Stacie watched as the young lady two rows up flicked her blonde ringlets while smiling up at the ticket conductor “Ticket please”, he asked smiling back. “What takes you to Casper, Wyoming?”
“I’m meeting my fiancé there,” she replied.
“Lucky guy,” he replied handing her ticket back. Reaching Stacie’s seat he never even glanced at her. “Ticket please,” he mumbled.
Stacie handed him her ticket wishing he would smile at her the way he smiled at the blonde passenger. “Thank you,” he said continuing on.
Stacie felt the hurt and sadness begin to surface, bringing with it the memory of that day that changed her life–her sister Brittany’s wedding day.
Brittany was almost two years younger than her and quite beautiful. Everywhere they went people would stop and stare at Brittany. Stacie never was jealous of her baby sister and enjoyed people’s reaction to her beauty. Their relationship was close, so Stacie was, of course, in the wedding.
It was on a cool autumn day that had started out so beautifully. The ceremony was simple but elegant. Stacie and Brittany had just gotten their plates from the buffet table and were heading for the bridal table when they overheard James, Luke, and Sara–three of Brittany’s friends, talking. “I know, you would never know they were sisters,” she over heard Sara say.
“She is so plain looking. I don’t think she will ever marry,” replied Luke.
“Who would want to marry her?” said James.
Stacie had just stood there, too embarrassed to say a word. “Stacie, oh my, how cruel, please ignore them,” pleaded Brittany grabbing onto Stacies arm.
She couldn’t forget or ignore those comments. They had brought to reality what she knew was true. No one will ever want to marry her. She would never find true love.
It was two days before Christmas that she had read the advertisement: “Wife wanted. Christian. Under 25 years old.”
There were lots of advertisements for mail-order brides but this one just caught her eye. Rereading it for the third time she carefully cut it out and set it aside.
Every day for a week she thought about going west and being a bride. The thought of the adventure intrigued her, but the fear of being rejected because of her looks kept surfacing. Finally, exactly one week after she clipped the ad she stopped at the bank to check the account her father had set up on her birth. The amount was substantial as her father was a wealthy man. This made her decision easy, knowing she could provide for herself if she was rejected.
That day she replied and walked the letter to the post. It was a cold day with flurries of white snow falling that not only helped mask her tears as she walked but also gave her a feeling of being refreshed as excitement filled her. Picking up her pace she smiled to herself as dreams of adventure, a beautiful wedding, and love filled her thoughts.
Stacie gently folded the pale blue dress she had commissioned the seamstress to make. Visions of standing next to her groom as they exchanged vows of love danced in her head. Sighing, she gently placed it along with other items she had stored in a trunk at the foot of her bed. It had been almost two months since she had posted the letter.
She had told no one that she had replied to an advertisement to become a mail-order bride. Her parents would not have allowed her to do anything like that, even though she was approaching the age of twenty-three with no prospects of marriage. Stacie, glancing at her watch quickly, made her way downstairs to watch for the postman from the library window. Every day for the past week she stood quietly waiting and anticipating the arrival of a response.
Spotting the postman she quickly darted for the door. She stood there glancing down as the mail tumbled through the door slot. Gathering it swiftly she began to scan each piece. Catching her breath she stopped as she saw a letter posted in neat handwriting addressed to her. Setting the rest of the mail upon the side table she dashed to her room.
With shaking hands, she slowly opened the letter. Removing a one-way rail ticket and a note neatly written that stated: “I look forward to meeting you. Sincerely Joseph Turner.”
All of that had led her to where she was today–sitting on a train lumbering towards an unknown future. She swallowed back the tears, recalling how her parents had reacted and objected to her decision. The day she left they hugged and pleaded with her to change her mind without success. Sitting back with determination she listened to the clickety-clack of the train as it brought her closer to her dream of marriage and hopefully love.
Hope you enjoyed the third short story in a series we call Four Mail Order Brides. The first one we posted “The Pearl Necklace” inspired us to continue with the short story and start the series. The second short in the series we posted is called “The Advertisement”. Click on each title to read them. Please let us know what you think. We are really excited about this series and hope it will become one of your favorite fun reads.