A Headstrong Woman - By Michelle Maness Page 0,1

her height, Alexandria studied her appearance in the mirror. Alexandria stood an unfashionable five foot nine inches with a slim, willowy figure. Her black hair shimmered and shined in the sunlight that spilled through the window. Her mother had helped her pile the long tresses onto her head to leave her slender neck exposed; a single strand of pearls circled it. Her green eyes, as green as new spring foliage, were solemn but held a hint of hope. Her forehead and generous lips were lined with a hint of worry. Her high cheeks were flushed with excitement and her stubborn chin seemed softer. Not finding anything to take too serious of fault with she allowed herself to relax and smile. It was her wedding day! In an hour she would be walking down the aisle to marry the man she loved. She had feared it would never happen for her though her mother had never understood why. Alexandria knew, though, that she was not like other young women her age and she had feared that would scare the men away. She was too stubborn, too opinionated, and had too little feminine charms to her claim.

She smoothed the plain white skirt of her wedding gown and pivoted to admire it. It was free of bustle or adornment, a simple form-fitting bodice, with yards of creamy skirt. It was what she had always wanted her wedding dress to be. She could hear the crowds already starting to gather in the yard below.

“You look wonderful,” her mother commented from the doorway. Alexandria’s gaze met her mother’s in the mirror and she smiled.

“Thank you.”

“Are you nervous?”

“A little, mostly I’m excited.”

“Are you certain that… he’s a wonderful man but considerably older; you’re certain that this is what you want?”

“I’m certain,” she replied.

Her mother nodded. “It won’t be long now, almost everyone is here and is being seated; I’ll just go see if we’re ready.” Her mother turned and disappeared.

Alexandria gazed around her room one last time. This had been her room for her entire life. Anna, her younger sister, had been next door for as long as she could remember. They had always been close, at times sneaking into each other’s rooms to whisper and giggle their secrets to each other. What would it be like to be in a different home with her husband by her side instead? The silent question made Alexandria blush and consider the night ahead.

The door opened giving her reprieve from her thoughts as Anna entered. Alexandria once again mused that her sister was the more attractive of the two. Anna was a more feminine height at five foot five. Her hair was more brown than black and her eyes brilliant blue to Alexandria’s green. Her more petite size and large luminous eyes made her a favorite among the young men of their community.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Anna’s eyes were misty with tears. “I know sooner or later we’ll both marry but…” Anna paused and gathered her courage. “It’s too soon, Alexandria; I’m not ready.”

“I’ll miss you, Anna,” Alexandria commented.

“I’ll miss you too,” with that her sister was across the room hugging her. “Promise me you’ll visit often?”

“Of course I will,” Alexandria laughed. “I’ll only be a few miles away, Anna.”

“I know,” it came out on a sigh; Alexandria’s smile widened.

Looks weren’t the only place where the two of them differed; Anna had always been the more dramatic of the two while Alexandria tended to be more practical. It went along with everything else about her, she guessed.

Anna drifted to the window and Alexandria allowed her thoughts to wander to the events leading up to this day. She had known Elijah Morris her whole life. He had been friends with her parents for years, it wasn’t until his wife had died and left him with a toddler to rear that he had become more to her.

Word had reached her mother through one of Elijah’s ranch hands that Martha had succumbed to the illness that had plagued her. Shirley had promptly left to offer her assistance and had allowed Alexandria to accompany her. They had arrived to find a dazed Elijah sitting in the middle of what could only be described as chaos. Lilly was screaming at the top of her lungs and demanding her mother and nothing that her grandmother and Elijah’s housekeeper were doing would help. Shirley offered to help Elijah’s mother make decisions about the preparation of the body and instructed Alexandria to help

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