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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

THE DAY AFTER LIVY’S NIGHTMARE

I am posting this bit of TMOOD fiction for mande, who is the author of this sweet bit of Ray and Livy. I really enjoyed it and know you all will, too!

The next morning Ray got up a little later than usual. He had lost some sleep because he had been at the beet factory, and because of Livy’s nightmare, and he was not surprised that Livy was not up yet. He remembered that she had made an attempt to get up early a few days ago to make him breakfast. Ray got his own breakfast, and then made coffee to take to the barn while he did the chores.

While working, he was wondering what was in the letter Livy received from Edward, and contemplating, after seeing her reaction, whether he should have given it to her or not. He had noticed that Livy had seemed happier lately, and he did not want that to change. But the letter was addressed to her, so it was right to give it to her.

Ray could not stop thinking about the contents of the letter. Was Edward coming to get Livy?

When he was in the barn Ray had seen Livy out at the clothesline so he knew that she had gotten up, but he was not ready to face her yet.

Livy did not sleep well after her nightmare and heard Ray get up in the morning. She lay there till he left the house, and then went downstairs for breakfast and coffee, and started her daily chores. While doing the dishes and laundry she thought about her nightmare, and how Ray had come into her room. He is a wonderful man, she thought, but is she the right woman for him? She thought about some of the simple joys she had experienced since coming here: finding the artifacts in the dugout, and then Ray leaving her a note about more artifacts in the basement, gardening, and just being more useful around the house. She thought about the time Ray took her to the cemetery and how he shared his grief with her. She even got a little chuckle out of how Ray encouraged her cooking even though it was not very good.

And then she thought about the letter from Edward, and how angry Ray had been at the dog being in the house. She had never seen him angry before, and it startled her, however, she soon understood his anger might have been more about the letter he brought home than the dog being in the house.

Livy also thought about her visit with Martha and that she knows that she’s hurt Ray. And when Martha said, ‘When Ray loves a person, its with his whole heart’, Livy had just come to realize that Ray does love her, but she could not return the feelings.

When Ray had done all he could do in the barn he headed for the house to get some lunch and coffee, not realizing that it was already 2:00 in the afternoon. Upon entering the house there were few lights on, the fires had burned low, so he added more wood, and no Livy in sight. He put the kettle on for coffee and made some lunch.

He grew curious and a bit anxious about Livy, so he went to look for her. When he got to the landing and turned to go up the last few steps, he noticed his bedroom door open, and a few steps further revealed to him that Livy’s door was open, too.

When Ray looked into his room he saw a fresh pile of folded laundry on his dresser ready for him to put away. And he saw Livy lying on his bed asleep. She was not under the covers, but had reached over and pulled the top quilt over herself. He noticed that she had a wadded handkerchief in her hand.

He put his laundry away quietly so as not to disturb her, but he was troubled by what he saw and his heart went out to Livy.

He sat down on the bed and Livy awoke, and realizing where she was apologized and attempted to get up.

Ray said, ‘Its okay, Livy.’

Livy slowly sat up. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying. Ray thought maybe she wanted to be with Edward, and here she was married to him, a farmer with very little to offer her.

Livy haltingly said, ‘I suppose you are wondering why I am crying and upset.’

Ray nodded.

Livy said, ‘His name is Edward. He was on furlough. My friend and I were volunteering at a dance for the officers, and when I had a break he asked me to dance. We spent a lot of time together that week going out to lunch, having dinner together, going to the picture show and dancing. On his last night in town,’ Livy could not finish the sentence. Livy continued, ‘I never saw him again.’ She said she wrote to him a couple of times because she thought they loved each other, and to inform him of her pregnancy, and she thought that he would want to be with her and the baby.

Ray was silent, and in great pain, for himself, and for Livy.

Livy said that she had had no word from him until the letter that she received the other day.

Livy started to cry real hard, sobs wracking her body.
Ray thought that she was missing Edward.

When she could speak again, she told him what the letter said: ‘Congratulations, Livy. You are a wonderful girl, and I only hope that you find the father of this baby because I sincerely doubt that I am responsible.’

Ray got the full meaning of Edward’s accusation.

His heart was full of pain and love for Livy. He did not know how she expected him to react.

He did not even know how he should react, so he turned toward her and pulled her to him. Livy, feeling unworthy, tried to push him away.

Ray’s voice was thick with emotion, and all he could say was, ‘Livy.’

He had his arms around her and she cried on his shoulder. Eventually she stopped crying, but Ray still held her.

He asked her if he could do anything for her.

She said, ‘I think you already have.’

Ray smiled.

After a few minutes Ray asked Livy if he could fix her a cup of tea, and she nodded and said very softly, ‘Thank you.’ Ray kept his arm around her for a few more minutes.

When Livy started to feel calmer she said, ‘I’m sorry about all this,’ and then her voice trailed off.

‘Its all right,’ Ray said, ‘All men aren’t like Edward.’

‘I know. I know that,’ said Livy.
By: mande

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