When Sarah’s parents heard of the engagement, they half jokingly told the young couple to go elope, come back to tell them, and they would take the newlyweds out for supper. Sarah wanted a church wedding and a white gown and veil but John said no. He already had one church wedding and said that people would think bad of him if he had another one. Sarah protested, saying it would be okay since she had never been married before, but he stood firm and for the first time, she backed down from him.

Sarah’s mother took her shopping for a dress. Sarah wanted a white dress, but her mother talked her into a pretty blue dress with an embroidered collar. It would be more practical and could be worn more than once.

On Friday, January 13th, John asked Sarah to go to the courthouse and apply for a marriage license. He did not tell her when he wanted to get married so she thought he wanted it to be as soon as possible. When she got back, he asked her when they were to be married. She said, “Tomorrow.”

Because of what her parents said, she did not tell them about their plans. She sat up late that night, watching tv and contemplating what lay ahead for her. This was her last night in her parents’ house, her last night to be single. She wondered if she was making a mistake. Then her mother came in the room and told her to go to bed.

Sarah managed to sneak some of her things out of her room. She put on her blue dress and drove to John’s home. John had already informed his parents of the wedding plans because he needed their permission to move Sarah into his house. The couple climbed into the late ’70s T-Bird and rode to the wedding chapel near the courthouse.

On the way there, John said something that sent a chill to Sarah’s heart. He said that after they get married, she will have to submit to him and do whatever he said. Part of her wanted him to stop the car and let her out. But she wondered how bad could it be. Within a few years, she would find out.