Rain dripped through the old thatched roof and made a cheery melody with the tin buckets each drop landed in. Luisa stared into the darkness, the sound of each droplet steady in her ear. She couldn’t help but hum along with it. She kept her sounds low, so low that she could still hear his deep breathing louder still. Mayus, her husband. Feeling his warm rumble tickle through the creases and fold of her ear made her shift gently away. She pulled her hand from beneath her mother’s quilt and stared at her spread fingers until the dim shin of her wedding ban shone in her eyes. The thin metal circle still felt out of place on her boney finger.
Closing her eyes she could still remember the touch of Mayus’ calloused finger’s sliding the band into place and then the minister pronouncing them man and wife before family and friends…before God. Luisa pulled her fingers into a fist and let it settle against the loose fabric against her breast. Mayus had smiled so warmly at her that day. He had told her she was beautiful, that he liked the rouge of her cheeks. Shame had flooded Luisa’s face causing the rouge to flame even brighter. She had not warn rouge however. On her wedding day she had cried instead. She had not wanted to marry. She had wanted to only dream, to see the world and ride on the wings of adventure like Pegasus. But instead she had been forced down a grassy aisle by her mother’s hard eyes and the tug of her uncle Hardy’s hooked arm.
Pa had died only a few short years ago and Luisa was grown, too old to be another mouth to feed. She needed a home of her own and a man to raise a family with. Mayus was ten years her senior, 29 with the face of a child. Not even a single whisker sported his square jaw even though she could plat the thick dark hairs that grew on his arms. Glancing downward she looked at his forearm. She gently raised it and lay it across her belly, stilling only for a moment as Mayus stirred. He was soon still again and Luisa began to brush through the hairs of his forearm until they all ran perfectly in the same direction.
Luisa’s eyes had completely adjusted to the darkness of the room and that is all it was, a single room, with bed and table, hearth and bed, and a leaky thatched roof that made music when it rained. She had cried even more when she had come to this place that she now called home. A woman couldn’t dream in a dirt shack cage. But now in the dark amid the shadows and the rain song, humming with the tin buckets and the whirling of Mayus’ breath in her ear, Luisa began to see something different. She no longer saw the hardship of being a poor farmer’s wife living in a one room shake with a man she hardly knew. And she still did not know Mayus, not really. And he had not made her to know him either not on the day she had married him, not even after she had shamed him by refusing him a kiss at the alter. Not even now, laying with him in the night as he slept on his side of the bed.
She had not spoken to him not a single word in the weeks they had been married and he had asked her mother when she had come calling if she were a mute. Her mother had answered with a snort, “No. She is much worse. She is a dreamer. I should have warned you.” And what had Mayus said in return. “Yes, you should have.”
Luisa had felt burned by his remark just as much as she had her mother’s, so burned that she burned his supper without a single thought or apology. She felt all the worse when the following week he had gifted her a blue leather journal and a quill he had cut with his own hand. What had he said to her then? “Its for your dreams…so you never lose hold of them.” Recalling the words, seeing the sweet world in the room she now called her forest Castle, she pulled Mayus’ arm around her. He stirred even more now, his lazy brown eyes peeling open. Luisa offered him a smile, and for the first time, a kiss before his full lips could make a sound. His hard chest tensed against her but she held his arm in place around her, moving closer into his embrace. She whispered in his ear, “Sweet dreams.”