Filling the Silence
It was late before Sarah made her way back upstairs. She was exhausted. She walked into the room and took off her things, changing into a nightgown. She climbed into bed gently, hoping no to wake him, and slept hugging the edge of the bed to keep some distance between them.
The next morning Sarah was sore from her day of working in the garden. She woke up alone in the bed, knowing Sterling had probably left early in the morning as he usually did. She decided to take it easy, hopefully avoid Sterling.
She walked downstairs and turned to enter the dining room when she saw Brick and Sterling walking in from the study, Brick giving Sterling a pat on the shoulder. Curious, she thought but then shook the thought away. She sat in her seat and began to serve herself some food when they joined her. “Good morning my dear,” Brick sang, giving her shoulder a squeeze as he walked by.
“Good morning Brick.” She gave him a smile, and then erased it quickly, “Sterling, good morning.” She said coldly. She was not ready to forgive him yet.
Sarah turned back to Brick, “Busy day ahead?”
Brick nodded, “Just plowing your garden for you, then off to the west side of our land to check the fences before we move the herd over. You?”
“Taking it easy today. Going to do a bit of straightening up around the house.” She replied, ignoring the stare from Sterling she could feel.
She took a big scoop of the grits she had taught Martha how to make yesterday and let out a content sigh after taking a bite.
“Good?” Brick chuckled.
“Heaven,” Sarah replied. “Try some, Martha did an amazing job.”
Brick gave her a sideways look, hesitant about trying them. He gave in and took a small scoop. His eyes widened as he took a bite. “My girl, these are delicious! I can’t believe they aren’t a morning staple!”
Sarah chuckled, “They will be if I have any say about it.”
When she finished breakfast she walked out of the dining room and toward the back porch. She wanted to make sure she had cleared everything before Brick came through with the plow.
“Sarah.” The low voice made her shoulders tense.
“Sterling I have no desire to do this with you right now. Feel free to brood somewhere else.” She replied, sass dripping from every word. She turned and walked into the house.
Suddenly she was pulled to the side. Sterling holding on to her shoulders as they stood in the shadow of the stairs. “Sarah just listen to me.”
She struggled in his grasp. “Sterling I’m not interested. I’m mad at you and you’re just going to have to deal with that. Go on and get out to work.” She finally shoved him off and made her way to the sitting room.
She slumped in a chair for a few minutes before getting up and running a hand through her long, blonde hair. Most days she kept it halfway tied up so that it was out of her face, but this morning she hadn’t taken the time. Sarah pulled back her hair and then pushed back the curtains behind her and made the room bright. Then she made herself busy, straightening the sitting room and putting random books back on the shelf and dirty glasses to the kitchen to be washed bringing new ones out and setting them on the liquor tray. She fluffed pillows and dusted and tossed the old, dead flowers out of the vase on the table. She made her way to the dining room and cleaned in there as well, changing the table cloth and putting away all the table wares, and dusting.
She swept and mopped the floors and then took a break for lunch. She sat out on the back deck with Martha, rocking in the oversized chairs and eating some meats and vegetables. “So, quite a scuffle with Mr. Sterling last night.” Martha smirked.
Sarah rolled her eyes, “You heard too?”
“Like Brick said, the walls are thin.”
“Great.” Sarah sighed.
“I’m glad you did it though, he needed to be reminded of the force his woman can be.”
“Ha!” Sarah scoffed. “I’m not his woman. If it were up to him I would be gone on the first coach back to Atlanta.”
“He’s just stubborn. Keep being kind, you’ll break through somehow. Besides, you being angry at him right now has him on the ropes.” Martha laughed. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more uncomfortable and unsure of what to do.”
“Mhm...” Sarah rolled her eyes at her friend.
After lunch she made her way upstairs to the bedrooms to clean and gather the laundry.
She straightened up her room first. She dusted and wiped down the surfaces. She cleaned the wash basin and filled it with new water. After gathering all the clothes she made her way to Brick's room and did the same. She checked the two other bedrooms, which were unused, and then made her way down. Missing the last step, Sarah tripped, dropping the basket of clothes on the floor. She sat on her knees and started to gather the clothes. "Here." Sterling stood, holding a few shirts in his hand.
Sarah let out a small huff. "Thank you." She stood up and picked up the basket. "Excuse me."
Sterling followed her to the back of the house. She set the basked down on the ground in front of the large washing bucket. She turned to see him standing there. "Can I help you?"
"I'm going to sit here until you let me speak." He said, folding his arms and sitting down in a rocker.
Sarah sighed and started to do the washing. "Okay, what Sterling?" She said as she wrung out a shirt and placed it in the a clean basket and continued with her washing.
"I need to apologize. I said some hurtful things last night in anger. It doesn't change the way I feel, but I do want you to know I'm sorry."
Sarah gave him a glare, and then her face softened. "Thank you for apologizing. I shouldn't have lost my temper either."
Sterling gave her a tight smile before stepping down and taking her clean basket. He walked over to the line and began hanging the laundry to dry.
"Thank you," she said again as they finished.
He smiled and then walked back into the house.