CoffeeShop Blues: 2015 Traveler's Edition - Page 74

CoffeeShop Blues Derwen is still having his doubts; Eirwin is sure from his eyes fixed ahead. She had insisted on the waterfall, turning right outside the farm when they should have turned left for the village. A hired hand, her father called him; Derwen would not contradict her, the second and final daughter to be married. But not a servant. The drumming from the waterfall grows louder, pulsing through her veins. She can feel her body beginning to tingle, her heartbeat quickening. With a neigh from the horse, the cart slows to a halt. Derwen steps off and holds out his hand to steady Eirwin. They touch fleetingly as she adjusts her dress. His skin is streaked with the brown earth of the farm, its roughness grating her own. He must have been ploughing in the morning, she thinks. Eirwin inspects her dress of white lace, her arms bare. It was an early wedding present from her sister. She swallows hard, feeling guilty at what must happen next. Half following her down the path to the waterfall, Derwen returns to the cart when she maintains her pace instead of slowing for him. From the corner of her eye, she sees him sit on the front bench of the cart and gaze at the surrounding hills, already lost. She follows the path downward through the rocks, taking care not to slip. Pausing with her arms held out for balance, she breathes in the mist from the water and prepares herself. The crank of a wheel shaft interrupts her. Alongside the farm’s cart a carriage has appeared, its paintwork gilded in silver. A footman in red livery opens its door and a family clatters out, two children chattering and jumping away. For a moment, Eirwin wonders if Derwen will be jealous of the footman, but he is focused on his private reverie. Eirwin waits to be sure that the family have not changed their mind then checks the path. She is still alone. Craning her neck, she follows the stream of water cascading through the rocks above her, a thin line of white blurring through the greenness of the moss. She is reminded of milk, but shakes her bonnet and carries on navigating between the glistening rocks. Future brides, her mother said, are not supposed to think too much. 74