© copywrite 2010
by Sarah Baughman
As it turned out, Zach never had a chance to talk to Liz. Saturday, during their hike, one of the kids tripped and twisted her ankle. Zach was pretty sure it was just a sprain, but he wanted to be certain. When Liz offered to take her to the ER to have it X-rayed, he reluctantly agreed. Liz was there with her all evening, until the girl’s parents could make it back from the city they had been visiting while their daughter was away. Zach felt cheated, but at least he had been able to have a somewhat serious conversation with Liz, even if it was a lot shorter than he’d planned. Praying together was always a good thing.
Is this Your guidance, Lord? He prayed Saturday night, lying in his sleeping bag. I sure could use some of that patience about now.
Sunday morning, after dropping the kids where their parents were waiting at the church, he hurried back to his house and showered and dressed for church. He pulled a suit from his closet even though it wasn’t his turn to usher today. For some reason, he wanted to look nice. Some reason, whatever. It’s Eliza. Soon, Zach was driving back to the church.
When he arrived, he saw Liz climbing from her car. Jogging to her, he asked, “How’s Lucy? Is she ok?”
“Yes, you were right; it was just a sprain. Were you all able to eat without me there?” She smiled at him. He almost felt like something had slammed into him; her smile was brilliant and filled with sunshine.
“Sure, we did fine.”
“Hey, since I did you a favor and cooked for the camping trip, would you do me a favor?”
“Sure.” Zach kept quiet about the fact that she didn’t stay for the whole trip. That bit of fact might come in handy later. “Name it.”
“Well, the Jane Austen Society here in Cedarville is having its annual regency ball at the Town Hall. Its architecture and decoration is closest to that of the period. Anyway, they are always lacking gentlemen, as Jane Austen is more of a girl’s thing. So, would you be willing to go? I can get you a suit and everything you’d need. There’s even a workshop beforehand, if you want to go, for learning the steps for the dances.” Liz’s face was flushed, as though asking had embarrassed her.
Zach was actually tempted to say that he was busy, but she hadn’t even said when it was yet.
“Josh and Susie Brown are coming, and I’ve managed to convince Steve, Tom, and Rob to come, too.”
Rob is going? I’ll clear my schedule to be there, thought Zach. Aloud, he said, “Do I have to talk with an accent?”
Liz actually laughed. “No, unless you really want to. Does that mean you’ll come? It’s next weekend.”
Zach knew his schedule was free. “Yeah, I’ll come. What time should I pick you up?”
“Oh, I didn’t mean—”
“Oh, we’re gonna be late. C’mon.” He’d seen that she was not going to let him take her, so he decided to interrupt. He grabbed her hand and nearly dragged her into the church.
They sat down fifteen minutes before the prelude began. He managed to chat enough to keep her from bringing up the fact that she hadn’t intended the ball to be a date until it was too late for conversation. After the service, he had to run off, because he was driving to Plainsville, the city where his parents had moved after retiring, for dinner. As he drove away, he saw Liz standing in the parking lot, looking after him with a bemused expression on her face.
by Sarah Baughman (email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
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