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The girl who didn't want to fall in love
Katherine, or Grandma Kate as she was called these days, closed her eyes in contentment. She smiled slightly as she listened to her youngest granddaughter Lucy, tell her all about the cooties that little boys have. “…And they’re just icky Grandma.” Lucy finished with the kind of certainty that only a five-year old girl could have about never ever wanting to kiss a boy.
“Grandma?” Lucy questioned in a quiet voice.
Katherine hummed to let her know that she was listening.
“Do you,” The little girl’s voice started to ask hesitantly, “Do you like boys grandma?”
With a laugh Katherine slowly opened her sea green eyes to gaze at her granddaughter warmly. She didn’t answer her though, her thoughts had flashed back to a time when the idea of a man was enough to make her want to throw up.
It was the summer of her nineteenth year and young Katherine Murphy had had more unwanted suitors than she could count. She had just sent the latest one packing. He had been an arrogant man, three years her senior with the confidence that he could woo any woman with his charms.
“Katherine Anne Murphy!” Her mother had called heatedly. “What is the matter with you?”
Katherine folded her hands in her lap and stared out the window with a satisfied smirk, watching the man get into his car angrily. “I do not think honesty is a bad thing Mother.” She said in a calm voice, “It is not my fault that he could not deal with a woman who speaks the truth.”
“There is a difference between being honest and being rude.” Mrs. Murphy hissed with frustration.
“Is there?” She questioned, turning to her mother.
The older woman huffed in annoyance and turned on her heel, striding out of the room.
Katherine watched her go with a small smile on her face. Today was a small victory this particular suitor had not lasted long. Most of the men her mother picked out for her held out longer against her blatant disinterest and blunt answers to their prying questions, but this one had too much pride to stand for such ‘insolence’.
With a sigh she stood and straightened the folds of her dress. She crossed the parlor to the piano and sat down on the wooden bench. She lifted the lid and ran her hand lightly over the keys. The piano was something she could always do well, but it didn’t mean she liked it.
It was one of the many things her mother had insisted she learn. From a tender age of five she had been instructed in everything a well brought up girl should be. At her mother’s behest her father had even bought her a horse, because as her mother said, every young girl should know how to ride. In truth, that little mare she named Freedom, was one of the only things her mother had done that she was actually grateful for.
Not for the first time, she silently cursed her father. In Katherine’s eyes, if he hadn’t died and left her mother a widow said mother wouldn’t be so obsessed with finding her only daughter a wealthy husband.
It wasn’t that she didn’t want to please her mother, she did, she just didn’t want to have to marry so her mother would be satisfied. Katherine tugged uncomfortably at the strand of pearls around her neck.
Men, in her opinion, had no business interfering with her life, and she would think that until the day she would meet a poor stable hand and her life would be forever changed.