The very first time Elizabeth came to help Antonio he tried his best to keep up with her. She hardly stayed in one place too long. Antonio would look up and see her in the field picking greens and minutes later she would be in the kitchen canning peaches. She hardly needed any instruction of what to do. Antonio found any excuse to talk to her. His nervousness showed, though he tried his best to keep it hidden. His palms would get all sweaty, he stumbled over his words and sometimes he tripped over things when he was walking away from her. All Antonio knew was Elizabeth was the most beautiful woman he ever seen and he had no clue what to do.
Just about a year went by when Antonio let his guard down and his true feelings came rushing out like a pent-up river. Elizabeth and Antonio talked a lot more and were more comfortable being around each other during that year. One day while working in the garden Elizabeth bent down and reached to pick up a full bucket of squash to carry into the barn. Antonio spied the event from the barn and came rushing over. This wasn’t the first time he came out of nowhere to save Elizabeth from any load that looked too heavy for her delicate hands to hold.
“Here let me get that for you Elizabeth,” he would say.
“Antonio, I am very capable of doing such work,” would be Elizabeth’s response.
One day his words carried more weight than usual. On this day, Antonio pondered the thought of Elizabeth being his wife, more than he usually did. Something in him that day was urging him to make his feelings known to her. He knew he would have to talk with Paul her father soon. Elizabeth was different than any of the girls in town and her sisters. She was the only woman he felt could make him whole. So, his response came with more feeling and intention when Elizabeth told him she was capable.
Antonio said, “I will not have my future wife working harder than the hired help.”
Antonio realized he had just told Elizabeth the very thoughts that were on his mind. Him and Elizabeth just stared at each other for what seemed like forever then Elizabeth released the bucket and smiled. Antonio lifted the bucket and carried it to the barn for her. They both walked in silence to the barn. It was Elizabeth who broke the silence once they got to the barn.
“You’re a good man Antonio. I’m sure you will do the right thing.”
As soon as the work day was over Antonio rushed Elizabeth home so he could talk to Paul. Paul could sense Antonio had something on his mind that was urgent, so he took him into the parlor away from everyone else.
“What’s got you all flustered Antonio?” Asked Paul.
“It’s your daughter sir, I’m in love.”
“Is that so,” said Paul.
“I want to make her my wife, but I wanted to get your blessing sir.”
Antonio felt more nervous at that moment than he ever felt in his life. He couldn’t read Paul’s expression. Paul just sat and stared off into space. After a few minutes of this Antonio stood to leave.
“I will give you time to think on it sir. I won’t take up anymore of your time.”
Antonio jumped for joy. “Thank you, sir!”
All the way home Antonio thought about how he would approach Elizabeth now that he had Paul’s blessing. He wished for a moment that his mom was there to see the beautiful woman he would one day soon call his wife.