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 Yellow Flowers

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Little House Lady
Little House Lady

Number of posts : 2757

PostSubject: Yellow Flowers   Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:43 pm

Moving this here from the old forum, and I just wanted to thank everyone who read it when it was there, thank you! grinsmiley

I always thought the way Sylvia was just sort of forgotten after those 2 episodes was a little odd - it had to have been a major heartbreak for Albert and yet we never see him deal with any feelings whatsoever. So, this is just my little imaginary tale of what could have happened...

Yellow Flowers

* * * * * * * * * *

“Come on, everyone! Time for breakfast!” Caroline Ingalls called to her children. She settled baby Grace into her highchair as Carrie climbed down from the loft.

“Morning, Ma,” she said.
“Good morning.” Caroline glanced past her to the loft as her husband Charles came in the front door with a pail of fresh milk and asked the question she was thinking. “Where’s Albert?”

Caroline’s gentle eyes answered him without her even saying a word.
“Changed his mind, has he?” Charles asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied. “He hasn’t even come down yet.”
“Well, we knew this wasn’t gonna be easy. He’s gonna have to face all the young ‘uns who gave a hard time, told lies about him. He needs some time.”

“I know,” Caroline said softly, leading her husband to the kitchen. “It’s been a month since her death. I’m fine with Albert learning his lessons at home since he’s always done so well. But when will he be ready to be around people again? I don’t think it’s helping him to be in the loft, alone with his thoughts.”

“No, but he’ll know when he’s ready. Going back to town will bring him even more memories. Everywhere he goes he’ll be reminded of Sylvia.” Charles kept his voice low, but another one from the other room called, “Ma?”

Caroline turned to see Albert at the foot of the ladder. “Yes, Albert?”
“I’ll be right home after school.”
Caroline smiled at her son. “That’s fine. Or if you’d like to stay and play ball you may.”
Albert shrugged in response. “I don’t think so.” Then, with Carrie behind him, he left the house, schoolbooks in hand.

Charles came up alongside Caroline and said, “One thing at a time. He’s a strong boy and he’ll get through this.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Outside, Albert slowly trailed Carrie towards town. At first, they’d walked side-by-side but then Albert had encouraged Carrie to go on ahead and play before school. She’d done so without hesitating. Things hadn’t been the same between them in a long time, but Albert didn’t know what to do and he really didn’t feel like doing anything right then.

It seemed like a lifetime ago that Albert, Willie Oleson and two of their friends has met up and tried to spy on Sylvia Webb, a girl in their class. Her father had caught Albert and gotten a bad impression of him. So when Albert and Sylvia started spending time together, Sylvia lied to him and snuck away. Even then, everything had happened too fast for Albert to even realize it. Before he knew it, he was looking forward to those afternoons more and more. He’d daydream of Sylvia’s beautiful eyes and warm, sincere smile. Her sweet laugh filled his dreams at night. Yes, it all had happened so fast and before he knew it, Albert had fallen in love. He knew Sylvia felt the same way too, and he had never been happier before in his life.

He was enjoying every day with Sylvia and even looking forward to the future when it had all been torn away from him. Sylvia had a secret that nobody besides her father knew about. On her way home one day, she’d been attacked. But even still, it was a surprise to everyone when, after fainting at school, Dr. Baker found Sylvia to be with child. It was a crushing discovery to Albert but in some ways it was just the beginning. Mr. Webb became even more overprotective and even though he’d already forbid Sylvia to see Albert, he accused him of the rape.

Mrs. Oleson, or “The Town Crier” as Albert liked to call her, got wind of the situation and did what she did best – spread rumors. It seemed like Albert’s world was falling apart all around him – everyone was gossiping about him, he was doing poorly in school where he usually was at the top of the class and worst of all, Sylvia still wouldn’t speak to him at the order of her father.

Poor Sylvia was lonely and isolated, finally breaking down and telling Albert the truth. He was still hurt, but just happy to be able to talk to her again, spend time with her and hold her in his arms. Before too long, her father found out and in a fury, drove Sylvia to run away. Albert had found her and promised to take her away from everything. Then, he’d made the mistake he’d regret for the rest of his life. Seeking help, he turned to the town blacksmith, Irv Hartwig, for whom he’d been working. Unbeknownst to anyone, Hartwig was the rapist and tried to take advantage of Sylvia again. Albert managed to stop him just as Charles and Mr. Webb arrived. But it was too late for Sylvia, who had fallen from a ladder in her attempt to escape.

Albert was there with her after Doc Baker said there was nothing he could do. He held her hand, caressed her cheek and kissed her one last time as they made plans for the future. Albert promised her any kind of wedding she wanted, and she talked of wearing a beautiful dress with yellow flowers in her hair. Then, peacefully, she passed on. Albert held her lifeless body and prayed that it was all just a dream – a horrible, terrible dream that he would wake up from after a few moments. But the reality was clear: Sylvia was gone and Albert had to face living the rest of his life without her.

He prayed a lot – in church, at home, at the big rock where he and Sylvia used to meet. At first, he prayed that he could be with Sylvia too. Then he prayed that Sylvia was happy and finally at peace. He begged God that she not be mad at him for lying to her when he told her she’d be okay and promised they’d still be married. Most of all, he prayed for strength to go on.

All too soon, Albert reached the schoolhouse. Just as he’d though, all the children turned and stared. His sister and the schoolteacher, Laura Wilder, came outside to ring the bell then, but hesitated to glance around when she heard the silence. At last her gaze rested upon Albert and she gave him a tiny smile before finally ringing the bell. As the children ran up the steps, Laura walked down them herself to greet Albert.

“Hi,” she said, a little uncertainly. That was very unlike Laura because she usually said whatever was on her mind and she had a lot of energy. But, just like everyone else in her family, Laura was nervous around Albert. She had been the one who’d gone to Doctor Baker’s with Albert when they first learned of Sylvia’s being with child, and they’d hardly spoken since. That was hard for Laura because she and Albert had been so close growing up. And now, even though she was full grown and married, she still confided in him a lot and valued his opinions. The last month had seemed empty without him.

“How – how are you?” Laura found herself saying.
“Good,” Albert said, as if rehearsed. Lord only knew how many times he’d been asked that question as of late.
“Ma said you were coming back today but I – I didn’t know for sure. Have you been studying?”
Albert shifted the books in his arms. “Some. Trying.”
“That’s good,” Laura smiled encouragingly. “I’m glad you’re back.”
“Me, too,” he answered in a way that clearly said the opposite.
“Well, come on inside.” Laura sounded happy but inside she was worrying about how having Albert back in school would be.

* * * * * * * * *

Caroline stared out the backdoor of Nellie’s Restaurant, where she worked part time. It was the lunch hour and although she was busy, she could hardly keep her mind on her work. She’d even mixed up Mr. Smith’s order and he, a regular customer, always ordered the same thing. He’d been understanding about it but Caroline barely noticed. Her thoughts were filled with Albert and finally, she’d gone to the backdoor, hoping to catch a glimpse of him playing ball or sitting on the steps with Laura. But so far, she hadn’t seen him.

Caroline turned at the sound of a woman clearing her throat. There stood Harriet Oleson herself.
“Good afternoon, Mrs. Oleson.” Even she was amazed at her ability to remain calm towards this woman, who was the source of the rumors about Albert. It hadn’t always been the case, as Caroline had given Harriet a piece of her mind back when the rumors began. She had since controlled her feelings but couldn’t help the chill that swept over her whenever she was in Harriet’s presence.

“Caroline, I’m surprised at you. Here you are, staring outside when there’s work to be done.”
“I was all caught up on the orders,” Caroline replied, closing the door.
“Well, even so, if we all daydreamed while we worked, we would all mix up orders.”
So much for Mr. Smith being understanding, Caroline thought.
“Could you imagine what would happen if I didn’t keep my mind on things when I was cooking?” Harriet continued.
The same thing that happens on whatever rare occurrence you do cook – disaster, Caroline thought to herself. But she said out loud, “You don’t do the cooking here – your husband does.”

Harriet changed the subject as Caroline feared she would. “I saw Albert walking to school today. Isn’t it just wonderful that he’s going back?”
”Yes. Yes, it is.” Caroline closed her eyes briefly, already anticipating where this conversation was headed.
“Not many people could get over what he’s been through – especially at such a young age. Losing his girlfriend and his child…” she drifted off.
Caroline picked up a knife and began slicing bread. “Don’t tell me you still believe your rumors.”

Harriet cleared her throat again (something she was infamous for). “Caroline, you don’t have to put up a front for me, we’re old friends. You have every right to be embarrassed, but you don’t have to be ashamed.

Dropping the knife with a thud, Caroline met Harriet face-to-face. “You’re right, Mrs. Oleson, I don’t have anything to be ashamed of and I’m not embarrassed either. I’m proud of my boy for being strong enough to walk back into a place that your son made miserable for him. All the vicious lies he told he heard from you.” Raising her pointer finger, Caroline finished with, “I’m a very forgiving person, Mrs. Oleson, but this is going to take a long time.” Then, taking her dignity with her, Caroline marched out of the restaurant.

* * * * * * * *

It was almost three o’clock. Albert was surprised that he made it through the day as well as he had. The school work had been a good distraction for him and he easily picked up where he left off. The one thing that wasn’t going well was his seating arrangement. A new boy he didn’t know was in his seat, forcing Albert to sit next to a new girl. This should have been a good thing, because he would be able to sit next to someone who didn’t know about his past, but not this girl. She kept looking over at Albert and smiling. At first, he’d smiled back to be polite, but by the end of the day it had gotten annoying.

When Laura kept him after school to ask how his first day back was, Albert asked her about it. “Who’s the new girl?”
“Belinda Stevens,” she answered. “Her family moved here only about two weeks ago. Why do you ask?”
”I don’t know.” Albert shrugged. “All day she kept smiling at me.”
“Maybe she was just being friendly.”
“Nah,” Albert said. “It was…too friendly.”
“Maybe she likes you.” Laura hid a smile. She’d noticed Belinda too, but was worried Albert wouldn’t be interested. And she was right.
“Well, no matter,” Albert replied. “I’m going home.”

Laura watched him leave the schoolhouse. He’s so young, she thought. Albert was only fourteen and had suffered what would probably be the biggest heartache of his life. Laura wondered if he’d ever get through his pain and learn to love again.

"It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong."

Last edited by on Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Yellow Flowers   Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:45 pm

* * * * * * * * * *

Albert walked home slowly. Carrie had gone ahead so he’d had plenty of time to think. School had been odd that day, he knew. He hadn’t been there in nearly two months.

Being in the schoolhouse now without Sylvia there made his heart ache with a worse pain than he had ever known before. How quickly she had become such an important part of his life. Whenever something happened, something as insignificant as Grace learning to say new words or something more important like his returning to school – his thoughts turned to Sylvia and he wanted to tell her all about whatever it was. But then he would remember, and being without her during the times he used to count on her only brought him more painfully back to reality.

He knew that people didn’t understand. Everyone thought that because he was so young he couldn’t really be in love. That made him angry because no one really knew anything about his relationship with Sylvia besides himself. Sure, they were together during some difficult circumstances but wasn’t that what love was about? Being together, staying true to each other, for better or for worse?

Lord knows there had been worse. But Albert stuck by her – not because he felt sorry for her like his Pa had thought, but because he truly felt something special with her. He’d never felt that way about anyone before and he didn’t care if he would for anyone else again.

Sylvia was his partner, his best friend, the one he could go to with anything and know he’d be with someone who really cared about him. It didn’t matter if he was fourteen or forty.

As he stopped to pick a yellow flower from the field Sylvia loved, Albert felt a sensation of guilt. For as much as he wanted Sylvia back, he wanted things to be normal again. He wanted to concentrate on his schoolwork and play ball after school. He wanted to read Doc Baker’s medical books and take Carrie fishing on Saturdays. He didn’t want to be sad anymore or kept awake at night as the memory of Sylvia falling from the ladder kept racing through his mind. So much had happened in so short a time, and Albert knew that he’d changed. He didn’t know if he’d ever feel the normal he’d once felt again.

* * * * * * * * * *

“You sure you don’t want any popcorn, darling?’” Charles asked his wife that night. They were sitting in bed reading. Or at least, Charles was reading. Caroline, on the other hand, kept thinking about her conversation with Mrs. Oleson that day.

“I shouldn’t lose my temper,” she finally said out loud.
“Oh, you don’t have to. If you don’t want any popcorn, you don’t have to have it.”
Caroline was confused. “What?”
Charles patted her arm. “Still thinking about Mrs. Oleson?”
“Yes,” she said. “I’m so angry at myself for losing my temper, but when I think about all the things that woman said to hurt our son…well, it just makes me want to tell her what I think of her all over again.” Quickly, she turned to her husband. “Am I terrible person?”

“Of course not.” Charles struggled not to laugh. He knew his wife was a very sensitive woman with a kind heart, but no one besides Harriet Oleson could get her dander up. It had been that way from almost the moment the two women had met, and Caroline was always trying hard to be kind. Sometimes, like everyone, she couldn’t try anymore and stood up to Harriet. Charles hadn’t told Caroline this but he enjoyed watching her stand up for herself. He knew just how strong-willed his wife was but not many others

“Darlin’, a person can only take so much. Mrs. Oleson has been at this for what, over a month?”
Caroline nodded.
“Spreading rumors about our son and making everything harder than it has to be for our family – why, it’s about time you set her straight.”
“You really think so?” Caroline asked hesitantly.
“Yes, I do.” Charles smiled. “Now, if you’re sure you don’t want any popcorn, we best get to sleep. It’s getting late.”
Caroline smiled back at him. “Good night…I love you.”
“I love you, too.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Another one, Albert! I got another!” Sylvia’s voice rang out as she pulled her fishing pole from the water. “It’s the biggest one yet!”
Albert, embarrassed that he still hadn’t caught a fish after bringing Sylvia to the lake, simply said, “I can see that.”
“Take it off for me,” Sylvia asked, and as Albert obliged, she added, “Boy, you were right. Fishing is fun!”
“It is when you’re catching something,” Albert replied, struggling slightly with the fish.
Sylvia laughed.
“It’s not funny,” Albert countered, washing his hands in the water. “Look at all the fish you’ve caught and I haven’t even caught one.”
“That’s not why I’m laughing.”
“Then what is it?”
“I’m just happy, that’s all.” Sylvia hesitated. “I like being with you.”
Albert was surprised by her words but answered honestly. “I like being with you.” Then it was his turn to hesitate. “Maybe I’d have better luck if I sat closer to you.”
Sylvia smiled shyly. “Maybe.”
As he grabbed his pole and knelt beside her, Albert couldn’t keep the smile off his face.

“I was really happy with my grade on the history test,” Sylvia said a little while later. “All my studying paid off.”
“Yeah, me, too,” Albert said. “Do you like school?”
“I guess so.” Sylvia hesitated again. “Sometimes it’s hard, but it’s…it’s somewhere to go.”
Albert was confused by her statement but all she would say was, “My pa’s real strict.” Sylvia became quieter as she looked away from Albert. “He’s not the easier man to get along with sometimes, and I don’t understand why he acts the way he does. But, it’s nice to have school to go to everyday.” Then she changed the subject. “What about you? You must like school, you do so good.”
“I do like it,” Albert admitted. “When I’m done, I want to go to college and study to become a doctor.”
“Oh, Albert, that’s wonderful!” Sylvia exclaimed and he smiled. He was happy Sylvia had lost the sadness that had come over her when she spoke about her father. Usually, Sylvia was quiet and shy. He was glad she felt comfortable enough to open up to him.

“But, it’s getting late. I’m sorry, I’d better go.”
“Okay, I’ll walk you home,” Albert offered.
“Only halfway,” Sylvia insisted. “My pa…” she trailed off, but Albert, seeming to understand just said, “Okay.”

They gathered up the fishing poles and began walking. Albert felt his heart beat quicken as he thought in the silence for a few moments. Then, in a bold move, he reached out and took her hand. He wasn’t sure what to expect but Sylvia only smiled back at him. Her smile really is beautiful,
he thought.

Suddenly, Albert gasped and woke up with a start. He sat straight up in bed and wiped the sweat from his forehead on his nightshirt. It took him a few moments to break free from the dream he so wanted to be real. After a few deep breaths, he laid back down again and stared at the ceiling. There was no use in trying to sleep again; he knew the past that the dreams would only return.

* * * * * * * * * *

On Sunday morning, the Ingalls family went to church, along with most of the other townsfolk. Before the closing hymn, Reverend Alden said he had announcements to make. “The church social will be held this Friday. It’s a wonderful time to be among friends and also meet the new neighbors who have come in the past year.” He smiled. “Also, I’m delighted that Mr. and Mrs. Stevens’ daughter, Belinda, will be singing here in church next Sunday.” Then he instructed everyone to stand.

Albert looked around the church for Belinda. She was standing with her parents and didn’t notice Albert. He turned back around and waited for the service to end.

"It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong."
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PostSubject: Re: Yellow Flowers   Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:50 pm

On Monday, Albert had an arithmetic test. He felt confident that he’d done well. By that time, he knew that returning to school was the right decision. It was easier to be around the children, though he still hadn’t repaired any old friendships. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to. But the work kept his mind occupied and he liked feeling like he’d accomplished something each day.

When he wasn’t busy, his thoughts would still drift to Sylvia. But every once in awhile, his thoughts would turn to Belinda. He was curious about her and why Reverend Alden had made the announcement about her in church. Also, he wondered why she was acting differently towards him now. She still smiled and said hello in the morning, but that was all. She wasn’t paying Albert as much attention as she had in the beginning. He hoped she hadn’t thought he was rude. But, he tried not to think about it. He concluded that Belinda, like everyone else, had heard Willie Oleson’s version of the truth and didn’t want anything to do with him. So much for being able to start over with people who didn’t know about his past. Willie and his mother alike had probably made sure that would never happen.

After school, Albert gathered his books slowly. Belinda went up to talk to Laura and Albert quickly watched as the other kids streamed past him.

Laura saw him and said, “Can I help you with something, Albert?”
“No,” Albert said, startled. “I was just leaving.”

Quickly, he left the classroom. He found himself lingering outside longer than he meant to, until finally, Belinda came outside.
“Hi,” he said immediately.
“Hi.” Belinda was a little uncertain.
“Um,” Albert stuttered. “I just wanted to…apologize. You know, in case…in case I seemed rude last week. Um…I’m just coming back to school myself.”
“I know,” Belinda said, finally smiling at him.
“Y-you do?” He rolled his eyes. “So Willie Oleson did get to you, huh?”
“Well, he did tell me some things. Him and the others, after you came back.”
Albert couldn’t face her. “Do you believe them?”
“I’ve always been taught not to judge people, especially based on what other people say.” Her eyes sparkled in the sunshine. “I don’t believe gossip.”
“Then why did you start acting differently? I mean, after those first few days?” Albert was confused.
“I don’t know,” Belinda said carefully. “I just…wanted to be friendly, but not too much so, you know? I figured that, no matter what everyone had said, that you’d been through a lot and I didn’t know how to act around you.”

Her words stunned him. Was that all it was? Was that all it was with everyone? Was that why none of the children had befriended him when he’d returned, why Carrie seemed afraid of him and why his Ma and Pa bent over backwards to his every need?

“I never thought of that,” Albert said carefully. He knew that the rumors were probably still in people’s minds, but even if they didn’t believe them, like Belinda, they didn’t know how to act around him. “Thanks, Belinda. Um, I can walk you home. I mean, if you want me to.”
“You already are.” Belinda laughed.
“Oh!” Albert hadn’t even realized they’d been walking as they’d talked but they had. “I didn’t even realize it. But, I’m glad we talked.”
“Me, too.” Belinda smiled at him. They walked on in silence, then Belinda asked, “Going to church social?”
“I don’t know.” Albert answered honestly. “I hadn’t really thought about it.”
“Oh. Well, I’ll be there, me and my folks. You know, if you – if you decide to go,” Belinda stammered.
“Maybe I’ll see you there.” Albert found himself smiling at her.
“Maybe,” Belinda answered, as they reached a cabin. “This is my house…thanks for walking with me.”
“You’re welcome,” Albert said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow.” Belinda smiled at him again, then went inside.

Albert found himself thinking of her several times on his way home. Then he walked through the field again where he used to go with Sylvia. He passed the tree where he’d carved “Albert loves Sylvia” and smiled when he thought of the memories from that day. They’d walked through the woods hand in hand after spending over an hour just talking and laughing. After Albert had carved their names, Sylvia blushed and lit up with joy. He’d walked her halfway home and given her a kiss for the first time. Albert would never forget the warmth of her lips upon his own, or the way his heart swelled with happiness. He knew Sylvia felt the same way and he could still see the way her hair shone in the sunlight and the way her eyes sparkled when she smiled at him. He would always love her and he knew it. But did that mean he could never move on? Would he be being unfaithful, or disloyal, to her if he did? And then there was the question of why did he suddenly feel this way.

Albert pondered these things as he past the grove of yellow flowers and stopped to pick one for Sylvia, as he’d been doing every day since he’d gone back to school. He didn’t know the answers to his questions, but he was hoping he would figure them out soon.

* * * * * * * * * *

The next day, Albert walked to school with Carrie. It was the first time in over a month when they actually walked together instead of Carrie running ahead. Albert had missed the morning walks and talks with his little sister but didn’t know how to explain any of these things he was feeling to her.

Instead he just simply said, “I’m sorry for how I’ve been acting, Carrie.”
Surprised at her older brother’s words, Carrie just said “That’s okay.”
“Thanks.” Albert smiled at her and they continued walking. He felt better, because he knew things were finally improving. He’d given up on the idea of “normal”. What was normal, anyway? Albert didn’t know, but he just figured if he was able to be happy and living the way he knew he should, then that was okay.

His mood was lighter and that morning and school even seemed before than before. Belinda’s words about not knowing what to say to him had really made him think. Things with Belinda were going well, too. She smiled good morning to him, and he knew they would be friends.

At lunchtime, they sat together on a log by the schoolhouse. Belinda told him about where she had lived in the big city of Minneapolis and how her family had moved because her father, much like Albert’s own, didn’t really like the city. She also talked about singing and how excited she was to start doing so in church on Sunday. Albert finally felt comfortable enough to talk to her about Sylvia. He figured he owed it to her in a way, after she had been so kind to him. He was unsure of how to begin.

“You know those, those things people have been saying about me?” he asked uncertainly, playing with a weed growing through the log.
“Yes?” Belinda inquired.
“Well, some of them are true.” Albert sighed. “It’s hard to explain. I guess it’s just hard to talk about. But, well, this girl named Sylvia used to go to school here. She was really special to me. I – I was her beau for a few months.” Albert watched her reaction but she still was looking at him with interest. “And she…had some problems. Part of what Willie said was true, I guess, but it wasn’t because of me.” He noticed Belinda looking away and he said, “I know you don’t believe me. I don’t really blame you, not many people do and I know how it sounds. I just…don’t know how to explain it.”
“Well, I don’t believe what other people say, remember?” Belinda said with a hint of a smile. “I believe you.”
Albert smiled with relief. “Thanks.” Suddenly a new thought occurred to him in his mind. Could ask Belinda to accompany him to the social? But before the words could leave his lips, he stopped. As much as he wanted to do that, he still wasn’t sure if he should. He had thought on things some more since yesterday but still didn’t have an answer.

The bell rang then, tearing him away from his thoughts and wordlessly, they walked back to the schoolhouse. When they reached the top of the steps, Belinda said, “Thank you, Albert. For telling me about her. I know it wasn’t easy for you.”
“Thanks for listening,” he said simply. Then he smiled at her. She smiled back as they took their seats.

"It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong."
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PostSubject: Re: Yellow Flowers   Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:52 pm

* * * * * * * * * *

After school that day, Albert wanted to walk with Belinda again, but he also wanted to talk to his sister. He had a feeling that Laura would be able to help him with his questions. She was good to talk to and Albert always considered her his best friend.

As all the children began gathering their things and running out of the classroom, Albert said to Belinda, “I’d like to walk you home, but I have to stay and talk to Laura…I mean, Mrs. Wilder.”
“That’s okay,” Belinda said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow.” Albert waited until she was out of the classroom, and then went up to Laura’s desk. “Hi,” he said, taking the seat in front of her in the first row.

She looked up, surprised at his somewhat chipper tone. “Albert…can I help you with something?”
“Actually, yeah. I mean, maybe. I think so.”
“What is it?” Laura asked. “If you don’t mind me saying so, you seem to be feeling better.”
“Well, that’s just it. I am feeling better.” Albert was glad his sister had noticed. It made it easier for him to say what he had been thinking. “I want to feel better. But I don’t know if I should. I mean, if I’m happy, does that mean I’m forgetting Sylvia? Is it wrong for me to be happy after -“Albert’s voice caught, “after losing her? Is it wrong to move on?”

“Oh, Albert,” Laura breathed. She so wanted for her brother to feel better and be happy that she never thought that it might cause him more confusion. “No, I don’t think it’s wrong at all. You were happy when you were with her, you loved her.” Laura paused, trying to find the right words. “What happened to Sylvia was a tragedy, but I think that she would want you to be happy. You were the only one who truly made her happy, and I think she would want the same for you now.”
“You don’t think it would seem like I was forgetting her if I moved on?” Albert asked.
“As long as you don’t forget her, then no. Not at all. She can always have a special place in your heart, and you can still move on. You can share your heart with someone else and I know that she would understand. She can’t be here with you anymore, but I really think she would want you to be happy anyway. And if that means that you do fall in love again, you can do that without forgetting her.”
“I think I can,” Albert said quietly, slowly choking back the tears.

Laura’s just about spilled over once he said that. She left her desk and sat beside him, and put her arm around his shoulders.
“I loved her so much, Laura. I still do. I wish I could change what happened but I can’t.” Albert’s tears spilled over then, and Laura hugged him tightly.
“You did all that you could,” she said, choked up herself. “You loved her and you were there for her when nobody else was.”
“I know,” Albert said. “God, I know. I finally think I’m starting to understand that I couldn’t have changed anything. All I did was love her and that’s all I could have done.”
“Yes,” Laura said softly. She tried to hold back a sob but couldn’t. As she and Albert sat there together, holding each other as they both cried, she said, “I never wanted to have to talk to you about this. I never wanted to you to be hurt so deeply that your heart was broken.”
“Well, there’s nothing else you could’ve done either. And you’re helping me now,” Albert told her.
“But I didn’t help you before,” she said. “I just…didn’t know what to say.”
“I don’t think anybody did,” Albert replied, sniffling and wiping his nose. “Belinda helped me see that.”
“Belinda?” Laura asked.
“Yeah,” Albert replied. “We’ve been talking some lately. I told her everything – about Sylvia and how what Willie was saying wasn’t true and she believed me. In fact, she’s the reason I started thinking like this I think, about moving on. I…I wanted to take her to the social.”
Laura smiled through her tears. “I think that would be a great idea.”
“You really think it’s okay?”
“Yes, I do.”
Albert hugged his sister one more time. “Thanks, Laura. I better be getting home.” “You’re welcome,” Laura replied.
Albert walked to the door but before he left, he turned around. “Laura?”
She was wiping her eyes but turned to look up at him. “Yes?”
“I love you.”
She smiled as the tears started to flow again. “I love you, too.”

* * * * * * * * * *

That night, Albert felt better than he had in a long time. He did his chores as soon as he got home, had supper with the family, then helped Carrie with her arithmetic. When he finally went to bed, he fell asleep almost immediately.

He had another dream that night, another one that felt so real that he had a hard time shaking the feeling of it when he woke up. In the dream, he and Sylvia were sitting on the big rock in the woods, talking. He saw her smile and the way her eyes lit up when she laughed. He could hear the excitement in her voice when they planned a picnic for the next weekend. Then she had to leave to go home.

But before she’d gone, Albert picked her a yellow flower as he had every day that they’d been together. She smiled at it, but told him, “Why don’t you keep it this time? That way you can have something to remember me by until I see you again.” He’d kissed her gently and for a few moments, they just stood there holding each other.
“I love you, Sylvia,” Albert said softly.
“I love you, too,” she said, and smiled at him.

Like before, Albert awoke with a start. Only this time, it was different. He felt differently. It was as though he could still feel Sylvia’s embrace and he didn’t want to lose that feeling. So he closed his eyes and fell back asleep.

* * * * * * * * *

The next morning, Albert awoke with a smile on his face. The feeling hadn’t gone away, and he realized for the first time that he would okay. He thought about his conversation with Laura the day before and still wasn’t sure if he wanted to ask Belinda to the social though.

Everything Laura had said made sense, but Albert still hadn’t been reassured. He wanted Sylvia to know that he would always love her no matter what happened. He still wasn’t sure if moving on would show her just the opposite. He knew now from his dream and the feeling he’d been left with that she was still with him, and he liked that.

"It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong."
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PostSubject: Re: Yellow Flowers   Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:54 pm

* * * * * * * * * *

Albert and Carrie set off to school that morning. He was the first one out the door and he waited for Carrie, who was searching for her homework paper. What he saw next to the door amazed him.

There, right beside the doorframe, grew a beautiful, yellow flower. Its petals shone in the sunlight. It hadn’t been there yesterday, Albert knew. He knelt down to take a closer look at it and the words Sylvia had said to him before and that he’d dreamed of last night echoed in his mind: “Why don’t you keep it this time? That way you can have something to remember me by until I see you again.”

Until I see you again…Albert gasped. “Oh, my God,” he whispered under his breath.
“Albert? What are you doing?” Carrie asked. He hadn’t realized that she’d finally come outside and was standing beside him.
“Nothing…um, you go on ahead, Carrie. I’ll catch up in a minute.” When she looked at him doubtfully Albert said, “I promise, now go on.”

Once she left, Albert studied the flower again. There was no doubt in his mind that this wasn’t a coincidence. This was surely a sign, a reassurance, like Albert had been wanting. He knew Sylvia would be watching over him and that it was okay for him to move on. He left the flower where it was and whispered, “I’ll always love you,” then hurried off to catch up with Carrie.

* * * * * * * * * *

The last person he wanted to see that morning was Willie Oleson, but there he was, standing by the school steps. Albert wanted to talk to Belinda, so he walked right past him. But Willie stopped him.

“Albert, can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Sorry Willie, but I really don’t have time for you to ruin my life today,” Albert said shortly.
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about!” Willie exclaimed. “I’m sorry.”
Albert stopped walking. “What?”
“I’m sorry for all the things I said. I’m sorry for spreading rumors about you and about Sylvia. And I’m sorry for what happened to her.”
Albert was stunned. “Look, Willie, I don’t know what you’re trying to pull now, but I really have better things to do. Now get out of my way.”
“Albert, you gotta believe me, I really am sorry!”
Albert was still doubtful. “Even if you were sorry, it’s not that easy. You really hurt me, Willie, a lot. Just saying you’re sorry isn’t gonna fix that.”
“I know,” Willie said quietly. “Listen, I’m really trying to be sincere. It was stupid; it was hurtful of me to say those things to you and about you. It was…something my sister would do,” he admitted. “My ma has a way of saying things…I don’t know, she just makes them sound so convincing and I believed what she said. Not only that, but I said them, too. I should’ve known better than to listen to her. I should’ve known better than to do what I did. I’m trying to learn better and figure things out for myself. I promise I’m not gonna do that again. I’m not gonna go around hurting people.”
Still having not moved, Albert had no idea what to say. “Willie…if you really mean what you said, then thank you. I appreciate it.” Then he turned to walk away.
“Albert?” Willie called. “Can we be friends again?”
Albert shrugged. “Maybe someday…not now, but someday.” He kept walking until he got to Belinda, who was sitting by the water pump studying.

“Hi,” Albert said. “What are you studying?”
“Just looking at the songs I’m singing Sunday,” she replied.
“Oh.” Albert shifted his books from one arm to the other. “Are you, uh, still going to the social? Tomorrow night?”
Belinda didn’t look up at him. “I suppose so. My folks are going.”
“Oh. That’s…that’s good,” Albert replied. He shifted his books again.
“Yes.” Belinda still hadn’t looked up at him.
Albert took a deep breath. “Would you do me the honor of…of…escorting me, I mean, letting me escort you…” he sighed. “Would you like to go to the social with me?”
Belinda was stifling a laugh. “Of course I would.”
“Great.” Albert smiled at her.
The bell rang then, and Albert extended a hand to help her up. “Here, let me carry your books.”
Belinda smiled back at him. “Thanks.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Friday night arrived sooner than anyone had expected. The entire Ingalls family was getting ready to go into town after supper that evening. Albert stood at the mirror, tying and re-tying his tie until Caroline called to him that they would be late if they didn’t leave soon.

Albert had agreed to meet Belinda outside the church, so after his family arrived, they all went inside and he waited by the steps, holding a bouquet of orange flowers. Yellow, he decided, would always be for Sylvia, but he wanted to give Belinda something nice too.

Her family arrived not too long after, and he ran to the buckboard to help her down. He didn’t even notice he was staring at her until Belinda laughed and said, “What is it?”
“Oh! Nothing. I mean, you look really nice,” Albert said softly. “Here, these are for you,” he added, handing her the flowers. She did look very nice, in a beautiful blue-colored dress and a matching ribbon tied in her shiny brown hair. Her eyes laughed at him and he extended his arm to her. “Ready to go inside?”

The church was filled with laughter and talking. Charles was just getting ready to play the fiddle in the front of the room with Mr. Jacobs, who had brought along an accordion, and Caroline and Laura were helping set out cookies and cakes that people had donated. Albert and Belinda stayed with her family at first and Albert spoke with them a little bit. But when the music started, they slipped away by themselves to a corner of the room. “I’m really glad you’re here with me,” Albert whispered and Belinda smiled back at him. “Me, too.”

As they twirled around and around, Albert felt his heart swell with happiness once more. He couldn’t believe that he was there, feeling so happy and free. It had taken awhile, but he had gotten through what was the biggest heartbreak of his life, and somehow he was okay. He had learned to accept it and go on; he had found happiness again, in his family and now in another special person. He would never forget what he had once had with Sylvia, but for the first time since she had died, he felt optimistic about the future. He knew that he would count his blessings that night for the first time in a long while.


"It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong."
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Ingalls Friend for Life
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PostSubject: Re: Yellow Flowers   Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:59 pm

Wow..this story was fabulous! I know it's 5 years old...but I'm still new here and trying to catch up. I'm trying to get through all the Fan Fictions. Being such an 'Albert' fan, this story was really enjoyable...and it brought tears to my eyes. You wrote this so well! This story would have worked very well on LH. It was strange to see him get over and forget Sylvia so quickly! This was truly awesome....thank you! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Yellow Flowers   Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:00 am

ChristinAl....You took my breath away! This story is simply amazing...I loved it, It's plenty of warm feelings...and It's also very well written. Congrats for your skills as a writer! Thumbsup thud Smiley Hug


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PostSubject: Re: Yellow Flowers   Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:12 am

That was amazing! I loved it. I thought you captured the characters really well.
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PostSubject: Re: Yellow Flowers   Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:52 am

And I just read this...wow it is an awesome story!

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PostSubject: Re: Yellow Flowers   Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:53 pm

This was very very GOOD! I actually had a tear come down my face after reading it! It was great that Albert was able to move on with his life, and Sylvia will never be forgotten and the times they shared.

Please do a sequel of Albert and Belinda!

BRAVO! BRAVO! Check out MY story!
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PostSubject: Re: Yellow Flowers   Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:33 am

Hey, Lenellbr...What about YOU writting a sequel with Belinda in it?

Vanesa. Smile

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