Hi guys! This is my first published attempt at a short story, please go easy on me. I hope it’s worth reading though. Here’s to new beginnings!
Bones old and brittle,
Eyes, cold and unseeing,
Bits and pieces of me, formless and without substance.
Who will save me now?
It is the fall of the year 2000. The forest is alive with colours, the leaves are golden beneath my feet, the breeze is cool and soothing. The years have not been good to me, a wry smile almost reaches my eyes as I remember the days when I was happy, as blood flows to my face, the ache reminds me that my smiling muscles have not been used in ages. As I stare at my reflection in a tiny pool of water, I see that my once beautiful face has been ravaged by the thing called ‘life’. As if it was yesterday, I remember the day that my life changed. The memories haunt me day and night reminding me not to forget how fate changed the course of my life and altered my destiny.
It was summertime, the trees were in full bloom, the sun was blazing hot and the heat was unbearable. I am Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah. My parents are the best parents one could hope for, although I wish my father loved my mother a bit more than he loved my aunt Rachael. My family defines the word ‘dysfunctional’, but I suppose that there is no such thing as the perfect family. “Dinah!, where are you?”, that’s my father checking up on me, again, you would think that now that I’m 20 he would let up a little, “I’m coming, I replied.” My father and his sons liked to read and talk about the farm, play board games and discuss my betrothal on days like this. I, on the other hand would rather go into the city to see my friends. Sometimes being the only daughter sucks, although I always get what I want. Especially now that I have leverage, I have not forgiven my father for locking me up in a chest to prevent his brother Esau from marrying me at their dramatic reunion earlier that year.
My friends, Ruth and Naomi were going to teach me to how to make dresses from sheep skin, at least that was my excuse to escape the over protectiveness of our predominantly male clan. The only reason my father let me out of his sight was because he was still begging for my forgiveness. I also secretly craved attention from the men of the land, the kind my mother never had and no longer wished for. Then I saw him, or rather, I heard him, his voice was exactly as I imagined it would be, soft and sure and then he said my name, “Dinah, that’s your name right?”, I couldn’t think, my voice sounded foreign even to me, as my muddled brain formed the word “Yes.” I turned around to inspect the first male specimen that had ever given me any attention. He was as I had imagined he would be; fair, tall and broad chested, and he was speaking to me. “You are Ruth and Naomi’s friend, they just went to the fields to play”, ‘Oh!” I exhaled sharply. He must have seen the change in my countenance because then he suggested that I followed him home instead. I was powerless against his strong arms as he carried me against all protests, my father’s warning about the men of the land a distant echo.
The next few minutes were a blur. It happened so fast that even now the memory of that day is jagged and not quite together, I only remember that I felt violated and used, and when the tears began to flow, I saw nothing but compassion in his eyes. Then he said, “I am Shechem, son of Hamor, I shall make a respectable woman out of you and wed you.”
As do all bad things, the news spread like wildfire and all hell broke loose! I hadn’t been home since the incident and my brothers and father had finally found me after days of endlessly searching.
Suddenly, I realised that I didn’t want my time with him to end, sinful as it was. How naive little Dinah was. In a week-long flurry of activity and deliberations between both families, my fate was decided. The man called Shechem would be my husband. My mother had given me a lecture on how we would grow to love each other and birth many sons and daughters. It was just a rape and as the daughter of Jacob, it was my duty to forget. I remember wondering if Shechem would want me still, I had nothing to worry about, he came begging for my hand in marriage and promised to love me. I had found a man of integrity despite his caveman-like attributes, while I wished he hadn’t forced himself upon me, I know that Yahweh sometimes uses our bad experiences for our good, or at least I did.
The wedding was done in a hurry albeit protests from my brothers Simeon and Levi who had anger management problems and were a constant thorn in my father’s side. They insisted that Shechem and his clan be circumcised first. and to my surprise, they agreed and my fate was sealed. In spite of my misgivings and doubts, I was happy for a time, and then, I was not.