Full of Grace (31)

Selam! I am on a roll and am posting the next part of Full of Grace…a great way to start off the weekend. Enjoy! Oh, and if you’re new to the story, click here to read from the beginning. 

* * *

Joseph had been inside Mary’s house only once before – when he spoke with Heli about marrying his daughter. Even then, though, he was not attentive to the modesty of it. Just a basic home, one story, with three rooms: a bedroom for the children, one for Heli and Anna and a main room for cooking and communing – where he sat now. It was a spacious room and not unlike his, it just struck him as odd now that he was noticing all this, as Mary explained her ‘situation’.

Really, he didn’t know what else to call it, with her talk of malakhs and the mashaic. He was a good Jewish man, who believed in the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; who went to synagogue and prayed daily. But to believe his betrothed had been impregnated supernaturally?

His eyes wander around the room, trying with all his might to shut Mary’s voice out. Just an hour earlier, it was all he wanted to hear. Now, he couldn’t stand to look at her. She had betrayed him, and expected him to believe this nonsense – an incredible feat, considering not even her parents believed her. He could see it in their expressions, their body language: Heli stood propped against the back wall, his hand covering his mouth, while Anna anxiously wrung hers, pacing back and forth, looking everywhere but him. If they didn’t believe Mary, why should he?

Joseph rises, startling Mary and silencing her. They make purposeful eye contact since his arrival. Her large, black eyes stare back at him, seemingly pleading for understanding and acceptance, but he can offer neither, not anymore. He had gone there to tell Mary he loved her, to tell her how much he had looked forward to her return, how much he had desired to take her as his wife, to build his life with her, but with Mary’s admission of her pregnancy, her betrayal, her sin, the life he had imagined is gone. His heart weighs heavy with the realization, and though he has never been emotional, he finds himself fighting back tears. It was time to go.

“Joseph?” Mary whispers, reaching for him.

But he turns away from her and, without a word, walks out of the house.

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