Fandom: Little House on the Prairie (TV)
Characters: Harriet Oleson, Nels Oleson
Prompt: 094 - Independence
Word Count: 432
Summary: Nels contemplates his independence from Harriet.
Author's Notes: My little table
Nels listened to the clop clop clop of the horse's hooves against the dirt as he headed away from Molly's room & board. In his mind, he saw the tear-stained face of the young woman whose heart he had just broken. "I'm already married." The words replayed in his head. But as he rode with the sun setting behind him, his thoughts turned to another woman.
He was headed home, to his wife of more than fifteen years, to his two children, to his place as one of the most respected citizens in Walnut Grove.
The little voice returned, the same voice that had made him doubt before—the same voice that had allowed him to act upon his fondness for Molly. It told him.
It told him that he didn’t have to go home. Just because things ended with Molly didn't mean he had to return to Harriet.
Nels had married later than many men he knew, and he wondered what it would be like to be a bachelor again.
But then that other voice came into his head: The voice of Reason.
He had not left Molly because of an obligation to his wife and children; he had left Molly because he didn't love her.
She couldn't hold a candle to Harriet.
Yes Molly was kind, and yes she always appreciated him, but she wasn't Harriet.
Harriet who ordered him around, spoiled their children, and caused trouble whenever she could. Harriet, who could be insensitive enough to laugh at his toupee. He loved her.
There wasn't anyone else like her.
And if he was honest with himself, he liked cooking for Nellie's customers. He wanted his daughter to succeed. How could he let Nellie fail?
And so what if Harriet nagged him? As long as she gave into his wishes sometimes, it didn't matter. When push came to shove, Harriet would listen to Nels.
Nels could never admit this to any man in the town, but it was Harriet's strong will that attracted him to her in the first place. He actually liked having Harriet run the household; although she could go too far…
Nels shook his head. No more dilly-dallying. He loved Harriet unconditionally. They had been through worse than this; they would go through bad times again.
He didn't want anyone else, and he certainly didn't want his independence.
Nels pulled onto the main street of Walnut Grove, and put his horse and buggy away. He stared at his house for a moment before opening the door.
"Welcome home, Nels" said his wife.