By Mugethi Gitau
Part 1: Hadassah
They call me “Curly Reed”. For I am tall for my age, very thin and have a big ol’ mop of curly hair! My name is Hadassah. I am 8 years old. I am the only child of my beloved parents Mr. and Mrs. Abihail.
My cousin likes to play with dolls! Those are soo last year! Not me! I love to read. Reading is awesome! It takes me to places I’ve never been. I especially love the story of the princess and the valiant knight in shining armor! I can’t wait to grow up and meet my very own prince!
I know he’s out there.
My mom complains that I read way too much. Is that even possible? Well sometimes I read a few lines as I walk, slowly. And have made several attempts to bring a book to the dinner table…. Mh, but what does she know, anyways?
It’s my 12th birthday.
I am dressed in all black today. My head is covered in a black veil. I sit in the synagogue and listen to the Rabbi chant the last rites over the 2 bodies in the front. I cannot accept who they are. My mom and dad. Gone. I feel hollow inside. All the womenfolk and some of the menfolk are weeping. One particular lady I can’t quite place is wailing loudly. I can’t cry.
My cousin Mordecai has been by my side all along. He’s older. Married and all with an adorable baby boy. He takes my hand and says simply, “come”.
It’s my 22nd birthday.
The whole of Shushan is rife with word of the outrageous thing that Queen Vashti has done! Oh My God!
“Is she crazy?” I ask my cousin, Mordecai’s wife.
“She was summoned by King Xerxes during the Feast and refused to go? And he had international guests and all! That girl is on a suicide mission! Seriously! Some people don’t even appreciate what they got! Some of us are just dying to visit the palace one time!” I shook my head.
“Girl! What are you talking about with your hard headed self? ”
Mordecai’s wife is sassy.
“You know you have had a line of suitors from here to Jerusalem and have refused each one!”
“I am waiting for Prince Charming!” I said, giving her my best haughty look. We both broke out in giggles.
“Cousin Mordecai are you kidding me? You want me to do what???!!!”
”You heard me Hadassah. Pack your bags for the palace tomorrow. The King has requested for young beautiful maidens to be brought before him. He wants to choose another queen”
“Oh! So you want to parade me there like a piece of meat! What the hell Morde! I am a human being! I need some air.” I said, stepping out.
Inspired by the Book of Esther: 2
I began writing this story on Sat, 19th Nov 2011. I had been reading the book of Esther for the umpteenth time. But this time I was inspired to write HER story. So as I sat in a church in town waiting for my friend to come over so we could go somewhere… The story just poured out of me.