LJ Idol Six Week Eight: Reprobate
December 19, 2009 § 25 Comments
Whore. Harlot. Slut. Reprobate.
She knows the words are being whispered behind scandalized hands, though none are said to her face. No words are actually spoken to her, because she is now too low to deserve comment. Only quick glances of disgust and disapproval before narrowed eyes are averted as she walks down the streets of her tiny town. No one will even breathe the same air as her. Except for him.
“It must be his, why else would he agree to marry her still?” she overhears though a window, followed by a loud splat as spittle hits the dirt just in front of her feet.
Tears sting her eyes as the injustice, the unfairness, the horrifying shame of it all threatens to overwhelm her. Shaking her head, she reminds herself that she has nothing to be ashamed of as she rests her groaning joints in the shade of an olive tree, and caresses her growing belly.
She did nothing wrong.
Adulterer. Fornicator. Reprobate.
The ribald comments from the men he works alongside, the glowering glares from the elders and the pain in her father’s face twist like a knife in his heart. He doesn’t know what hurts more, the wicked glee from younger men who used to look up to him as a paragon of virtue– oh how the mighty have fallen!– or the disapproving disgust from his mentors and teachers who doted and exclaimed over their darling pupil when he was growing up.
“I would have turned her out on the streets and called off the marriage directly if it were me.” A customer continues to moralize and pontificate instead of leaving with his wares.
Turning to his woodwork more energetically, he sets his jaw and fiercely reminds himself that he has nothing to be ashamed of.
He did nothing wrong.
Rabble-rouser. Blasphemer. Reprobate.
Shouts, screams, and rough laughter assault his ears through the fog of pain and humiliation. Alone, he awaits the inevitable, having endured the kicks, blows and verbal assaults, the torture and shame of the spectacle and display that he has now become.
“Why don’t you save yourself?” sneers the man beside him.
With painful mercy, he looks down on this angry mob, whom he loves so much. This is what it takes, this is what is required, and he’s the only one who can do it.
Because He did nothing wrong.