From the day of agreement on, my dad had weekly phone talks with Harry. These were kept private, meaning without me. I was supposed to talk to him for about half an hour every 3 or 4 days, under the supervision of my dad – meaning he would hear the conversation but not interfere until he felt the need to. These talks were very awkward. VERY. We usually talked about our family life, told each other what XY has been doing and then prayed together for our courtship for a few minutes. I never really knew what I should talk about. I was sure I’d feel better if we were to visit each other and talk face to face. I was desperately hoping that it would start feeling like a courtship then.
Luckily, it didn’t take long until the family visited again – one of many visits to follow. Don’t imagine this meeting as something filled with joy or even hugs. I was to treat him like a brother still. Holding hands or touching in any other way was off-limits. Not that I had the desire to do any of that.
But I tried very hard to present myself a suitable spouse to both Harry and his family. I was smiling constantly, in a friendly, quiet manner. I served the meals. I jumped up whenever somebody needed something from the kitchen. I jumped up to refill drinks. I jumped up to get the Bible off the shelf for our Bible study after dinner. Harry just sat there I remember, smiling quietly, observing me.
Though I didn’t have any idea how a relationship should look like, how you refered to guys or anything along those lines, I tried to be attractive to him. I put on my prettiest dress, spent a long time doing my hair, and tried to make my skin look glowy with the little means I had. I once found out that if you mixed olive oil with a good amount of salt, you could scrub your face with it to make it look rosy, clean and glowy. I actually thought that was a new invention to the world! No worries, I know now that people have been doing that since forever. I also didn’t miss a chance to throw him a smily, dreamy look and turn my eyes away in just the right moment. I saw him blush because of that several times.
After dinner, we got some time to talk in a corner of the living room, still in hearing distance and observed by everyone but somewhat more private. We got talking about how we imaged our life together should be like. Actually, I didn’t say much except for the occasional “I would love that” and “Oh it would be such an honor to be your supporter with this.” Though I didn’t know about guys, I certainly knew how to copy my mom’s behaviour towards my dad.
Harry, though he was shy with many people around, in small-scale he was outgoing and bold. He had something that everybody considered a leader-personality. He dreamed of owning a farm, where life would be “simple” and “frugal” (read: like 200 years ago, probably no running water and electricity). I told him that I would love to be his help-meet for that. In reality, I dreamed of Beth living close and always being there for me.
My dad used to jump into our conversations at some point, admire Harry’s spirit and godliness and tell me that he thought it was enough private time for now. After that, I went to play with the kids and Beth while the adults spent the evening talking and discussing.
Beth was only semi-happy about my courtship with her brother. While I was excited that now I was allowed to really “share” my experiences and topics with her, she was… nervous. I figured that she was the perfect source to get more information about how I could appeal to Harry. I started asking her questions about him, but her answers were short and with no detail. I asked her if anything was wrong, and she went quiet. After a while of silence, she said
You know, my brother is a good person somewhere inside, and I love him. But he’s not right for you. Not at all. He’s already pretty bossy, and he will turn into his father one day. If you marry Harry, you marry my dad. Do you want that?
I started thinking about this. Her dad? This mean guy whom we were so scared of? It didn’t make that much sense to me. Harry seemed rather nice and quiet, and he seemed to like me. A lot. I couldn’t understand why Beth said something like that. I went quiet and decided I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Beth stayed ‘strange’ all night, and I couldn’t figure out what was behind it.