This takes place in the eighth book: These Happy Golden Years from the chapter 'Almanzo Goes Away'

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters. They belong to the brilliant author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

"Royal! We need to leave! I've got Lady and the buggy ready to go and I want to be able to say goodbye to Laura before we leave."

"Alright, alright I am coming. I just wanted to re-check everything to make sure we did not forget anything."

"Cap said he would stop by every few days to make sure everything was alright. And if we forgot something it could not have been that important otherwise we would have packed it already."

"Alright, alright. I'm ready. We can go so you can say one last romantic goodbye to your lady love. But no more than a minute or two. I want us to reach our first stopping point while it is still light.

"Just whistle for me when my time is up."

"Whistle huh. What type of whistle shall I do?"

"Royal! Don't you even think about doing anything that would make Mr. and Mrs. Ingalls think less of me!"

"Not Laura?"

"Of course I don't want Laura thinking ill of me. But she already knows everything about me and she still said yes when I asked her to marry me. And if you give any type of whistle other than a regular one I'll…I'll…I'll simply explain to her how it was a jealous whistle…and that you only wish you had been daring enough to try for her hand."

"In that case little brother I shall only whistle in a way most proper. I can't have the beautiful Ms. Ingalls thinking that I am jealous of my little brother now can I. Ha Ha! She won't be able to look at me again!"

"Thank you."

I really don't know what I would have done if Royal had done something as embarrassing as a whistle meant for someone other than a lady. I do not want to even think about how horrible that situation would have become! I do know he was simply teasing me, but still…..what if he had?!

"Almanzo, Royal, what a surprise. I thought you boys would have come earlier to leave Lady and the buggy and be gone before it got light out."

"Well that was the original plan Mr. Ingalls, but Manzo here wanted to tell your daughter his goodbye in person."

Thank you ever so much Royal. You brought that twinkle back into his eye, this time on my account! What is it with older siblings doing their best to embarrass the younger ones? Him and Eliza Jane…..

"She's inside Almanzo, go head and say your goodbyes. Six months is a long time to be without your loved one."

"Thank you Sir. If you just show me where I can put Lady and the buggy I'll go and do that."

Is that Laura I see in the window?

"You can put the buggy under the hay-covered shed and the last stall in the barn is for Lady. I got it already for her so you can see Laura that much quicker."

Well I do want to spend at least a few minutes with Laura. This way I'll have a few more minutes.

"Thank you Mr. Ingalls. Royal, are you coming in?"

"Go ahead Manzo; I want to ask Mr. Ingalls a few things."

What do I say? All I want to do is say that I love her and that the next six months are going to be very long without her, but what if she does not want to hear words like that? I don't want to make her any more upset and talking about how long I am going to be gone will more likely do just that. How do I tell her I love her and that nothing is going to change my feelings for her? Perhaps I should stay away from that topic all together? I think that would be best. Just say goodbye and remind her why we have to leave so soon…at least remind her of the reason Royal decided would be best to share of why we are leaving so soon.

"Hello Almanzo."

"Hello Mrs. Ingalls. I don't really have time to stop but I would like to see Laura for a moment if I may."

"Of course. She is in the sitting room. Go on in."

It was Laura in the window!

"Thank you Mrs. Ingalls."

She looks so beautiful. The way her ring shows she is going to be mine forever…..

Your new ring is becoming to your hand.

Did I say that out-loud? What a foolish thing to say!

It is a beautiful ring.

Well that is one way to start a conversation.

I would say the hand.

And your smile….and your eyes…..and your everything.

I suppose your father told you that Royal and I are going home sooner than we expected. Royal decided to drive through Iowa, so we are starting now. I brought Lady and the buggy over, for you to use whenever you please.

Where is Prince?

Prince? She asked about Prince? Why stay on that topic? I only have a few more moments with her before Royal calls! There is so much I want to say, so much I want her to say!

One of my neighbors is keeping Prince, and Lady's colt, and Cap is keeping Barnum and Skip. I'll need all four of them in the spring.

At least I didn't make her cry. I don't know what I would have done if she cried.

Oh, there is Royal whistling. Do I dare ask for a kiss?

Royal is calling, so kiss me good-bye and I'll go.

A kiss…at least something to hold me until spring.

Goodbye Laura. If only you knew how much I am going to miss you. I will be thinking of you everyday. If it were not for Father summoning us I would not leave your side. I wanted more time for us to become more accustomed to our new arrangement. I love you Laura and I can only hope that your love for me stays as strong as mine will for you while I am gone.

"Let's head out Royal. Goodbye Mr. Ingalls. Thank you again for allowing Laura to have Lady and the buggy while I am gone."

If only it were me staying…

"Safe journey boys."

"Thank you Sir."

"Alright Manzo, let's get going. We have a long way to go before dark."

"Don't worry Almanzo, Laura will be fine. She will still be here when you get back, waiting for you."

"Thank you Mr. Ingalls. That means more to me than you realize."

Be well Laura. I only hope these next six months go by quickly so I can once again be with you.

Well chapter two is up. Thoughts, critiques, questions, requests….please let me know.