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reasons, they belonged to her. If she wanted me to know, maybe she would tell me herself someday. ∗∗∗ I didn’t know it would take two years to join an order, and two more to finish postulancy. I think if I’d had anything else to do, I might have given up on it. But my parents wouldn’t let me leave the house without getting married, and college was out of the question unless I could pay my own way. Jeannie and I lost touch after graduation. She stopped going to church and started a typing course. I thought she wanted to be a career woman, but I guess I was wrong. When I heard she had married some boy from the city the same week I was to begin my postulancy, I took it as a sign. I became a novice and took the name Sister Elizabeth. Not after Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, but after Saint Elizabeth of Hungary: patron of bakers, beggars, brides, and deceased children. I took my vows and was sent to a school in another state, farther north. I liked snow, I thought, and Margaret would be going to college up this way on a scholarship. There were worse ways to spend the rest of my life. The school I was called to was Saint Peter’s, and the Sisters there were kind to me and welcoming in their letters. We would all live together in a stone building with noisy radiators and few hot water bottles. It was mid-January when I arrived, and I realized immediately that I would always be miserably cold. When Mother Superior showed me to my room and left me, I set down my bag and heaved a sigh. What was it my mother had said? There are no wrong turns? “Sister Elizabeth?” a curious voice called from the door. When I turned, all I could see were her dimples. Dimples. Adorable, sweet, charming little dimples and crooked teeth. “I’m Sister Constance, but you can call me Rose in here.” “I’m Carlotta,” I offered, and her smile brightened. When she realized I was staring she looked shyly away. “Do you like music?” she asked. “We don’t have much selection in the library, so I’ve started my own kind of library.” She kneeled down in her stiff black dress and pulled back the covers to 42 Kramer

Profile for Red Cedar Review

Red Cedar Review Vol. 54  

Red Cedar Review Vol. 54  

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