Historical Setting 561 C.E.
Ezra continues his story. “We are only family again because Eve was so patient in bringing me through my selfish thoughts and fears. In my mind I could tell myself the horrific visage was indeed my beautiful little sister, twisted and re-formed by hard pits of pox scars. But were I to accept her, the actual monster of the rumors as my beloved sibling I would need to dismiss my own ignorant howls of fear simply to save my honor. Others would righteously excuse me from my rebuke of her if I claimed this was no sister of mine but a cruel hoax of a demon. Throughout my thoughts of abandoning her again she simply held my hand and begged me not to look at her face while we talked. I could do that. We were alone in the garden. I didn’t have to account to anyone but her for my fears.
“And so we talked.
“It was no different than when we had last talked in the shadows of a rainy day, two children on straw mats lying side-by-side in the healing place where we had been delivered to grasp onto one more thread of life. We shared our hopes to see our father again, and even our mother if there were a heaven and we would be there.
“Then a priest came. He spoke to the hag outside; then she came to us and touched us each for fever and pronounced us well. She told Eve they could only use a boy because the work was tending vineyards. I just felt proud and chosen as I marched out of there with the priest. I could hear Eve crying out to me not to leave her alone, and the hag comforting her – ‘you will be fine.’ ”
“And now here was Eve again, Enola, all grown up and changed, but still begging me not to leave her alone. How could I? I helped her gather the starts for her new garden and took her with me in my cart.
“My new wife was horrified.”
(Come again tomorrow.)