To Laura with Love
LHOP inspired fan fiction by Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Disclaimer: I do not own the Little House on the Prairie television series, book series, or any of the characters.
Laura unhitched Barnum from the buggy and led him into his stall. The bitter cold did nothing to help her mood. She brushed him down without her usual tenderness and dashed inside the house.
She dumped her school books and coat onto the couch and lit a fire to warm the house that had been vacant since morning. Needing a cup of coffee, she headed towards the kitchen. A white envelope with her name scrawled on it in Almanzo’s dark, heavy handwriting leaned propped up against the lamp.
Curious, she pulled the single piece of paper out. The first few lines caused her to gasp. A weak feeling in her knees forced her to sit down. She started reading again feeling moisture at the corner of her eyes.
My dearest Laura,
I wanted to do somethin special this year since it’s our first Valentine’s Day together and ya just turned 18 a few days ago. Sometimes I git to wonderin if it means somethin that our birthdays are so close together and right before Valentine’s Day. Kinda like God had a plan for us.
I sure as heck didn’t expect to be haulin freight to Mankato this mornin. I hope ya ain’t still angry with me. The money was too good for us to pass up. I wonder how your Ma feels about Charles bein gone too. Ya both sure havta put up with a lot as farmer’s wives.
As soon as I get back, we’ll celebrate the right way. Maybe I can find somethin pretty for ya while I’m there. Ya sure deserve more than I can afford to give ya.
I love ya Beth. I can’t wait to be home and show ya how much.
Laura smiled and wiped away the tears with her finger tips. She wandered into the parlor, the letter clutched in her hands. As she rocked in front of the fireplace, she read Almanzo’s letter three more times, each time feeling overcome with love for him, tears running down her freckled cheeks onto the bodice of her dress.
The clock chimed five—time to do the chores. A farmer’s wife always had to make up for the absence of her husband.
Laura slid into her coat and gloves. A light snow had begun to fall. The fluffy white flakes decorated the barren tree branches. It made it her think of the night Almanzo and she had been forced to seek shelter at the old Edwards place. Her body felt suddenly warm.
She missed Almanzo when he was away, but it seemed worse that he had to leave today of all days. His touching letter left Laura feeling ashamed of how terse she had been with him. Of course he did it for the money. And all he could think of was spending it on her. Now, she couldn’t wait until he came home so she could beg his forgiveness.
Laura pulled the collar of her coat close to her chin as she walked back to the house.
The night wore on as she ate supper alone and then graded papers. The newspaper laid on the table in front of Almanzo’s chair neatly folded. She doused the fire and trucked up to bed, Almanzo’s letter held in her tight grasp.
Their bed seemed so big when Almanzo didn’t lay beside her. She read for a while, gazing over at the letter on the nightstand. She folded the letter in half and tucked it inside her pillowcase. Turning down the lamp, she reached for Almanzo’s pillow and nestled her nose into it. Breathing deeply, she smelled his scent on the fabric. It comforted her. Curling her body around the pillow, she closed her eyes and soon drifted off to sleep, dreaming of her husband and the day he would return to her.