Published: Oct 01, 2019
While attending a seminar organized by her employer, something happens, and Bethany visualizes her wedding day. Another funny thing happens next.
Bethany grinned and continued nodding as she watched the eloquent and confident female speaker. They called her Zilpah, of the national headquarters of The Hambersborg Standard Bank, situated in Citte.
The exceptional oratorical abilities caused a sense of pride in Bethany. For what reason, she couldn't tell; maybe because Zilpah was a young woman like her. She planned to praise the presenter during lunch break.
Thunderous applause answered something Zilpah said. While waiting for it to die down, she caressed her ring finger, turning the golden band several times around the finger with her right thumb.
Bethany now paid full attention to that ring, and a bout of envy and resentment sprang up from within, summarily dismissing all admiration. Younger Zilpah was newly married. Last year when they'd met, she was still a Miss.
"Those are wrong thoughts, "one voice said, "and you know it."
"Poor you," another voice spoke."Your religion's got you nowhere. That's why you're resentful of others. If your beliefs are not a hindrance, why are you the way you are? Wasn't your religion the reason why Sorelyn snatched Stanley from you?"
Not knowing which judgment to side with, Bethany looked inside for consolation. Viewing her left hand, she imagined how cute a golden band on the ring finger would look.
The mental picture became too beautiful for her to pay any attention to Zilpah's presentation. She lifted her hand from the table and brought it to rest on top of the right one on her lap. That position granted the dreamer a better viewing of the invisible ring.
I want a ring on my finger.
The mental still photo turned into the movie of her wedding day. Mr. Right – dark, imposing, and fetching–pushed a shiny circle of gold down her slender, manicured finger, with a broad smile on his face revealing his impeccable dentition in black gums.
"Aunt Judy," the first voice whispered.
A painful reminder. Aunt Judy was distant maternal relation, a spiritual woman with whom Bethany had stayed during her university days in Citte and some years after when she searched for a job in the city.
Once when Bethany grieved over one William, Aunt Judy consoled, pleaded, and rebuked for a long time, but her words got bounced back; the broken heart continued to mourn and would refuse refreshment for many a day.
"Aunt Judy, William almost gave me an engagement ring before–"
"A ring is useless in keeping a William on whose heart you were never engraved in the first place. If he loved you, he wouldn’t have listened to his friend's advice to go after a girl from a wealthy home."
A ring is useless in keeping a William on whose heart you were never engraved in the first place. The words rang loudly in the distracted mind, whose gaze still stayed on the hand, now placed back on the table.
When Bethany had recovered from the grief, those words used to sound sweet to the ears. But that was six years ago, when she desired marriage, albeit not desperately. Things had changed over time, especially when she suddenly found herself at twenty-nine and still single.
Any William's ring is sure better than no William's ring at the end of the day. I want a ring on my finger.
You would have to buy one and put it there yourself, one of the voices said with a laugh.
Bethany was interrupted and brought back to the conference hall by a round of applause. Zilpah was stepping down the podium amidst a standing ovation.
Bethany looked around the room. She alone was seated among the more than fifty participants. Jumping up, she clapped along with the rest.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You know how to judge Samantha for a crime you are guilty of, too. This is sheer madness.
I didn't judge Samantha, Bethany fired back.
O yes, you did.
It was inconsequential to debate on whether she'd judged Samantha or had been merely shocked at her actions. The time to do something once and for all concerning the panic in her own heart was now. But how?
Lord, please, help.
This is an excerpt from the Novel, Gold of Ophir
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