The Pledge (12)

Happy Sunday. Below is my next offering of The Pledge. I had a little trouble determining what direction to go, but I think I’ve got it figured out. I think for my next post I would like to discuss where this particular scene is going and how some of the names are chosen. After all, the process is just as important as the end result. In any case, enjoy. If your’re just joining us, you can read The Pledge from the beginning by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by. 

* * *

It is customary for the intended groom to visit with the bride-to-be, to get her approval as well as her fathers. For Tamar, though, this is unnecessary. Obviously she wants to marry him, and, she reasons, if Judah had given his blessing for the union, then Er must feel the same for her.

At least that’s what Tamar hopes, as she gets ready for the dinner. Wearing the new gown her mother made her, she darkens her eyes with kohl and pinches her cheeks to make them rosier, fuller. Then she places the earrings in her ears and prepares to meet Er.

Only her mother and father will be present – her brother, Allown, is traveling to Egypt in her father’s stead. Which is fine by her: he had objected to the union, based on rumors he had heard about Er. And though she could not argue with him, since he was older, she was glad her father had settled the matter on her behalf.

With a deep breath to calm herself, Tamar heads down stairs, ignoring the sudden awareness of the inadequacy of her home. It was larger than most, yes, because of her father’s status, but it paled in comparison to Judah’s. Still, he and Er were there just to get her consent, nothing more. Then a date would be set and she would become the wife of Er, in the house of Judah.

Adara stops Tamar to make last minute adjustments to her hair.

“Remember what I told you,” her mother whispers, moving strands of hair back off her face to that the earrings are prominent. “Keep your head bowed in reverence…”

“I know.”

“And do not speak until you are spoken to.”

“I know.”

Adara stops fussing; with a knowing look and a sigh, she steps back to give Tamar entrance to the room where the men sit. Doing as her mother advised, Tamar lowers her gaze and makes her entrance. The men stop talking and she hears her father say, “There she is, my Tamar.”

She raises her head and makes eye contact, first with her father, then with Judah. He is a middle-aged man with a full beard and greying temples. She had seen him before in the marketplace and his expression always seemed to be a hard one. Not so today. There was a gleam in his eye and mirth in his smile.

“You were right, Chiyrah. She is quite a beauty. What say you, Er?”

Judah turns to Er, as does Tamar. Her breath catches as she takes in his beauty. Er is tall, much like his father. He has a lean body and sculptured physique. And his brown eyes are like pools of earth, reflecting the natural magnificence granted him by Ba’al Mot. Those eyes connect with hers and like Judah, there is a glow in them.

“She is beautiful.”

Tamar’s heart rate doubles and she can’t help but smile. She looks away as her face flushes.

“Ah, she is modest, too,” Judah comments. He rises, patting Chiyrah on the leg. “We will leave the two alone and await her decision.”

Judah and Chiyrah exit the room. Tamar remains standing, too embarrassed to look at Er, now that they were alone. She hears him stand and walk on over to her. Tamar can smell him – clean, earthy, masculine. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, intoxicated by his presence.

“So you believe we would make a good match?” he asks, playfully.

Realizing how she must appear, Tamar opens her eyes. She doesn’t even attempt to respond, her heart beating in her throat. His hand touches her chin and raises it so that she is looking up at him.

“Well, I think you might be right,” he says.

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