She thought back to the day she met Paki...
“This is Mareil, Paki.” The queen had introduced, “I'll leave you two to get acquainted.”
As she sauntered away, Mareil stared at the ground. She wore a white linen dress. On her arm was clasped a single gold bracelet. Around her neck was a gold necklace, with blue jewels in the middle as a small ornament. Her black hair fell over her eyes. She seemed to be searching for something in him.
“What is she looking for?” he had thought.
She had been looking for trust that day. And she had found it.
Suddenly she bumped into someone. She looked up in surprise at the face of an Egyptian soldier.
“What are you doing?” he demanded.
“I-I-” she hesitated.
“Your probably a Hebrew! Late to be home.” He grabbed her wrist.
“No! I'm an Egyptian! Let go of my wrist!” she cried, trying to get free.
“No.” He said, raising an eyebrow in amusement. He squeezed tighter. She winced.
“Let go of her!” Ramses stood there, his face red with anger. The soldier quickly let go.
“But she's a Hebrew Your Majesty.”
“No, she's my friend.”he said anger in his voice.
“Yes Your Majesty.” the men backed away. “Thank you, so much, Prince.”
“Your welcome.” He changed topics quickly. “Mother want's you to come with her tomorrow. She's going to listen to that Hebrew, Moses.” He said.
“Very well. I thank you again.” Mareil said. He nodded and Mareil turned around. She walked up a few streets and went into a small house.
“You're home just in time. Will you go tell Qien to come in?” a woman asked. She was stirring a something in a pot.
“Okay.” she went out the back, and to a barn. A man was feeding the cow in the corner.
“Malia said to come in,” she said.
“Very well. I'll be right in. Can you get the grain?”
“Sure. In that bin?” she asked pointing to a barrel.
“Yes.” She opened it and pulled out a scoop full of food. “Over here Mareil.” he said motioning to the cow. Mareil walked over and dumped the grain into the tin bin.
“Come on lets go in,” the man put his arm around her shoulder and they walked in. When they sat down Mareil sat in the middle of a boy just older than her and a girl just younger than her.
“How was your day, Carnelian?” Malia asked the boy.
“Fine,” he said.
“What did you do?”
“Watched over the Hebrew slaves as they worked. Didn't have to whip anyone though. I'm happy about that part.” Carnelian said. Mareil nodded.
“Of course. You wouldn't like that part about it.” Malia said.
“Can I leave? I have to get my dress ready for tomorrow.” Mareil asked.
“Sure. Where are you going?” Malia asked.
“Uh…...The um…..Queen wants me to stay with her tomorrow,” Mareil said hesitantly.
“She does? Oh! My daughter! Meeting with the Queen! Oh Mareil! How wonderful!” Malia exclaimed.
Mareil nodded and stood up. She went into a room. There were two beds in a row in front of a window. Mareil opened one of the chests at the foot of the bed. A layer of white and blue silk dresses folded lay in there. She gently took out the dresses. On the bottom lay a purple silk dress. She took it out and lay it on the bed. After putting the rest of the dresses back, she dusted off the purple dress. Malia came in.
“You will leave early, I assume?” she asked.
Mareil nodded, “I will leave when the sun rises.” she answered.
“Have you been okay?” she asked.
Mareil looked questioningly at her. “What do you mean?” she asked, continuing straightening the dress.
“Well, you haven't been that talkative lately and you usually are chattering with Alia. Are you okay? Did anything happen on the way back today?” she asked worried. Mareil nodded, understanding her motherly instincts.
“Yes.” she said quietly. Malia looked more worried.
“But, it wasn't that bad.” she said.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“Malia, I'm fine.” Mareil said standing to her full height and staring straight into the woman's eyes. Malia nodded and turned to leave. Mareil sighed and sat down on the bed. She had been to afraid what would happen if Malia knew all the things she had done.
She would be so angry if she knew I didn't come straight home. She thought.
“Mareil?” Alia asked quietly at the doorway.
“Hmm?” Mareil looked up into Alia's frightened eye's.
“Why are going to the Queen? Did you get in trouble for something?” Alia asked.
Mareil looked at the ten year old girl and knew how frightened she was. She had felt that same way when she had been summoned to the Queen after her true mother had died.
“No. She just wants me to be with her when she goes to court.” Alia sighed and limped into the room. Mareil glanced down at her twisted ankle and tears came to her eyes. That had been her fault. She tried not to remember the day but it came back anyway.
“Stay out of the way of the horses.” Qien had reminded. Mareil nodded and reached for Alia's hand. Alia held on tightly and the two walked out of the little house into the street.
“Mareil?” Alia asked. “Are we going to go to Gershon today? Like yesterday?” she asked.
“Yes, we have to pass through it to get to the secret place.” Mareil answered, not paying attention to the girl's face. Tears started falling down her pale face and she muffled a sob. Mareil looked down.
“What's wrong?” she asked. “I don't want to go to Gershon!” she exclaimed. “Why not, darling” she asked. “Every time we go we pass through the wheat field and we always see people getting whipped to death!” she explained, tearfully.
Mareil hated seeing her people getting whipped as well, so she answered, “We won't go through the wheat field than,” she said.“We can go around the wheat field.” She said, remembering the back-way. She squeezed her hand and smiled. Alia smiled and looked ahead.
They slowly entered the Hebrew part of Egypt. Mareil soon took a sharp turn and they were in a small alley-way. Alia blinked at the darkness and then looked up.
“Are we almost there?” she asked. Mareil glanced down another alley-way. She saw the wheat field just ending.
“Yes.” she answered. They turned down the alley-way and into the road. She glanced up the road and they walked up it. Alia glanced behind them and screamed. There was a wagon heading their way. Mareil tried to pull Alia off the road, but her sweaty hand slipped out of her own. Alia gave a painful scream and Mareil watched, horrified, as the young girl's leg was crushed by the wagon wheel. Alia fainted, and the wagon stopped. The boy jumped down and pulled the limp girl out of under the wagon. Mareil stood there for a second and then ran to the boy. He turned and Mareil staggered back. “Ezra?”
“Mareil?” Alia asked, tearing her out of her thoughts.
“Yes?” she asked.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked.
“Oh, nothing.” Mareil said.
“Really? Because it took me almost ten seconds to get your attention.” she said, smiling her beautiful smile. Mareil smiled back.
“Really?” she said.
“Okay, girls. Time for bed.” Malia said coming in. Mareil nodded and opened the chest at the end of her bed. She pulled out a nightgown and closed the door. The two girls dressed into their nightgowns and slipped into their beds, Mareil having to move her dress for the next day.
Mareil pulled her feet to her chest and felt hot tears sliding down her cheeks. Just remembering Ezra made her cry. He was so rude and she couldn't get over it.
Ezra! How dare you! She thought. You're a Hebrew! You should know that it's not nice to do that! She tried to put it to the back of her mind but she couldn't. All of those times she had seen him, and not known what he thought of her. How could she ever get by that? She slowly drifted off to sleep, dreaming of Ezra, and her parents.