ZOE. (The missing Seal)
Written by Amah’s Heart.
“…No human being should live like this, especially not a young soul who is being forced into brutality, and harsh environments all in the name of marriage. look at the bruises on your face… you mean he did all this to you? this isn’t fair….at all
” I will be fine Hadar, I’m learning what endurance truly means. Father will never want me back no matter the condition, he will tell me to go and make Kuwe to love me and treat me right. But in truth, love, care, mercy, forgiveness, cheer is never in Kuwe’s dictionary. He lacks human feeling Hadar. Lord Amos can’t always save me, Kuwe will always want to have his way and he has the shoulder of his mother who is always in support. Well, who am I to even complain..
Hadar who has come to visit after a long while, shakes her head pathetically.
She stared at Zoe, her heart twisted in disgust to the forced marriage and in pity for the poor child going through so much at a tender age.
Watching Zoe weep was like a salt on an open wound.
Hadar wished she can take her away from such environment but she can’t do such.
“How is mother, my brothers and sister and also father. I really miss home…do they really miss me at all.
Zoe asked looking at her dry torn hands. A wound she sustained from the wheat field, Samar has said she must pull out the over grown weed with her bare hands instead of a wheat hoe. Just to display how strong she was.
The sharp grass has cut deep into her hands which caused bleeding until Alia came to assist her.
” Everyone back home really don’t care much, they have all moved on with the belief that you are enjoying wealth in your husband’s home. But I do miss you everyday. Your father refused me coming all this while, he said I should give you several months to settle in before visiting. Zoe, I’m sorry you are subjected to all this. I pray the God of heaven will redeem you from Kuwe. He will change him for good. Be brave, be wise and don’t continue to let him treat you as garbage, only you have the power to save yourself. Your father or Lord Amos are too caught up in their own affairs. They can not save you… please Zoe, don’t allow him to kill you. Because at the end nobody will care much while you rot away in the grave. May the true God of the land not let any much harm come to you…
Zoe did not say anything as Hadar speak with sadness and pain in her voice.
Tears glitters in her eyes.
Zoe was certain that Hadar is ready to do anything for her if the power was within her reach.
She changed the topic and they talked about home and many other things.
When Hadar wanted to leave Zoe begged her to stay longer.
Hadar hugged her and promise to find a way and return back again to see her.
Kuwe returned back drunk one day.
“Your welcome my Lord” should I set the bath or I should bring in your meal first…
Kuwe looked up at Zoe, she was putting some distance between them.
” Are you trying to say that I’m smelling and I need a bath…
Zoe looked at him apologetically.
” My Lord, how can I say or assume such. I only asked kindly if you will like a bath. Please don’t be offended with my tone of voice…I never meant to sound disrespectful…
Kuwe ignored her and walked to a table.
Zoe was watching him as he crossed the room. He picked up a wine pitcher
Finding it empty, Kuwe swore under his breath before setting it down.
He looked around distracted and undecided.
He came closer to Zoe and raise a hand to her face.
Zoe thinking it was a blow try to dodge it. She shut her eyes and raise her hand into pleading defence.
” I wasn’t going to hit you fool…
Zoe lowered her hand, she try to take a step back Just in case he changed his mind and decided to hit her.
” I won today at the arena. Yes…I beat those merchant to their game. I’m happy. Tomorrow I will be hosting my friends. Make sure all the wine pitchers are filled up, make sure all the food supply are organised, make sure none of my friends goblet of wine runs empty. Keep filling in my own goblet too. I want you to make sure my goblet never goes empty. You and not a servant will do all that I asked. There should be enough gizzard sucked in piglet stew. If any thing goes wrong I will hold you responsible…
Zoe nodded with a bow.
There was a knock on the door.
Kuwe smile and went to the door, a female voice greeted and he responded nicely.
A lady, with bead all round her neck and waist, she bare half of her breast open.
As she walks ,the beads gracing her waist shakes alongside her curves.
Kuwe turned to Zoe
” I won’t be needing you tonight. I have paid for the services of this beautiful maiden. She will serve me for two nights. So leave and make sure you harken to my warning concerning tomorrow’s party.
Zoe nooded with another bow before walking out.
Kuwe asked her to stop
“Hold on… get me two full pitcher of wine and some food. My guest maybe hungry…
Zoe left and came back with the things Kuwe requested.
The lady was already untying the tiny shiny pieces she used as clothing. Kuwe was relaxing back and watching the strange lady who appears more like a temple prostitute with beautiful curves.
“You are wasting so much time here. Your presence is not required… so leave.
Kuwe shouted at Zoe, who quickly left.
On her way to the slave quarter, Zoe ran into Kuwe’s brother Rolf.
” You should be in the chamber and not going up and down. What do my brother require of you tonight… maybe I can help.
” Nothing my Lord, I just wanted to get something from the slave quarter.
” Zoe, you shouldn’t lie to me, I know my brother sent you out of his chamber. Why… what is your offence again tonight?
” I can’t disclose any of that with you my Lord. He just do not need me around tonight…
Rolf smile and moved closer to Zoe who took another feet back.
Rolf was more calm than his brother
Rolf hates Kuwe his elder brother because of his proud attitude and many other personal envy.
” I know Kuwe probably have a company which made him send you out. Very bad of him to treat you with no respect at all. He will never regards you Zoe, today maybe a cheerful day for him but what if he looses tomorrow then you will become his punching bag again. Come with me to my chamber…I have enough room to accommodate you. As much as I dislike my brother I will not lay a hand on you… you belong with him. I will only be giving you a comfortable place to lay your head and watch you sleep soundly. Zoe you deserve far better than Kuwe. I hate to watch him treat you like trash but I can’t intervene in his affair because you are his. Please come with me…trust me. I’m not like my brother…
” No, thank you…I have to go.
Zoe walked pass him. Leaving him standing.
She went over to the slave quarter and called out to Alia.
Alia opened up and let her into the room.
” My lady, what happened…did he hit you again tonight?
” No…he has a female company.
Alia looked at Zoe’s face beaming with smile.
” My lady… you are not bothered with that. You are not worried that Lord Kuwe brought in another woman to his chamber…
” Not at all, I feel free tonight. I will sleep without fear of a sudden hit striking me or sadness engraving tightly to my heart. I met his brother Rolf….he wanted to accommodate me tonight in his chamber. But that will be wrongly interpreted if I go over to his chamber. He appears nice but I do not want to get into further trouble or get him into a fight with Kuwe.
” You did well my lady. Lord Rolf is better off than Lord Kuwe. He is so handsome, outspoken and have more human feeling than his elder brother. Lord Rolf hates it when his brother get in his ways too. They both never get along…. not so well. He must have liked you to have offered his chamber for you to sleep tonight, he may also be doing it to spite his elder brother. Which ever reason I’m glad you turned the offer down.
Zoe slept beside Alia that night in the slave quarter
She was up early to begin setting the party place up.
Other servants helped her in organising the whole place for Kuwe’s party.
By the time Kuwe came in with his friends everything was set.
The lady from the previous night was sitting beside him and Zoe even watch Kuwe feed her a gizzard egg and also some wine.
She also did the same in return.
Zoe made sure that the goblets are filled with wine.
They eat, laugh so loud and threw jokes at each other.
Rolf later came to join them.
He sat at a far end from his brother.
Zoe went to fill his goblet but he brushed her arm while collecting the wine pitcher from her.
” Don’t bother filling mine, I’m not much of a drinker and if I need more I can get it myself. You aren’t my slave.. Zoe.
Zoe swallowed hard before walking away.
By the time she returns back to Kuwe she finds out his cup was already empty.
Kuwe threw the empty cup at her angrily.
” I warned you, I told you that you should not allow my goblet to go empty… you fool.
He hauled insults at her while his friends boast out laughing.
Rolf tightened his fist angrily and held his goblet tight as he watch Kuwe slap Zoe in front of his guests.
Rolf couldn’t take it anymore he stamped his goblet on the table spilling wine all over the place
He rose to his feet and said.
” Enough… that’s enough Kuwe. She is your wife not a slave. You honour a prostitute and dishonour your own wife… you made her a laughing stock in the presence of of all this your bunch of useless friends. You should be ashamed brother… be ashamed of yourself.
Kuwe lodge out at his brother angrily
His friends held him back.
” I never invited you here, coming uninvited to my party just to insult me and mingle in my affairs will get you into trouble. Stay far away from me and my affairs Rolf. However I decided to run my life is none of your business or anyone.
Rolf looked at Zoe, who gave him a pleading look to leave.
He angrily walked out of the party.
After the party was over, Zoe and some other servants cleared the place up.
She was afraid to get inside where Kuwe was resting.
When she finally went inside the chamber Kuwe was in bed with his usual female guest. The same strange lady.
Kuwe was angry that Zoe came in unannounced and hauls insult at her.
Zoe apologies and walked out.
She was on her way to the slave quarter again when she Met Rolf who stopped her.
” You do not deserve to be treated this way Zoe. He treat you worst than a slave. I never meant to get you into more trouble. I just couldn’t stand him do all that to you. are you alright?
” Yes, I’m fine. Thank you for standing up for me. I do appreciate but that do not change the fact that I’m still your brother’s wife.
” I know…I understand. I only care and worries about you. I hate to watch him maltreats you Zoe. Do you care to come to my chamber tonight. I have enough room for you…
” No, thanks…I will sleep at the slave quarter.
Zoe walked away.
She continued her usual duty which got reduced after Rolf boldly told his mother not to be giving Zoe harsh tasks.
After Rolf spoke with the mother, she stopped giving Zoe difficult work which was meant for the household slave.
The day Kuwe beat Zoe up after loosing again at the arena game
Rolf was very angry and went to the father.
” Father, you have to do something, Kuwe is very wicked. You have to stop him from hurting Zoe. Do something or I will.
” She is your brother’s wife Rolf, Zoe belong to him but I will speak to your brother about all this wicked act.
” Father you have been speaking to him yet he continues. Is time to act and not speak. I know Zoe belong to Kuwe but I hate to watch him brutalize her. He treats her worst than a common slave. Father… please find a way and do something. I’m tired of Kuwe… he is worst than Baal…
Zoe continued with the life she was subjected to.
Doing everything Kuwe ask of her.
She tries to pray every day that Kuwe will win at the arena but he kept loosing to the merchants
His frustration grew, he became so bitter and angry.
One day Kuwe suddenly fell ill and nobody knows the source of his illness.