The First Hello © 2015 (Rough Draft Version) By: J.L. Jacobs *Sequel to: "The Final Goodbye"*

Fate has given Sophia Lancaster a second chance. As she wakes up from what seems to be an overly vivid dream, Sophia soon realizes that it was no dream at all, rather, she had been brought back from death's embrace to the very day she is set to marry Dr. Jeremy Thompson.

From the knowledge and perspective she had gained in her former life, she decides to make better decisions and choices that could potentially alter her life, the lives of her loved ones, and history as she once knew it. In this exciting sequel to: "The Final Goodbye," follow Sophia's new journey as she takes the chance in which Fate has bestowed upon her to find out who her soulmate really is and what the consequences of her actions will be.

*Please be sure to read The Final Goodbye first! This is a only a rough draft and may contain grammatical errors. It is formatted just as a hard-copy full-length book should be. I love to hear your feedback, and your votes and shares are greatly appreciated!


2. Chapter Two: Decisions

Chapter Two: Decisions



     "Where do we go from here?" Jeremy asked Sophia directly after his carriage was parked, and he had helped her down from it. She honestly did not know how to respond to his question. Now that she had stopped Angelique's deception from happening, there really wasn't any rational reason why the wedding between her and Jeremy should not continue on as planned. However, Sophia was truly confused on the matter. Once again, her heart waged a war with her brain. Her heart ached with longing for Travis, if he even existed, but her brain reminded her of the last three years of courtship she had with Jeremy. Jeremy watched her carefully and could tell that Sophia was having some sort of an inner conflict and it truly frightened him. "My love, what is it? Don't you want us to be married?" he urged as he wrapped her in his arms. She melted into his embrace as tears formed in her eyes. She felt so safe. Secure. Looking up at him, she gave him a tremulous smile, "Jeremy, I wish I could explain to you what I am feeling right now. I cannot. There is no reasonable explanation for it. I think I need some time to think." He stiffened up and pulled her away from his body just far enough so that he could see her fully. "I thought we just put your fears about Angelique to rest. She is not with child, least of all my child. What in God's name do you need time to think about? Do you not trust in me?" he proclaimed passionately, "I love you Sophia, more than anything in this world! I want you to be my wife. To bear my children. We've discussed our future many times. This is what we both wanted! Hell, the wedding should be starting in just over an hour's time!" Her heart wrenched over his obvious pain and confusion. The truth of the matter was, if she had to make a choice between a future with Jeremy and one with Travis, well, her heart belonged to Travis. "I-I'm so sorry Jeremy. I cannot marry you right now. Not today. I just can't! I need some time to figure things out before I do anything." she cried out as she wrenched free of his hold on her. She took off the ruby and diamond ring from her finger and forcibly placed it into the palm of his hand. Several seconds later, she was mounted on her mare and left without another word as Jeremy watched her go with a look of utter shock written all over his face.


June 8, 1890


     Today was the day that Sophia had anxiously been waiting for. As a matter of fact, she sat there at the dining table waiting for her father to finish reading the newspaper before he left for work, as was his custom during the breakfast meal every morning since she could remember. Sophia refilled her mug of coffee then put in two cubes of sugar and a bit of fresh cream, stirring it up. The last week had been a strain on her after she had called off her wedding to Jeremy. No one understood why, least of all her parents, who had spent quite a bit of money on it so that she could have the wedding she had always dreamed of. Sophia hated knowing that she had disappointed so many people that she loved upon doing so, but she felt it in her heart that she needed to see if Travis Ewing actually existed. In her past life, or whatever she could call it, today was the day that she had found that advertisement from Travis searching for a mail order bride. If that advertisement was, indeed, in today's newspaper, then there would be some proof of his existence and she could respond to it in order to get down to Texas. Just like she had done before. However, this time, she could do so in all honesty as she would actually be qualified this time around to run his ranch. Then when she arrived, she could actually create a new beginning with him armed with the knowledge she had gained from before. "I thought you might like to go with me to Dreama's this morning." Lucinda said, which had interrupted Sophia's train of thought. Sophia looked up at her mother and smiled, "Perhaps I may. However, I'd like to read the newspaper first once Father is done with it." Sophia replied. Lucinda looked at Sophia with an odd look of amusement upon her face, "Since when do you read the paper?" she asked curiously. Sophia shrugged her shoulders, "I just feel like doing so I suppose." she answered nonchalantly. Her father looked up from the paper and gave her a hard look, "It seems you are full of surprises this week, daughter." Sophia had the sense to look contrite. He folded the paper up and gave it a swift toss across the table towards Sophia as he stood up, "Take it. I have to get going now anyways. I have a meeting this morning at the bank." Lucinda got up from her own chair and followed him out of the room in order to see him off to work like she did every day since they married.

A smile lit up Sophia's face. Now she was finally alone and she grabbed the newspaper as she pushed away her empty plate of food. Turning to the last page, she began scanning through each of the advertisements with a feeling of excitement churning in the pit of her stomach. But after a few minutes, her excitement quickly dissipated. The advertisement that she had been looking for, no, waiting all week for, was no where to be found! She decided to search each page of the newspaper but after giving the whole thing a very thorough search, she still did not find what she had been looking for. "Hells fire!" she swore out loud feeling defeated as she folded it back up and threw it down upon the table. Now what was she to do? She was so sure that it would be there! Perhaps she was wrong about the date. She stood up from her chair and left the dining room and just about bumped into her mother who was coming in search of her. "So what do you say? Would you like to join me for a visit to Dreama's dress shop?" Lucinda inquired pleasantly, "We can grab luncheon over at The American Hotel afterwards if you'd like." Sophia sighed. Quite unlike her mother, she abhorred dress shopping and did as little of it as she could possibly get away with. "I think I am going to pay a visit to Rachel today. Perhaps even Maybelle." Sophia said, "But do have fun and don't spend all of Father's hard earned money." Lucinda laughed at her eldest daughter's jest, "Why on earth do you think he works so hard if not to allow me to spend it?" Lucinda gave Sophia a cheeky grin then turned on her heels and walked back towards the front door. Sophia chuckled and watched as her mother left the house, thankful that she was not pressed harder to go dress shopping. Now that she was alone again, the disappointment she felt over not finding that advertisement intensified. She walked up to her bedroom, grabbed her reticule, and decided to pay a call on Rachel.


     Thirty-five minutes later, the two sisters were seated in Maybelle's drawing room as Maybelle was pouring each of them a cold and refreshing glass of lemonade. Both Sophia and Rachel had known Maybelle their whole lives, and Sophia considered Maybelle to be her best friend, after Rachel of course. Sophia had stopped to get Rachel before paying a visit to Maybelle's house. The three of them hadn't been alone with each other since a few days before Sophia had called off her wedding to Jeremy, and Maybelle didn't waste any time in trying to garner an explanation over the whole ordeal. Sophia sat there sipping her lemonade as she wrestled with the thought of confessing the whole truth. However, if she did, would they believe her or think of her as having lost all her marbles? But it was so hard keeping such a secret of that magnitude that Sophia honestly just wanted someone to talk to about it. Why not tell the two people in the entire world she was the closest to? "Actually, I do want to tell you both what really happened but I fear what you might think of me if I do so." Sophia said truthfully. Maybelle's eyes widened in surprise, "I'm intrigued. Is it another man? Now you absolutely have to tell me what it is!" Rachel looked closely at her older sister; over the last week she had known something was going on with her but she hadn't had the chance to be alone with her in order to discuss it. What was especially bothering her was Sophia's odd behavior the morning of the wedding. "It's time to fess up." Rachel said seriously, "I want the truth Sophia, so start from the beginning. The morning of the wedding to be exact. I know May wasn't there but I've told her a little bit about it later that day when she was at Mother and Father's house." Sophia looked at the two of them and became genuinely scared. How on earth would she even begin to explain? She cleared her throat, "Do you believe in Fate?" Maybelle gave a quick snort as she chuckled at the question Sophia had asked. "I suppose so. After all, I believe that Hank and I were fated to be with one another." "Rachel?" Sophia prodded, "Do you?" Rachel sat there staring at Sophia as she pondered the question, "Yes, I suppose I do. Like Maybelle, I believe that Joseph and I were meant to be with one another." Sophia took in a deep breath. "Something happened to me. It's going to be very hard to explain but once I do, I can back it up with some facts so that you will believe me. This will sound absolutely crazy but please, just listen and hear me out." Rachel and Maybelle exchanged looks with one another, then Maybelle was the one to nod her head to encourage Sophia to continue. "I think I died and was brought back to life." Rachel and Maybelle both sat there with looks of complete shock on their faces. They knew Sophia had something big to tell them but this was not what they expected. Not even close. "You see," Sophia continued tritely, "the day I was supposed to marry Jeremy, a week ago today, well, it had all happened to me before. The first time we were all at the church just before the ceremony was to start. I was in the little room in the back of the church and you two, along with Mother and Josephine, were outside in the hallway waiting while I took a few minutes to myself. Jeremy had come barging in the room and basically made a confession to me that he couldn't marry me. He told me that he had gotten Angelique Milton with child and was to marry her out of duty and he did." Sophia paused when Rachel stood up and began pacing the room. She was fanning herself with her hands. "Oh go on with your crazy story. I'm still listening." she muttered irritably to Sophia. Sophia knew her sister so well that she could tell Rachel wasn't going to tolerate much more of her explanation. Sophia stood up and walked in front of her sister and placed both hands on each of Rachel's shoulders saying, "You promised to listen to me, but since I can tell you think I am nuts, I can tell you something that happened to me before I died. Then perhaps you will believe me about all of this after I am done explaining it to you!" Rachel rolled her eyes at Sophia and puckered her mouth, "What ever could it be?" she said sarcastically. "I know for a fact, that right now, you are pregnant." Sophia said resolutely. The room became so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Maybelle looked at the two sisters with concern, especially when she saw tears form in Rachel's eyes. "I'm right aren't I?" Sophia said quietly. Tears spilled from Rachel's silvery eyes and she clenched Sophia into a tight hug as she cried. At first, Sophia was worried that something was wrong, but after a few seconds, Rachel began to giggle then laugh. "Yes, actually I am! I just found out yesterday. I haven't even told Joseph about it yet!" Maybelle jumped up from her seat and engulfed her two best friends into a big hug as they all squealed in excitement over Rachel's news. "When are you due?" Maybelle asked Rachel but it was Sophia who answered. "January fifth is when it will arrive." Both Rachel and Maybelle looked at Sophia in shock. Not only did she know Rachel was pregnant, but now she was even telling them exactly when the baby would be born. "Don't ask me what the gender is. I will let that be a surprise but I know what it is and what you shall name it. In fact, I shall write a bunch of information down on a sheet of paper and seal the envelope. Then, perhaps one year from now, we can open it up and you can read it to see that I am not making any of this up. I know it sounds absolutely nuts, but it's all true. But I have more to explain if you shall let me." Sophia said. Both Rachel and Maybelle sat back down in their seats. Sophia smiled. She had both of their undivided attentions now. "Everything I tell you happened in past life. Like I mentioned before, I truly believe I died and was somehow given a second chance. I was brought back to the morning of my wedding with Jeremy last week for a reason because that's the day my life took a turn for both the better and the worst. Rachel, you seen how confused I was that morning, remember?" Rachel nodded her head yes as she swept away a loose strand of her light ginger colored hair from her face. "Okay, so in my past life, Jeremy called off the wedding and married Angelique that very night because he thought she was pregnant with his child. I had been inconsolable before I happened to read Father's newspaper exactly one week after the wedding was called off. I was a mess and having a hard time with everything that had happened, and I remember wishing fervently that I could be away from this town so that I didn't have to face Jeremy nor Angelique anymore. In that newspaper, there was an advertisement from a man named Travis Ewing who was looking for a mail order bride to help run his household and raise his two younger children. I responded to the advertisement that very day, thinking that perhaps it was Fate's answer to my wish. I received a response from him around two weeks later, and to sum it all up, I left to go down to his ranch in Texas on July first. You all thought I was making a rash decision and I didn't get much support but I left here thinking it was my only option at the time. Oh, also, around the time that the wedding got cancelled, I began getting these really bad pains in my lower abdomen. I did forget to mention that part. Anyhow, after I got down to Texas, I was married that very night to Travis. He was such a good looking man in a ruggedly handsome way but we didn't get on well at first. He and his two children seemed to despise me from the moment we met which was at the courthouse where we were promptly married right after we were introduced to one another. The wedding was awful. We were married in a quick ceremony by a judge then we went back to his ranch. He disappeared so Mrs. Cox showed me around the house and helped me get settled in. She's the wife of Mr. Cox who is the ranch's chef for the cookhouse there. He makes all the meals for Travis's ranch hands and Mrs. Cox had been helping Travis with his children and household duties. You see, Travis's first wife had died giving birth to their third child so he was a widower. Had been for a couple of years."

Sophia paused long enough to take a few sips of her lemonade. Since it was almost the noon hour, the temperature in Maybelle's house was getting quite warm inside and she could feel perspiration beading up in various spots on her body. "Do you want me to make a luncheon meal for us real quick?" Maybelle suggested. Rachel shook her head no vigorously, "I want to hear Soph finish her story first. Oh but wait, I do need to use your commode something fierce! I shall be right back!" she giggled as she stood up and made her way to Maybelle's bathing room upstairs. Maybelle looked over at Sophia and took her hands into her own, "Tell me. I just have to know! Do I happen to get pregnant too?" Sophia could see the anxiousness in May's eyes. Ever since her and Hank had gotten married a couple years ago, they had been trying to conceive but nothing had come of it. Sophia wrestled with the idea of telling her or not, but she could see that Maybelle needed to know. The look of desperation in her best friend's eyes finally made Sophia fess up, "Yes, actually, you do. This month in fact. You'll have a baby in February. At least, that's what happened in my, uh, past experience." Maybelle's face lit up with such a look of pure joy that it made Sophia smile. "I could already be pregnant right now then!" she declared as she stood up and jumped in delight. "Sshhhh!" Sophia laughed, "Don't let Rachel hear. Let this news be a surprise. I shouldn't have said anything but I, well, couldn't help it." Maybelle winked at Sophia and grabbed the pitcher of lemonade and began refilling their glasses, then sat down with a smile still pasted on her face as they waited for Rachel to return. A minute or so later, Rachel came walking down the steps and re-entered the drawing room as she fanned herself with her hands, "My, it's positively stifling up there!" She reached inside her reticule and pulled out a small accordion style fan and unclasped it, then opened it up and used it to fan herself. Sophia, thinking that's what she needed as well, retrieved her own fan from her reticule and did the same. Rachel couldn't help but notice the smile on Maybelle's face, "What's that look for?" she asked jovially. Maybelle gave into a small fit of giggles, "I cannot say right now but I promise to tell you one day soon!" Rachel looked over at Sophia, "Did you tell her something while I was upstairs?" Sophia smiled and replied coyly, "Maybe." Rachel rolled her eyes and sipped her lemonade. "Okay, I cannot bear it. Continue on with your story!" Maybelle gushed to Sophia. "So the morning after I arrived in Texas, I met Mrs. Cox in the kitchen to help her with making the breakfast meal. It didn't take very long for her to figure out that I was incompetent. Same with Travis. I ended up confessing to him that very morning that I had lied about knowing how to run a household, cook, and raise children. He became so furious with me that he told me he was going to file for a dissolution of our marriage based on fraud, and he did start the process with his lawyer. During that first or second week that I was there, my pains had been getting worse so I ended up seeing his physician, Dr. May. After a thorough examination, Dr. May expressed to me that he would need to perform an exploratory operation to get a look on the inside to see if he could discern the cause of my pains. Just before the surgery took place, Travis and I ended up having intimate relations with one another. He actually seemed to be slowly warming up to me by that point. I had been working really hard, with the help of Mrs. Cox, to do my part there and I believe he saw that effort on my part. Even his children were slowly beginning to like me. Well, at least Hope was. Mikey was more obstinate about it. So, the night before my surgery, which I did not tell Travis about for fear of what his reaction would be, I checked myself into a hotel in Dallas and asked my friend Elsie to go with me to the hospital the following morning. I had met Elsie while I was on the train coming down to Texas and her and I actually became fast friends. I swore both Elsie and Dr. May to secrecy that neither of them were to tell Travis what was going on with me. So I had the surgery and found out the next day that my pains were caused by several solid masses. I had cancer and was told there wasn't much that could be done for me." Both Rachel and Maybelle gasped out loud and they began crying. "Oh my word!" Maybelle choked out, "Is that how you think you died?" Sophia nodded her head yes and the two women cried even harder. "Dr. May was able to get another doctor to come to Dallas and treat me. Actually, because Travis knew nothing of it, Elsie was the one who paid for my treatments but I wasn't aware of it at the time. To make a long story shorter, Travis and I slowly fell in love with one another. It was a deep love, very unlike how I felt about Jeremy. After I found out I was expecting his baby, my pains seemed to have disappeared. Thanksgiving night, I began to bleed and he took me to the hospital but the baby ended up being just fine. I was told to stay off my feet as much as possible for the duration of my pregnancy but unbeknownst to me, both my doctor's had met with Travis that night and they went against my wishes and told him about my cancer. He did not tell me about that though, so I had no idea he knew. At the end of December, Travis, his children, and myself all traveled by train so that I could be here when you gave birth Rachel. None of you knew I was pregnant until we arrived. By then, I was about six months gone already. The visit was wonderful at first. Mother and Father got on well with Travis and the children and they really bonded with one another. Rachel, you safely delivered your baby and it was such a great experience for us all. About a week after that, you and I went out for luncheon while everyone else went ice skating in Oberlin. We were seated at a table and when I sat down, I saw Jeremy who was with Angelique at the table behind you. I fled and you followed, but so did Jeremy. While we were outside, he was begging to talk to me. Then Angelique came outside and literally dragged him away while she was screaming at him. We got into our carriage and you hinted that something was going on with the both of them so I made you tell me what it was. Apparently, Angelique had lied about her pregnancy and made Jeremy's life a living hell. He wanted to dissolve their marriage but Dr. Milton threatened him by saying if he did so, he would sever Jeremy's portion of the medical clinic so Jeremy stayed with her. After you finished with your story, you got out of the carriage which was in front of our parents' house and I had Stevens take off leaving you behind. At first, I had him drive me around town while I thought about everything you had told me concerning Jeremy. I felt awful for him so decided to go and see him so we could talk, and we did. He told me the same things you had told me, except in more detail. He begged me to give him a second chance and he swore he would leave Angelique for good. But I refused him. At that point, I was hopelessly in love with Travis. More so than I had ever been with Jeremy. I told him that and made it clear that him and I had no future together. When I got back to the house, I could hear all sorts of commotion coming from the dining room. Apparently, you Rachel, had been covering up my whereabouts and wouldn't tell anyone where I had gone and because everyone was worried about me, Travis's daughter took my journal out of my reticule thinking I perhaps wrote down where I had gone. She was only four so didn't know better than to snoop through my things like that. But she asked Travis what cancer was and why I was scared to have it, at the dinner table with everyone there but me. That's how you all found out about it and that's what was being discussed when I had arrived back at the house. I heard Travis trying to explain it all when I approached the dining room and my pregnancy hormones took over. I went crazy and all sorts of hell broke loose that night. Suffice it to say that Travis and I made up that night but the next morning, after we had broken our fast, I had to explain to you all what had been going on with me. Jeremy showed up at the door and more hell broke loose. Travis found out that I had been with Jeremy the night before and he became enraged. He took his kids and left me here while he went back to Texas without me."

Sophia paused as tears formed in her eyes over the memory of how awful she had felt when she had learned that Travis had left her there. Rachel put her arm around Sophia as tears of her own fell down her face. Even Maybelle was crying. Sophia continued on. "I decided to go after him but the day before the next train was due to leave, I ended up bleeding again and had to go the the hospital in Oberlin. Thankfully, the baby was fine but I was put on very strict bed rest for the duration of my pregnancy which meant that I could not leave for Texas like I had wanted to. For the next few months I was very depressed and had tried contacting Travis numerous times by both telegraphs and through the post. He never answered me back. In March, a few big things happened. One of them was that Jeremy had hung himself in his office at the clinic. He had died. I cannot tell you the other thing though. Not quite yet. I shall write that down on a sheet of paper along with some other things and seal it in an envelope so that when we open it again, you will see I am not crazy and making all of this stuff up in my head. In early April, just before I was due to give birth, I decided I had had enough and took the train down to Texas. I didn't tell any of you that I was leaving because I knew you guys would have stopped me under the circumstances. Apparently Mother had telegraphed Travis and he, yet again, refused to read the missive. So Mrs. Cox opened it up and learned that I had gone missing. I did leave a note on my bed for you but I suppose it fell off somehow and it ended up being under the bed so none of you ever read it. All's you knew was that I had gone missing and you surmised that I was heading down to Texas. The train had been delayed due to some mechanical issues, so it arrived a few days late and by the time it finally arrived, I had already gone into labor. I hired a hackney to take me to the ranch and when I got there, Travis and Mrs. Cox had already been expecting me. They were frantic with worry. When Travis saw me, I could tell he was relieved that I was there but I was in so much pain by that point and my emotions were quite raw. I kicked him in his balls and declared that I was in labor." Both Rachel and Maybelle burst out laughing, and even Sophia chuckled at the memory. "Instead of me delivering the baby at the house, he opted to take me to the hospital because of my prior bleeding episodes. I think he was petrified for me because he had lost his first wife when she delivered their third child. I gave birth to a very healthy baby without any complications and it was the most amazing thing I had ever experienced. If it were even possible, the baby brought Travis and I even more closer together. Within the next couple of weeks, Mother, you and your baby arrived by train. I had another exploratory surgery about a month after my baby was born to see if my cancer had improved. It had not. You all made a decision not to tell me that though, and I continued my weekly treatments with my doctors, completely oblivious that I was dying. By August of eighteen ninety-one, Father had retired from the bank and you all were living down in Texas. Well, except for you and Hank." Sophia said to Maybelle. "Travis ended up surprising me with a second wedding and you and Hank were there for that. That happened on August twenty-fifth and it was so beautiful. By Christmas night, my health had progressively declined. The last thing I remember was writing in my journal, then I fell asleep in Travis's arms. When I awoke, I was here and absolutely confused as to why. At first, I thought perhaps that I had been in some sort of a coma. But then you, Rachel, came into my room and was talking about my wedding to Jeremy. I became even more confused and went to talk with Mother. I honestly thought you all were pulling some kind of a prank on me or something. But while I was in my bedroom and you two were talking amongst yourselves, something strange happened to me. A gust of wind came in from the window in my bedroom and it... enveloped me. It's hard to explain but I had this pleasurable sensation take over my entire body. My entire being. Then I heard this strange sounding voice in my head saying that this was my second chance. After giving the situation some thought, I truly believe it was Fate. I think I died that Christmas night in Texas and I was brought back to this time so that I can fix what had went wrong in my past life. The first thing I did that morning was to go see Jeremy since I knew Angelique and Dr. Milton were going to show up there that morning to tell him she was pregnant and demand he marry her. I was able to confront Jeremy about whether or not he had intimacy with her and he confessed it to me. Right after, Dr. Milton and Angelique showed up at his house, just like I knew they would. But this time, since I had already lived it, I knew how to handle the situation. I suggested that she get examined by Martha to verify whether she was actually with child or not. She had the examination against her own wishes and wasn't pregnant, so I already fixed something. I prevented Jeremy from having to marry her and saved his life in the process."

Both Rachel and Maybelle sat there in total shock over everything Sophia had said to them. Sophia's stomach tightened up hard as she watched them process all the information, and she prayed they would not condemn her as a lunatic. After several minutes of silence went by, Sophia stood up and said, "I know it all sounds weird to you. Trust me, it's even weirder for me. But you both have to believe me!" Maybelle stood up and looked Sophia directly in the eyes, "Hell, that story is one heck of a tale but it's so detailed that you possibly couldn't have made it all up. Are you sure you didn't just dream it all?" Sophia shook her head no, "I thought of that at first when I woke up the morning of my wedding last week, until that voice entered my head. I'm telling you, something happened to me that night of Christmas that I told you about! Whether I actually died or not, I am back here in time. I lived that life. Let me prove something else to you. I will make our luncheon meal!" Rachel got up quickly from her seat, "Oh gawd Sophia, no! You've never cooked a day in your entire life! I'm hungry! Let Maybelle do it instead." Sophia smiled and headed for the kitchen despite the protests being called out from behind her. First she went down to the larder in the basement of the house to see what Maybelle had on hand. Assessing the available supplies, she took out a particular side of pork meat, two tomato's, and one loaf of bread. She carried the food back up to the kitchen and set the items down on the counter. Looking over at Maybelle she asked, "Do you have any mayonnaise that is already made up?" "No, actually I don't but I do have the oil, vinegar, eggs, and salt if you'd like to make some up." she said slyly to Sophia as if to challenge her. "Great!" Sophia smiled, and she made another trip back down to the larder to get the vinegar and oil, a couple of eggs and also a head of lettuce that she had forgotten during her first trip down there. While Sophia was busy doing that, Rachel whispered loudly to Maybelle, "I'm telling you May, Sophia has no idea what she is doing! This is going to be a disaster! Nellie has been trying to get Sophia to take cooking lessons from her since we were children and she never once tried. I'm going to ring her neck if she mucks this up. I am famished! Heck, I might just end up eating her instead, that's how hungry I am!" But something inside of Maybelle believed Sophia's story, so she was eager to see if she could really pull this off. Sophia returned with the other supplies and paid no head to her sister and best friend while she went to work preparing luncheon for the three of them. Maybelle and Rachel were both seated at the table watching her with fascination as she searched the cabinets for a medium sized bowl, a wrought iron frying pan, a couple different types of knives, and a whisk. First, Sophia sliced up the side of pork into long, even strips. Then she put them in the frying pan on top of the cook top range and stoked the coals to get the fire burning hotter inside. As the bacon was cooking, Sophia then grabbed the bowl and cracked open the two eggs inside of it. She threw the shells in the muck pail next to the stove and went back to the counter where she added some oil, vinegar, salt and pepper into the bowl where the eggs were in. She used the whisk to vigorously mix the ingredients until it firmed up into a light pasty substance. By that time, the bacon was ready to be turned over and she did that with ease. Resuming her position at the counter, she then sliced the bread into six portions, all equal in size. "What on earth are you even making?" Rachel curiously called out. Sophia turned around and smiled, "Something I learned from Mrs. Cox when I was in Texas. Trust me, you both are going to love it!" Going back to what she was doing, she then sliced up the tomato's and lettuce after giving them a good rinse under some water in the sink. Sophia once again searched the cabinets until she found where Maybelle kept her dinner plates and took three of them down. She placed two slices of the bread on each plate, then spread some of the mayonnaise onto each piece in thick layers. Once the bacon was cooked, she cut them in half and placed four of them on one slice of the bread on each plate. Next, she added a few slices of tomato's and the lettuce, then put the other slice of bread on top to create sandwiches that she carefully cut into four pieces. She carried two plates and placed one in front of both Rachel and Maybelle, then grabbed the last plate off the counter and brought it to the table where she took a seat. "What is this called?" Maybelle asked as she took a bite of her sandwich. "It's called a BLT. It's short for bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Mrs. Cox taught to how to make it and it's a quick and easy meal that is absolutely delicious. There is some left over mayonnaise for you to put in your larder by the way." After a few seconds Maybelle proclaimed, "This is amazing! I cannot believe it. Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I would never have guessed you could have created this meal all on your own!" Rachel smiled and rolled her eyes upwards in delight, "I have to admit it. This is truly fantastic Sophia!" Sophia laughed out loud at the praise, "See, now do you believe my story?" "I think I actually do." Rachel admitted, "But does this mean you have cancer like you did before?"


  (This is the end of the chapter. Please submit your vote and comments.)  








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