I debated for a long time about posting this.
I asked for advice, and no-one would tell me to do it or not do it.
I decided to post it, but with a caveat. If you have issues with the book of Ezekiel, or Hosea, or a large percentage of Genesis, please do not click the ‘read more’ button.
Peace be upon you.
He found her by the side of the road. She was naked, bloody, bruised, and unconscious. He wrapped her in his jacket and took her to St. Luke’s, where they tended her until she awoke.
She remembered nothing.
He canceled his business trip and began caring for her. When she entered his home, it was as if everything was new to her. She found joy in the smallest things he gave her, from warm slippers to a piece of toast. He watched over her carefully and taught her how to do life. They had several mishaps with the stove; and there was that one time she had confused the sugar for the salt. But it was okay.
His friends did not understand why he spent all his time with this girl from nowhere. “Why couldn’t you leave her at the hospital?” they asked. “When are you going to come back?”
“She needs me,” was his only reply. And gradually, they left him for other, more interesting people.
She did not understand, either. She was obviously not profitable or helpful for him; she broke at least a dish a week. But when she asked, all he would say was, “It’s not a hardship.”
Gradually, she realized that he was saying, “I love you.” when he said those words.
And ever so slowly, she realized she loved him back.
The day she told him, she asked one question: “What is my name?”
And he replied: Tirzah.
Their wedding was in spring. It was small; only his closest friends and a few girls she had met since he found her.
It was beautiful.
She was wrapped in white, and she glowed like the morning. He had eyes only for her. They promised to love each other ’til death do us part,’ and there were tears and joy.
And they were happy.
After a year, he began to notice a change in her. She sighed often, and looked out the windows at men passing by. She did not delight in his gifts anymore, and she did not seek for his touch.
He watched, and he grieved.
It was their first anniversary when he first caught her with another man.
She apologized, and begged for him to forgive her, and he did.
For nine years.
Until she stopped asking. It came to a head when he found her wedding ring in a pawnshop, where she had sold it in order to give a gift to one of her lovers.
He confronted her with it. She blew up. “How dare you accuse me? What have I done that is so wrong?”
He listened impassively, and when she wound down, he replied. “I love you.”
She snapped back, “How have you loved me?”
Ignoring her, he continued, “You do not love me. You are robbing me, and by extension yourself.”
Pale with fury, she responded with a tightly controlled voice, “Figured it out, have you? What have you ever done for me? Why should I love you?”
He said nothing.
Furiously, she began packing. The clothing he had given her, the jewelry that he had adorned her with, the suitcases he had gotten for their trip to Hawaii. He did nothing to help her as she loaded it in the car he had given her for this past Christmas. As she climbed in, he said one last thing.
“If you come back to me, then I will be waiting.”
She ignored him.
And drove off.
There is a house by the sea. In that house sits a man, alone. Every year on their anniversary, he calls her again.
She has not answered yet.
In a city, a girl sells herself daily. She is bruised and old beyond her years. Every year, he calls her again.
She has not answered yet.
He was driving down the road when he saw her again.
She was naked, bloody, bruised, and unconscious. He wrapped her in his jacket and took her to St. Luke’s, where they tended her until she awoke.
And he took her home.