“If tied,” she said, “come by.”
“If not…?” he asked.
Her shake of head stilled any of the questions he had swirling inside his. It cooled his urge to argue. He knew it wouldn’t help. He knew it would only make what was already unlikely, impossible.
In the days that followed he found every reason to visit the gatepost. He wasn’t meant to come too close, but the nearby field offered cloves that his mare suddenly required, and there were numerous trips to town that merited taking exactly the dirt road that hugged parts of the property.
He drooped with every thread-less passing.
He couldn’t sleep.
He felt angry, worried, sick.
Till one day, as he rode by on an errand for a parcel, he saw it. A pink thread. Tied.
Her parents relenting.
They’d let him court her. Even though his father, in his drunkenness, had killed their son.