As evening approached buggies started streaming into the driveway, the youth had spent their day with families that had not been invited to the reception and were now coming for supper and singing. As the buggies stopped at the house and the girls hopped off, their arms laden with gifts that needed to be carried upstairs and piled on the bed that was already filled with gifts.
I was happy to see my best friends Nancy and Esther arrive and went to visit with them until LV came back and it would be time to have the youth pair up to go sing. It was the first wedding for both of them to attend and they were nervous about have to be paired up with someone and were hoping desperately it would be someone that wouldn't be too awkward. As we were talking I noticed my friend Edith* was strangely quiet and seemed almost upset about something. It wasn't very uncommon to see her miffed at someone so I didn't pay too much attention to her and went on enjoying my other friends.
Before long LV came and it was time to go outside and watch as the boys and girls paired off. The list of girls names that Vernon and Fannie had worked on that afternoon had been used at a first come first choice therefore the reason the buggies had all seemed to stream into the driveway at the earliest permissible time.
The two boys that traditionally took care of the transportation for the bridal party would call a girls name and she walked over to him where he told her which of the boys asked to be her escort for the evening. It was her one opportunity to decline but no one did in fear they would be one of the "leftovers"
After everyone had been paired up there were five more girls than boys. I felt very sorry for them as they stood there dejectedly. One of Fannie's married brothers came outside to tell everyone in what order to go inside. The bridal party of course went first followed by cousins and close friends then the rest of the youth. Bringing up the tail end were the five girls that didn't have an escort.
After everyone was seated someone announced a song and the next two hours were spent singing. Finally Vernon announced the last song and it was time to eat. After we were done eating LV told me if I would wait until the rest of the youth went home, he would walk home with me. I was happy to consent. It had been a great day. My feet felt as if they weren't touching the ground as I went upstairs with the rest of the girls to get my bonnet.
It didn't take me long to come crashing back down to earth. As I stepped into the hallway there was a firm tug on my sleeve and I found myself facing Edith* "Come with me," she hissed through clenched teeth. Feeling flustered I followed her into a room where she closed the door. I was surprised to see three of her sisters waiting for me. They said some nasty things and then stepped outside while Edith let me know exactly what was on her mind. LV was going to be her husband. They promised each other they would marry when they were in the first grade and that I was a terrible person to come between them. I had no business whatsoever to have been escorted by LV or to have been Fannie's bridesmaid especially since she was her cousin and I wasn't even distantly related.
I stood there in stunned silence as her accusations poured over me. Finally she stormed out of the room and I went to get my bonnet. I wasn't sure if I should wait for LV to walk home with me or just try to slip away unnoticed. When I got downstairs LV's grandmother came to talk to me wondering who my parents were and a lot of other questions. She seemed genuinely friendly and by the time I was done talking with her Edith had already gone home and LV was waiting to walk home with me.
On the way he wondered what was troubling me and I told him that I never meant to come between him and Edith and that he really doesn't have to see me home.
I was glad to hear him laugh as he assured me that he had not the slightest intentions on ever having Edith for his girlfriend. when he was done laughing, his voice changed as he reached for my hand. "I have really been enjoying our rides to the singing together and once your parents say you are old enough I would really like to come calling if you would let me."
I didn't even have to think twice and told him I would be happy to have him come calling. I would have to talk to my parents but I was sure they wouldn't mind. When we got home we stopped under the pine trees in front of the house and said goodnight. I went into the house, my heart singing happily. LV wanted to come calling. I couldn't wait to tell Mom and Daddy about it. I wasn't sure what Edith would do when she found out but determined to not let her put a cloud over my happiness.
*Name changed to protect identity.