Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 26 of a new online serial novel, Divided Attention, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday. Click here for previous chapters.
Copyright © 2010 by Israel Bookshop Publications
“Morah?” Nava said as she passed Ayala near the door.
“Morah, uh…could it be that the journals are in the trash dumpster outside the front gate?”
“In the dumpster?” Ayala was surprised at the very idea.
“They were green, weren’t they?”
“Yes,” the teacher replied, her eyes squinting in concentration. “Why? Did you see something?”
“I peeked in there when I came this morning and I think I saw something that looked like green covers. Could they be the journals?”
“Perhaps,” Ayala said. “Come, let’s take a look.”
Nava hesitated. All she needed was for the girls spending their recess outside to see her and Morah Ayala striding together through the schoolyard and out the gate to begin rummaging in the garbage dumpster. If she was right, then at least she would be vindicated and everyone would understand the reason for their little foray. But what if she wasn’t right? And besides, she didn’t really want to be the topic of discussion as they searched, irrespective of whether their search turned anything up or not.
Ayala smiled, correctly interpreting her student’s hesitation. “Alright, Nava. Thank you for your attention. I’ll deal with it myself.”
Ita asked the janitor to go over to the huge green dumpster and use the mop stick to see if the journals were in there. He did as instructed, and after several long moments of being observed by an audience of gaping high-schoolers glued to the chain-link fence, the mop stick turned up a familiar green binding, sans papers.
“That’s it!” Ita said excitedly. “Do you see any papers, Mr. Shimshon?” she called.
“Yes, and there are a few more green books here, as well.”
He pulled out a pair of latex gloves and put them on. Then he hoisted himself onto the edge of the dumpster and stuck his hands inside the heap.
“Ugh!” Batya said to Nava as they stood watching at the fence. “How can he do that?”
“The way you say it, you would think that there are diapers and chicken bones there!” Nava retorted without taking her eyes off the cover that peeked out of the clear plastic bag the principal was holding. “After all, we’re just about the only ones who use that dumpster. The worst thing that could be there are a few empty chocolate milk bottles!” Keep Reading…