“What the hell are we doing back here?”
My wife’s jet black air surrounded a soft face, that at this moment was burning with anger.
Her question wasn’t unexpected.
“What were we supposed to do?” I demanded. We were unwrapping our stuff from the trip. “Were we just supposed to wave goodbye as everybody headed home?”
“Yes,” she said, “That’s exactly what we were supposed to do. That’s exactly what we’d agreed to do.”
“I know, I know,” I said, “But they are our family. Your grandfather just died. And we can’t just walk away at a time like that.”
“Why not?” she demanded.
“How are we supposed to eat?”
“My grandfather managed. And his parents before. They earned their keep and more. Are you so privileged that you can’t imagine doing the same?”
“We have a good life here. A great life. Why do you insist on leaving?”
“We agreed,” she said, “We agreed to go. And now you want to back out.”
“Yes,” I said, “I do. We live like kings here.”
“Dear,” she said, “You’re young and you’re a bit naive. This is all a mirage. My grandfather’s dead. So now we’re all living under the protection of my uncle.”
“Yes,” I said, “And he promised to protect us.”
“And I can believe him,” she said, “But eventually, he’s going to die. And here, he’s unnatural. They aren’t going to pluck one of us up to replace him. They are going to get rid of him, and then we’re done.”
“We can cross that bridge when we come to it.”
“Can we? We have servants galore here. They do everything for us. But before my uncle came, they were free men. When he dies, when they feel free of him, they are going to turn on us.”
“Maybe,” I said, “But we can run then.”
“THEY WON’T LET US.” she insisted.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Vengeance,” she said, “My uncle humbled a proud people – the proudest people. Sure, he kept them alive, but the price was very high. They give him thanks while he’s alive, but his family is in for something else.”
“You can run,” I said, spreading my hands plaintively, “But that all seems a long way off. I don’t want to be struggling for food when I can be living here, like this.”
“I can’t go without you.” she stated, “To make it, we need to go together.”
“So,” I said, a bit defensively, “I guess we’ll stay here. We belong with the family.”
She looked at me in disbelief. She shook her hear, and then she kept unpacking.
Of course, she ended up being right.
My uncle Joseph died and the Egyptian people turned on us.
The tide was turned and we became slaves.
Yocheved was rarely wrong.