You’ve just married an amazingly attractive man. You share a culture and a love of the outdoors. You love just walking, hand in hand, talking. Or not. But just being together. Suddenly you are walking a dirt road next to your mother in law and her daughter in law. All of the men have died. You are walking this road because your last vestige of security, – the mother in law – is returning to her homeland. Different culture, different religious beliefs, different place. If you were honest with yourself, you are not stoked. You enjoyed your husband, and the dream of children. But something deep inside you continues to entice you towards this older, yet beautiful woman.
After a few hours on the road you slow. The mother in law slows even more, until you absent mindedly past her. When you turn to let her catch up she is on her knees in the dust in tears. Not little sobs either. But her body is wracked with emotion. The type of crying that comes at the zenith of not caring whose watching. This lady is sad. Suddenly the other daughter in law start laughing. This puts you out a little until you realise she is actually crying as well. Emotions that you;ve held back to save face well up inside you as well and cascade out, like a dam wall breaking. The three of you end up in a wet, ugly, tear fueled pile. Your whole lives have been ripped away from you. Everything is changing and none of it feels good. All you have for comfort is two complete strangers who are crying harder then you.
Silence falls over the group. The mother has clearly resolved herself to something. She starts mumbling something under her breath. It sounds like “moo gavta no” Both of you go to ask her what she said and she says it louder. “You have to go” a little louder “you have to go”. Then she pushes you away and gets to her feet, taking you with her. With an unforeseen strength she grabs you and throws you. “You have to GO”. She picks up the other woman, with tears uncontrollably streaming down her reddened face. “You both have to Go, i have nothing for you! I have nothing left. and you are both too beautiful to be letting me hold you back from good lives.” The other woman attempts to approach the distraught woman “but mother, we love you”. Like a bullet train the mother covers the ground between them with speed and violence, catapulting the daughter even further away. “NO you don’t love me!! You need to Go. You need to find an attractive strong rich man, to take care of you. Go. Get away from me.” Pausing she readies herself “I hate you.” The daughters face changed automatically at the combination of violence and personal hatred, turned and walked away. Throwing back one word that encapsulated the sentiment of being finished with the mother forever.
The mother turned. Intent on getting rid of you at the same type of cost. But all you can think of is to imitate an insect attacking. You throw your arms around her as tightly as you can. She fights you. Even harder then she pushed the other woman away she fights you hard. She cries and cries and cries and screams and yells and then she gives up. She goes limp and silent. Over the silence your voice oddly cuts like a knife. “Listen to me mother. I love you. From this moment on I will be with you. Your journey will be my journey, your family is my family, your culture, your customs, your holidays will be mine, where you die, i die also. You can push me away all you want but i will still be there, so still yourself, Naomi- my mother” The now tired old woman took some deep breaths and whispered – “Do not call me Naomi, for I am bitter.”
They got to town and Ruth looked at Naomi and said – “We need food, i’m going to check the fields for left over grains. As she walked, she ended up bumping into the field owner, Boaz. – Be blessed, he said. Ruth and those around her answered the same back. Boaz took one of his workers aside and asked “So whos the amazingly hot woman dressed very modestly” (as he was very well spoken and polite.) “Shes a foreigner who is here with Naomi. Shes been here for hours on her hands and knees collecting enough to feed her Naomi and herself.” Quietly Boaz walked over to Ruth and said “Make yourself at home in this field. Don’t fell like you need to move to other fields, stick close to my young women and if you get thirsty help yourself to the mini bar.” Ruth was a little taken aback by this strangers kindness. She bowed and asked “Why are you being so nice to me, a stranger and foeginer?” Boaz smiled a little and spoke “I have heard of all the good things you have done to honour your mother inlaw, may God bless you with everythign your heart desires”
“You have comforted me sir with your words and kindness. You honour me greatly.”
Later on when all of the workers retired for dinner, Boaz called Ruth over and invited her to eat some bread and gravy. Until she was full and then packed her a doggy bag for later. After Ruth had returned to the fields, Boaz pulled some of his workers over and commanded them “Let that woman take whatever she wants. In fact leave extra for her on the ground when you harvest.” At the end of the night Ruth had a huge pile of grain that she prepared a meal from for Naomi. Naomi was a little shocked at the amount, she asked “whos field did you collect this in?” Between mouthfuls from her doggy bag ruth reported about Boaz and how he had told her to stay close to his young women. Noami smiled “hes one of our relatives, you should stay with those young ladies otherwise you may get hassled in other fields.
Ruth went to bed dreaming of how blessed she was to have met Boaz. And a side thought in her mind cropped up, that he was rather handsome. The two women lived like this for a few weeks, Ruth collecting bigger and bigger piles that were heavy enough to make her just that little bit buffer and Naomi started to smile again. But one day, whilst they both ate from a special doggy bag sent from Boaz’s chef Naomi, in her most motherly voice began. “We need to find you a husband, because i want at least some semblance of grand children. im getting old and may die soon.” Ruth lol’d, Naomi was never going to die. But she went along with it. “So have you found anyone nice for me? I only go for men with back hair.” “boaz has plenty of back hair” Naomi replied, not even a little bit cheekily. “In fact, he’s responsible for looking after your security. I think you could go remind him tonight. Go to where he naps and tell him this” Naomi whispered into ruths ears what to do and then even wrote it on the back of her hand so she wouldn’t forget.
In the dark of night Ruth snuck into Boaz’ harvest times nap room. She subtly took Boaz’ shoes off, but whilst she was placing the last one aside Boaz rolled over and stared directly into her eyes and smiled that dopey smile that Ruth had begun to love. “Who are you?” He asked, only one eye open and not focused. “It is me, Ruth, the woman you have blessed an honoured who came here a forenger but you made me one of your young women. I have come to ask you to spread your cloak over me and make me your wife. Will you marry me?” Boaz’s eyes shot open. He was awake now. This beautiful woman in front of him was his responsibility. He could redeem the brokeness from his relatives death. But he instantly knew what he had to do first. “If i had it my way i would cover you with my coat right here and now forever. You have found a way into my heart. But there is another before me who stands in line. I must go to him tomorrow. You may sleep over here for the night, be at peace.” He then rolled over, his mind was going crazy, but his heart was at peace. Ruth lay down at his feet, but only sleep a little for she got up and left before anyone could see a woman slept over at the nap room. Because no one would believe them that nothing suss happened. But before she left Boaz gave her a large doggy bag of barley so she could take something back to Naomi.
In the midst of day dreaming about her situation and almost dropping into a nap Naomi shook her awake. “no lovely daughter stay awake, wait for the matters answer” She understood and went for a little walk. As she walked around the tiny abode, she mused about her day dream. She was a widow. She was poor and all of her dreams for children and retirement spent playing golf with her babe of a husband had all left the building. But now he stood hope. A hope of a new beginning.
Elsewhere Boaz had fronted up to his next of kins house and collected a few of his home boys to the back ground. Aunty Naomi has come back from other lands and is selling a piece of land out there if you would like to buy it, as you are the next in line to have that honour. will you take it and use the land?” the thought of more land made the mans light up. Instantly he went to totally agree “yeh i would love to take that land off Naomi hand”. He spoke half in childish excitement and half in a way that made you think he was doing everyone in the room a favour. Boaz went on to mention “The man who buys that land also needs to take into his household the girl Ruth, the dead mans widow.” Instant frown on the former smiley guys face. “I…. I…. I’m not sure i can do that part of it” he was grasping at straws. “well i could, if you want me too” Boaz cheekily added. “Yes.” Kext of kin man said. “Yes… you take the land.. and the girl. You would honour me if you did.” In the customs of that area, gifts were always given at the end of business deals. So Boaz had brought a brand new pair of Nike pumps. He stood up and as he presented them to his family member he raised his voice so that some of the homies playing poker on the deck could hear. “Today you are a witness that i inherit all from the hand of Naomi that once belonged to Mr Naomi and his kids. I have also taken on the reponsibility of Ruth to keep the name line alive. You have heard.
Then all the homies raised their glasses or cards and yelled “We are witness, may you bear excellent children that are really good at playing guitar hero.”
A woman who changes belief systems, follows her mother in law to a strange place, takes care of her mother in law and then finds an old fox intent on honouring her forever. Best love story ever.
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