87. Permission

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It was only two days later that Henry made his way to Albert's house.

Despite the warning that Dale had given him, Henry wanted to marry Sarah more than anything. Spend the rest of his life with her. Treat her like a queen.

Slipping in to the lot, Henry peeked around. There were a lot more cars now. Newer models too. And not just Model T's, but fancy coupes and convertibles. The cars were neatly parked on the garage side of the property, away from the front lawn of their homes.

Henry breathed a sigh of relief. Sarah and her motorbike were nowhere to be seen, and that was a good thing. The previous evening, Sarah had said she would be running errands today. If she caught Henry here, it would ruin his entire plan.

Standing on the porch, Henry knocked a shaky fist against Albert's door. He balled his hands at his sides as he waited. On the other side of the door, he heard the shuffle of shoes against the floorboards. A moment later, the door swung open, and Albert stood there looking him over with an expression of confusion.

"What are you doing here? Sarah didn't tell me that you were taking her out today."

"I'm not," Henry said.

"Well, that's good," Albert said. "Because she isn't here. She's out on delivery runs right now."

"That's even better," Henry said. "I actually wanted to speak with you. Can I come in?"

Albert furrowed his brow, but he gave a slow nod and stepped aside, gesturing for Henry to come through the doorway. Henry followed Albert into the house. Albert took a few steps and settled himself down into his chair.

Henry pulled over one of the wooden chairs from the kitchen table and took a seat across from Albert.

"What's this all about now, Henry?" Albert asked.

"Okay," Henry said. "I'm just going to come right out and say it. I ... I want to marry Sarah. I've come to ask your permission."

Albert's face registered surprise, but the old man didn't speak.

Henry forged on. "I know it might seem a bit quick, but I really care for Sarah. I've never met anyone like her, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I'd do everything to make her happy."

Albert was shaking his head before Henry had even finished. "I'm sure you mean what you're saying. Right now, that is. You're smitten with my niece. The two of you are caught up in how new it is. But that will all fade, and then my Sarah will be stuck with you. I haven't tried to stop her from seeing you. Isn't that enough? There's no reason for you to be thinking of marrying her, especially so soon."

"Albert, I love Sarah," Henry said, his voice firm. "I know I love her, and it's not a feeling that's just going to go away."

"I don't see how a baseball player could ever make my niece a decent husband. How could you be good to her with the kind of life you live? When you're off playing games in other towns, you could be gone a long time. You'll be tempted by booze and women."

"You've got it all wrong," Henry insisted. "I could never be tempted by another woman. Sarah is the only woman for me. I'll always be faithful to her. I just want to love and take care of Sarah ... forever, if I could. Most important, I want her by my side ... as my wife."

Albert was quiet for a long moment.

Henry found himself squirming under Albert's harsh stare, but he refused to look away.

It felt like a long time, but Albert's expression seemed to soften. Finally, the old man leaned back in his chair and cleared his throat. "I have to admit, you do seem as though you're in earnest. Maybe you and Sarah were meant to be together."

Henry felt himself relax a little, and he gave Albert a closed-lip smile. He wasn't sure what Albert might say next.

"Just promise me one thing," Albert said.

"What is it?" Henry asked.

Albert leaned forward a bit in his chair, leveling a serious gaze at Henry. "I need you to look me straight in my eyes, and make me a promise. You need to tell me you'll never hurt Sarah."

Henry nodded with pride. "I promise. I will never ever hurt Sarah. I'll love and take care of her always. I'll do everything to make your niece happy."

Albert drew in a deep breath and let it out. With a slight smile, he extended his hand, and Henry took it.

Albert didn't say a word.

Then again, he didn't have to.


Author's Note

Well, Sarah's role is also about to soar to new heights. Let's see what this girl can do to help Henry realize his greatest potential.

In the upcoming chapters, Henry's going to face a number of great conflicts, each more devastating the the last.

Will Henry come through? Only time will tell.

See ya next week. Thanks y'all!

Tom

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