Jael maybe encounters both the weeping lady and her lost children
Sitting in the boarding area for the plane, Jael sat down, hopeful no one would sit next to her. The last thing she wanted was some jerk pointing out her skin color. The only time her looks became an issue in Lubbock was when she wore clothes that matched the library’s building design. Oh, and when she asked if the dumplings she ordered for dinner had pork or chicken inside since she preferred pork in them.
They asked if that was a Muslim diet thing to which she responded, “I don’t know, is it?”
She did get allot of stares, though, but she did not want to assume it was because of her skin color. Just then she felt the vibrations of the engines of an approaching jet rumbling on the runway. Jael slumped more into her chair. She hadn’t realized she was tired until that moment, and was trying not to nod off. The engine vibrations and very audible sniffling coming from a traveler waiting in the trio of seats in front of her, kept sleep at bay.
Sniffles had her head buried in her hands and her shoulders heaved like she was weeping. Jael wanted to check on her, and so did two children that were desperately waiting for her to look up. They had the same shade of brown hair as she. Must be her kids. Jael smiled kindly at them and they both smiled back. The little girl who seemed older than the smaller boy held him with one arm like she was keeping him from running off.
Two adults came by looking as though they wanted to sit next to the sobbing lady, but Jael was sure the other two seats were for her children. Jael stood to stop them, but was halted by their conversation. It took Jael a moment to realize they weren’t both guys since they both had short, boy-like haircuts until she heard the female speak. “I just can’t believe it.”
“Believe it, not all moms are as concerned with watching the little ones when they see their spouse ride off in their carriage with another woman,” the man said stoically as he shoved his hands in his pockets.
“But she loved them that is why she is Lalorana the weeping woman mourning her children. I can’t believe she would have killed her children!” The lady was pacing in clear distress.
Pulling his hands out of his pockets to bring them up on either side in a shrug like questioning manner, “There are many versions of Lalorana. She may be weeping losing her spouse to another. She may be crying in anger. That is why some of the tales say she killed her children to spite their father.”
Jael tried not to pay attention to them as she was still concerned about the children and the seated crying lady who suddenly whipped her head up from her hands. “Who said I—I killed MY babies?!”
Standing, she rushed to stand in front of the man. The man’s eyes went wide and his arms dropped to his side then immediately crossed to rub his arms. “Whew!” His released breath producing steam.
“It got sooo cold!” The lady was buttoning up her sweater. The man moved toward her and away from the woman with the tear stained face.
“That sad voice…” The short haired lady began.
“Yes, and didn’t you see her? The tears still running down her cheeks?” He asked.
“No, j-just her voice,” the lady said moving closer inside his hug. “Did she come here because we spoke of her? Is she making it cold to get back at us?”
Jael wasn’t cold, but she was heating up at the nerve of those two speaking like that in front of the two kids. She wanted to scold them, but the crying lady continued to rant at the man and his lady.
“I wouldn’t mourn that man! He didn’t even notice his children trying to impress him with jumping in the lake to swim. Only our daughter knew how, but our tiny son wanted to impress his father, too, and jumped i-in…” She choked on her words. “I didn’t chase after his horse and carriage and mistress! The water carried my babies off! I was trying to meet them, but I went all around the lake and couldn’t find them. So I stayed there until now crying for their return…”
Jael did not understand exactly what was happening but she assumed it was some sort of cos-play reenactment of an event. She had never participated in costume-based reenactments of history or fictional comic book stories. It was just the only way she could figure out why the crying lady was dressed in such an ancient looking frock.
Regardless, Jael went to the two children who were now weeping and took one in hand on her right and the other with her left to walk them over to the tear stained woman in the old timey outfit. “Ma’am? These children seem to be wanting your attention.”
She pulled up the long skirt to turn and face Jael. Falling to her knees she reached out for the children who rushed into her arms. The loud speaker announced her flight number, so Jael ripped her attention away from the reenactment, or whatever-it-was, to get in line to board.
“Where did she and the children go?”
“Dunno, babe, but it warmed up so I’m guessing to wherever ghosts go.”
“Oh! I hope they won’t have to replay that horrible event in their lives!”
“I don’t think so. She came here and so did her kids. So she has no reason to cry for them at the lakeside anymore. They can go do…uh ghost things.”
“Oh…I hope so.”
Jael found herself unsure of whether to be entertained by the performance she had just seen. The actors were very good at crying on command. Glad I didn’t go into theatre. She boarded the plane and took her seat.
The attendant came by to see if she wanted a drink. She asked if she could order a gin-and-tonic, pulling out her ID. She was glad she had tried Kaven’s drink at the hotel bar earlier. She and Kaven often had the same taste in stuff.
Well, except Jael did not have stomach for religious talk, and Kaven was Christian. He respected her unwillingness to go to church with him and was the one who suggested that instead of a church wedding they should buy a house. Jael wondered if she was influencing him more than he was influencing her. He hadn’t managed to convince her to come to church even once. She lowered her tray table anticipating her cocktail’s arrival.