One Year Later…

My father has been gone for over a year and I have missed him very much. Only through the few letters that he has sent am I given reassurance that he is alive and well and continuing to fight for our family. I have lived the last year on the Martin Plantation helping out around the plantation as much as I could. Besides helping take care of the younger children I would help Abigail in the kitchen.

This early afternoon we were baking some bread and pies when a post rider approached the house with mail. I walked out to the front porch to accept the mail since Mr. Martin was off working on a rocking chair and Gabriel was out hunting with Thomas. I gave the rider of thanks as I returned back to the house and placed the mail on the table. Seeing that Abigail was putting the final touches on the pastries we had just baked, I went in search of the younger children.

Margaret and William were on the side porch practicing William's letters. I smiled as I approached them.

"What are you two doing on this wonderful day?" I asked them.

"Margaret is helping me with my letters," William exclaimed.

"Really now and how is it going?"

"He's doing rather well," Margaret explained. I pulled William into a side hug and smiled. It has only been a year and I have gotten so close to all of the Martin children. We heard a bang and saw a horse running from the barn.

"Well it looks like Nathan and Samuel set the horse free by 'accident' again," I stated as Margaret and William laughed.

"Can I go help them catch 'em?" William asked.

"I suppose so, just don't go far from the house."

William ran off leaving Margaret and I on the porch laughing at his excitement.

"Come on, we can help Abigail finish supper and you can tell me all about that book that you have been reading."

We cleaned up the flashcards and began to head inside the house where we ran into Gabriel and Thomas. Thomas had his hand on the mail wanting to open it.

"Thomas wait for Father," Gabriel ordered. Thomas looked over to me.

"Listen to Gabriel," I told him with a nod. Thomas placed his prey that he hunted down on the table and stormed off up stairs to his room.

"What are we going to do with that boy?" I thought out loud.

"Just pray that he doesn't turn out like me," Gabriel joked.

"But what if I like the way you turned out?" I asked as Gabriel pulled me into a side hug.

"That's my life, not his. And I wouldn't change a single thing in my life at all." He placed a kiss on the temple of my head.

Over this past year, Gabriel have gotten closer. We have moved on from the just friends stage and he desperately wants to court me. Since my father is away fighting in the war, it has been hard to ask for his permission for us to court. The thing is I love Gabriel so much and with the fighting in the colonies getting worse and worse, one never knows if they are going to see tomorrow.

"I have a present for you my dear," Gab announces as he held up a group of what looked like pigeons.

"Yeah, more work for me to do in the kitchen," I laughed as I take the bundle, "I'll take these to Abigail and we can have them tonight for dinner."

Once dinner was finished Abigail began to clean up as I went up stairs to help get the children to bed. I tucked the boys in and was just about to tuck in the girls when Mr. Martin appeared at the door stating that he could do it. I went back down stairs to find Gabriel reading and Thomas playing with his army men in the sitting room. I sat down on the couch near Gabriel and began to work on my cross-stitching.

Mr. Martin appeared in the sitting room after a few minutes and began to pick up the mail but then walked away. I could see that Gab and Thomas were really anxious to see what was in the mail. I laughed quietly.

"So what was in the mail," Mr. Martin asked. Both boys raced over to the table to see what had come. I could see from where I was sitting that Gabriel had a newspaper and was looking frustrated.

"Scott Higgins joined the militia. He's seventeen, a year younger than I" Gabriel announced.

Mr. Martin pushed the matter aside and continued to read his letter. "The assembly's been convened. I've been called to-"

"Charleston! We're going to Charleston!" Thomas exclaims.

"We leave in the morning," Mr. Martin called as Thomas rushed upstairs. I looked over at Gabriel and saw a shock sort of look plastered to his face.

"Gabriel what is it? What's in the letter?" I asked as I walked over to him.

"Sam, your Father sent me a letter."

"What?" I looked at him questioningly.

"He gave me permission to court you," Gabriel smiled.

"He said what?" I asked as I took the letter. "How did he know that you wanted to court me?"

"I sent him a letter a month or two ago. It may have took some time, but it looks like it arrived to the right place."

I sat back and smiled. This was really happening. Besides wanting my father and mother back home, everything I wanted was finally being allowed.

"Do you know what this means?" Gabriel asked.

"What does it mean Mr. Martin?" I laughed.

"I can finally do this." He leaned down and placed his lips on top of mine and kissed me. I could feel him smile into the kiss. Gabriel broke off and placed his forehead against mine and we both began to giggle. In the background I could hear Mr. Martin laughing slightly as well.