Love Lifted Me
Elaheh’s brothers are lazy and controlling…
When Elaheh’s parents die, she is devastated, especially when her brothers seem to not care at all. They slowly make her help them more and more in the vineyard until she is finally forced to do all of the work plus keeping the house clean and food ready.
When Prince Solomon comes to town to hear from the people, Elaheh talks to him to see if there is anything they can do. Solomon feels bad for Elaheh and searches for weeks to find something, but can’t. So he comes up with a plan.
Will Solomon be able to rescue Elaheh from her lazy brothers? Will Elaheh survive all the work she is forced to do? Can true love come to humble foreigner like Elaheh?
Inspired by Cinderella and Song of Solomon
In This Series...
Elaheh knelt beside the mat and wailed. Two days. That’s how long Mother lived after Father died. Their gods were powerless. This God of the Jews had to be better. He had to or she would not be able to survive losing her parents so close together.
Her brothers burst into the small home.
“What is the matter?”
“Did someone accost you?”
She swiped the tears off her face. “Mother is dead.” She tried to keep the grief out of her voice but failed.
“Oh, is that all?” Joab asked.
Elaheh clenched her fist. “She is your mother, too. How can you say that? Don’t you love her even a little?”
Joab shrugged. “She’s just another woman in the house. Emotional about everything, fussing over every detail, and keeping us fed. You can do all those things, so it doesn’t matter.”
She turned to Ram, hoping against hope to find an ally.
Ram stared at their mother’s motionless form. “You should take care of the body before it starts smelling. The heat will bring out the stench quickly.”
Elaheh’s ears pounded, her breath came in short gasps, and the edges of her vision clouded. “Leave,” she stated through clenched teeth. “Get out of the house. And don’t expect any food tonight. Not if I have to do all the preparations for Mother.”
“What is there to prepare?” Joab asked. “We only need a fire hot enough—”
She took two steps forward and got directly in his face. “We live in Israel now. They do not allow the burning of humans. We will follow their traditions just as we did with Father two days ago. If you don’t mind, find the priest and ask him to come here.”
Ram scurried toward the door. “I’ll go.”
Joab held her eye contact a bit longer and then looked away. “Make sure we have something to eat tonight or you will be the one to suffer for it.”
Elaheh watched him leave, disgust replacing her anger. What did Joab think he could do to her? Food was the last thing she would be able to think about today.
She directed her disgust and anger toward her work and used the energy to prepare her mother for burial. By the time the priest arrived, her mother was dressed and spiced.
She gasped. “The mourners! I forgot to find—”
Rabbi Zadok put a hand on her shoulder. “Hush, child. I took the liberty to gather some for you. You are new to our customs and I thought a little assistance would be fitting.”
Tears sprang to Elaheh’s eyes and she covered her face with her hands. “Thank you, Rabbi.”
The priest guided her to the door. “Come. We must wait for the mourners. Will your brothers be joining us?”
She removed her hands from her face, shamelessly letting the tears stream down her cheeks. “I don’t know.”
Movement to her left caught her attention. A woman hurried down the road to her. Elaheh barely had time to realize the woman was the town healer, Rina, before Rina threw her arms around Elaheh.
“I just heard. I am so sorry. Your ema was a wonderful woman and will be dearly missed.” She let go of Elaheh. “Is there anything I can help with?”
Elaheh swallowed past the lump in her throat. “Thank you for the offer, but I don’t think so.”
The mourners arrived and soon Elaheh’s mind stopped processing. She knew Rina stayed beside her the whole time and the mourners wailed and wept appropriately. But all else blurred in her mind as her grief and anger mingled, causing her to lose focus of her surroundings.
She vaguely felt herself being led away from her mother and fought the arm fastened to hers, but the woman held tight. A shadow fell over her and she realized suddenly she was home.
What happened after that Elaheh would never be able to say. All she knew was that at some point her brothers showed up and they all ate a meal together. A meal she had not prepared. But then, who had made it?
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