Petitioning the King

Esther sat in her banquet room waiting for the king and Haman to arrive. She'd done her best, prepared their favorite food, and made the room attractive, all that was missing was their presence.

Xerxes and Haman entered the banquet room and could immediately tell that the Queen had gone all out, the place was stunning and the food when it was served was perfect.

Haman kept up a steady stream of conversation, while Xerxes and Esther had little to say for themselves.

Finally Xerxes turned to Esther and repeated what he'd said earlier, "What is your request my queen? It shall be given to you. Even to half my kingdom."

Esther looked at her husband and beseeched him saying, "My lord, if I have found favour in your eyes, please spare my people."

Xerxes looked at her, perplexed, "your people? Pray ma'am, who are your people, for I have never heard you speak of them."

"I am Hadassah, a Jew," Esther told him.

"She's lying," Haman interrupted, "Queen Esther is no Jew."

Xerxes was still looking at his wife, could she be telling the truth, he wondered? Could she really be a Jew? If so, why had she kept it from him until now?

Esther looked at Xerxes. "My King," she said, "If you let this edict, that this man," pointing at Haman, "passed stand, then your Rachel, your Jacob will be killed." She took off the necklace, the gift she'd given to Xerxes on her one night with him, and put it near the flame of the candle.

Stars filled the room, rising from the candle to the ceiling.

Xerxes, Haman and Esther stared at the candle, each with a different expression, Xerxes' didn't change at all, and Esther was smiling softly while Haman kept looking from the flame to Esther's face in total disbelief.

"What?" Haman asked Esther, "Is something supposed to happen?"

Esther stopped smiling at looked at them, "did you not see it?" she asked Xerxes. "Did you not see the stars?" Xerxes stood up abruptly and left the room.

It was over, Esther thought to herself, she'd failed to save her people, she stood there in total defeat.

"What did you think?" Haman taunted her, "did you think that this ridiculous scheme would bring me to my knees?" He got onto his knees in front of her, "did you expect me to beg? To say, Esther, Esther please spare my life?" He reached out his hand and Esther fell back into the chair with Haman almost lying on top of her, smiling at her misery. Neither of them heard Xerxes walk back into the room.

"Will you now molest my wife while I am in my house?" Xerxes asked, angrily, while pulling Haman off Esther. "Take him out and deal with him accordingly."

"He had gallows built," the guard said, "to hang Mordecai the Jew."

"Hang him on them," Xerxes commanded and Haman was taken to the gallows.

0000

Esther and Xerxes remained in the room alone looking at each other silently.

"Why did you come back?" Esther asked him.

Xerxes walked towards her, taking her into his arms, "I saw the stars, my love, I saw the stars."

0000

"Why did you not tell me you were a Jew?" Xerxes asked her.

"My advised me against it," Esther replied, "but be assured it was the only thing I ever kept from you."

'Thank God," Xerxes said, "if all your secrets are as big as that, I don't know if I could bear it."

They were sitting on the bed in the King's chamber.

"I have missed you," Xerxes said, "you don't know how much."

"Me too," Esther replied.

"Tell me a story, about our people, the Jews," Xerxes said to her.

Esther smiled at him, wondering where to begin, there were so many stories to choose from. "Shall I tell you about Noah and the Ark, Abraham, Isaac or Joseph and his coat?"

"You shall tell me all," Xerxes said, "but let's start with a love story."

"Somehow I knew you'd say that."

00the end00

Thanks for reading and reviewing, thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.