When you Believe by writerforever
Nineteen-year-old Miriam Barimer walked through the dusty streets of Jerusalem with a basket in the crook of her arm. A long veil covered her long black hair and her brownish dress-garment was dusty. She lived in Jerusalem but she had to walk quite a ways to get to the market. At nineteen Miriam was a beautiful Jewish girl with a pretty complexion. She lived in a small house with her Jewish parents, Hica and Ruth Barimer who loved her dearly.
As Miriam entered the market Misha came and walked beside her. Misha was eighteen and he and Rebecca had been best friends for years. Misha had always been a rather rebellious young man. He rushed into dangerous things without thinking about the consequences.
"Hello Miriam. It is such a beautiful day is it not?" Misha asked smiling. Miriam nodded, "Yes, it is but. . ." her voice was cut off by the sound of a trumpet. She turned and watched as a parade of Roman soldiers came towards them
The Roman soldiers rode through the city. Miriam and Misha watched as the soldiers rode by. Sadness and anger filed Miriam's heart and she turned her head away. Jerusalem had been under Roman occupation for a very long time now. The Romans offered no sympathy to the Jewish residents and were always tormenting them.
"Look at them. They act as if they own Jerusalem," Misha whispered angrily. Miriam turned her gaze back upon the soldiers and as she did one of the soldiers met her gaze. The soldier was covered in silver armor and he held his head high but there was something about him that seemed different from the other soldiers. The soldier smiled at her but Rebecca turned her head to the side.
After the Roman soldiers had rode through the market everyone went back to their business. "I would like to knock one of those soldiers off their horse and just show them that they are not so high and mighty," Misha said angrily. "Oh Misha don't be foolish! They would kill you instantly. It is best if we just be peaceful and not do anything to cause trouble. At least that way no one will get hurt," Miriam said as she placed some fruit into her basket. "What is the glory in letting them torment us?" Misha asked. "Soon a deliverer will come and deliver us from the Romans Misha," Miriam said smiling. "Miriam do not tell me you believe in that?" Misha said sighing. "Of course I believe in it. It gives me hope and a reason to live. Does it not mean anything to you?" Miriam asked as she stopped in the middle of the street to look into Misha's eyes. Misha looked down at his sandaled feet, "It is hard to believe in anything. If there is a deliverer then why hasn't he come yet? Is he going to wait until Jerusalem crumbles to the ground? I really do not believe there is a deliverer," Misha said as he turned and walked away.
As Miriam watched him go she was saddened. All of her life Miriam had been told that a deliverer would come and rescue the Jewish people from the Roman rule. "He is real and he will deliver us," Miriam said as she quickened her pace through the market. She had to believe that a deliverer would come and rescue them in order to live. It gave all of the Jews a reason to get up in the morning. It gave them all hope.
That night Miriam sat eating supper with her mother and father. After they had eaten Miriam's father began to sing an old Hebrew song. The words were comforting and Miriam closed her eyes for a moment. When her father stopped singing Miriam asked, "Father, are you. . .sure that a deliverer will come and deliver us?" Hica smiled at his daughter, "Yes my daughter I am sure. He will come and deliver us soon," Hica said. Miriam nodded and stood to help her mother wash the wooden food bowls.
Later on that night Miriam lay trying to sleep, but sleep would not come. She rose and pulled on a robe and her sandals as she stepped outside. She walked up to what was known as Mount Olives. The view was beautiful and Miriam could see the whole city. A warm breeze was blowing and Miriam smiled. She loved to come up here and listen to the wind.
Her long black hair, which was not covered with a veil, blew in the wind freely. At that moment she heard a noise from behind. She turned around and watched as a dark figure made his way up to the top of Mount Olives. Miriam ran and hid behind a nearby tree as the figure came to stand at the top of the hill.
With the moon's bright light shining down Miriam could see that the figure was a young man. He appeared to have on armor and his sword sheath clanked as he paced back and forth. The young man looked to be a year older than her.
Miriam turned to walk away quietly but she tripped on the tree's root. She cried out as she fell to the ground. The young man heard her and walked over to where she lay.
"Oh are you alright?" the young man asked as he held out his hand. Miriam glanced up at the young man and to her horror she saw that he was a Roman soldier. She jumped up and turned to run away but the young soldier grabbed her arm, "There is no need to be afraid," he said. Miriam stared into his face and saw that it was the soldier that had smiled at her in the market. For a moment the Jewish girl and the Roman soldier stood staring into each others eyes not moving. Finally Miriam broke the silence, "I really must go," she said as she pulled free from the soldier's grip. "Wait, please don't go. Would you mind staying up here and talking with me?" the soldier asked. "You and I talk? But I am a Jew and you are a Roman are you not?" she asked. "Well, yes I am a Roman but why does that matter. For now let us play that I am not a Roman, but instead a lonely man who needs someone to talk to," the soldier said. Miriam was hesitant to stay and talk with the soldier but finally she decided to stay.
They walked over and sat down on the grassy hill of Mount Olives. "My name is Mica Lenoir," the soldier said smiling. "I am Miriam Barimer," Miriam said as she turned her gaze upon the young soldier. He had brown hair that was cropped short and he was handsome. As they sat there Miriam asked, "May I ask why you wish to talk to me? I am a Jew and Romans. . .they hate Jews." Mica sighed, "Unfortunately most Roman soldiers do hate Jews but me, I do not hate anyone." "Then why are you in the Roman army?" Miriam asked. "My father wished for me to be in the army so I had no choice in the matter," Mica said as he stared out across the city. "It is such a beautiful city," Mica said changing the subject. "Yes it is," Miriam said nodding in agreement.
Miriam found it so strange that she was talking to a Roman soldier. Mica was not like other Roman soldiers she had met and seen. There was a kindness in his eyes and he did not mind that she was a Jew.
The Jewish girl and the Roman soldier sat talking about different things for a long time. They talked of their lives and how they were living now. Mica came from a wealthy Roman family. He told Miriam of his beautiful home in Rome and of the coliseum. He had met Herod the king, and other famous rulers. Miriam found it exciting to hear about the city of Rome but she was also troubled. Rome was not under cruel occupation like Jerusalem.
"It all sounds wonderful but I must say that I am not pleased by what it happening to Jerusalem," Miriam said after Mica had finished his life's story. "I am very sorry that you and your people must suffer," Mica said with sympathy in his voice. Miriam sighed and glanced up at the starry sky, "My Father says that all of this, the Roman rule over us, is meant to be. We, the Jews, believe that soon a. . ." Miriam stopped in mid-sentence not knowing if she should tell Mica about the deliverer. "What is it? What were you going to say?" Mica asked. "I'm afraid that I must go," Miriam said standing. Mica stood also and smiled, "It has been very wonderful talking to you. Perhaps we will meet again soon," Mica said with hope in his voice. Miriam sighed, "I really do not think that will be possible," Miriam said. Mica smiled, "Nothing is impossible. We can meet here again perhaps." "Perhaps, now I must go," Miriam said as she turned and walked down the hill to her home.
Mica watched the Jewish girl walk away and he sighed. If he was ever caught associating with a Jew he would be thrown out of the Roman army. He found the whole Roman rule over Jerusalem ridicules. If there was a way he would get out of the army for good. But his father would never allow it. Even at twenty-years-old Mica was still ruled over by his father. The life of a Roman soldier was not a bad life when it came to good food and other things. But as when it came time to fulfill orders that were foolish and uncalled for Mica hated it.
As he turned and walked back to his quarters, Mica kept thinking of the Jewish girl Miriam. She was a beautiful girl and very kind. "I will probably never see her again," Mica said as he shook his head. But still he could not help but hope that maybe he would see the Jewish girl again.
To be continued. . .
P.s.I have tried to make this story historically accurate as I could. There may be a few things that might be a little off.