John,” Nerida said, smiling at her husband.
“Jah, it does, Nerida," Samuel’s mother said.
“Denke, but Willow did most of it. She’s a gut cook.”
Both Mr. and Mrs. Troyer smiled at Willow. Willow smiled back, but in her heart she was annoyed with her mother. This was what Mamm always said when the Troyers were there. She’d helped a little but it was a far stretch to say she’d done it all.
It did not go unnoticed by Willow that Samuel barely looked at her that night. While everyone heaped food on their plates, Willow studied Samuel. Was he as uncomfortable as she was with both sets of parents meddling in their lives? He never spoke much, in her experience, so it was hard to say. All Willow knew of him was that he was good at volleyball and ice-skating, and not much more. Life would be unbearable if the two of them were forced to wed. She would run away before she’d allow that to happen.
Maybe the Troyers want to marry into a large familye since on Dat’s side there are lots of cousins, and the Troyers only have one son and no daughters.
Willow wondered why the Troyers were keen for their boy to marry her. She was only seventeen and far too young to marry, in her opinion. Although, some of the women in the community married that young.
Dat cleared his throat and ran his hand down the side of his long gray beard
Willow nearly choked on the food in her mouth. She spat it out on her plate rather than attempt to swallow. “What?” Her eyes flew to Samuel, hoping he would help in her protest. He simply looked at her and looked away, apparently disgusted at the vulgarity of her table manners. She was not going to let him keep silent on the matter. “Samuel, didn’t you hear what my daed just said?” She looked him in the eye, hoping he’d say something for once.
He shrugged his boring shoulders. “Jah, I’m happy to do what my parents want. I don’t mind.”
“You don’t even like me.” It was true and she had to say it so both sets of parents would hear the truth.
“Hush, Willow. Or I’ll send you to your room.” Her daed turned away from Willow and smiled at Mr. Troyer. “I’m sorry, Josiah; she’s not usually like this.”
“Jah I am. This is exactly how I am and I won’t stand for nonsense. I’ll choose my own husband. No one else I know has had a marriage arranged for them.” Willow jutted out her bottom lip at her father in a defiant manner, which was against Willow’s usually calm nature.
Violet, who was sitting next to her, dug Willow in the ribs. “Talk about it later, Willow. Not now.”
Her daed pushed out his chair and stood to his full height. “Willow, go to your room now.”
Willow stood up, pushed in her chair, and walked quickly out of the room. Willow could feel her father’s embarrassment at his youngest daughter speaking so disrespectfully to him in front of their guests.
Closing her eyes, Willow hoped that the dinner would soon be over so the Troyers would go home. She would not be trapped into marrying a man who appeared disinterested in everything, including her. She’d have to run away, but where would she go? She had no money, no job, and certainly no skills with which to get a job.
Now sitting on the top step, she heard Mr. Troyer say, “The way I see it, the two of them could get married this next wedding season. What do you think, John?”
Her father answered. “Jah, that’s what would be best. Soon after Violet and Nathan marry.”
It was clear to Willow no one was on her side and no one even cared what she thought of the situation. The only person who understood at all was Violet, but she was in no position to be of any help.
Willow sat on the stairs listening while her parents talked to the Troyers about a wedding that would never take place. She had thought that her outburst at the dinner table might have put Mr. and Mrs. Troyer off the idea of her marrying their son, but it seemed they thought she was a good choice for some reason.
From Samuel’s silence, he was just as disinterested as she, but most likely for an entirely different reason.
Finally, Willow heard the Troyers say goodbye. She hurried to her room, switched off the gas lamp by her bed, and sat by the window in the dark to study them as they left.
Samuel was first out the door, clearly showing his desire to get away from the house. He untied the reins and turned the buggy around so it was ready for his parents to get inside. As she studied his appearance in the moonlight, Willow had to admit that some women might find Samuel handsome, but why didn’t he pay her any mind? As a woman, she considered herself his equal in attractiveness. Didn’t he notice that?
When they were finally gone, Willow slumped onto the bed and turned her light back on. She knew her parents wouldn’t berate her further that night about her behavior, preferring to leave it until morning.
A few minutes later, Violet came into her room with a plate of food.
“Denke, Violet. What am I going to do when you get married and I’m alone with them?”
“You shouldn’t speak about them like that.”
Willow sighed, “Yeah, but do you know what I mean? Why are they in such a hurry to get me married off?” She dug her fork into the creamy mashed potatoes. “Denke for this.”
“You’re welcome. They were trying to make me marry someone else. Don’t you remember that?”
“Nee. If it didn’t happen to me, I didn’t take much notice.”
Violet giggled. “Aunt Nancy and Mamm didn’t want me to marry Nathan. They were trying to push someone else at me.”
“Do you think Aunt Nancy is behind this?”
Violet shook her head. “Nee, I don’t. It’s too clumsy. Aunt Nancy would work out something much better than the Troyers being here all the time.”
“Anyway, they can’t make me marry.”
“No they can’t,” Violet agreed.
“I don’t know what I’ll do without you—when you’re not living here anymore.”
"I’m not getting married for a couple of months. So you’ll have to put up with me until then.”
“It seems almost like they’re trying to make it a double wedding. They don’t like me and don’t want me around when you go. Don’t you see that?” Willow asked.
“They love you. You’re their boppli.”
“Why are they trying to get rid of me then? I could understand if I was twenty-five or something, but I’m not even eighteen.”
“They’re doing what they think is best. They really like Samuel. He’s got a good job and he’s got men working for him now, including his own father. He’s a hard worker, and he’s a man of God.”
“I don’t see that there’s anything special about him.”
“He comes from a good familye.”
Willow cut a piece of chicken and popped it into her mouth.
Violet shrugged her shoulders. “Do you want me to talk to Aunt Nancy for you and see if she knows what’s going on?”
“Nee!” Willow shook her head. “I don’t want to start another argument between Mamm and her. And Aunt Nancy matched all her girls and probably the older boys too. She’s more meddling than Mamm has ever been.”
“Okay. What should we do?”
“I’m thinking of running away.”
“I’ll go on rumspringa. Betsy has gone on rumspringa and she said I could come stay with her anytime.”
“Maybe you should.”
Willow ate another forkful of potato. When she'd swallowed, she said, “I don’t really want to. I will if I have to, though, rather than marry someone I don’t want.”
Violet giggled. “I have a feeling the Troyers won’t be over anytime soon with your outburst tonight.”
* * *
Willow couldn’t sleep that night. She tossed and turned, thinking of a plan to turn her parents off the idea of her marrying Samuel Troyer. Firstly, she had to figure out why they liked him so much.
Finally, figuring it would be best to speak to both parents together, she hurried downstairs early the next morning when she heard them at the breakfast table. Both of them turned and stared at her when she walked into the kitchen.
“Mamm, Dat, I’m very sorry about last night. I ruined the night and I feel dreadful about it and I’m sorry.”
Her mother nodded and her father said, “Apology accepted, and you should also apologize to the Troyers.”
Willow nodded. “I’ll tell them as soon as I see them at the meeting on Sunday.”
“Nee. You should go to see them today and tell them,” her mother said while her father nodded.
Her father added, “Jah, make it a special visit so they can see you really mean it.”
That was the last thing she wanted to do—the very last—but she couldn’t tell her parents that. She was trying to calm them down, not whip them into a fury. “You’re right. I’ll visit them.” She’d go in the middle of the day so both Mr. Troyer and Samuel would be at work. “Can I ask you why you think Samuel is a good match for me?”
“You’ve grown up with him.”
“No more than anyone else, and he’s not even my age. I don’t even remember him at schul.”
“He left schul to work. He’s a capable man and he’ll be a good provider. You n
“I’m what, Dat?”
“You’re a bit immature and you tend to be a little gossipy.”
Willow pulled a face and opened her mouth at what her father said. “I’m not!”
“Don’t talk to your vadder like that, Willow.”
“I’m not being rude; I’m just saying he’s wrong.”
“He’s your elder,” her mother said. “And your vadder.”
Willow sighed. What was the point of trying to communicate with them? They never understood her.
“Your vadder’s right. You listen in to what people say and then you tell other people what they said. You’ve been like it all your life. What you need is a strong man to keep you in line.”
Willow froze to the spot. This was not good. Now she really knew what her parents thought about her. She had to be smart about finding her way out of these intentions they had for her. “I didn’t know I was like that. I should change.”
“Jah, and Samuel is the man who’ll change you.”
Willow frowned at her mother. “Why?”
“You’ll have a home. You’ll be too busy with a husband and a family of your own to go sticking your nose into other people’s business, and talebearing.”
“Why him, though?” If she could find out why they thought Samuel was so good, that might be the key to changing their minds—either that, or she could always run away.
Her mother looked over at Willow’s father, and he said to Willow, “You just have to trust us that we know best.”
“Sit down and I’ll get you some breakfast.”
Willow sat down opposite her father. She had nothing left to say to either of them. Why couldn’t they be supportive of her the way her friends' parents were with them? None of them were trying to force a marriage onto their daughters—it was unheard of.
by Samantha Price have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes