Abigail stood beside her mother, Naomi, holding tight to her shawl so she wouldn’t be swept away by the angry crowd. "Momma," she shouted above the screams, "why is everyone so mad?" Naomi seemed to ignore her, pushing through the crowd and leaving Abigail to stumble after her. "Momma, can't you please slow down?"
"Not now, honey. We need to get out of this crowd."
One man's scream rose above the rest; this was not a cry of anger, but rather one of agony. A few seconds later a whip snapped through the air followed by another agonizing scream. In the chaos and confusion, Abigail let go of her mother's shawl. She turned around, but Naomi wasn't in sight.
"Momma! Where are you?" Abigail cried. She ran blindly through the crowd, the sounds of the whip and the man's screams growing closer.
Abigail continued to run, until she stood frozen right next to the man. She gasped at the sight and wanted to cry even more. "Where are you, Momma?" She couldn't take her eyes off the man, even though she wanted to. Somehow, under all His pain, she saw... was it... could it be... love? There was sadness in His eyes and pain, but also something she couldn’t quite explain. It was as if right now, this man saw her and only her. But... that wasn't possible, was it?
The guards kicked the man, and He jerked forward. Abigail looked back as the man stumbled past her.
"Momma? Oh, Momma!" Abigail ran to her mother's arms.
"We must get home quickly, dear. I don't like what's happening here."
"But I have to see what happens to Him. I saw Him. And He saw me. And... I think He loves me."
"Oh honey, you're not old enough to understand."
"I don't want to understand. I want to see Him."
"I already saw what they did to Him. Please?"
Naomi relented. "Okay. But let's walk slowly."
The two arrived at Golgotha and stood at the back of the crowd. Metal hit metal, the man's screams silencing the echoing clamor. Abigail hid her face in her mother's cloak, tears burning her eyes. At last, the echoing stopped. She turned around as the cross thudded into the ground. The sky darkened.
"Momma?" Abigail whispered.
"Shhhh. It's okay, honey."
The two stood there, both mesmerized and horrified by the scene.
Naomi broke the sacred silence. "Abigail, I think I know what you meant. I didn't understand what you said earlier, but now I do. Because... He loves me too."
They stood there, hugging each other. Naomi knelt beside her daughter, pushed her bangs away from her face, and wiped her tears away. "I don't understand it either, Abigail, But I think a new era is about to begin."
Three days later, Abigail burst into the house after playing with some friends. "Momma! Have you heard? That man. He's... He's alive!"
"Yes honey. I heard. A new era truly has begun. Let's go celebrate."
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