Quiet Union

Cora decided James was in need of a friend. She worked on her mission slowly. She went out of her way to offer a shy smile and a greeting when she happened upon him. At first, he was predictably stoic. As the months wore on, and her unrelenting good nature wore him down, she noticed small changes in his behavior. One day he actually smiled at her as he watched her approach after church.

They did not share confidences. There were no deep conversations. James was a hard nut to crack. Cora was patient. She made casual observations and elaborated on the topics he seemed interested in so he would keep talking to her. They spent increasing time together in the ministry. Eventually, they progressed to keeping company within the approved confines of each other’s family homes. They married in 1968.

Sadie came home for Cora’s quiet celebration. Still the same irreverent Sadie but with new wicked thoughts to share. Cora was worried about her wedding night. Sadie made her laugh with a “lamb to the slaughter” analogy, that wasn’t reassuring in the least, but soothed her nerves with shocked hilarity. Sadie’s well behaved, demure, public persona allowed their friendship to continue. She never refused an invitation to attend church with Cora’s family.

Despite Cora’s worries, her wedding night was not what she’d feared nor was it what she’d hoped. She didn’t understand what the fuss was about. James was a very private person. They’d moved in to her in-laws’ house. It began as a one room house that expanded as children were born. The home was an architectural testimony of family history; square boxes built on to other square boxes, in a row that could never be mistaken for straight, headed toward the field.


About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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19 Responses to Quiet Union

  1. Well done. 🙂

    I’d fallen behind on my reading, but right now I’m kind of happy about that. Got to read these all at once. Like recording half a season of your favorite program and sitting down to watch them all at once. Popcorn time.

  2. judithatwood says:

    Elroy, this is a lovely narrative! You have such a gift for descriptive writing — descriptive of emotion as well as of object. Really quite beautiful!

  3. George says:

    Stoic, withdrawn, confined, straight . . . hmm . . . a quiet tension builds.

  4. I love that you are doing this in bite sized bits.

  5. Boxes made of ticky tacky?

  6. Doug says:

    So, as we follow the author’s first take of this screenplay treatment we know interior trumps exterior in the development of our players, but do we really know that… house building by baby making maybe begs the question…or “keeping company within the approved confines” suggest both. And is Sadie just a sidekick or a physical representation: suggesting always a way out for (Cora and/or James) no matter how one’s time, circumstance, and boxed in path….says no…

    • elroyjones says:

      All of the symbolism happened spontaneously. I was amused to see it when it was written. Sadie is necessary for plot development and in life. I have known her and I have been her. Happy to see you here.

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