Have you ever made a poor decision and the hoped and prayed the consequences of your actions would just disappear? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. The heroines of our Rubies book series are also discovering their actions have consequences that will affect their entire lives.
Last week we continued the Rubies Saga by exploring Marty’s story. To recap our book so far, we need to go back to Norway in 1913.
Kaja Ericsen disobeys her father and marries musician Gunner Ericsen. After the birth of their children, Gunner abandons Kaja for another woman. Alone and unable to support her two daughters, she leaves them with her mother in Norway and travels to America to make a new life as a housekeeper for a Norwegian emigrant, Hans Berglund. She promises to send for her daughters as soon as she can.
Things do not go as planned for Kaja when she is raped by her employer and forced to marry him. Kaja becomes the step-mother of Hans Berglund’s two children, William and Sophia. William loves Kaja and thinks of her as his own mother. Sophia, however, resents Kaja and when her father dies, she blames his death on the housekeeper.
Kaja bears Hans two children, a daughter and son. The daughter, Marty, is severely scarred as a child and her deformity affects her personality and an inferiority complex follows her throughout her life. The son, Hans Jr., dies shortly after his birth from pneumonia.
After the death of Hans Berglund, Kaja is left penniless and marries Christian Johnson in hopes of being able to return to Norway. Catastrophe strikes again and Kaja’s youngest daughter dies in Norway. The eldest daughter is so angry she disowns her mother. Kaja is devastated but goes on to put all her hopes and dreams in Marty, her daughter with Hans Berglund.
Soon Kaja is stricken with heart disease and she and Christian leave Dakota for Minneapolis where she can get better medical care. Marty quits school to take care of her mother.
Marty is very attached to her half-brother, William but when he leaves to join the navy, she feels abandoned. When Marty meets a young man who makes her feel special for like William always did, she decides to lie to Kaja about their relationship. Sonny is a musician and forever the ladies’ man. Marty not only dates him without her mother’s knowledge but she elopes and enters into a marriage of destruction.
Sonny has lied to his parents pretending Marty is pregnant so he is forced to marry her.
In our excerpt today we find Marty welcoming home her brother William who is on leave from the navy. It is his first visit home since Marty’s marriage to Sonny.
Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above Rubies.
Little Ronny sat on the floor banging his cup and screaming at the top of his lungs.
Marty ran to his side. “Hush now, darlin. Momma will get you more milk.”
“You must not spoil the child so, Marty,” Kaja chided. “I can see Grandmama Annie has done a good job of that already.”
At first Annie was furious when she discovered Marty wasn't pregnant, but Sonny smoothed everything over by pleading it was only an honest mistake. The real mistake was living with Annie and Roy for so long before building their own house.
Annie would get out of bed several times during the night, causing them to hide their lovemaking like two teenagers. Roy, on the other hand, didn't do much but smoke his pipe and tell stories, but he made Marty laugh. Relief finally came when Marty conceived a child. Sonny and Roy hurried to build the house. Like Annie and Roy's home, the tiny tarpaper shack in Brainerd didn't have any plumbing so Marty still had to tolerate the decaying stench of the outhouse. The odor was even more disgusting when accompanied by the smell of the pigs. Marty would hold her nose and pray for nature's advantage and hurry back to her little house. A bed and small pine table, along with a white enamel stove and one two door cupboard were all they had to fill the one room shack but it was their own.
Marty shuddered just thinking how they'd struggled to keep Ronny warm during the long winter months that followed his November birth.
If only the shack was insulated, the inside temperature would have been able to rise above sixty. Some nights it felt like they were sleeping outside. But Marty kept Ronny warm through the winter snuggled between her and Sonny. It put quite a damper on their sex life, but Sonny didn't seem to mind. When summer arrived, he began working nights in the machine shop in town, and Marty was thrilled when he suggested she spend some time in Minneapolis with Kaja.
Marty shrugged. “Annie says it's her right to spoil Ronny.”
“Auch, I should have known the woman would say such a thing.” Kaja wiped off the table. “Come now, we must hurry and clean up. William will be here soon.”
Marty had been on edge all week just thinking about William's furlough. She knew he would be angry with her for her deception and had been relieved when he couldn't make it home at Christmas. He had never forgiven Sophia for her behavior towards Kaja when their father died. Now Sophia was married to a famous cardiologist, but still carried so much hate inside, she wouldn't even offer to help Kaja.
Chewing nervously on her lip, Marty stared at the floor. The last time she'd seen William, she'd just started dating, now she was married with a nine-month-old child.
“Do you think William is angry at me for marrying Sonny?”
“We cannot worry about it now. The past is past for the child's sake. William does not trust Sonny any more than I do, but he is your husband. William will give him a fair chance.”
“And you, Momma. Will you give Sonny a chance?”
“It is not me to whom he has to prove himself. Only you can decide if he is a good husband.”
Marty recalled all the nights she'd waited up for Sonny to return from his hunting trips with his high-school chum Bob and his wife Tess. Marty hated hunting and she hated the way Tess was always fluttering her eyes at Sonny. Still, she wouldn't let herself believe Momma could be right about Sonny.
“Hey, is anyone home?" William's voice echoed from the doorway.
Marty picked up Ronny and hurried to the front door. “Oh, William, I've missed you.”
William cradled the mother and child in his arms. “Well, is this the new addition Momma wrote me about?”
Ronny lunged for the buttons on William's uniform, but Marty quickly grabbed his hand. “No, honey, you mustn't touch.”
The baby burst out in a howling protest, turning his pudgy face a bright crimson as he wiggled to escape his mother's discipline.
William laughed and took the baby from Marty's arms. “My, you are a strong lad with a mind of your own.”
By this time Ronny's blood curdling screams could be heard throughout the house.
Kaja rushed in from the kitchen. “Come, come, child. Grandmama will put you down for a nap so your Momma can visit. “
She smiled warmly at William and reached for the baby. “We will have much time to talk later, my son.”
William kissed Kaja on the cheek. “As always, Momma, first things first.”
They watched Kaja go up the stairs, then William turned to Marty. “I can see Ronny is a replica of his father.”
“He does look like Sonny.”
“I wasn't referring to his appearance.”
Marty felt warmth flooding her cheeks but refused to ruin the little time she had with William. “Let's not talk about Sonny. Tell me about the navy.”
William's eyes twinkled as he sat in the old wooden rocker and pulled Marty onto his lap. "I want to talk about why my little sister got married before I could return for the wedding.”
Marty's hands were sweating and there was a knot in her stomach. She ran her fingers over the buttons on William's uniform. “It happened so fast. You know -- an impulse.”
“You mean he talked you into it?”
She laid her head on his shoulder. “But I love him, William.”
“Mmm,” William murmured, stroking her hair. “Do you remember when you were a little girl and the other children made you cry?”
Marty snuggled closer. “And you scared them silly by telling them that God would punish them by making all their teeth fall out?”
William smiled and nodded. “Well, as long as Sonny treats you right, I'll leave things be, but if he slips up just once, he'll answer to me before he answers to God.”
Sighing, Marty put her arms around his neck. “Oh, William, I wish you could stay home forever.”
But William left town in two weeks and Marty was forced to return home.
“Well it's about time,” Annie said, her face beaming.
“We were only away three weeks.”
“A good wife shouldn't ever leave her husband alone. A man's mind gets to wanderin.”
Marty cringed inside. “Is Sonny still working nights? I can't wait to see him.”
Annie frowned. ”You know that night shift was over months ago. Sonny's been looking for work for weeks. Says he might have to go to another town.”
The color drained from Marty's face. She quickly turned away to avoid Annie's watchful stare. “I--ah, of course, I'd forgotten. I'll go fix something nice for Sonny for dinner tonight.”
“Don't bother, honey. Sonny left last night and said he'd be gone for a couple of weeks. You best stay with me and Pa until he returns.”
Marty nodded while forcing back her tears. She wished she'd never left Minneapolis and William's arms.
As we can see, Marty is beginning to realize she has made a terrible mistake but she has no idea how to fix it. Her sin of omission has now heaped coals of fire on her head as she faces the reality the Sonny Morley is not the man she believed him to be.
Next week we will find Marty’s nightmare escalate as Sonny’s true nature is revealed. Don’t miss our next adventure as Rubies-Escaping the Curse continues.
You don’t want to miss a single part of the saga so be sure to pick up book one today available on Amazon. Rubies Saga
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