The Wedding Supper
The late night activities didn’t delay the dawn. Malchus was awakened by the chirping of birds outside the window. He crawled out of bed and stood for a moment with his eyes fixed on Rachel. She was curled into the fetal position. Her hair was disheveled. Her breathing was shallow. He thought, "This normally spirited woman looks more like an innocent child. She is beautiful to me in a whole new way." Malchus suppressed a desire to take her into his arms and instead tiptoed out of the bedroom into the kitchen to build a fire in the fireplace. The smell of burning wood lingered in the air as he warmed up some porridge over the open fire. A simple breakfast would taste good after all of the rich food they had eaten at the celebration last night.
When he had finished cooking the porridge, he took it off of the fire and poured a bowl for his breakfast. The solitude of breakfast was not so bad because Malchus knew that Rachel was sleeping in the next room. Electing to let her sleep, he went outside to see what his parents were doing.
At the door, Brigitte said, "Come in and have a cup of tea. Your father has gone down to the shops to pick up some things for this evening’s wedding supper." Malchus visited for awhile, but it wasn't quite the same. He was still their son, but now he felt a little more like a visitor than he had before.
Malchus kept his visit short and soon went back to his house to check on Rachel. When he opened the door, Rachel was up and dressed, eating her porridge at the kitchen table. "Malchus, where did you disappear to? I was beginning to wonder if last night was only a dream!"
"What? Only a dream! It better not have been. You are now my wife in real life," replied Malchus.
"Good, I wouldn't have it any other way, even though you can be a little impudent, like coming into my bedroom and carrying me away."
"Impudent! Why I'm a dignified yeoman who is employed by one of the most prestigious governors in all of the isles."
"Well, Mr. Dignified, might I ask you a question?" inquired Rachel smugly.
"I suppose," answered Malchus.
"Should I plan on giving your mother a bouquet of flowers and your father a bottle of vintage wine when we go over to their house this evening for the wedding supper?"
"I think it is a most dignified gift, don't you?"
"Well, it does represent us in a way," commented Rachel, "the flowers, me, and the wine, you."
"Let's go with it then," said Malchus, affirming her observation.
"Okay, let's do it," said Rachel, in agreement with her husband.
So that afternoon, Rachel picked some flowers and arranged them into a beautiful bouquet, and Malchus went into town to find some wine that had been bottled on the very first day that he had begun as a yeoman on the island. That evening, they went next door to Justin and Brigitte’s new home, as did the other guests. Rachel gave the flowers and wine to Brigitte and Justin and received from them two more lovely golden chalices to commemorate the day.
The next evening was similar, but this time the supper continued at the place where Ruth was staying while awaiting the building of her home. Malchus and Rachel brought flowers and wine for the hostess while Ruth gave each of them a golden bracelet.
For four more nights they gathered for a continuation of the wedding supper. Seth held the next celebration, then Eli was host, followed by Sarah's party, and then finally Malchus’s associate who had arranged for the huppah for the wedding ceremony entertained at his house. Each supper was a gala affair, and each night got friendlier than the one before as Malchus and Rachel had the opportunity to talk and to mingle and to get to know each guest even better.
When the last night arrived and the gifts had been exchanged, Justin raised his cup to give a toast to the bride and bridegroom. "May Malchus and Rachel live long on this earth, and may the vines around their table be fruitful and multiply."
"So be it," said Malchus as he clicked his cup together with Rachel's.
"So be it," said Rachel as she smiled back at Malchus.
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