Flowers in the Snow

Free Flowers in the Snow by Danielle Stewart

Book: Flowers in the Snow by Danielle Stewart Read Free Book Online
Authors: Danielle Stewart
Tags: Contemporary, Saga, Family, v.5
just don’t want you to leave. I don’t want to be here either.”
    With a huff Winnie stood and opened her arms to Betty who dove into them with force as the tears flowed freely down her face.
    Before any of them could speak again footsteps crossed the front porch. Alma sprang forward, but Betty was frozen in fear as the door opened.

Chapter Seven
    “Nate you scared us half to death,” Winnie sighed as the man dropped his heavy bag and moved toward them. Betty could easily deduce this was Alma’s dad. They shared so many features, and she’d heard Winnie use the name Nate when speaking about him before. But that knowledge didn’t alleviate her fear. How would they explain away her presence here?
    “What are you doing home early, Daddy?” Alma asked as she threw her arms around his waist. Betty watched as his face lit up while holding his daughter. She couldn’t remember a time when her father had looked half as pleased to see her.
    Betty shrank back, trying to make herself as small as possible, and thought maybe it was working because no one had addressed her yet. Surely she’d be in big trouble for being here, so she readied herself as Nate began to speak. “I got word about the school integrating, and the boss let me take off to come see if you were all right. Everyone was talking about how you were on the short list of teachers. They can’t really force you to work there, can they?” Nate asked, running a hand over his wife’s cheek, heavy worry on his brow.
    “It’s me or Alma. That’s what they told me,” Winnie choked out, looking ready to cry.
    “I should get on home,” Betty said just above a whisper as she made a move for the door.
    “Aren’t you gonna say hi to my daddy?” Alma asked, giving Betty a cross look as though she were being terribly rude. 
    “I-I didn’t think he’d want me here,” she stammered in a tiny voice as she stared down at her shoes.
    “I don’t,” he said flatly, “but they do, and they always get what they want when it comes to me. I’m a sucker for a few tears.” Nate gave a shrug and a half smile.
    “You already knew I’ve been coming here?” Betty asked with wide eyes. She had assumed the moment he found out he’d put an end to it.
    “I don’t keep secrets from my husband,” Winnie said, planting a kiss on his cheek. “I just bother him until he lets me do things my way, like any good marriage.”
    “But you should get on home,” Nate said, his dark eyes soft but tired. Betty was in awe of his height. He towered over her and would have stood a few inches over her father even. His shoulders were wide under his dirty cotton jumpsuit, and she could tell his battered hands had already worked a lifetime. “It’s getting wild out there all of a sudden. Word’s spreading that at the start of next term there’ll be black teachers at Edenville East. People are gathering in the center of Main Street protesting. I doubt it’ll end there. That kind of stuff takes on a life of its own at some point.”
    “I bet my daddy’s there,” Betty said absent-mindedly, as though she were giving a weather update. “He doesn’t think we should be mixing in school or church or anywhere. He’s Klan.”
    “You ain’t telling me anything I don’t already know. That’s why I don’t think it’s a good idea to have you coming round here. But when Winnie has her mind set to something there ain’t no changing it.” Nate and Winnie exchanged a knowing look that Betty couldn’t read.
    “You got that right,” Alma snickered.
    “Thank you, sir, for letting me come here. I don’t have nothing else to look forward to all day.” Betty reached for the door handle but froze when Nate grabbed her wrist suddenly.
    “You hear that?” he asked in a hushed voice. Betty strained her ears but the only thing she could hear was the nervous thumping of her heart.  “There’s a crowd coming,” he said with a crackling, nervous voice.
    Winnie peered out the window,

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