Miss Bathsheeeeebaaaa.” Bathsheba woke
up with a start. As she opened her eyes she saw Sarah staring down at her, a
bundle of clothes in her hands. “Miss Bathsheba, Elizabeth said to wake you up.
She needs to know if you need anything at the market before she leaves.”
Bathsheba sat up and stretched her back.
Elizabeth going to the market today? I told her she could rest today yesterday
morning.” Sarah shrugged her small shoulders as she dumped the clothes onto the
end of the bed. “We ran out of the fruit that she needed to make breakfast,”
she replied as she began to straighten out Bathsheba’s clothes for the day.
well she didn’t have to do that.” Bathsheba said as she got out of bed, “I’ll
go myself. Tell Elizabeth not to worry about it.” Sarah nodded dutifully and
quickly walked out of the room. Bathsheba hastily pulled off her silk tunic and
changed into the soft cotton inner tunic that was laid on her bed. She then
pulled on a multicolored outer tunic made of beautiful red, green, and gold
While she combed her hair out, she
heard someone barging through the door. She whirled around to see Elizabeth was
standing there, not looking the least bit happy. Bathsheba smiled and placed
her golden headdress snug on her head. “Good morning, Elizabeth,” she said as
she picked up her sandals.
is this about you going to the market instead of me,” Elizabeth huffed, her
arms folded across her heavy set body. Bathsheba sat on the bed to pull on her
sandals. “I said that you could have the
day off today,” Bathsheba replied as she tightened her straps, “I don’t mind
going to the market. I need the fresh air anyway. If you feel the need to do
anything it’s to make breakfast.” Bathsheba tied her belt around her waist and
pulled her cloak over her head. “You are excused.” she finished. Elizabeth looked like she wanted to argue but
instead she hesitantly left the room, muttering to herself. Bathsheba wrapped the cloak around her
shoulders before she too left the room.
Soon Bathsheba found herself in the
midst of a large mass of people moving to and fro about the market. To her right was a long line of shops selling
colorful fabrics and tunics for both men and women. To her left were stands
selling breads, pastries, and fruit of different variety. She took in the
smells and sights of the market place as she worked her way through the crowd. She
stopped at a booth selling large peaches and plums. Picking up a soft peach, she breathed in its
are these from?” she asked the owner.
smiled proudly and answered, “I grew them myself. I have a lot of land filled
with the most beautiful fruit trees, heavy with the ripest fruit.” he picked up
a plum. “Would you like one?”
Bathsheba answered as she reached
into her satchel. “Of course. How much is it?” The man grinned and handed the
plum to her. “For you, nothing.” Bathsheba blushed slightly as she took the
plum. “Well, thank you. But, I’d rather pay. It wouldn’t be right just to take
it.” she said. The man shrugged and named the price. Along with the plum,
Bathsheba bought four peaches to take home.
As she moved on to another stand,
Bathsheba heard running footsteps behind her and turned around just in time to
see two young boys running straight towards her. Each was clutching a small
melon in his hands.
“Stop!” the owner of the melons
called after them, “Stop you thieves!” The boys ran past Bathsheba, one
knocking the basket from her hands. The four peaches fell to the dusty ground
and rolled under a table. Bathsheba sighed and bent down to retrieve them.
“Here, let me help,” a familiar
voice said from behind her. She turned and saw a man standing behind her.
“Asher!” she cried, dropping the two peaches in
her hand. Asher was one of her best companions since she was a child. She had
been just as heartbroken as she was with Uriah when she heard he was going off
to war as well. She quickly wrapped her arms around him and gave him a tight
hug. He laughed and hugged her just as hard. When they finally separated
Bathsheba was still smiling. “What are you doing here?” she asked. Asher bent
down and retrieved her basket and peaches while he answered.
“A group of us were sent back to
accompany a soldier that was sent for by the King.” He handed her the basket. Bathsheba was
curious. “Who was summoned?” She could see his eyes smiling as he answered.
“Your husband, Uriah.”
Bathsheba dropped the basket again.
Asher looked at her amusingly as he reached for the basket again.
“Uriah…he…why,” she stuttered,
trying to find something to say. Her worst nightmare had finally come true.
When Uriah comes to their home, he will find out about the baby, about what she
did. The only thing she wanted to do right know was crawl into a hole and die.
She forced herself to respond. “Why was he called back?” she finally managed to
say. Asher shrugged.
“I have no idea. The king must have
something very important for him, to call him back in the thick of the war.”
“Well, um, thank you Asher,” she
stuttered, searching for words to say, “I’ll remember to make a nice welcoming
dinner for him. I must be going now.” She quickly turned around and walked briskly
towards her home.
“Elizabeth!” she called as she
entered through the front door. “Elizabeth, where are you?” Elizabeth appeared
in the doorway hold a bundle of clothing. “Yes ma’am?” she answered. Bathsheba
seized her arm and nearly dragged her up the stairs.
“Bathsheba what happened?”
Elizabeth asked as Bathsheba closed the door to her room. “Have I done
something wrong?” Bathsheba slowly sank onto her bed and covered her face.
“Uriah is back.” she mumbled
through her fingers. Elizabeth set the clothes down and sat by her. “How do you
know?” she asked.
“Asher told me. We talked in the
marketplace.” Bathsheba answered, sounding very depressed.
“This is good news, is it not? Why
are you so troubled?” Elizabeth looked puzzled. Bathsheba moved her hands to
her lap her eyes downcast. “It would have been good news, if I wasn’t
pregnant.” she said, tears forming in her eyes. Elizabeth was confused.
“But he will be happy that you are
with a child. You both have been hoping for this day for a long time.”
Bathsheba lifted her head and stared right at Elizabeth.
“The baby …he…it… doesn’t belong to
Uriah.” she said. A single tear fell down her face. Elizabeth’s hand
immediately came to her mouth. She looked up at Bathsheba. “Then…then whose is
it?” Bathsheba squeezed her eyes shut and put her head in her hands, letting
out a sob. She tried to control the flood of tears streaming down face. “Who is
it?!” Elizabeth shouted, shaking Bathsheba’s shoulders.
“King David!” she wailed, “The baby
belongs to King David!” Elizabeth froze.
Bathsheba looked up at her and saw anger mixed with disappointment in her eyes.
Elizabeth released her grip on Bathsheba and collapsed onto the thick
windowsill. She massaged her forehead and mumbled something to herself.
Bathsheba pulled her knees to her chin and watched Elizabeth as she rubbed her
temples. Bathsheba wished she knew what to do. After a deafening silence,
“The King?! Why would you do that Bathsheba?!”
she yelled, “You have a loving husband who cares for you no matter what and you do this…this
atrocity to him?! What were you
thinking? Do you know how quickly news
spreads in this town? Before the end of this week the entire city will hear of
this news!” she glared at Bathsheba and whispered, “You should be ashamed.” She
turned abruptly and stormed out the door, slamming it behind her.
Bathsheba fell back onto her bed
and let out a sob. She shook uncontrollably as she let her tears flow down her
cheeks onto the soft quilt.