I took it to my parents that night at dinner and they told everyone that I would be moving. Everyone had a shocked reaction, except for Ben. It was very hard to see their reactions, but I knew it was the right thing for me to do. A few days later a letter came in the mail from the superintendent. He told me a carriage would be here in two days to pick me up. I needed to have my clothes and all of my belongings ready to put in a chest that he would bring. I was so excited I told everyone immediately. Ben and Ruthie seemed the most disappointed, I knew that Ruthie would, but not Ben. That surprised me.
Finally, the day had come. I had packed all my things and was ready to go once the carriage got here. I said my goodbyes and there were many tears from my mother, father and sisters. Ben didn’t cry, but I could tell he was very disappointed. Once the carriage arrived, they loaded my things into a chest and we began the long journey to Boston.
Once we arrived, they took me to my sleeping quarters and left me to unpack my things. In the room was a bed, dresser, mirror, desk and chair. They already had my school teaching uniforms there. They were all black and I could only wear the clothes I brought when I was in my room alone. One of the other teachers came to get me for dinner that night. She took me to a large room with two long tables going down each side, this was the dining hall. The kitchen was in the back of the room behind two doors. All of the girls came in, filed in a straight line. They were all dressed in dark purple with a black ribbon in their hair and one tied around their waist. When they came in, they all sat down to eat. The kitchen workers brought them their food, and placed their napkins in their laps for them. When everyone had finished eating, the girls left the dining hall, without even clearing their dishes from the table. I went back to my room and went straight to bed, for I knew the next day would be a very long one. My parents were correct, the girls didn’t do anything for themselves.
The next morning I got dressed and headed to the dining hall to eat breakfast. My classroom was simply gorgeous. All the desks were a mahogany wood, the chalkboard was spotless, and all the books on the bookshelves looked brand new. The curtains were the same color as the girl’s dresses, a beautiful dark purple. As the young ladies walked in, they mingled with each other for a few minutes, perhaps talking some of me, but I wasn’t sure. When all of the desks were full, I decided to start class.
“Good morning, class. I am your new teacher, Miss Stanton. If you all wouldn’t mind, I would love if you would introduce yourselves.” One of the girls stood up and told me, “Of, course. My name is Emily. It is nice to meet you”
Each of the girls stood up and introduced themselves, all sounding very sophisticated. We began with writing, I talked to them about writing a paper, and how to make sure it was edited correctly. They didn’t seem very interested, which was a surprise to me, because whenever I taught back at home, the children listened intently with their eyes glued on me. When it came time for spelling, I had been told before class that they were to have a spelling bee today. I had never done a spelling bee before, but it was quite fun. After spelling we had to a grammar lesson. At the end of the day, all of the girls, I hoped, had learned a lot. When my class was over, we had lunch then I had different class that came in. We did the same thing as the last class, but these children were younger. They seemed much more interested.
When the day was through, I went back to my room and thought over the whole day. The main thing I thought of was how the girls acted. They were kind to me, and to one another, but there was something I didn’t like. They didn’t do anything for themselves. All their lives everything had been done for them, so now they didn’t do things for themselves either. I decided I would write a letter home, it said,
Dear Family, and Ben,
Life here, as you told me, is quite different. My classroom is beautiful and I have a room all to myself. The food is fine, but nowhere near as good as yours, Mama. My clothes are quite odd, all black including my shoes and stockings. The girls, however, are beautiful and wear purple dresses with a black ribbon around their waist and in their hair. I am missing you all so much, I can’t describe how much I miss you really. I am not sure when I will get to come home to visit, but it will probably be at Christmas. I love you all very much.
Hugs and Kisses,
While I was writing the letter, I realized how tired I was, and fell asleep, in my school dress, shoes and stockings. The next few days went fine, I suppose, although some days I wished I was back at home with my family. Surprisingly I even missed doing chores and helping care for my family. One night, after being at the school for a little over a month, I found myself crying in my room on my bed, over the tests I was trying to proof. I had made some friends, all of them were teachers and one was a girl who was falling behind in her schooling, but none of these replaced my family. One day, while I was in the middle of teaching grammar to my afternoon class, someone came in the door. I was facing the board, so I didn’t look behind me, for I figured it was someone coming to observe my classroom. A voice half shouted across the room, “Lizzie!”
That could only be one person, only one person in all the world called me Lizzie. It was Ben! Tears came pouring down my face as I ran to the back wall, where Ben was standing.
“Ben, Ben!” I yelled as I ran. I wrapped up class rather quickly that day, so we could talk. He told me that when he read my letter, he knew I should come home. The family discussed it and decided Ben should come get me from the boarding school. We talked to the principle and he let me leave to go home with Ben, back to the farm life that I realized I loved and missed so much. He had brought the old family wagon, and old Trigger. The ride home was much better than the ride there. I knew I was going home, and was so happy about it. On the ride back, I realized something. Ben was more than just a friend to me, he was more than just a farm hand.
When we arrived home, tears were pouring down the cheeks of Ruthie, Pa, and Ma and me. Ben stood back, just watching. I went back to teaching at the old town school and felt so much happier than I had ever felt when I was in Boston.
After school one day, when I had been home about a week, I heard familiar footsteps coming up the dirt road that led to the school. It was Ben. I was still in the school room cleaning up when he walked down the center isle between the desks. I moved from behind my desk and stepped directly in front of it and he said, “Lizzie, I love you. I have since I began to work for your father.”
I didn’t respond, but my eyes began to fill with tears. Then he looked at me with his shining blue eyes, and asked me with a joyous voice, “Elizabeth Stanton, will you marry me?”
“Of course I will, Ben!” I said,wrapping my arms around his neck. Then we both rode old Trigger back home and told everyone our important news. They were all so happy for us!
A few weeks later we had our wedding. I wore mama’s old wedding dress; it was just like I had pictured it. We were married in the old church with a small congregation, but it was perfect. We built a log cabin and lived beside Mama and Papa for a year or two.”
Tucking the covers up under Ruthie’s chin, and giving her a kiss on the forehead, I concluded the story by saying, “We still live happily ever after, with 3 children! You, Samuel, and your baby sister Grace. I am going to get in trouble with your father, for you are only 5 and I let you stay up far too late. I will tell you the story of how your mother and father fell in love again another night! You must get to sleep, I love you very much, Ruthie.”
“I love you too, Mama. Thanks for the wonderful story, its my favorite!”
And that...my fellow bloggers completes the Choices of Love, I hope that you absolutely loved it! Thank you all for reading- I would love to know what you thought!