Rumspringa

Started by Gwen Eiber, November 24, 2019, 06:53:55 am

Gwen Eiber

Gwen always enjoyed it when her mother brushed her hair. Now that she was grown there would be no more nights sitting with it loose in the front room, her mother brushing it while Gwen studied her bible lessons. It wouldn't be right for her to have her hair unbound in front of her father since she wasn't a little girl anymore.  There would be no more swimming in the creek in her shift with the children.  But Daddy and Matthias had gone hunting so it was just she and Mama at home, so they took turns brushing one another's hair while they talked about Gwen's future plans.

After the dance several of the young men in town had come around asking to go walking out with her but Matthias soon made it clear that he intended to ask for her hand and wanted them to wed come Spring.  Once Matthias had made his intentions known, in some cases with fists, the other young men stopped coming around.

She had always liked Matthias as children and been kind to him when the other children had teased him about his stutter.  He'd grown into a handsome young man.  Tall, strong and with solid prospects.  His family lands butted up against her father's land.  It would be a good match.  A smart match.

Except whenever she was with Matthias she had doubts.  He was glad she knew how to do all of the tasks a woman was expected to know, like tending a garden and cooking and sewing and the like.  Everyone always said she had the finest stitches.  He didn't want her to work as a doctor after they got married though.  Just stay home and make babies.

That was a problem in and of itself.  She did want to get married and have babies someday.  A whole passle of babies.  But she wasn't sure that Matthias was the right one for her.  She'd enjoyed dancing with him, but no more so than any of the other young men.

She liked the idea of walking out, flowers, candy, poetry, romance, all of which Matthias seemed to be lacking. She didn't want to disappoint her parents, but she didn't want to marry him either. She wondered if perhaps she'd read too many books about what love was supposed to be. She thought about it, prayed about it and then finally broke down and talked to her mother.  It was her mother who told her of the Earth-That-Was tradition.

In some small rural communities on Earth-That-Was, the young people left for a predetermined amount of time, to experience life and technology outside of their community.  They called it Rumspringa.  At the end of time the young people either came back and rejoined their communities or they stayed out enjoying their new life.  She suggested to Gwen's father that perhaps Gwen needed some time to explore her options, after all, Dr. and Mrs. Eiber had chosen their lifestyle but Gwendola hadn't. 

Perhaps Gwen was young and na├»ve, but she wanted love like her parents had.  Love and passion and romance.  A man that made her heart pound and kisses that took her breath away.  Not that Matthias had kissed her yet, but he had held her hand and it just felt...sweaty.

She'd heard the stories a hundred times of her mother and father's whirlwind romance and courtship.  She'd seen the love, respect and devotion they had for one another.  She had seen how much Uncle Jed and Auntie Marlena loved one another.  She wanted that kind of love and didn't think it was too much to ask.

Who knew, maybe she'd meet someone handsome and dashing who'd sweep her off of her feet?  Maybe she'd make a difference in someone's life?  Maybe she'd become the hero of some crappy little town? It didn't matter.  At least she would get to have an adventure before she decided what to do.
Pretty is as pretty does.

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