>> Friday, June 25, 2010
The young girl, Sarai, looked out the door. She thought of all she was losing on this day, the day her mother said should be most happy. She gathered up the jars and walked to the water hole. Even so early, it was hot. Her dress clung to her. Sweat dripped from her thin body. She got down on her belly and leaned over. Such a little girl thing to do but she didn’t care. Her reflection looked back at her. Her eyes showed fear. She was not happy, not one bit. She was frightened. To be torn from her mother’s arms so abruptly made her shiver. Sarai touched her reflection with her finger tip. The water rippled out, distorting her face. This she could relate to. Confusion reigned in her thoughts. Tears flowed from her eyes and fell into the hole.
Sarai picked herself up and brushed away the tears with her apron. One filled jar she balanced on her head. The other she carried with her free hand. She made her way into the quiet house. Her mother sat in the corner with Sarai’s baby sister suckling at the breast. She herself had only been weaned eleven years ago. Sarai longed to be there again, not torn against her will from the only thing she knew, the only people she loved.
Tehevita winked at her daughter. “This is your day, Sarai.” The girl sat at her mother’s feet and put her head in her mother’s lap.
“No Mommy, I’m scared.” Tears bubbled up from her eyes.
Tehevita tore the little baby from away amid squeals and squalls. She lay the baby down and took hold of Sarai’s face in both her hands and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Iscah darling, remember how men are looking at you?”
“Mommy, I want to run and play, I don’t want to keep house with a brother I barely know.”
“You are the most beautiful woman in these parts, my dear. You must be careful. Men will want you. Be on your guard. Abram is a good man, a very good man. Your father did well in arranging this match. You will be safe with him.”
Her eyes downcast, she mumbled the words her mother wished to hear, “I understand.”
Her father nodded to his daughter. “It’s time, Iscah. Your groom waits.”
She kissed her mother and whispered, “I’m scared.”
“All will be well. Trust me.”
Sarai walked behind her father, head down, not wanting to look into the neighbor’s eyes. She concentrated on one foot and then another as she made her way closer to the bridal dinner. She tuned out the giggles from her friends and the whistles from the young men. Suddenly a small boy ran past the wedding march. Someone scooped him up and out of the way just a second late. Sarai tripped.
She gasped and reached out to grab onto her father’s robe but a stranger caught her into his arms instead.
“My bride, my Sarai.”
The girl peeked up and saw a tall, handsome man. “Master?” His eyes bore into her own and she blushed.
He bent down and whispered into her ear. “Not master. I am your husband and you my wife.”
With that, the wedding feast began. Sarai picked at her food, knowing full well what was expected of her afterwards. She would cleave to her husband as she had been taught to do at her mother’s instruction, but in her heart, she promised herself she would never love him. Not ever…
I'll post more of the story next week. Hope you stay tuned:)