Acts of Faith: Eric Segal
Deborah averted her eyes and nervously plucked at blades of grass. At last she spoke.
"I've really been through a lot since.....that night."
She told him about her servitude in Mea Sherim and her flight to freedom.
"You were very brave.: he murmured.
"My father didn't exactly see it that way."
"I'll bet," he acknowledged. "He's a very strong-willed person."
"So am I. I'm his daughter after all," she said. "Besides, I've done a lot of growing up. I'm nearly twenty now."
"Yes," he responded, gazing at her face, "and very beautiful."
"That's not what I meant," she said shyly.
"I know. I was just changing the subject to something more important."
"Don't you want to know the rest of my story?" she asked uneasily.
"Some other time." He moved within a arms length of her, still not touching.
"I'd like to hear about how it was in the seminary," she said.
"No, you wouldn't," he whispered. "Not this minute anyway."
"What makes you so sure?"
"Deborah," he persisted, "I can read your thoughts. You're feeling scared and guilty."
She lowered her head, clenched her fists, and said, "Yes, you're right--I am. But its natural to be scared. I don't know why I feel so guilty."
He held out his hand and raised her face to look at his. "You're afraid its wrong," he murmured. "But it isn't, Deborah. believe me, there is nothing wrong with the way we feel about each other."
His hand was moving gently down her shoulder.
"Tim, what's going to happen to us?"
"Today? Tomorrow? Next week? I don't know Deborah, and I don't care. I just know I'm with you now. I love you, and I won't let you go."
Their faces were inches apart. It was as if she was on the edge of a precipice for the three aching years they had been separated.
And the Deborah suddenly let go.
She put her arms around his neck and kissed him.
She remembered how it had been with Avi.
And now she knew the difference.
As they held each other tightly, Tim whispered, "Deborah, I can't believe this is a sin."
She nodded wordlessy as they embraced.
Both were nervous, yet niether was afraid. Though completely innocent, they knew intricacies of the act of love.
It was yet another sign that they were doing what was meant to be.
And so, in a wooded coener near the Sea of Galilee, the future priest and the rabbi's daughter consummated the passion that had begun one Sabbath eve so long ago.