A Beautiful Love Story – Part One
Rebekah awoke like she did every morning, to the beginning rays of the sun peaking in her window. Was it morning already? she asked herself. Pulling herself up from her pallet she methodically dressed and started the morning chores that must be done before breakfast. She found her mother in the kitchen already hard at work. She would soon help her but first she needed to go down to the well to retrieve water. Lifting the empty water pitcher to her shoulder, she set off for the well down the hill.
The morning was crisp and beautiful, causing her to smile despite the prospect of a busy day. Her gait was steady and she listened to the birds singing their songs in the trees above. The path she followed was an old one, worn down by the many years of being tread upon. She had walked it all her life, as did many before her. It was her lot in life, she thought fondly, and then absent-mindedly, was that all she was allotted?
A few of the young women from the surrounding homes were already there. She waved to a friend and muttered good morning to a couple of others. Abigail, her childhood friend, was coming down the hill a few feet away and she called to her. Abigail waved back in reply and met her at the well. The two young women hugged each other and talked about everyday things. While Rebekah was filling her pitcher, Abigail suddenly asked her: “Did you hear about Hannah?”
Rebekah gave her an inquisitive look while lowering the bucket back into the well.
“Her father has promised her to Reuel, son of Rueben ben-Jair.”
Rebekah raised her eyebrows. “I’ve never thought of those two together before. What does she feel on the matter?”
Abigail squinted in the bright morning sun. “I can’t say for sure, but at least she will not want for anything. The family is a wealthy one, as you know. I might even think better off than her own.”
“Hmm, that’s good for her.” Rebekah turned thoughtful.
Abigail moved over to pour the contents of the now full bucket into her pitcher. “What are you thinking, Rebekah?”
“I was just thinking how nice it would be to marry a man who loved you before you married, not just after time had passed.”
Abigail smiled. “You mean like your parents. Well, sometimes it works that way, and then sometimes you just have to be happy with what your father chooses for you.”
Rebekah laughed. “That’s easy for you to say after your father promised you to Yusef. I know how you’ve liked him since you were a child, you can’t make me think otherwise.”
Abigail blushed. “What about you? Has your father turned his mind to such arrangements?”
“If he has, he hasn’t brought it to my attention. But Laban, on the other hand, has other ideas.”
Abigail twisted her face. “Your brother will have you married to an old man; rich and old.”
Rebekah just laughed. After a few more words, the two friends parted ways. They would possibly meet again later that evening to retrieve the water for the night.
Walking back up the hill, Rebekah thought about what her friend had said. How much longer would she be living here? Would her father really marry her off to some rich man? No, she smiled to herself, her father wanted more for her than just wealth. Then she remembered what Abigail had said about Laban. She was right, she knew. Laban loved her like a brother would but he always did have a love of wealth. His business methods had caused her father to gain more acclaim in his circles but then again she had never felt her father needed any help gaining respect from the townspeople.
She entered the kitchen door and immediately set to work helping with breakfast. But her thoughts were still on her and her friends conversation.