~A “What Happens Next” Mini-Story based on the novel, A Daughter’s Truth~
By Laura Bradford
Resting her hand atop the growing mound beneath her aproned dress, Emma Fisher took advantage of her brother’s focus on the increasing traffic along Main Street to really study him across the buggy seat. Sometimes, when she was walking past Miller’s Pond, it was hard to believe she and Jakob weren’t still seven and six, venturing onto the ice on their way home from school, their collective breath turning the air white. But then other times, when he was looking so much like Dat, it was hard to imagine they’d ever been so small, so silly...
“Do you remember that day when I fell through the ice?” she asked as he turned into the requested parking lot and stopped beside another Amish buggy.
Jakob’s brown eyes lit on hers at the memory. “Yah, I remember. You had a cold for many days after that.”
“I did. But it could have been much worse if not for you grabbing that stick and using it to pull me out.”
Waving aside the praise, he tucked aside the reigns and jumped down onto the ground. “Dat was right to be upset with me.”
“With us,” she corrected.
“I would be upset if my children did such a thing, too.” He hitched his horse to an empty post and then held out his hand to help Emma onto the ground. “Not that it looks as if I will ever be a dat.”
“Of course you’ll be a dat, Jakob. You just need to find the right person to marry. Like I did with Levi.”
He fell into step with her as they headed around the side of the bake shop, his tall, lanky build seeming to cave inward in defeat. “It is the same girls at every hymn sing. They’re nice,
but they’re not—ahhh, pay me no mind. It’s silly.”
“They aren’t Liddy Mast, yah?” she asked, reaching for the bakery shop door. Jakob stopped in his tracks, his face flushed. “Liddy Mast?”
“Oh, please. Don’t pretend I’m not right. I saw you the first time she came to one of our hymn sings. You were smitten.”
His face flushed still redder. “But she liked Levi. She brought oatmeal cookies for him.”
“Yah. But Levi did not like her, he liked me. That is why we’re married.”
“And you two being married is why Liddy doesn’t come to our hymn sings with her oatmeal cookies anymore.”
“You don’t like oatmeal cookies, anyway. You like Chess Pie.”
“That’s not something Liddy would know.”
“She could find that out if you invited her to come back. Or if you went to the hymn sing in her church district.”
Hope burned fast and furious across Jakob’s face only to be snuffed out by the shake of his straw hat. “Liddy is too pretty and too kind not to be courting someone else by now.” Reaching around Emma, he pulled open the bake shop door. “We should get what you’ve come to get before—“
“Emma? Emma Lapp—I mean, Fisher—is that you?”
Propelled forward by her brother’s quiet gasp and her own knowing grin, Emma crossed to the glass-fronted cabinet and the familiar face standing behind it. “Yah. It is me. It is good to see you Liddy Mast.” Glancing over her shoulder, she eyed her brother to come closer before turning back. “Liddy, you remember my brother, Jakob Lapp?”
“Yah… I-I remember.” With trembling fingers and a shy but growing smile, Liddy guided a wayward strand of dark-hair back inside the edge of her prayer kapp. “It is good to see you again, Jakob.”
Stepping around the elbow Emma didn’t need to throw, Jakob returned Liddy’s smile with one he knew was every bit as big. “It is good to see you, too. I have missed seeing you at the hymn sing.”
“Yah. Very much.”
Liddy’s long, fluttery lashes came down over bright blue eyes but only for a moment. “I-I didn’t know,” she said.
“Now you do.”
Jakob wandered over to the counter, his attention squarely on Liddy. “Perhaps you would like to come to our hymn sing on Sunday. It will be at my Dat’s farm.”
“I would like that. Very much.” Liddy whispered, her cheeks pink with pleasure.
“Good. I would, too.”
“What should I bring?”
Jakob broke eye contact with Liddy just long enough to glance at first, Emma, and then the treats inside the cabinet, his Adam’s apple bobbing at the sight of the pie in the center of the second shelf. “I like Chess Pie…”
“That’s my favorite, too.”
“Then Chess Pie, it is.” He returned her smile with one he knew was every bit as big and hopeful. “Perhaps we can eat our pieces together and talk?”
“Yah. I would like that. Very much.”
A Daughter’s Truth, the full-length novel, starring Emma is now available in print, digital, audio,
and large print from the following booksellers:
***For more on the book, including bonus book club questions above and beyond those found
in the back of the book, Click here!