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That same evening, Annie’s mind also was on her conversation with Levi. Her chest ached at the thought of never seeing him again.
Her mother’s voice startled her. “Annie? Did you hear what I said?” Mamma motioned to a kitchen chair and continued churning.
Annie took the seat and faced her role model. The enticing smell of creamy homemade butter filled Annie’s nostrils. Mamma was about the only person around who still made her own. Everyone else bought it. But Mamma loved doing it. And she took pride in the end result. And that was fine with Annie. Even though she wasn’t fond of cattle, at least something good came from them.
“You want to talk about him?”
Annie was quick to detect concern in her mother’s soft voice. “What?”
Her mother sighed and continued her task. “Levi Miller.” Her voice softened to an understanding tone.
Annie looked down at the wood floor. When she lifted her eyes, she met her mother’s inquisitive gaze.
“There’s really not much to say, Mamma. The shunning forced Levi’s family to move away and start all over.” She exhaled and raised her voice. “There’s nothing that can ever change that.” She lifted her shoulders. “Why did something so devastating have to happen? I still don’t understand.”
The expression in her mother’s eyes was a combination of uncertainty and disappointment. “Like it or not, in any faith, there are standards, and if a person chooses not to follow them, he must be prepared for discipline.”
“I know; I just wish things could be different. Obviously the Millers aren’t coming back to our church, but why not mend the fence? Nothing good came out of what happened.” She threw her hands in the air. “Life is too short.”
“Annie, there have been others in the community who were shunned but chose to stay here. I can’t help it that Levi’s father didn’t want to do that.” She paused to push out a deep breath. “I know how you don’t like drama. That you want everybody happy. But honey, life isn’t perfect. You know that. Even you are always saying that this isn’t a perfect world.”
Annie waited for her mother to continue.
“We can’t fight every battle and win. There are some things you just have to accept.”
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