Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 28 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters.
Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications.
Noa couldn’t stand the busy hours at the library. She loved the hours when it was quiet, and she could cover books, sort, catalog, and do anything else she pleased. Even those morning hours when a few women came to exchange their books were bearable. But the noise of Sundays and Wednesdays from four till seven were a major pain for her, and recently, they had become unbearable. Already at ten to four her head began to ache.
“Young lady.” She left her desk and approached a short girl who was sitting on the floor, taking out books from the bottom shelf and stacking them next to her as she leafed through one of them. “What do you think you are doing?”
“I want to see the covers.” The girl raised a pair of innocent eyes. “Then I’ll put them all back, don’t worry.”
“Fine, but you’d better start doing that soon, because it’s already six thirty.”
“Okay,” the girl replied, her head back in the book on her lap.
“We haven’t been here in a long time,” a voice behind her said, “because Ima didn’t have the energy to bring us. Rachel, will you also take out some books? You should. There are really, really good books here for your age.”
“How do you know?”
“Because when I once wanted all kinds of books from the higher shelf, Ima told me that I’ll read them when I get older. And you’re big already, right?”
“Right. But I don’t really like to read.”
“Besides for your book about flowers. My father also knows a lot about flowers, you know. We once took a trip during vacation, before he went to Russia, and he helped us find twelve different types of flowers! Twelve!”
Noa turned around sharply. Yes, it was Chaiky’s daughter. And the older girl next to her looked like the one she had once seen in their house. Aha.
“Hello, sweetie,” she said warmly to the little girl. “Your name is Naomi, right?”
The girl raised her head to her. “Oh, you know me because you’re here at my mother’s work, right? You also once came to our house.”
“That’s right.” Noa smiled. “How is your mother doing?”
“Baruch Hashem, fine.”
“You have a new baby, right?” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the older girl drop Naomi’s hand and walk over to the shelf with the encyclopedias.
“Send regards to your mother, okay? Is she home?” Keep Reading…