Economics 101, a Novel, ch_42 -- Prologue

(The story starts here:

The previous chapter is here:

Two stories are now essentially told. Now I need to focus on cleaning up the rough draft.

But I haven't kept my promise to work through the simplified economic model. So one story remains.

You, of course, wonder about the wedding night. Should I tell you about that?


Bobbie and Karel returned to camp with their marriage licenses and certificates (in duplicate) and temple clothes in their backpacks, and a new covenant in their hearts.

It was Karel who asked, "Are you hungry?"


They had various edible seeds left out to dry, so they put some of those on to boil and went out to get some fresh breadfruit and vegetables.

While they were getting dinner ready, Bobbie found herself having to stop to breathe deeply every now and then.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing," she lied.

And Karel let it pass, opting not to press.

The sun touched the horizon as they finished washing dishes, and Bobbie suggested, "Let's get our temple clothes hung up to air them out."

"We're not going to wash them first?" Karel asked, as they cleaned off bamboo poles and ropes and began hanging the clothes out.

"We need to find some sort of laundry soap. Washing them in the ocean just won't work."

"Hmm. That means I have to invent some sort of laundry tub, too."


Karel smiled. "We." And they just happened to be close enough for a kiss, so they shared a kiss. (Be calm, our beating hearts!)

"Nice kiss." Then Bobbie looked a little perplexed. "Oh."


Bobbie sighed. "... bad timing ..." She pressed one hand to her stomache.


"Oh, please don't be upset." And she unceremoniously draped the clothes she was holding over the rope so she could grab hold of Karel's arm for support.

"Upset?" Karel also quickly draped what he was holding over the rope, so he could support her with both arms.

Bobbie breathed heavily.

Karel reached out to rub her stomach.

"Wait. .... Just let me hang on to you."

"A chair is another thing I need to make," Karel said, as much to himself as to Bobbie. "Can you sit down?"

Bobbie looked at the trunks and at the sand and said, "No." After taking another hard breath, she said, "I ... thought ... it might ... be hard ... when, ... but ..." And she continued to breathe hard, ragged breaths.

"What can I do?"

At last Bobbie could relax. She laughed. "Ouch. That hurt." And she nodded, mostly to herself. "Yep. I guess it's going to be hard after skipping a month. You're not going to be mad?"

Karel smiled shyly. "Of course not. But what can we do? Can you sit down?"

"Everything will get ... ouch."

Karel tried to sympathize. "I guess the stress of getting married brought it early?"
"More like releasing me from the stress of waiting." Bobbie leaned against Karel and looked into his face, and he gave her a long kiss.

She sighed. "Thanks. That helps. .... A little. Maybe."

Then her face creased in pain. "Ow. Oooooh. I ... guess ... I ... do ... need ... to ... sit ... down." She let out a breath and drew another carefully.

Karel helped her sit down and continue to hold her.

"Is sitting in the sand going to be okay?"

Bobbie didn't answer.

"I wish we'd thought to make some simple mats while we were making rope," Karel said.

"This doesn't bother you?"

"For you, I'll just grin and bear it. If grinning doesn't help you relax, I'll just bear it."

Bobbie laughed. "Ouch. Don't make me laugh."


"No, actually, it's okay. It sort of hurts to laugh, but it doesn't really."

"Do you need to lie down?"

"I think so."

"In the tent?"

"I need air."

So Karel got the bedrolls spread out. He rolled his own mat up for a makeshift pillow and helped Bobbie get comfortable. The he hurriedly finished hanging clothes out. Then he went to the nearest field of hemp and, as quickly as he could, cut a big pile and brought it back.

Weaving rough mats of fresh hemp kept them busy and helped Bobbie forget the pain for stretches of time. When the pain became too much for her to work with the hemp, Karel did what he could to help. Massaging her back or abdomen sometimes helped, sometimes did not.

With two rough mats, they were able to arrange the bedding so that they both could sleep. Karel slept lightly, waking to help her when she was in pain.

And we will leave them to try to get rest until morning.

When the sun came up, they moved under the trees, for shade. Then Karel made breakfast from the food they had in the camp and they read scriptures together.

After a while, they got out some of their reference books and looked for vegetables that would help Bobbie recover. Karel went foraging for food by himself once in the morning, staying close enough to hear in case Bobbie needed help.

After lunch, they worked on making more rope -- and talking, and resting together. At some point during the afternoon, Karel muttered something about not wanting to find out how close the sharks might be, and took some time to dig some pits in the sand where they could wash Bobbie's clothes without going to the sea. And Bobbie commented on salt water's effectiveness in cleaning.

When it got cool in the afternoon, Bobbie wanted to take a walk, so they foraged for food together, collecting enough that they would not have to forage on the Sabbath.

They slept together again under the stars that night, Karel sleeping lightly to check on Bobbie regularly, although Bobbie insisted that he didn't need to.

Bobbie was more rested than Karel Sunday morning, so she let him sleep in. She woke him up with a big kiss about eight o'clock or so, with the sun shining  through the trees.

And it was nice to have a Sunday, to relax and read scriptures together and sing hymns and have church and just talk, and give each other massages -- Bobbie had mostly recovered, and insisted on returning the favor after Karel gave her a rub down.

That night, they both wore pajamas for the first time since they had come to the island, and got a good long rest.  

Bobbie woke up in the pre-dawn twilight of Monday morning, looking around herself at the trees, watching Karel asleep beside her. He seemed to be dreaming. She wondered whether she should let him sleep or wake him.

Karel was dreaming about running and playing on the beach with Bobbie. We will give him his privacy and not mention the details, but when Bobbie leaned over to kiss him and her hair fell in his face, he dreamed it was seaweed.

Karel struggled with the imagined seaweed, making gurgling noises and brushing at her hair as he woke up.

Bobbie giggled. While Karel was trying to get his bearings, she tried to kiss him again, succeeding this time.

"No fair!" Karel complained, laughing.

"Why not?"

"Because I can't complain that you're cheating any more."

We'll give them some privacy and skip a little bit of their conversation.

"I think we should wait."

"It doesn't hurt any more. We've waited so long."

"No doctors if something goes wrong. Two more days?"

Bobbie rolled back and lay facing the sky. "Spoil sport. Just because I started it."

Karel sat up, reaching out to take her hand. "No, I just don't want you to go over to the other side of that veil before me."

Bobbie pouted and they sat there for a minute or so. Then Bobbie said, "I guess we should pray about it."

Which they did.

"Please help us to respect each other and take care of each other's health."

"What he said."

And Bobbie sighed yet again as she and Karel looked at each other. Then she started laughing. "Okay. Okay. There's no rush. Why am I feeling rushed when you aren't?"

And they both laughed quietly and got up.

So they got breakfast and read scriptures, and did their usual morning business. Then they got busy and moved more of the bamboo up from the sea. After that, they started learning how to weave a wicker basket tight enough to carry water without too much leakage. The first try didn't work, but they decided it would be a decent basket for other uses.

In the afternoon, they studied more scriptures and found information about tubers that were said to be helpful for restoring women's strength and health. They knew where to find the red sweet potatoes, but had not seen the long potatoes (nagaimo in Japanese).

Bobbie was feeling strong enough in the afternoon, so they went up and got some sweet potatoes. They were blessed, and found nagaimo nearby.

In the evening, they succeeded in making one wobbly wicker chair.

On Tuesday, they thought it was safe to take baths again. And of course they didn't turn around any more, but they still took turns watching the sea.

The rest of the day was spent in learning more about how to work with bamboo and hemp, with a little bit of scripture study and learning more about plants in the afternoon. During the morning, they put together another wicker chair, one that Bobbie could actually sit in. And they had a waterproof basket woven by nightfall.

And now they had an idea how to make the roof of their hut.

You may think they haven't had their new beginning yet.

I think they have.

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