In between my footsteps, I could hear my mother behind me urging me to slow down and tell her what was wrong. I was sobbing uncontrollably when I reached her bedroom door and blindly pushed it open. The four Wall of my mother's room were my only sanctuary, and I flopped down on Mom's bed before my legs collapsed beneath me.

"I know who I'm going to marry!" I shouted.

"Really? Who?" Mom asked, sounding completely in the dark.

"Allen!" I yelled back without even raising my head from the pillow. I couldn't believe Mom hadn't been hit with the same realization the minute he sat down next to me.

"He's your first cousin," she assured me. "They wouldn't do that to you." The she began to cry herself. When I finally calmed down, I sat up to hear Mom out. "If you're really concerned, you need to go and talk to Father about it," she said, trying to console me.

"I will not get married!" I announced defiantly, emboldened by my mother's words. "I will not marry Allen!"

It wasn't ten minutes before I was paged over the house intercom. "Elissa, Father wants to see you."

"Oh, great. What now?" I thought. I didn't even try to make myself presentable. I was almost beyond feeling as I made my way across the house to Uncle Fred's office. I expected that he'd be angry with me for my outburst and was a little surprised to find him seemingly unfazed.

"Sit down, Elissa," he instructed, motioning to the leather chair facing his desk. "How are you doing?" he asked casually.

"Father, I know who I'm going to marry," I blurted out.

I watched the corners of his lips lift into the beginnings of a smile. "Oh, really? Who?" he asked.

"You are going to place me by Allen."

It took him a moment to validate my suspicions. But I was right. "Well, yes," he said. "That is what the prophet has revealed for you."

"No! I want you to know that I won't do it. I will not marry Allen. I just don't want to marry that man!"

I was momentarily surprised at my own courage. I hadn't even hesitated before saying those words. A week before, I would have stumbled and tripped over my own tongue, but now I was determined. Knowing that Allen was to be my husband had only strengthened my resolve. I paused to take a breath. To this point, I'd clung to the hope that Uncle Rulon would come to see that this was not right for me. But at that moment, I realized that I needed to speak to him myself.

The look of puzzlement on his face quickly faded and was replaced with a stern stare. "You would defy what the prophet has revealed to you?" he retorted.


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