Greetings! Vacation was awesome, but of course I can’t discuss it, because it was Vegas and you know what they say… In any case, I am glad to be back in my routine (though the jet lag is still working on me) and happy to post the next installment of The Pledge. As always, thanks for stopping by my blog and you can click here to read the story (first draft) from the beginning. 

* * *

The words echo in her mind: I’m sure you will find a way to make that happen for Er. It was unfair of Alit to make such a statement when she didn’t know the whole situation. But maybe she did and that’s why she said it. Regardless of her motivation, Tamar was just as stuck – how was she to manipulate her husband into sleeping with her?

Helping Alit’s servant, she picks up a bowl of fruit and follows her into the main room where Judah, Er, Onan and Shelah sit. Then men of the house of Judah. Well, most of them. Shelah was still a boy, but he was a member of the house and so, partook in his father’s dealings. Er makes no eye contact as she sets the bowl in front of him. Tamar keeps her head bowed, as her mother taught her and turns around, disappointed – only to face Alit’s silent glare, encouraging her to go back.

No, encouragement would have looked more…encouraging, more loving. Alit was pushing her for her own gain. And Tamar could not aught but follow, or suffer her wrath.

She turns around, her heart beating so loudly she is certain Er can hear her. But again, he doesn’t even look at her. How was she going to get his attention? Women didn’t sit with men when they discussed business. They took their meals with the children and servants away from them. That’s what honest women did. Prostitutes, on the other hand, were there for the pleasure of the men.

The thought repulses her. Was that what the other women did when Er visited with them?

And Judah? Isn’t that what Er had said – his father had had more women than he had. Tamar takes in the older man. Still handsome as Alit had said, but did he cavort with other women when he had Alit at home, waiting for him?

Tamar feels slight push on her shoulder and without turning around, knows it’s Alit. She takes a step towards Er, her heart still beating hard. Another step and she notes the beer jug on the table.

Go to him, not as a prostitute, but as his wife, seeing to his need. Because that’s what wives do, she tells herself as she picks it up. Holding it with both hands, she approaches Er and clears her throat. Apprehension had filled her and she couldn’t help but wonder when she became afraid of her husband.

“More beer, husband?” Tamar says, her voice, quivering.

He waves her away without a glance.

She sets the jug down, but doesn’t move, knowing Alit is still behind her.

“Would you like some figs?”

“No.”

His tone is curt.

She sighs. Why was she even there? This was pointless.

“Perhaps…”

Er turns to her now, annoyed.

“Did you not hear me, woman? I don’t want anything. Now go.”

Tamar’s face begins to warm with embarrassment. She realizes it’s not just him glaring at her, but Judah, Onan and Shelah as well. Her mind grows dim and all she can think about is leaving. With a quick turn, she exits the room, the sound of their laughter following her.

 

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