Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 19 of a new online serial novel, Beneath the Surface, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday. Click here for previous chapters.
Copyright © 2011 by Israel Bookshop Publication
As the clock indicated six minutes to four, the door closed. I looked around a bit helplessly, knowing that I had a few hours ahead of me with absolutely nothing to do in them.
Two plates, two forks, two knives, a bowl, and a spoon rested comfortably in the fleishig sink. Should I wash them now? I could, in theory, but if I would finish the dishes, what would I do in another hour?
What a funny question. Anyone who has what to do right now and asks what she will do later has no faith. I went over to the sink and slowly and deliberately washed each dish. I didn’t bother scrubbing the counter. I had done it yesterday and the day before; it wasn’t dirty.
Four-oh-seven. Technically I could go rest, but I don’t like resting in the afternoon. If I’m tired, then a rest is great, but when I feel as fresh as a crisp lettuce leaf and no less bored than that leaf, then afternoon rests just make things worse. So what could I do?
There wasn’t a book to be had in the house, except for a sefer I’d received for my wedding. But my parents already had that sefer, and I’d read it more than once during my engagement.
What else? A CD.
I didn’t have any.
But I could borrow!
But I didn’t have a CD player!
Actually, getting to know a new neighbor right now sounded like a nice idea. The problem was that I’m really not the initiating type who introduces herself and invites people to come over so everyone could get to know each other over coffee and cake. Maybe the neighbor would be busy but wouldn’t feel polite refusing me? And maybe she wouldn’t know if she could trust my kashrus? I could show her that I have a closed package of cookies. But what about coffee? I didn’t have it in the original container—all I had was a small amount of it in a clear sandwich bag which Ima gave me yesterday, to last until we’d get a chance to buy a jar of our own. Keep Reading…