Ballot of Change

November 2nd, 1920.

The sun is just beginning to grace the horizon as Rosemary steps onto her porch into the brisk morning air, a hint of winter’s approach lingering. She clutches a small piece of paper in her hand, her fingers tracing over the names written in her careful handwriting.

A sense of reverence fills her as she walks the familiar path to the town’s meeting hall. Her heart beats in rhythm with the soft crunching of leaves under her boots. It’s a song of change, a melody of progress. She smiles, a mix of nervous excitement and indomitable resolve fluttering in her chest.

Outside of the meeting hall is a hive of activity. People move in and out, their voices echoing in the early morning quiet. Rosemary, however, moves with deliberation, her gaze unwavering, her posture a testament to her purpose. She steps inside, where she’s met with a sea of faces – some familiar, others strangers. But there’s a kinship in their eyes, a shared sense of purpose that ties them together.

Sarah, a young woman who had grown up hearing tales of Rosemary’s involvement in the suffrage movement, hurries over. Her eyes shine with excitement and a hint of nervousness. “Are you ready, Rosemary?”

Rosemary pats her hand gently, the corners of her eyes crinkling. “I’ve been ready for a long time, my dear.”

As Rosemary approaches the voting booth, a flurry of emotions whirls within her. It’s as if time slows, each second stretching out as she picks up the pencil. Her hand trembles slightly as she lifts it, her heart thumping loudly in her chest.

The ballot paper is cool and smooth beneath her fingertips. The names and boxes printed on it stare back at her, an invitation to make a choice, to make her voice heard. It is a moment so surreal she has to blink away tears blurring her vision.

She takes a deep breath, the air heavy with the scent of ink and the murmuring echoes of the others in the hall. An overwhelming sense of responsibility takes hold of her, wrapping her in a shroud of gravity and importance. This piece of paper represents countless women’s struggles, sacrifices, and victories. Her pencil strokes are tributes to them.

There is also a slight trace of sadness, a soft whisper in the back of her mind. She thinks of all the women who could not experience this moment, including her mother and sisters. They had yearned for this right and prayed for it but did not live long enough to see it come to fruition.

As she steps away from the booth, Rosemary is filled with an indescribable sense of peace. A tear trickles down her cheek, landing on the piece of paper still clutched in her hand. Today, she is part of history. Today, she has voted.

Notes

“Ballot of Change” is a work of historical fiction. While based on real events, the story, characters, and incidents are fictitious.

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