Estelle and Robert: To Know Him

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 21 (v.1) - Trouble the Water

Submitted: July 23, 2019

Reads: 18

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Submitted: July 23, 2019

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There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market, Bethesda, a pool with five porches. On these porches lay multitudes of impotent people. Sick, blind, crippled, they waited expectantly for the moving of the water.

Water, even still water, moves. A trembling in the earth causes shaking in the water. A gusty wind produces ripples. Falling rain causes splattering, coaxing beads to jump.

But this was different. It was no ordinary movement in the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: and whosoever first entered the water, was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

Noam grimaced, the pain shooting through him for the fourth time that hour, his eyes glazed with pain as he rolled his head away from the water. It wouldn't be today, either. Thirty-eight years of sickness, none could cure. Twenty-one years lying in the same spot, same scenery. Same excruciating pain, sometimes dull, a throb, just to let him know the sickness remained, sometimes sharp enough to take his breath away. Today was a bad day.

Each person lying there was alone in their misery. Once in a while a small conversation of "Maybe it's today," would arise, but by and large even the community of ill were uncaring towards each other. If it were not obvious by the lack of sympathy and support... but really, what was to be expected? they all were sick and in pain, when the water was troubled, tripping each other up to be the first to enter the pool showed the callousness. Illness, prolonged, especially, has a way of doing that. Hardening hearts. "Me first".

 

Could they be blamed?

Once in a while, a long lost relative would come by. If they were fortunate enough, that would be the day, desperation plus the aid of the family member would push that final sprint for the water. Only one would be healed.

Robert loitered around Bethesda, his eyes scanning the sickly. His hands clutched the game he'd learned in school, they suggesting the students to find even a playing companion with the elderly. How their eyes shone around the youth, their youth seeming to revive. Besides, it helped with their loneliness.

Robert had a hard time fitting in with youth his age. He has one or two companions in the schoolyard but preferred being by himself. He, much like his mother, struggled with social situations, not knowing what to do. A one-on-one was his best option. He had followed his classmates out to find someone to visit with as an extracurricular activity, but seeing how many there were already participating with the others, he decided to find someone at Bethesda. Just not too sickly.

He stared at the cripples. His mother had told him it wasn't polite, but Mavy wasn't there today to remind him. It would be his best option. They weren't contagious, and besides, maybe they'd welcome a distraction. Plus, they wouldn't likely turn him away. He knew about the angel troubling the water, he would be happy to lend a hand to get to the water in time. But... what if he fell in? Would that count? Would he be cured of growing pains? It seemed almost a waste of water. He'd have to be extra careful. He played spy enough to know how to be careful. He'd put his games to good use.

 


© Copyright 2019 Jessica Goyette. All rights reserved.

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