Write My Story (Chapter Five)
The weather is hot as it always is in the desert. Dinah with a plan cooking in her head after leaving Joseph by the creak enters her mother’s tent. Leah is resting with her face away from the entrance. Dinah moves slowly so she would not wake her mother up or be asked questions. She picks up her newly sown dress and quickly walks toward the handmaid’s tent.
The entrance to the handmaid’s tent is open, but what Dinah had planned needed only a few ears knowing what it was. She crouches by the flap, behind the entrance and calls out quietly to the handmaids, hoping one of them would be by the door and be able to hear her.
“Bashemath …. Bashemath…” she says in a loud whisper.
The handmaids are busy regaling each other of their adventures. Adah one of the youngest of all concludes her story.
“…he picked them up and screamed!” the handmaids laughed aloud. Dinah did not understand why matured women would gather together, picking chaff from the wheat brought in the men and tell jokes all day and be comfortable with it. Dinah could hear Timna’s voice loud and clear this time around and as she thinks about it, decides Timna is a better option.
“…serves him right!” Timna says with a bubbly voice.
“Oh…. You can say that again” and that was Bashemath’s voice, louder than every other person who had spoken earlier. If only she could reduce her voice so she can hear that her mistress’ daughter needs her and is being sun-burned by her tent!
Dinah is getting tired in her position, and also losing patience with the handmaids. If she gets really tired from crouching in the heat, she could storm inside and drag one of them out, but doing that would put all the handmaids in danger as they would become her accomplice or they might run back to inform her mother. The heat from the sandy desert floor breathed from below, Dinah tries giving up on her plan that has not begun rolling – she wished she could do it without handmaids to help.
Let me hope Timna responds quickly.
“Timna …. Timna ……… Timna…..” she tries one more time.
Who knew trying to lure someone could be so stressful?
Maybe chance happened but in between the space of discussion going on, Timna hears Dinah’s subsequent call and decides to step out to confirm if she was truly hearing stuffs. “You know what? I’ll be right back. I need to check something out.”
“Oh… what could that be?” Bashemath says as she regains her composure. She is a big boned handmaiden who consciously carries herself like a woman with high standards. She tries, but cannot hide her true nature – loud and slow.
“High and mighty. Must you know?” Adah says without malice, then she winks at Timna, “Timna, please make it snappy, so we can go and wash by the creek and look at those lovely women of Canaan land.”
“No problem.” Timna says as she drops the wheat she was picking, “see you soon.” She calls out as she walks out of the tent. She walks towards Dinah who is hiding in the shadows but does not see her. Dinah is already dozing off in her hiding spot and wakes when she hears footsteps approaching her.
“Where is this little one?” Timna says as she makes a move to leave the spot Dinah was hiding. “She calls to you one minute and disappears the next.
“I’m here,” Dinah whispers loudly from behind the store tent as Timna looks around and confused. “Over here Timna.”
Dinah was already sleeping and had moved her position from the entrance of the handmaid’s tent to the store tent beside it. It was cooler and provided more shade from the harsh desert weather.
Timna sights her and moves into the shade from the harsh desert sun.
“I have been calling Bashemath for a while, but trust her mouth to talk louder than she can hear.” Dinah says, then she asks, “Did you tell anyone I was the one calling you?”
Always one to feel ahead of everyone which she is anyways as she is one of the youngest, Timna smiles knowingly as she responds, “You know me better than that. What is wrong? What are you up to?”
“I want to go for a walk.”
Timna knows that Dinah can take a walk without help and she sighting the new dress Dinah is clutching to makes her look suspicious. Timna might be a handmaid, but she is not foolish, neither is she slow.
“So?” Timna says in a rude manner, which was no way to talk to her masters’ daughter no matter how naughty she has been.
“So what? Talk with respect Timna!” Dinah says in her most matured voice.
“So why do you need me? You can walk around here without help.” Timna responds.
“And did I tell you I was walking around here?” Dinah smiles naughtily and then proceeds to dance around.
Curious now, Timna presses, “What is it? Tell me.”
Dinah stops dancing in the small space when she notices Timna looking tired of waiting so she decides to let it out. “I am going to see the daughter of this land!”
She watches as Timna, dumbstruck, mouths “Uh!”
“Yes! I am”
“Did master Jacob sen-tell you to?”
“Oh no, filly, I made up my mind to do it for us.”
“Why would you?”
Dinah whispers excitedly as she continues her happy dance. “I want to introduce them to our God and after that, dad would allow us to mix with them and we can have so many choices in picking friends and mates!”
“Hmm … what about the remarks we’ve heard about them being stony hearted? And giving into pleasures that are not right?
Tired of the 1001 questions, Dinah goes ahead to answer, “Don’t worry my handmaid, God has it all in covered, they cannot kill us. Neither are we going for their festivals.” She just needs someone to follow her.
“I think I am beginning to see sense with you,” Timna says as she brightens up. Dinah could see her smart head making the calculations. “You know Master Jacob would soon be back before the rest, I guess we head out now.”
Dinah smiles in response as she pushes her dress to Timna’s chest in excitement, “No wonder God allowed you to listen to me instead of that loud Bashemath. What a sharp mind you’ve got.”
Timna accepts the dress as she raises her head as if in prayer, imagining aloud. “When we merge, I won’t have to deal with the foolishness of the other handmaids. I would make the acquaintance of wise ones.”
“Let’s head out then!”
Dinah is giddy and anxious. She barely stands still as Timna helps her don her garment. Timna keeps talking about how her life would change and if possible she might find a man worthy of her. Dinah’s velvet gown is complete with cape. The dark shade of the gown complements her skin. Timna leaves her to get a veil for herself from the handmaid’s tent and they both silently move out of their dwelling and progressed into the city of Shechem.
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