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Rated: E · Fiction · Religious · #1549110
So little is known about the thoughts behind Judas' actions.
One.

          “One of you will betray me.”
          He tensed—visibly, he would have thought, but none of the others seemed to notice as they stared around at each other in wide-eyed unbelief. He took a deep breath and forced his eyes to rove the table, attempting to match the others’ expressions.
          He saw Peter open his mouth to speak, then think better of it (for once, he thought in disdain), murmuring and gesturing instead to John, who barely needed to tilt his head to address their leader.
          “Lord, who is it?”
          Again, his shoulders stiffened, and he chose this time to fix his gaze on the table. Surely it would not happen this way. Surely he would not be revealed after he had come so close.
          “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread after I have dipped it.”
          There was silence for a moment before the other eleven immediately began discussing this answer amongst themselves—it was difficult, sometimes, to know whether the teacher was speaking figuratively, and they were desperate not to miss another important lesson.
          This time, however, the words had been quite literal. Though he kept his gaze lowered, he was aware of the man’s approach. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a hand dip a crumb into the bowl before him. The hand appeared under his nose.
          “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
           He took the crumb and, eyes averted, tried not to hurry as he left the room. He could hear them begin to wonder aloud, asking if he was to purchase their dinner or make a donation to the poor. Some tried to get his attention to ask, but he did not stop. The man did not seem to be answering their queries either. The fool; he clearly knew his fate, but would do nothing to stop it. He almost smiled. His task could not possibly be any easier.
          He dropped the bread as he stepped into the night air.
~
          “How will we know the one?”
          He clenched and unclenched his fists. Weren’t they the ones who had so desperately wanted this man dead? How could they possibly not know his face?
          “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him.”
          He peered around the dark garden. The room had been empty; surely this was where—ah, there.  With new resolve, he hastened his steps toward the unmistakable silhouette.     
          “Greetings, Rabbi!” He met the man’s eyes, smirked…and kissed him.
          Instantly the soldiers flew to action, seizing him and dragging him back the way they had come. Not that there was much of a struggle. He though he heard the man trying to teach one last lesson, in fact. He would certainly not miss those.
          He watched them go. He did not follow.     



Two.

         “One of you will betray me.”
         He tensed—visibly, he would have thought, but none of the others seemed to notice as they stared around at each other in wide-eyed unbelief. He took a deep breath and tried to push the feeling that had arisen in his throat back down. Maybe he was wrong.
         He saw Peter open his mouth to speak, then think better of it (for once, he thought in surprise), murmuring and gesturing instead to John, who barely needed to tilt his head to address their leader.
         “Lord, who is it?”
         He turned to the man, though not as openly as the others did. He knew this man could change things. He knew this man could save him. Both of them. Maybe he would.
         “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread after I have dipped it.”
         There was silence for a moment before the other eleven immediately began discussing this answer amongst themselves—it was difficult, sometimes, to know whether the teacher was speaking figuratively, and they were desperate not to miss another important lesson.
         This time, however, the words had been quite literal. He watched helplessly as the man approached, not making eye contact with him. His eyes followed the man’s hand, holding a crumb, dip slowly into the bowl before him. He went slightly cross-eyed as the hand appeared under his nose.
         “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
         His stomach plummeted. He stared at the man, who would still not meet his gaze. Why? He knew that it didn’t have to be this way. He knew that if the man before him wanted to, he could choose someone else. Why not Peter, who had so struggled? Why not John, the one closest to this man of ironies?
         I have no choice, he wanted to scream, but did not. As he made his way to the door, he heard them asking where he was going, musing that he was perhaps going to buy their feast, or give to the poor. If only.
         He dropped the bread as he stepped into the night air.
~
         “How will we know the one?”
         He barely heard the question, barely registered the absurdity of needing to ask it.
         “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him.”
         His heart was pounding. He thought he might have broken into a cold sweat, but could not lift a hand to check his forehead. This was not right.
         He stopped, peering around the dark garden. The room had been empty; he had almost left the soldiers there, almost claimed ignorance and fled. He had not. But if they were not in the room, surely they would be—ah, there.  With clenched fists, he forced his steps toward the unmistakable silhouette.     
         “Greetings, Rabbi!” He could not meet the man’s eyes. He kissed him.
         “Friend, do what you came to do.” Friend? Even now? He stumbled backwards, now turning a questioning gaze to the man. Why, Lord? Why?
         Instantly the soldiers flew to action, seizing him and dragging him back the way they had come. Not that there was much of a struggle. He though he heard the man trying to teach one last lesson, in fact. He was seized by an urge to hear the words, but was too far away.
         He watched them go. He did not follow.   

© Copyright 2009 Anna Vita (tenthusiast at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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