Author's note: So I was inspired by "Certain Poor Shepherds" to write the origins of Margene and Bill's relationship. I was determined to finish it before watching the next episode. I wanted my thoughts to be untarnished. Here are the results. Hope you enjoy.
I'm impatient. My mother always used to tell me I could never stand waiting when I was little. Time was a hard concept for me to grasp. A minute was a small eternity to me when I was told to wait. So you can only imagine the agony I went through as a child when my allotted time was days, weeks, months until I got what I was waiting for. I wish I could say that I had changed by the time I became a teenager, but I hadn't. Mom was always drunk, off with her new flavor of the week. She made it so I was terrified to bring a boyfriend home for fear of her trying to steal him. The money always disappeared to buy her beer and booze. School became more of a burden as my lack of popular clothing made me a target of the popular girls. I began to study harder, willing the years of school to pass faster. I was miserable, and impatient to be done with school. I studied hard enough till I was convinced I could pass the GED and after I did so, I dropped out.
So there I was, not quite fifteen and nothing to do with my days. I got to a point where I could no longer be patient with my mom. The booze, the guys, the trailer being a mess and having no money… it sparked an anger in me. And with that anger came an urge. The urge to be free. To not have to live in that damn trailer with my alcoholic mom. The only thing that would change it would be money. Money for a car to drive me away from it all. Money to afford my own place. Money to make my own life. I decided I needed a job. The closest place to the house was Home Plus. They required their employees to be sixteen. I fibbed on the application and said I was a month shy of being seventeen. Later that day I stole some money from my mom and had a fake id made.
Another small eternity passed for me as I waited for a call about the job. Four days later I was asked to come have an interview. The man was older… not ancient, but older than his twenties. Probably close to forty. He had dark blue eyes and brown hair that was almost black. His handshake was warm and I felt a little flutter inside as he said my name. He introduced himself as Bill Henrickson, the owner of Home Plus. The interview went well and I came out of it knowing two things: I was meant to have that job and Bill Henrickson would be important to me.
I started a week later. Mr. Henrickson insisted I called him Bill after I started. I was assigned to the customer service desk. I tried my hardest, but it seemed no matter what I did, I just couldn't handle dealing with hostile or upset customers. I guess I just didn't have the patience. After a few months of being miserable, Bill pulled me into his office one day. "Margie," He started. I always loved the way he would say my nickname. "You're a sweet girl but I don't think this is working out. You're just too tenderhearted to be working the customer counter."
I started to cry, thinking I was being fired. I was so sure I was supposed to work for him. I was so certain that he was becoming important in my life. I heard him sigh as I was busily swiping at my face with my hands. Before I knew it, he had me wrapped in a hug. I still remember the way my pulse raced when he whispered "I didn't mean to make you cry." I went still in surprise and it seemed that action triggered him to go stiff. He backed away from me as if had done something wrong.
"I have an idea," He suggested. "Why don't you leave Home Plus and you can come work for me as a babysitter. I have a large brood and could use the help."
It was true that I was terrible at the job. And it made me miserable. I thought he had been crushing my dreams by telling me to leave, but then he had thrown me a lifeline by offering the new job. I could still have a chance. I told him I'd love to.
He was right about the brood. Bill had three children of his own. Sarah, his eldest at twelve, Ben the middle child at ten, and Teeny was the youngest at six. A close friend of the family rented a small apartment that was on the back of their property. Nicki was a bit uptight, but seemed nice if you could look past it. She had a two year old and an infant that I began to watch over as well. Barbara, Bill's wife, made me feel both jealous and smitten. Jealous that she had Bill, yet I adored her kind and warm nature with the children. She made her house a home; she was the mother of my dreams. There were many nights I left the Henrickson house wanting to have a family like that…wanting to bein that family. Just seeing the way Bill loved her and the children made me impatient to have my own family.
The babysitting job was a good fit. I worked happily for half a year. I would show up in the afternoons after I was finished with "school" and Bill would always give me a ride home in the evening. That was always my favorite time of the day. It would seem that the hours would drag until I got into his car for him to take me home. And once we were finally alone, the time would speed up, the minutes seeming to pass as quickly as the miles did under the wheels of the vehicle. We would talk on the ride and sometimes the conversation would carry on for a few minutes after pulling up to my house. Usually he would give a grin and remind me I had school the next day. I would always tell him thank you for the ride quickly after that and hop out of the car, feeling those flutters taking me over. He was married. I refused to be foolish.
One evening Bill came home and said he wanted to check on Nicki before he could take me home. I had been helping Ben with homework so I said it was no problem. After Ben was finished with math, I decided to remind Bill I needed to go home. He was a stickler for having me to my house by 9:30. I remember walking out the backdoor of the house and how dark it was. The light on the back porch had burnt out and Barb had yet to buy more light bulbs. Because of this, it was dark on the part of the yard I was on, but near Nicki's apartment was lit up. I paused as the door to her place opened up and Bill stepped out, being bathed in the golden hue of her porch light. My heart did that little flip-flop I had been trying to ignore, even as part of me kept thinking about how handsome he looked. Nicki stuck her head out the door and said something I couldn't hear. Bill paused and turned to look at her, saying something as well. Then my reality fell apart. He leaned forward and kissed her. It was a tender kiss and I felt my heart shred like confetti as he pulled away and smiled at her. I turned and bolted into the house, hoping he hadn't seen me.
He came out a few minutes later to find me standing by the car. "There you are." He said it with such a chipper tone. I nodded to acknowledge him. He looked as if he knew something was wrong, but he didn't say anything. For the first time, I was impatient to be home. I was eager to pull up to my horrid trailer, to leave the car that smelled like him. To not be near him and feel so flustered by how close he was. He turned down the street and I started counting the seconds, eager to be free.
"Margie, is something wrong?" He asked before he pulled up to the front of my trailer.
I looked out the window, willing him to stop the vehicle before I had to answer. I just wanted to escape. He was supposed to be perfect. It was all supposed to be perfect. Not this… He put the car in park and in a flash I had the seatbelt undone and made a lunge for the door.
Bill was quicker. The lock was snapped on and he leaned across the seat to stretch out his arm and cover my hand that was gripped around the door handle. I turned and looked at him, shocked. The last time he had been so close was when he had been firing me from Home Plus. I shook at him invading my personal space. My skin burned where his hand was wrapped around mine. It was wrong. Everything was so wrong.
"Margie," His voice was ragged and there was almost a pleading tone to it. "I need you to tell me what is going on."
I began to breathe faster as I looked at him. He was so close. Just two inches forward and I could kiss him… The memory of him kissing her flashed into my mind and I reared back from him in a panic.
"Margie," My name was spoken in a whisper. Like he was broken, hurt.
"Are you," I found my voice cracking. "Are you having an affair?"
He looked at me like that was the last thing he had expected me to say. "What?" His blue eyes showed his confusion.
"I- I saw you kiss Nicki in the backyard tonight." I said in a rush, my heart hammering in my chest.
He sighed as his eyes slipped closed. "I didn't want for you to find out this way."
I could no longer fight back the tears. He had shattered my image of him being a perfect man. "You mean you were going to tell me you're having an affair?" My voice was rapidly turning high pitched as I was spinning off into a panic.
Bill's eyes snapped open and grew large at my words. "Of course not Margie. I'm trying to say that-" He fumbled on his words, looking younger in his insecurity. "Nicki is my wife." The sentence slipped out in a sigh. "I practice the doctrine of plural marriage."
I stared at him. The feel of his hand wrapped around mine disappeared; I became numb as I tried to process what he had said to me.
"You're… you're a polygamist?" I scanned his face for confirmation. "Isn't that illegal?"
"By man's law, yes, but not by my faith. Plural marriage will lead my family to salvation." Part of me wanted to believe this was a joke, but his tone was too serious for that.
"Why tell me?" I whispered. This was all becoming too much.
"Because you're important to me Margie. You're… special. Like there is a purpose for you being in my life that I have just not figured out yet."
I couldn't fight the way his words made my heart twist in my chest. All feeling came roaring back and where he touched, the way he stared at me all combined to make me feel like I was on fire.
"I- I have to go." I muttered and made for the door again. I froze as his hand came up and gently grasped my chin, turning my head back to him.
"Please don't tell me this is the last time I'll see you."
I stared at him a moment. He was still so close. "I don't believe so."
He brushed the back of his hand against my cheek and gave me the usual parting grin. "I hope not. Good night Margie." He moved out of my proximity and I finally sprang free from the car, running for the porch. As I made it to the door I heard the car come to life and I turned towards the sound. We stared at each for a moment, my cheek tingling from where he had touched me. Finally he put the car in reverse and backed out, leaving me in the darkness with my thoughts.
After spending some time with the family and knowing the truth, it didn't seem so odd to me. Bill was still the perfect father. He loved all the children equally, no matter who their mother was. Nicki was shown just as much affection as Barb was… and amazingly the two seemed to get along. Barbara had shared the term sister-wife with me and I could see the true meaning of it. They were sisters and wives to the same man. They both loved and devoted themselves to him and through this union they seemed to find strength in each other. I found myself even more in love with the idea of this family with every passing day.
Another day was passing and it was my favorite time. We had not spoken about the plural marriage issue since the night he had told me the truth. Even now, we were talking about some random project I had made up that I was doing at "school". There was a lull in the conversation and suddenly my thoughts just seemed to pop out of my mouth. "Do you sleep together?" I turned bright red as I processed what I had just asked.
"What?" Bill asked.
"Do you-" In for a penny, in for a pound. "Do you all sleep together?"
Bill gave a warm chuckle and I felt the blush spread to my ears. "We're married Margie. It's not a free love group."
"Oh! I didn't mean to pry- sorry!"
He pulled over the car a block from the trailer park and turned to face me. "It's okay, Marg. Some curiosity is to be expected."
I looked at him for a moment. "Thank you for answering my question. It's nice to know you don't do everything together."
He cocked his head slightly. "But the idea of me sleeping with both of them separately doesn't bother you."
"Well…" I fought my speeding pulse as I realized I was discussing sex with him. "You three have come to an agreement. It's to be expected you would sleep with both of them. I just know that if I was in the same position that I would want…" I stumbled off tongue tied as I realized what I was getting ready to share. Be quiet, I tried to tell myself.
"What would you want?" He asked, his attention riveted to me.
"I would want…" wow, his eyes are so blue. "I would want at least a little of you just to myself." I whispered.
The grin that always made my insides move around appeared on his face. "That's why they each get nights." His gaze was so intense. "They also get time like this."
"Times where I can focus completely on them."
I felt lightheaded. Was he making a pass at me? Could he possibly return my feelings? Was this even okay if he did? "Bill?"
"How many wives are you allowed to have?"
He chuckled lightly as I once again felt like shoving my foot into my mouth. "There's not a set number. Heavenly father will guide me to the brides that are to make my family complete."
"Oh." I fidgeted for a moment, my hands twisting in my lap. "Bill?"
"Would you teach me some more about your faith?"
Our first kiss was unexpected to me. Before it happened, I would catch him staring at me. Sometimes he was smiling. Other times, looked as if he was trying to figure out a puzzle. And then sometimes… he seemed like he could devour me. It was both exciting and terrifying.
We were once again in his car on the way to my trailer and I was just rambling about nothing in particular when he suddenly took a sharp turn and took us off the road. We were near a wooded patch and I was startled enough that I stopped speaking and looked around, trying to figure out when he had stopped the car. "Bill?" I turned to him in confusion. I had just enough time to see that look of hunger in his eyes before he grabbed me.
Oh… wow! Oh… My mind struggled to process what was going on. His lips are so warm! I closed my eyes and sank into the moment. It was far from my first kiss and yet it felt different, new. Tingles went through me and I was consumed with the joy of the moment. Bill Henrickson was kissing me!
Bill asked if he could court me. His exact words. Part of me felt like I should be telling the truth.
"Nicki you are being unreasonable! I told you I had a testimony! I've seen that Margie is meant to be my wife!"
I was hiding around a corner, eavesdropping. Bill had wanted to take me on a date tonight, and had told me he would have to clear it with both Barb and Nicki first.
"Am I? Look how young she is. Why don't you just go look through the Joy Book if you want a new wife?" Nicki hissed at him, a foul look on her face.
Bill's face instantly took on a dark mood, distracting me from wondering what a "Joy Book" was. "For the love of Pete Nicki, She's seventeen, not fourteen. Yes Heavenly Father brought her into my life at a younger age than I expected, but she is still what is written in my path. I will wait till she's eighteen to marry her, but for now I can court her. It's only four months away."
"I don't like this. I don't approve."
Nicki looked like she had been slapped. "She does?"
"Yes. I have discussed it with her. I'm sorry, but I will follow what Heavenly Father wants."
Nicki turned away from him and I could no longer see her face. "Why bother even talking to me then?" My stomach sank as she stormed off.
My little white lie was starting to burn inside me.
It was shortly after my sixteenth birthday that we slept together. Bill thought it was my eighteenth. I felt cherished. Adored. I wanted; no I needed him to make me his wife. I need to feel this love everyday for the rest of my life. Bill made me complete. I couldn't want to spend my life being his wife.
Two months later we were sealed in the temple. Aaron was born eight months later. Thank God his low birth weight made him seem early.
My children were teaching me patience. They were teaching me to treasure the time I had. Moments with Bill were so short (two days a week was never enough) that I needed to savor them. I needed to enjoy my children while they were still young. I tried my hardest to learn how to wait. Patience is a virtue after all.
And now, all these years later… he asks for my driver's license. I haven't used a fake in years. The burning truth of my age sits buried in the abyss of my purse.
I had tried to put it off. I had come up with so many excuses and yet my guilt was gnawing at me. I had to come clean. Bill deserved the truth. He deserved to know the lie I told in a fit of impatience and how that same impatience had let the lie snowball. I had loved him too much to wait. I had kept my lie because my heart could not wait.
"I have something to tell you. I found my driver's license."
Ending Author Note: Feel free to leave a review. I am debating writing a piece to accompany this.