Tamar: Families' Values

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Another in the series "Not Your Grandma's Bible Stories. Here the young woman Tamar encounters so much drama in the new family she marries into that her story would do well as a modern day reality TV show.

Submitted: September 09, 2014

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Submitted: September 09, 2014

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~~ACT 1
SCENE 1
“Push Tamar, Push give me one more big Push…” the midwife demanded.
Look I know I’m not the prettiest sister, the most successful daughter or the sexiest wife but now I’m having my baby so everyone can just shut the hell up. I was so tired and fed up with everyone dictating my life and deciding what I could and should have. Everyone though they knew what was best for me but no one volunteered to help clean up the mess when the crap hit the fan. I, Tamar decided to take matters into my own hand, it almost cost me my life but it worked out and thank God Almighty I came out on top.
Honestly I love my parents but they are so blinded by tradition and protecting the family name that they’ll never know how much affliction their allegiance to those things inflicted on me. I won’t tell them either, because they will never see and they will never understand.
I am the last of five daughters and everyone agrees I’m the ugliest. My father often declared that I was my mother’s child because his sisters were all beautiful angels. In response my mother tried desperately to “adorn” me “Makeup is a girl’s best friend” she had sung ever since I was thirteen and old enough to marry. As a child my mother’s solution was to keep me indoors. The thing is I believed my parents and I hated myself, I hated mirrors and I hated my life. I so no point in retaliating when the neighborhood children taunted me with their refrain “A caterpillar you were born never a butterfly shall you be, as a duckling do you grow never a swan shall we see.”
For me the options were to be broken or to be made stronger so I toughened up quickly. I would be lying if I said it was easy. My parents I think gave up on finding me a husband. Since all of my sisters were successfully hitched my parents seemed content to have me hide away for the rest of my life. I guess it was my luck that no suitors ever came to petition them for my hand. It was also my good fortune that when a match was finally made it originated in hell and was notarized by the devil himself. Happy to get me out of the house my parents agreed that I would be wed to Er the son of a wealthy man called Judah. Why would he choose me I had wondered then but I soon came to realize that no one else would subject their child to this wicked man.

SCENE 2
Er was a habitual drunk and a violent man. He cheated his workers of their wages and had his debtors imprisoned for the smallest amounts. His cruelty knew no limits and his nastiness had no boundaries. He kicked and tortured animals in the streets and tormented young boys with his perversions in private. However the hammer of his anger pounded on me every night and for two years I endured his abuse. Like my parents before he forbid me to leave the house during the day. He called me names to terrible to repeat and beat me, with tree branches, if his meals were too hot or too cold or not how he liked them. His favourite past time was finding things to throw on me if I made the mistake of falling asleep before him at night. First it was water, then it escalated to hot coals out of the fire and finally one night he simply urinated all over me and laughed.
God does not sleep, for all of his drinking from such a young age made Er impotent. This infuriated him to no end but off course he blamed it on me. It was my fault that I was too stupid to bear a child so I was also whipped for this incompetency. I lived my life in fear of death for I expected it to embrace me at any time but God was merciful and took pity on my plight.
One night after much intoxication Er stumbled to the house weak and sick. The next day it got worse and for weeks he suffered. The doctors said there was nothing they could do so I took care of him as a faithful wife should. I confess those were the happiest times I ever shared with my husband. No, he never stopped cursing at me and blaming me for his demise but at least now I could peer out of the windows of my imprisonment without being chastised. With each day I took a step further out of my jail-cell of dread and with each day Er’s condition grew worse and engulfed him. He lost 85lbs and all his bodily functions gradually shut down. He wailed and he mourned as he wrestled with the pain but he never apologized nor did he repent. So Er died, a slow agonizing death.

SCENE 3
Foolish of me to think that Er’s death would mean my liberation. I can only explain to you as explained to me by my mother-in-law. The traditions dictated that since I bore Er no sons there was no one to obtain the inheritance that was due to him as the first born. Consequently there was no one to provide for me. He assured me however that the family took care of their own. The law provided that Er’s eldest un-married brother would marry me so we could produce and heir to receive the inheritance.
I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect for Onana, Er’s brother was never very fond of me and as Er was wicked so Onan was selfish and greedy. I was at least relieved that I wouldn’t be neglected in my old age or worse, have to return to my parents’ house to suffer humiliation. However Onan avoided me on our wedding night and thereafter whenever we had intercourse he pulled out when he was about to ejaculate. In fact he seem repulsed by the very idea of being intimate with me and his actions made me feel so small and unloved. Why did I have to endure so much I once questioned God? After a few months I learned that Onan had purposed not to produce offspring with me that would be attributed to his brother. He took many business trips I suspect to be away from me.
As Onan’s wife I was expected to attend to his every need but in return he showed no loyalty to me. Instead I was pushed into the realm of severe mental abuse. During the four years of marriage to Onan I often wondered when this family would start to take care of me. I didn’t cry when the news came one day that Onan had been robbed and murdered while away on business.

SCENE 4
No one in Judah’s house had the nerve to voice it but they all believed I was a curse to the continuation of the family’s bloodline. My father-in-law suggested that I should return to my parent’s house. He explained that Shelah his only remaining son was too young to marry but as soon as he was old enough he would send for me. One year turned into five but no word came. News came that my mother-in-law had passed but still they did not send for me.
I admit I began to get angry, all I had ever encountered from this family was hurt and distress. They made no apologies for how their sons had treated me and now they refused to stand by their word. I had suffered at their hands for over ten years and it seemed I would forever be at their mercy. Here I was almost thirty, twice a widow, childless and living with my parents and enduring their daily scrutiny of me.
Between the resentment I felt towards the house of Judah and the desire to get away from my parents’ constant nagging I decided to take matters into my own hands. When I heard that my father-in-law was going away on a business trip I changed into alluring clothes but I covered my face with a veil and waited along the way as a prostitute plying her trade. As I suspected he would, Judah approached me.
“I desire to have the pleasure of your company may I come into you tonight” he said.
“Yes I can take care of you,” I purred seductively. “But what can I expect in return?”
“I can give you a kid from my flock when I return.”
“But can you give me a guarantee until you send it?”
“What will you accept as security for tonight?”
“I can take whatever you have with you, your Seal, your ID bracelets and your walking stick will suffice.” I said sweetly.
“Done!” he declared immediately and we found a room for the night.
This was not how I had dreamed I would be impregnated but that night as my father-in- law made love to me I conceived. I got up and dressed before he awoke and I took his security with me.

SCENE 5
I was able to conceal my growing belly during the first trimester but eventually I began to show. My mother was livid and my father disowned me from the day he discovered my state, he refused to speak to me. My mother’s anger quickly turned to fear for my life if word got out. I recall the morning I was dragged out of my bed and taken half naked to the elders to answer for my crime of pregnancy outside of wedlock. My father-in-law had ordered my persecution and my punishment was to be burned to death. I remember my mother and sisters wailing and begging for my life as I was being led away in shackles.
While I awaited the execution of my sentence I pleaded with my mother to help me. I explained that it was the only chance I had to save myself and my unborn child so she nervously obliged. I asked her to take the Seal, ID bracelets and walking stick to Judah and explain that the owner of the items was the father of my baby. I assured her he would understand.
For the first time since we became family, Judah acted with nobility towards me. He acknowledge the items as his and declared that I was indeed a better person than he was. He had made a promise to allow Shelah to marry me and bear an heir but he deliberately did not. He believed his actions had forced me to take the course that I did.
“It’s twins, Oh my God, it’s two of them…” the midwife squealed excitedly!
Inspired by the Book of Genesis Chp38


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