TITLE: The Judgment of Solomon
GENRE: Adult Historical Romance
Friday, 22 February 1946
Lidia was bent over the sink, scrubbing the utensils until they gleamed in the faint kerosene lamp lit room. Wisps of hair sprang free from the clasp that held her golden locks back. The humidity from the scalding water made her skin sticky. Her day at the factory had been an arduous one, followed by a two-kilometer stroll home, and then she spent an hour preparing dinner. She was exhausted; her muscles knotted between her shoulders and her ankles ached. She ought to have been in a bad mood.
Instead, she was bemused.
Her daughters, Sophie and Ewa’s lively chatter from the kitchen table brought a tiny smile to Lidia’s face. They were sketching everything from Father Cieslik to a neighborhood cat on a scrap of paper, using the nub of a pencil. Life was a constant struggle but her girls were worth every hardship.
An impatient knock summoned her from her chore. Drying her hands on her apron, Lidia swept through the sitting room. Answering the door, she found a man on the doorstep. He was slightly taller than she was and spare. His graying hair uncommonly long, fell on the upturned collar of his coat. Only men mimicking the way poet Juliusz Slowacki dressed, calling it the “Slowacki look” wore their hair that long. Twin lines made parentheses beginning at his nose and ending by his chin, barricading his thin lips.