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.
Willie Oleson sat in a hard, wooden desk staring at his college entrance examination. He knew this day was coming, and he thought he was well prepared for it, but as he glanced upon his half empty test sheet he was no longer certain of himself.
“Fifteen more minutes, ladies and gentlemen,” said the professor as he walked among the prospective students. His keen eye kept a lookout for cheaters.
Willie glanced up when the professor walked past him. The professor turned back and eyed him suspiciously. ‘What if he knows what I’m up to?’ thought Willie.
His eyes floated towards his paper again. He jotted down a few correct answers — it had to look convincing. A picture of Rachel’s beautiful, sweet face flashed into his mind, and he knew there was no other choice for him to make. He couldn’t be separated from her for so long.
Willie still couldn’t believe Rachel Brown had ever noticed him, never mind wanted him for a beau. His mother was against the pairing from the start. She accused Rachel of only wanting him for his money — not to her face of course, but to the many people in town who spent their money in Oleson’s Mercantile. He ignored his mother’s prattling, but he feared what she would say when he told her that he intended to marry Rachel.
His mother, Harriet was more than happy to ship him off to college. It would be a good way to nip Willie and Rachel’s romance in the bud, she told the townsfolk who would listen.
“Five more minutes,” said the professor.
Willie hurried to finish his examination in time, not that it really mattered. He knew he would fail; after all, he had planned it that way. He hated to deceive his mother and feared disappointing his father, who seemed so proud Willie might go to college. But there was no alternative. If he passed the entrance exam, he would be forced to leave Walnut Grove and Rachel behind to continue his education. He knew he couldn’t bear that.
His last conversation with Rachel entered his thoughts. They had snuck out the night before he left for his exam. As they sat next to the Sweetheart Tree in the center of town, the couple felt the tugging of young love at their hearts.
“Rachel, I’m telling you that ya don’t havta worry. I’m not leaving Walnut Grove.”
“Oh Willie, you don’t know that for sure. If you pass that exam your mother will make you go.”
“I’m a man now. Mother has no say over me.”
“Why don’t you just tell her how you feel about college?”
“I can’t do that, she would never understand.” He wondered if he should tell Rachel. He gazed over at the dark, empty restaurant. He knew he was a natural for that business, people had told him so. He didn’t need college. He could stay in Walnut Grove and run his sister’s restaurant and hotel now that she lived in New York. He and Rachel could get married right away. “I’m not going to pass the exam.”
“You’ve studied so hard; I’m sure you’ll do just fine, don’t worry.”
“I’m not worried. I’m going to fail the test on purpose so that I can stay here in Walnut Grove and we can get married.”
Rachel shot up from the bench. “Oh no, Willie! You can’t do that.”
“I am going to do it. I won’t leave you.”
Shaking her head, she pleaded with him. “You can’t sacrifice your future for me. I could never live with myself if…”
Willie gathered her up in his arms. “You are my future.” He smiled at her. Brushing a wisp of hair away from her face he placed a small kiss on her cheek.
“I don’t like the thought of you deceiving your parents that way.”
“Neither do I, but trust me Rachel, it’s the only way.” She bit on her lower lip as Willie’s face came closer to hers. “I love you Rachel,” he whispered.
“I love you too Willie.”
Their lips met for a brief moment before Rachel rushed back home.
“Pencils down everyone,” the professor said. “Please pass your test sheets to the front of the class. Once you’ve turned in your paper, you are free to leave. Your scores will be mailed to you in two weeks.”
Willie handed his examination to the girl in front of him. She smiled at him when she grabbed it. He smiled back and then dashed towards the exit in need of some fresh air.
Sitting on the cement steps of the college, he breathed a sigh of relief. Now all he had to do was wait for the failure notice to come. He hoped his parents would accept the results without question, but knowing his mother, it wouldn’t be that easy. He prayed she would understand his explanation if he had to give one.
Willie spied Nels approaching the college in a hired coach. He strolled over to greet his father, his hands in his pant pockets.
“Well son, how do you think you did?”
“Fine Pa, just fine.”