'Dear Virgin, thank you! Holy Mary, holy mother of God, thank you, thank you so much!'
I was on my knees, crying in front of my simple altar of the Virgin.
'Thank you, Holy Virgin, thank you, Blessed One, thank you, thank you for this man!'
It couldn't have been anyone else's doing. I mean, how could it? I only ever confided in the Virgin since the accident. She was the only one I told I was running away from the convent. She was the only one who knew why. She was the only one I'd spoken to or sang to - and I'm even ashamed to say, shouted at - for the past few years. And now she's granted me this man.
I looked up at my altar. It was really just a table with a white cloth draped over it, two homemade sweet-smelling candles, and a fine statuette of the Virgin. It was made of the purest white marble. I had stolen it from the convent. I figured it was a disgrace that it should stand in such a sinful place.
'Thank you,' I whispered one more time, then I got up.
I quickly tidied up everything I could in the little log house, washed myself, lit a new candle on the table, took out some of those delicious mountian apples. Then I stood in front of the beautifully ornamented silver mirror - another gift from the convent - and started to braid my hair, as it was unseemly for a girl my age to appear in front of a young man with wild loose hair.
Vanity was one of my greatest sins. Though can one call liking one's appearance vanity? I don't know. I'm not the one to know. It is for the Virgin to decide, not for me. Anyway, I did, in truth, like the way I looked. As I neatly braided my long gingerish hair I looked into my own eyes. I had big green eyes with long dark lashes, and my eyebrows were dark too. My skin was light and my nose freckly. I had small red lips. I was not the tallest girl, and I was skinny. My light green warm dress suited me very well and the soft leather boots I was wearing were my favourites.
My hair was braided, and the weather was lovely, and the Virgin was smiling at me. I grabbed my Bible, with its worn pages, and settled down on the little wooden bench.
He would arrive shortly.