THE DREAM HUSBAND
She woke up that morning feeling very down. She thought she needed help…anything that would boost her spirit. She didn’t know where to go. It hadn’t been long they moved to the vicinity… barely a fortnight. She remembered the tall pretty girl that stopped her the day before and wanted to be friends. She couldn’t even remember her name; she had just an address. There was supposed to be a get-together that evening. The girl said it would be just girls’ time out, which was good because her brothers would not be happy if they heard she got involved with the uncircumcised men of the city.
She started preparing…she needed to go to the farm and glean wheat. She also needed to clean the house and prepare food for her brothers before they got back from the fields with the flock. The flock… she missed talking to them while leading them to their “house”… a small shed that housed them and protected them from cold, rain and dangerous animals during the night. Her personal favourite… a short freckled lamb that had this smile-like expression almost everytime and never failed to strut towards her first for a rub on the head beforeheading to the shed with others everyday. She named him Vye… a name she coined from Levi. He reminded her of her brother Levi when they were growing up. He always had a smile on his lips…right until his best friend, his mum’s handmaid died. Something in him died with her, and his immediateelder brother Simeon got closer to him and changed him…hardening him tothe cold, easily-angered and easily-violent Levi he was at the moment, just like Simeon himself.
She spent the whole afternoon brooding and working. When by evening her dad and brothers were yet to get back from the fields, she got tired of waiting and decided to go see the lady. She made sure there was food for her dad and brothers, already set for them where they will find it and left instructions for the handmaids before leaving.
She got there very much on time and met no one at the said mill. The mill looked old…which was surprising considering that the nearest houses by it were all handsome and wonderful indicating the much wealth in the area. She sat down on a raised platform by the mill, and began fantasizing about her dream house and husband. She could see him… heavily bearded and well built, coming towards her on a jet black horse.
She didn’t want to think too much about him, so she wished him away…or at least she thought she did. She was so surprised when she looked up and saw Dream Husband still galloping towards her. She immediately covered her face which had been hitherto open all these while. He got to the mill, and jumped down from the horse. She wished he’d have somewhere else he was going to, but her wish wasn’t granted, as Dream Husband walked up to her.
“Hey… I saw you from afar…”, he started, pointing towards the finer of the two houses close to the mill “…and couldn’t help but imagine what a beautiful damsel such as you, could be doing here all alone by this time of the evening. Are you by any chance new here, or stranded cos I haven’t seen you around before?”
Dream Husband’s questions didn’t really register immediately as she was still lost in his silvery eyes which seemed to stare into her soul. Dream Husband also realized this too, for he laughed at that point and stepped back a bit.
“I’m sorry if I appeared rude, it’s your beauty that is messing with my head. My name is Shechem…I’m sorry for not introducing myself first” he said to her, genuflecting.
“Dinah… Deen for short” she replied, getting herself for the first time since Dream Husband – Shechem got there.
Shechem smiled…his silvery white teeth reflecting the sunlight.
“Dinah…Deen, you live around or you new here? “
“We got here not up-to two weeks ago. We live down the street.” Dinah replied…her shaky voice doing little to hide her unease.
“Deen… let’s go inside, I have a better place for you to stay while…wait a minute… what you doing here by the way?” Shechem asked, surprised at himself for not remembering to ask earlier too.
“I am supposed to meet someone here in the next one hour. I was bored at home and decided to come earlier.” Dinah replied.
“Okay. So what do you say Deen? Why don’t you come along with me, and wait for your friend at my place? It’s going to definitely be a lot comfortable for you, unlike out here in the open.”
Dinah nodded, and sheepishly followed him. She knew she wasn’t supposed to do so, but she couldn’t stop herself from getting on the horse with him.
It was few minutes before midnight when the brothers found her crying at the mill and brought her home. The Chief’s son had made yet another conquest.