Part the One Hundred Fifty Ninth: Handling the Blessing
“À pic idiome,” Charity grumbled every few steps as she accompanied Goddard and Hope up to the rich quarter of Jamestown.
After the ninth occurrence Hope said softly, “So why come along?”
“Someone has to save you from yourself,” she replied.
“I see. And you?” she asked Goddard.
“And allow a lady to go into a strange part of town alone?”
“Hardly as dangerous as the area down by the docks,” said Charity. “At the bottom of the hill.”
“And to keep you safe, too,” added Goddard.
Hope tried not to let Charity see her smile at that.
“Oh être honnête,” said Charity, “just who do we have to worry about here? There are no other people here who we must be wary of, not a soul who-”
There was a crack like broken tiles as Charity lurched to the side.
Hope turned to look across the corner in the direction from where Charity lurched. Two young men were there, barely discernable in the fading light, one of whom had a rock in his hand.
“Blighted fool,” said the one whose hands were free, “you missed the Portos.”
Charity gave what could best be called a roar before she started after the two rock throwers.
Hope quickly told Goddard, “If she catches them she might kill them.”
“Zoet top,” he called over his shoulder as he went to save Charity from herself.
Hope took a brief look around and noticed the cracked tiles on the ground behind her. She looked up and noticed a ceramic box affixed to the door frame of a fine house, the lid missing large pieces, the cracked tiles at her feet.
A slight breeze picked up off the water, and a scroll inside the box popped out. It hung over the edge of the box for a moment before the breeze kissed it on its way elsewhere, then started a slow descent.
Hope reached out both hands to cradle the parchment, giving the scroll a short flight to a soft landing in her hands. Hope cradled the scroll as though she’d caught a young bird out of its nest.
A light suddenly came from the behind the opened door to the house and a set of hands cupped Hope’s. Startled but steady, Hope tightened her hands without crushing the scroll.
She looked up to see whose hands were holding hers, and looked into a deep set of brown eyes catching the last light of day framed by curly brown hair.
“¿Samuel, qué pasa ahí?” a woman inside the house called out.
”It’s fine, Mama,” the hand’s owner replied, a young man’s voice filling the air.
Hope looked deeper into his eyes.
“We better go in,” he said to her. “Don’t let that drop.”
Hope broke contact with his eyes to look at the scroll again.
“What’s on this paper?” she asked.
“It’s our mezuzah– watch your step- yes, there,” he said, moving himself and Hope to the large table in the room, where they softly rolled the scroll out of their hands.
“It’s valuable?” she asked.
“Yes… I think you can move your hands now.”
Hope looked at her cupped hands inside his, which also stayed in position, supporting her hands, waiting for a sign for when to stop touching him….
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