4 Uncertainties


Aria hurried her steps through the busy market place. She'd been sent on an errand to collect some fishes her mother had paid for a day earlier.

The merchant was a trusted friend of her parents—although an Egyptian was very kind and straightforward.

Aria barely dodged in time as a loose cockerel in a crazed frenzy flew over her head.

'It would seem it wasn't only her who craved for freedom.' She thought as the cockerel made a mad dash down the dirt road—the rope used to tie it still dangling around its leg.

As she walked through a crowded market, she noticed a few people passed glances her way—they were mostly from men, but then after a moment, they would just look away.

She knew she must look shabby and even more so with her cut hair. She was short too—more small than short but nowhere reaching the average height of the Egyptians.

She probably looked like an adolescent boy, what with her almost non-existent feminine features. It kept the male attention at bay though, at least to the barest minimum. And for that, she was grateful.

She breathed a sigh of relief as she neared the merchants' stall—one she knew by heart since it wasn't the first she'd gone on an errand for her mother.

A wooden carriage pulled by two donkeys, transporting watermelons bigger than her head, came wheeling fast in her direction.

The load was obviously too much for the carriage. The carriage had neared her before she could react and it hit her slightly as she moved out of the way just at the last second.

She held her arm in pain as it throbbed. She bit her lip and kept on her way.

She got to Raseph—the merchant—a minute later but didn't meet him at his shop but had left his goods with his daughter, Isis.

Being Egyptian, she was very beautiful. She was wearing an ankle-length sheath dress made from linen with a little bit of jewellery in form of bracelets on her wrists and a necklace made of beads.

Her bronze skin glittered in the sun, and her eyes were painted with kohl which accentuated her beautiful chocolate eyes.

"Father went on a short journey. He'll be back in a few days. He said to give this to your mother." Isis gave Aria the bag containing the freshly killed fishes, all the while smiling at her.

Aria couldn't help but smile back grateful.

"Thank you, Isis. Mother sends her greetings, please tell your father that when he arrives from his journey." Aria said.

Isis nodded and waved her goodbye. Aria waved too.

It took a while but she got home in record time.

Mother was pleased with the fishes she brought back and made a note to thank Raseph, as he had told his beautiful daughter to add two extra fishes for her—they were even bigger than they should be for the price she paid.

They gave thanks and her mother started preparing the food. Aria helped her mother with the cooking and Eros helped chop the firewood.

Aria's mother noticed her daughter wince a little as she boiled the fish in the water with some cheap spices; the sweet-smelling aroma filled the small home.

"Aria, what happened to your arm?" Her mother's doe brown eyes were filled with worry.

Aria hid her arm from her view and continued blowing the fire with her other arm.

"It's nothing ma." She replied quietly.

Aria dropped the fan she was holding and excused herself from the house.

Her feet unsurprisingly led her to her secret spot. She remembered the last time she'd been there, it was the night she saw the vision of those eyes, those amber eyes.

She hadn't been to the Nile since. She was afraid she would see visions again. She sighed as she sat by the bank and winced as her arm hit the ground.

She held it close to her, her head lowered.

Tears sprung to her eyes not only from the pain but from the worry she had seen in her mother's eyes.

She sniffed silently.

She never ever wanted her mother to worry—about her no less. She loved her family, they were everything to her. She didn't know what she would do without them.

Sometimes she felt hopeless, powerless. She was a girl in a very big, harsh, cold world. Her sniffs turned to soft sobs as she buried her head in her raised knees and wrapped her hands around herself.

"Crying won't solve anything." A deep, calm, quiet voice spoke beside her.

Aria wasn't sure if she'd imagined it or if she'd really heard it, so her face remained buried in her knees.

When she didn't hear anything for a while, she concluded it was all in her head. After she'd cried her heart out, slowly, she raised her head.

She cowered back in fear when she saw a figure standing near her.

She winced in pain as her arm throbbed—she'd moved too fast and had hit it again.

She clutched it and stood to face the rude intruder.

"Who are you?" She asked, her voice strong and intimidating trying to hide the quiver in her heart.

Her intruder remained silent.

From where she stood, she could only see the individual's side profile. She could tell the intruder was male—Egyptian, from the kilt he had wrapped around his lower body and kohl painted eyes. But their customary wig—artificial hair—was missing.

He was tall and lean-muscled. His dark hair swayed as the wind blew it carelessly getting in his eyes.

For some reason, Aria felt uneasy just by watching him. She felt sick to her stomach. The urge to leave was overwhelming.

"Don't go." He said almost in a whisper and started moving towards her.

With every step, the intruder took she took two steps back.

"Stay away from me!" Aria turned and ran, ran like her life depended on it.


Aria recounted the incident of that fateful evening over and over again in her hand and she still couldn't make sense of what had happened.

For the next two weeks, she steered clear of the river. It was hard, seeing how it was where she went to think- to be alone with her thoughts.

Thankfully, her injured arm was much better and she could use it without wincing every two seconds.

That fateful evening, she hadn't been able to see his face all that clearly. She wondered what an Egyptian was doing all alone, all the way there. Well, she didn't want to know and she wasn't about going there to find out.


Aria and other teens like herself—including Eros, her younger brother—gathered around in a big circle around their teacher. That was how they did on their free day when they didn't have to work on the plantation fields.

That day, the Egyptians were celebrating their bountiful harvest—that was how they did four times a year.

Their teacher taught them about the laws, the laws that were given to them by the hands of Moses. He also taught them about the ten commandments and how as the chosen people of God they are supposed to live by it.

Aria listened intently to what their teacher said. Everything seemed to resonate within her. She thought in her heart and questioned why this God whom they served had so many rules. And the hardest part—they were supposed to observe each one of them.

Her heart sank a little.

'Was that even possible?' She thought forlornly.

She knew she'd lied several times and the Sabbath...they hadn't kept the Sabbath since they set foot in that strange land.

The people there worshipped and served several, countless idols. Some were made of gold, some of bronze and some of silver.

For example, that day, they were celebrating Renenutet, supposed to be the goddess of nourishment and harvest. They made offerings to their goddess during that time—the goddess they believed to have blessed their harvest. That was why they even had a free day at all.

Aria sighed again.

"Aria, something seems to be bothering you." Her teacher smiled a little at her. It was a warm smile. It encouraged her to speak.

She looked down.

"Yes, Teacher." She answered.

"Care to share it with us child?" He asked.

She nodded.

She looked up a little shyly and cleared her throat nervously.

"The laws are so much, so voluminous, how are we supposed to follow everything? Is that even possible?" She finished exhaling heavily.

"Aria, these are the laws given to us by God himself through Moses—his servant." He started.

"We are commanded to follow them-all of them. And even if we default in any, we can offer sacrifices to absolve us of those sins." He finished and smiled at her.

"I know that but that means for every sin we commit, we have to offer a sacrifice each!" Aria couldn't help her frustrated outburst.

She looked down quickly, ashamedly.

'She just raised her voice at her Teacher.'

She quickly stood up, bowed to her teacher and rushed out of the circle.

Gasps filled the circle. Eros, Aria's younger brother quickly stood, knelt and bowed low to their teacher.

"Please, Teacher! Forgive my older sister!" His voice shook a little.

He knew the gravity of what his older sister had just done.

"She's been stressed lately and—"

"Eros, please stand up." Their teacher spoke softly.

"But Teacher!" Eros protested, head still bowed to the ground. Tears gathered in his eyes.

"I'll go get her, she'll apologize."

Eros heard his teacher move towards him.

Eros closed his eyes tightly.

He was shocked when his teacher brought him upon his feet.

"I'm not offended, she's just a little confused. There's no harm in asking questions when you don't understand something—which was all she did." He stated calmly smiling at him.

Eros' eyes widened in shock.

"Teacher—" Eros trailed off and looked down still a little ashamed.

"Just give her a little more time." Their teacher moved back to the centre of the circle and continued his teaching as if nothing was wrong as if the older sister whom he'd always looked up to hadn't just questioned their laws, the laws on which their very lives stood and functioned.

Deep down, he felt a foreboding. Nothing good could ever come from questioning the laws—the laws of God.









Author's note: Hey guys! Another update. Enjoy! Tell me what you think in the comment section below!

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