When it came in sight, Elizabeth felt dread curl in her stomach. She could see her mother pacing back and forth in front of the window. Elizabeth knew there would be no chance to sneak in and clean up before facing her. Elizabeth took a deep breath and walked calmly towards the house, brushing off her dress as she did so.
Her mama happened to glance out the window. A second later, the front door swung open. Every inch of her mother was etched in fury. “Elizabeth Miller! Where have you been?! Just look at the state of you!”
Her mother stepped aside as Elizabeth walked inside. The door slammed shut behind them.
“Well?” her mother demanded, her foot taping in that annoying way.
Elizabeth sat down heavily on the chair.
“You were with that Foster boy again, weren’t you?!”
She didn’t give her a chance to answer.
“Elias,” she called, “I think it’s time!”
Her father walked into the room and gave her a once over. He sighed, “Yes, Mary. I think you’re right.” He looked at Elizabeth. “Sit down sweetheart.”
She gave him a strange look. “I am sitting down.”
“Oh, yes, I see that.” He seemed flustered.
“What’s going on Papa?”
He knelt down in front of her and took her hands in his. “Sweetheart, what do you think about America?”
“That stupid land across the sea for greedy old men?”
“What’s there to think about it?”
Mama decided she’d had enough beating around the bush. “Elizabeth, we are sending you on the next ship to America. It leaves in two days.”
Her mouth dropped open. “But . . . but . . . Papa!”
He nodded his affirmation.
“No,” she yelled, “I won’t go!”
“Yes,” Papa said softly, “you will.”
She looked at him for a moment, aghast, before leaping from her chair and running outside.
“She’ll be back,” She heard him say as the door slammed behind her. The sad part was she knew she would be too.
She didn’t know where she was running to, only that she had to get away. As she ran down the lane she saw someone walking towards the farm, but through her blurry vision she was unable to identify who it was.
She heard the person call her name as she rushed by. It was David. He was the last person she wanted to talk to.
Elizabeth ran until she found herself in a field of flowers. She collapsed and cried some more as sobs tore through her body.
Next thing she knew, David was lifting her from the ground and wrapping his arms around her. Elizabeth didn’t care anymore. She needed comfort.
She buried herself in his embrace.
“What’s wrong, Elizabeth?” he asked softly.
“America!” she screeched. “My parents are sending me to America because they don’t want to have to deal with me any longer!”
That shut him up. She continued crying and David held her tighter. His eyes shed a few tears as well.
Two days later, Elizabeth stood with her parents in front of the ship. She was dressed in her finest cloak and skirts. A crewman had already taken her bag up. She didn’t see David anywhere. They hadn’t had a chance to say goodbye. Without a word, she hugged her parents and walked onto the ship; into her nightmare.