Darice adjusted her master's dress. "Essa, I know I'm only your handmaiden, and it is not my place to give you advice about such matters, but please think about what you're doing."
"I've thought about it long and hard, Darice. I've prayed about it too. There is no other option."
"Well of course there are options. Why not have someone else do it?"
"Because this is something I'm supposed to do. Not anyone else."
Darice picked up the brush and started working on Essa's hair. "Okay. I guess I can see that. But you're going about this all wrong."
"I know I'm not following 'standard procedure,' but this matter cannot wait. This is how God told me to do it, and I'm not going to argue."
"Are you sure it was God's voice?"
"As sure as I hear yours right now."
Darice put the brush down and turned Essa around, looking her in the eyes. "Essa, you could die."
Essa wrung her hands. "You think I don't know that, Darice? You think that I haven't played this out thousands of times in my head? You think I haven't tried to come up with every conceivable way this could play out? I know the risk, Darice."
"Then why do you want to do it?"
"I don't want to do it, Darice."
"Because it's something I have to do."
"So there's no way I can talk you out of it?"
"Oh, I'd love for you to talk me out of it. But I could never live with myself if I didn't take this chance. I know you don't understand, Darice, but you'll have to trust me.... No, you'll have to trust God."
"I don't know Him like you do, Essa. How can I trust Him?"
"I need you to trust Him. For me. Can you do that?"
Darice took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "For you, Essa, I think I can."
"Good. So, how do I look?"
"Stunning. Are you ready?"
"As ready as I'll ever be." Essa adjusted her dress one last time. "Pray for me."
With a deep breath, Esther entered the king's chambers.
The door shut with a resounding THUD.
Darice fell to her knees, one hand on the door, and her flushed forehead pressed onto the cool, stone floor.
Based on Esther 4-5 (NASB)
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