Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 31 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
As expected, Manny was excited at the idea; Rafi, less so.
“Okay,” Rafi said blandly, “so if he calls again, what should I tell him?”
“Ask him what their organization does. What do they want from you and what are the rules of the program. See if it sounds good for you. Nobody’s forcing you to go, and there’s no point in joining if you won’t enjoy it.”
The phone rang at eight o’clock sharp, as Rafi and his organ were emitting loud attempts at making music—although there was undisputable improvement. Manny picked up the phone and spoke with the caller for several minutes. “Rafi,” he finally said, “come, he wants to talk to you.”
Aharon, waiting patiently on the other end, quickly scrawled the name “Rafi” in large letters on the back of his masmidim booklet. He had received the go-ahead from the office to expand the organization’s activities. The idea wasn’t a bad one at all, and there was no reason why he couldn’t sign up kids from other neighborhoods without affecting the existing programs in their areas, if there were any.
Rafi. Did his name indicate anything?
The boy came to the phone. “Hello?”
After returning the greeting, Aharon got down to business. “You know, Rafi,” he began pleasantly, “our organization distributes prizes to children who do well.”
“What kind of prizes?” Rafi asked.
Aharon wracked his brain, trying to remember one of the prizes. “An electric train, for example,” he said with a cough. He had been in charge of distributing the prizes the previous month and had obtained battery-operated, miniature trains for a very cheap price. If he remembered correctly, he still had a few left in a box on his porch.
“A big one?”
“So-so,” Aharon said. “But maybe before we talk about prizes, I should get to know you. We like to know the new kids who join our organization.”
“Okay,” the child said tonelessly.
“So, can we meet this evening?” Keep Reading…