Sita had been waiting on Rama for what felt like years. It had been hard, but she never lost hope that he would come to her rescue. Even when he was fighting Ravana and all his demons, she did not falter. She knew Rama would be victorious, and they would be reunited.
Despite her hope, no matter her unwavering belief in him, Rama did not seem happy to see her. He was utterly dismissive and didn't even come to great her himself. He sent a servant to fetch her as if she was the day's shopping.
For the first time since she was captured, Sita knew absolute despair. This man looked like her Rama, he sounded like her beloved husband, but something had happened to him. It was as if Rama no longer loved her.
Sita felt hopeless. If Rama no longer loved her and was not the same Rama she knew, this may not be the world for her anymore. Sita decided to go into the fire. It would at least demonstrate to the world her love and faith in Rama and would be an honorable death for her.
As she watched her funeral pyre take shape, she thought back on her years with Rama. She remembered his smile, and she would love to hear his laughter again before she went into the flames. Unfortunately, it seemed Rama had well and truly fallen out of love with her.
The pyre was ready, and the kindling had been gathered. It was time. Sita took a last look around at those gathered. Lakshmana, her brother by marriage who still believed in her. And Rama, beloved Rama, now so distant. All those who had fought by Rama's side to save her would now be guests at her funeral.
Sita took a breath and walked forward into the fire.
Sita in Fire - Image source here
Author's Note: This story came primarily from The Indian Story Book: Rama's Quest by Richard Wilson, 1914 (source) Illustrated by: Frank Pape, although there have been several other versions of the Ramayana this semester. This most recent retelling was a fast paced read with not a lot of focus on the reincarnation and god attributes of everyone involved. I decided to expand a bit on Sita's trial by fire and be somewhat vague about if she expects to come out alive. For the most part my Sita assumes that if you walk into a fire, that's it.