Sarah Elizabeth: the name her father wrote in the family Bible the day she was born, the letters pressed so hard onto the page they nearly went clean through. The grandmothers she had been named for had been upright pious women who had worked hard and died young. Not a bad name but rather plain. And she wanted to be more than plain. Wanted to be more than one of those women who worked hard and died young.
She was 15 when she left home. Left behind a bitter old-beyond-his-years widower who had little to show for his life but a played-out farm, eight daughters and no sons to carry on his name. Most of her sisters had already married, sifting through the slim pickings for the best of the lot. She had no prospects just a dream; one that didn’t include caring for an aging father or making do with one of her sisters left-over’s.
At 18 she hitched her star to a traveling troupe that was passing through town. Left the Rambling Rose and its clientele behind for a new exciting life on the road. More than time to move on; the act had gotten stale, the applause thin. A new act and a new name was what she needed. Her mama had told her she had the voice of an angel. That sounded right somehow; Angel. Just the name for a headliner-- Miss Angel Day.
One look and she was done for. Tall, broad-shouldered and slim hipped he was certainly easy on the eye. She made sure to stand right behind him so he couldn’t help but bump into her when he turned around. His face was a might wind-burnt, a trace of freckles still visible beneath the tan but it was a strong face, a kind face. Never in a million years did she figure to be swept off her feet by some cowboy.
She had never had much to do with babies. They were nice and all but always someone else’s problem. The baby continued to fret, the fingers of one tiny fist opening and closing, grasping at air. She leaned over the cradle, the spangled feather, the one she had worn tucked behind her ear in another life, still in her hand. She brushed the tip of the feather across the baby’s palm, watched it greedily latch on. She felt nothing, as used and dried up as the dirt on her daddy’s farm. She had thought she loved Paul enough to settle down and be like other folks. Her eyes strayed to the window, to the curve of the road beyond the massive, whitewashed arch. She had been wrong.
Five Facts Challenge