This is my contribution for this week's Your Photo Story prompt.
Jeb sat on the porch in his rocker, shotgun across his lap. He squinted into the distance, waiting for the first sign of dust to signal Marybeth’s return.
“That girl’s gonna be sorry she was ever born,” he muttered, spitting tobacco in a spittoon by his side.
“Aw, don’t be too hard on her, Jeb,” Sarah said from the doorway. “She’s just sowing her oats.”
“Wild oats, no doubt,” Jeb spat. “With that Williams boy.”
“He’s not a bad boy,” Sarah assured Jeb.
“Never said he was,” Jeb replied. “He’s just not good enough for my little girl.”
“Nobody’s gonna be good enough for Marybeth in your eyes, Jeb.”
“Damn right!” Jeb agreed, and spit another wad into the spittoon.
“She’s grown, Jeb. You gotta let her live her own life.”
“She can live her own life when she has he own house.”
“You never change,” Sarah sighed.
Jeb shrugged, and went back to rocking. Sarah knew there was no talking to him once he made up his mind. She went back in the house, waiting for the fight to come. Because as stubborn as Jeb was, Marybeth had him beat.
A few minutes later, Sarah heard the rocker stop squeaking. She stopped washing dishes, took a deep breath, and waited to hear what happened.
“Where’ve you been, girl?” Jeb demanded as soon as Marybeth and Jacob stepped onto the porch.
“We got married, Pa,” Marybeth said, smile beaming.
“You what!” Jeb shouted, jumping up and engaging the shotgun. “I’m gonna kill you, boy. Say your prayers now.”
“Pa!” Marybeth yelled, stepping in front of Jacob. “Hear me out.”
“I don’t care what you got to say,” Jeb shouted.
“I’m pregnant, Pa,” Marybeth whispered, a tear rolling down her cheek. “You’re gonna be a grandpa.”
“I…what?” Jeb sputtered, falling hard into the rocker.
“Oh, baby,” Sarah said, rushing out the door and engulfing Marybeth in a hug. “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine, Ma,” Marybeth said. Pulling Jacob over, she added, “We’re both very happy about this baby.”
“That’s good.” Sarah offered, sliding a glance at Jeb.
“Well, you ain’t raising it here,” Jeb snapped.
“Jeb!” Sarah squealed. “Don’t be that way.”
“It’s ok, Ma. We don’t need to live here. Jacob rented us a place in town.”
Sarah couldn’t help herself. She poked Jeb in the ribs and said, “I guess she can live her own life then, huh?”