Yahweh said He would command His angels to guard me carefully, they would lift me up in their hands lest I strike my foot against a stone. I feel like I’m no longer on the edge of an abyss but falling to the dangerous depths of what lies beyond the precipice, wondering if it’s too late for redemption and welcoming the dark cloak of depression to surround and insulate me from reality. I keep trying to understand why He would allow such evil befall me. I was the perfect daughter, always doing as I was told. I am no longer Dinah, daughter of Jacob but for centuries to come I will simply be called ‘the Canaanite woman.’
I remember feeling nauseous, the trepidation of facing the unknown almost too much to bear. I had dreamed of my wedding day since I was a little girl. I had imagined and sorted out every little detail in my head till I had my picture perfect wedding; of a 100 white roses, of my flowing white wedding dress which my mother Leah would make, of my white and gold theme, and of a 100 guests who would grace the occasion in the sloping valley of Tibeh which was graced with the most beautiful lilies ever. In my dreams, my groom was tall, fair and faceless, yet I was sure he would be handsome.
I would be pure and untouched till that night which most girls secretly wondered about and mothers spoke about in hushed tones. This was not to be, there would be no dream wedding, no roses, no guests and no lilies. Ours would just be me in a not-so-white gown, no ball, and no train, with a veil so thick I could barely see my own hand, so thick that I would have to walk assisted by my Father. Then, we would face the judge of Canaan, backs turned to one another and say our vows as was the custom for tainted women like me, afterwards, he would lift my veil and kiss me on the cheek. Shechem said his vows, I said mine, mostly for lack of any choice than anything else and then it was over soon after it begun and everything had worked out as we had rehearsed. Then he lifted my veil and bent to kiss me. Nothing prepared me for the nightmare that was my life as it unfolded before my eyes, I realised that I was staring into Simon’s eyes, my mother and father looking on as witnesses.
Someone was screaming, high pitched shrieking that was driving me crazy and my last thought was that the voice sounded like mine, even as I crumbled to the floor beneath me.
I had just married my brother, and my life just ended
He killed them, all of them, for me, he said, and convinced our father to let him marry me, this was incest I screamed, but too late, I was reminded, the vows had been said. Yahweh hated divorce, and it was my duty to obey Him. I hated my family and I would never forgive them, with Shechem, I stood a chance at least, a chance at love perhaps,now, I was married to Simon, son of Jacob in whose heart anger always ruled above reason.
After the debacle that was my wedding, I retired to my room alone. There would be no wedding night, I vowed that I would never let my own brother take me to bed, so we slept in separate rooms as we would for the rest of our lives. I was just glad I survived the day. I slept fitfully that night, events of that day plaguing my mind and depriving me of sleep as I plotted my escape.
He would take other wives, and I would be stuck in a loveless marriage for the rest of my life, unless I killed him first.