As The Lily Among Thorns

 

Author's Note: Not all of this dialogue was in the movie, but it was in the screenplay. Except for the last three lines, of course.

 

 

Yentl took off her father's tallit and folded it with care, wondering how long she could sustain the charade.

Really, she was surprised it had lasted through the first hour. As she had set off down the road, away from her home village, her hair cut short, wearing her father's suit, she had fully expected the first person who saw her to demand, "What are you doing in man's clothing, girl?"

But people, she had discovered very quickly, saw what they expected to see. Her trousers had fooled everyone. Too well, as it turned out, she reflected as the door opened and Hadaas entered. Because now she had a beautiful bride who was beginning to chafe at her husband's neglect.

Hadaas smiled at her and sat down at the dresser to brush that abundant dark hair of hers. She really was beautiful. Her lips were like a thread of scarlet, and her speech was comely; she was all fair, there was no blemish in her. Her skin was fair as the moon and clear as the sun. Her nose was not at all like the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus, as Solomon had written of the Queen of Sheba, but it was pert and appealing.

"I read a beautiful story today," Hadaas remarked. "David and Jonathan."

Yentl, accustomed to other women thinking her more than a little touched for her desire to study, had been delighted at the alacrity with which Hadaas had taken to it. But that Hadaas should take notice of the story of King David and his bosom friend made her unaccountably nervous. "I thought you were reading the book of Job?"

"All about their love being stronger than a man's and a woman's..." Hadaas continued a little dreamily, before adding, "The Book of Job was yesterday." Her tone was just a little tart; evidently she was proud of the amount of reading she had been doing. Yentl wondered how long it would be before Hadaas found the Song of Solomon. The girl was already badly in need of a real husband; once she had read that, action of some sort would have to be taken.

And Solomon had been right: a young woman was not meant to be a garden enclosed, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. The north wind and the south should awake and blow upon her garden, that the spices thereof might flow out.

"Anshel?"

Deep in reverie, it took Yentl a moment to realize that the vision had spoken her assumed name, was looking at her with glowing dark eyes. "Mmm?"

"How many children do you want?"

Oh, Lord. "I… I don't know."

Hadaas rose, setting down the brush, and walked towards Yentl. "He didn't make me tremble."

"Who?" Yentl blurted, as if she didn't know.

"You did, though." Hadaas stopped right in front of Yentl, looking up at her with confident affection. "What's even nicer, I made you tremble…."

Yentl was trembling now, and it didn't help when Hadaas reached up and deftly removed Yentl's spectacles. "What are you doing?"

"I want to look at you." She set the spectacles down carefully on the bureau before meeting Yentl's gaze again, slipping her arms around Yentl's neck. "When you told me I had the right to refuse you, you didn't tell me I also had the right to demand you."

"Who… who told you that?" "The Talmud. The Yibamote Tractate - I forget what page…"

"63.a. and b.," Yentl muttered automatically.

"It's written, Anshel."

Yentl managed a nervous laugh. "I think you've been studying too hard."

"You told me to tell you when I knew what I wanted. I do. And it isn't Avigdor. So it's no longer a sin." She stroked Yentl's cheek, her touch warm and gentle. "So smooth. I hope you never grow a beard. It doesn't scratch. Such full lips. As full as mine."

"Many men have-"

"See if they fit." And without further warning, Hadaas leaned forward and kissed her. The kiss went down sweetly, like the best wine.

Released, Yentl drew a shaky breath. She had never been kissed before, and had vaguely doubted it could really merit the importance people placed on it. Now she knew that it could. And did. "Oh, Hadaas…."

"Shhh…. It's been terrible for you, I know. All this waiting. But it's all right now. You've no need to be patient anymore."

Yentl turned away from her eyes, for they had overcome her. "I'm sorry… oh, my God, I'm so sorry…."

"For what? Teaching me? Not laughing at me? Respecting me? Making me happy? Making me fall in love with you?" Hadaas held her closer. Now her pretty face was pleading. "Kiss me. Hold me. Caress me." Yentl tried to muster a protest, but was stopped by a slender finger on her lips. "Shh, my husband…."

Yentl closed her eyes and swallowed, trying to think. In a sense, Hadaas was right; she did have the right.

There was only one problem.

But then, the ignorance required of females might be turned to her advantage just this once….

She opened her eyes, cleared her throat, and asked quietly, "Hadaas. Do you know… how the marriage act is performed?"

Hadaas looked alarmed. "No! I thought you did!"

Yentl smiled. "Not to worry."

She would find some way of doing her duty.

 

 

 

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