The lever squeaked with each rotation. As the old wooden bucket awkwardly spun and swayed, making it’s ascent up from the depths of the well. A beautiful girl of 17 with auburn hair slowly turns the crank waiting patiently for its arrival. Slightly short of breath she smiles at the challenge. Once it makes it to the top she reaches out a delicate hand guiding it to the ledge of the well. Carefully she pours the water into her own vessel. Filled to the brim she gives a satisfied nod with a smile and guides the bucket back over the well. She stands stretching out her arms ready for the trip back. She takes a moment to enjoy the air. Evergreen from the nearby forest fills the air mixing with the smell of the clean well water. The sun gently warms her skin as it darts in and out of the clouds. A bird sings a beautiful song as if just for her. She smiles and reaches down for the handle. With 2 hands and one quick motion she lifts the bounty of her work off the ground. Swinging it awkwardly through the air. She hums a song and spins as if dancing in a ball.
The water lapping over the sides of the bucket wetting her dress.
She makes a small frown but quickly brings back her smile. A day like this is just to good to be ruined by a little water.
“Amanda!” someone calls her. She looks down the path to the village and sees a man heading in her direction. She blushes, slightly embarrassed with herself. So into the beautiful day she had forgot anyone could see her.
“Michael, I didn’t notice you” Amanda responded, awkwardly taking the bucket in one hand she waves with her now free hand. The bucket lurches to to the side spilling some of it’s contents on the ground.
“Oh, please let me help you with that” Michael said jogging the remaining distance taking the bucket from the now blushing Amanda. “Oh shame, you’ve spilled on your dress.”
“Water will not stain, it will be fine if I spend some time in this wonderful sun. What are you doing out here, where is my sister?” She says brushing at the wet spots on her dress.
“I’m not sure, I was looking for her and I ran into you. She’s hard to track down.”
“No doubt she is looking for you. She’s not one to let her possessions out of her site,” Amanda smiled. Michael laughed.
“Possession am I? Well I can’t say I mind that. I am a lucky man even to have her attention.”
“Lucky man indeed.” Amanda paused “Michael, I know you care for her, I don’t doubt that. Just know she is a strong woman. This is the first time I’ve seen her seriously interested in someone. She is difficult to read with her emotions. Just don’t do anything to harm her and I’m sure you will be fine.”
“Thanks for the advice,” Michael slowed his pace for a moment, “Amanda when are you to be wed?”
Getting a little ahead of Michael, Amanda stopped and turned. Her face felt warm with the question and she knew her face was red.
“Abel and I are to be married by start of fall. Although I fear it will not come soon enough. It took him 2 years to ask me I don’t understand why we just can’t be done with it tomorrow and start our wonderful life.” She giggled. “I expect to see you there, Oh! You and Ariel can be the maid of honor and the best man!”
“I would be honored to attend as either the best man or a guest, but unfortunately I would have to decline depending on circumstances.”
Amanda’s jaw dropped slightly in a cute look of surprise.
“Michael! Would you have a bride cry on her wedding day, to know that her sister would not be dancing with her love?” She pouted
“I was hoping to steal some of your time in the sun, perhaps kill 2 birds with one…. stone….” Michael trailed off,
“I am insulted that you would not attend my wedding not so much for me but for…. wait what?” Amanda eyed Michael, “Two birds one…. oh my heavens… you mean? You’re going to ask for her hand?!”
Michael gave a shy nod yes,
“AHHHHHH!!!!” Amanda screamed girlishly jumping towards him embracing him in a hug. He stumbled and gave an expression of surprise. The bucket of water fell from his hands, Amanda’s previous hard work soaking into the ground.
“To gain a husband and a brother on the same day? I am overjoyed! We must have a joint celebration, in fact I demand it! My sister will be so pleased!” Releasing him from her hug she smiled and gave him a peck on the cheek.
“I am so excited Michael, now lets go refill that bucket you spilled before it gets too cold out here.”
“I spilled? You were the….” Their voices muted by the sound of the trees swaying in the afternoon breeze.
From just outside the clearing she watched, silently, a rage building in her. The embrace, the kiss on the cheek, too much for her. She fumed and whispered to herself
“How could she be so excited by what he has to say. What of Abel, what of Me. Your treachery will not go unnoticed, you will not be stealing him from me sweet sister.