Bathsheba slipped outside into the cool night and closed the
door softly behind her. With her cloak wrapped tightly around her, Bathsheba
briskly walked down the cobblestone street. The pale moon lit up her path as
she made her way up to a certain home. She stopped at every corner and peeked
around before she continued on. Finally
she came to a small house very near the kings’ palace. She knocked on it lightly. A
woman about her age opened the door just enough to peak her head through.
“Bathsheba?” she hissed, “What are you doing here? It’s
the middle of the night!”
“Leah,” she whispered, “is Asher here? I must speak with him
at once.” Leah, Asher’s wife, quickly
opened the door wider and ushered her in. She led Bathsheba to a small table where
the two women sat down.
“We must whisper. Ethan and Joanna are
sleeping in the next room.” she said, referring to her young son and daughter.
Bathsheba nodded and in a soft voice repeated, “Is Asher here?”
Leah shook her head. “He was invited to the palace for a
dinner and has been gone for almost three hours.” Bathsheba slumped back in her
seat. “Did you need him?” Leah asked leaning forward. “Bathsheba is something
Bathsheba shook her head and tried to smile. “I just needed
to ask him something is all.” she replied. At that moment, the door creaked
open and Asher stumbled in, looking very tired. Leah immediately jumped up and
greeted him. “Asher, my love, how did the dinner with the king go?” Asher sat down in the seat that Leah had just
vacated before he answered.
“It was more of a celebration than a dinner if you ask me.”
he said wearily, accepting a cup of water from Leah and took a long drink before he continued. “There was loud music, impressive gold and
silver, plenty of food and wine. Oh,” he looked at Bathsheba, “and Uriah was
there.” Bathsheba’s heart stopped.
“What was he doing?” she asked, hiding her hands under the
table so that no one could see them trembling.
Asher sat back in his chair. “The same as everyone else.” he
answered, “Eating, dancing, especially drinking. I think King David offered him
more wine than all of the men combined.”
Leah pulled up another chair and sat down. “I’ve never known
Uriah to drink heavily.” she said.
Asher shrugged. “Maybe he is trying to blot out the horrors
of this war just like the rest of us.” He mused. “All I know is that he is still there. King David told
him to go home over an hour ago to be with you, Bathsheba, but he insisted on
staying at the palace to sleep at the door of the king’s house with the king’s
Bathsheba almost let out a sigh of relief. “Do you mean that
he isn’t coming home at all?” she asked, fingering her smooth hair.
Asher shook his head. “Doesn’t look like it. He said it
wouldn’t be fair to go home to his wife while the ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents and
Joab and his servants slept in open fields.” Bathsheba smiled faintly. That
sounded exactly like the Uriah she knew. He was always thinking about others;
so unselfish and kind. Leah stood up and
took Asher’s cup to the water bin. “Well, perhaps he will come back home
tomorrow.” she said, washing out the cup. “Surely he wants to see you before he
leaves again.” Bathsheba nodded and rose from her chair.
“Yes, perhaps. I thank you for welcoming me into your home,” she said, “I
will allow you to rest now.” She reached to open the door.
“Wait,” Asher said, rising from his chair as well. “Let me
walk you back to your home. It is too late for you to go back alone.”
Bathsheba looked at Leah.
“You don’t mind?” she asked.
Leah smiled and shook her head. “Of course not. I never mind my husband
helping anyone. Especially since he doesn’t do it often enough.” The couple
shared a knowing smile. Bathsheba felt a pang of jealously stab her heart.
Seeing the affection that Asher and Leah shared only reminded her that she
would never have that same fondness for Uriah-ever. Bathsheba quickly turned
and opened the door. A warm breeze blew into the room. “Goodbye, Leah,” she
said to her friend. She walked out into the night, Asher following close
“Bathsheba, is something wrong?” he asked, catching up to
her. Bathsheba shook her head and wrapped her cloak tighter around her.
“It’s nothing,” she replied, “I suppose I’m just tired. It’s
been a long day.”
Asher frowned. “I noticed that you seemed troubled at my
house. Is there anything I can do to help?”
heavily and brushed away a tendril of hair that fell on her face. “It…its nothing,” she said, “Nothing that I
can talk about.” She felt her throat clog up and tears form in her eyes. Asher
stopped walking, forcing Bathsheba to stop with him.
“Is this about Uriah?” he asked. She could she worry in his
eyes. She hesitated, then nodded and bit her lip, trying to hold back the tears
that threatened to flow. “Bathsheba,” he said, concern filling his voice, “What
is the matter?” She couldn’t hold it back anymore. All of the thoughts and
emotions that she had been feeling over the past few days came rushing back to
her mind. She let out a sob and fell against Asher. Before she knew it, the
whole story tumbled out. What happened with her and King David, the letter she
received from him, her talk with Elizabeth. She shook uncontrollably, tears
flowing freely down her cheeks. Asher held her
tightly while she explained everything that happened.
“So that’s why I came to your home.” she finished, wiping
away tears from her face, “I wanted to know what he was doing, whether or not
he’d come home. Ever since I got that letter from King David, my life started
spiraling downward. I still love Uriah,
but I don’t want to ever see him again because of what I did.” A fresh flow of
tears fell down her cheeks. “Oh Asher,” she sobbed, “I don’t know what to
Asher held her tightly and smooth down her hair. They were
both silent for a while. Finally, Asher spoke up. “Bathsheba,” he said with tenderness that
only Uriah could beat, “you are one of my best friends. May I speak freely with you?” Bathsheba nodded. Asher was silent for a moment, searching for words to say.
“You have sinned.” he began, “I know you understand this, for if you
didn’t then you would not be feeling the way you do now.” Bathsheba sighed and
nodded again. Asher continued.
“The only thing for you to do know is tell Uriah what you
have done. Confess your sin to him.” Bathsheba jerked away from him with
fearful eyes and backed up away.
“Oh, no Asher!” she exclaimed, “Don’t make me do that. I
can’t, I just can’t!” She buried her head into her hands. Asher put both hands
on her shoulders. “Bathsheba, look at me.” She lifted her head. “No matter what
you do, you sin will surely find you out. I suggest that you tell now, before
Uriah finds out a different way.”
Bathsheba continued to shake her
head. “I just can’t. It hurts too much!” she said quietly. Asher stared straight into her eyes. “If you
won’t tell him,” he paused. “Then someone else will.” Bathsheba stared at him in shock.
“Asher you…you wouldn’t.” she stuttered. Asher looked away.
“It would be for your own good Bathsheba.” he said. Bathsheba shoved him away
and backed up.
“For my own good?”
she said with a voice of disgusted. “Do you think that if I tell then everyone
will just forgive me and go on with life? Asher, do you know what I would go
through if this secret got out? Uriah will
divorce me, and I’ll be known as a harlot and a prostitute all throughout the
city of Jerusalem. My mother and father
will find out about what I did and they will disown me. I’ll be an outcast for
the rest of my life with no one to talk to, no one who understands me, and no
one to love me. How could you say that
this would be for my own good?” She
stared at him, waiting angrily for his answer.
Asher tried to reach out to touch her but she jerked away.
“Bathsheba-“he started to say.
“Go away, Asher! If you won’t help me then just go back to
your perfect little family and leave me alone.”
“I’m trying to help Bathsheba. That’s why I’m doing this.
Sometimes helping someone means telling them that they are wrong, even if it
“Well guess what Asher? It’s not possible to hurt me and still keep me as a friend so you
have to choose one or the other. You can’t have both.” She turned around and
glared at nothing.
Asher started to say something, but instead he let out a deep
breath walked away slowly. Bathsheba knew that what she said hurt, but she
didn’t care. She waited until his footsteps sounded farther away before she
dashed home. She ran through the cobblestone street and up the small path that
led to her home. Bursting through the
door, she thundered up the stairs to her room. Slamming the door behind her,
Bathsheba threw herself onto her bed and let out angry sobs. She clutched her
quilt and let the tears flow freely down her cheeks and onto her pillow.
The faint light from
the moon shined into Bathsheba’s room. While she watched, the light slowly
faded as the moon was covered by large clouds. Suddenly, she felt something
change within herself. It was as if the
light from her heart was clouded over by a heavy gloom. She felt almost
transformed, from a cheerful spirited woman to one filled with sorrow, regret,
I won’t tell, she thought, gripping the quilt
tighter, no one knows now except
Elizabeth and Asher. They are my friends; I know they won’t give me away. I
don’t care what Asher says. He doesn’t have enough sense to tell. No one does.