Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 30 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.
I think this was a very good idea. It was an interesting, if not fascinating, hour, and it was the first time I have seen Menuchi so relaxed. Perhaps it’s because here, her strong point was in the limelight. I hope that a few more such sessions will improve things between us.
She wanted me to leave the pages with her. I refused, and I hope I didn’t do any damage by doing so. I was just afraid that she would get ahead and translate on her own. After all, we don’t really have to sit and do this together. She can read it when I’m not there and write the translation, like she offered to do. But I do want us to sit together and work on it.
The day after tomorrow, I have to submit my ideas to the counselors’ box in school. Perhaps I’ll go write the background for the play now, and even the beginning scenes, from what I’ve learned already. We’ll see how it flows.
I’m leafing through the handwritten pages of my translated version, trying to decide with what to open. Perhaps the street fight should be the first scene, and that woman, Diana, will suddenly appear like a rescuing angel? Maybe I should write it in the order that she wrote her memoirs? Or should I begin with her description of the Belgian streets? Or maybe inLondon, even before she decided to travel toBelgium?
Now I pick up the English copy of the story. I told Menuchi that I want to reread the part that we translated already and I want to keep my word. My eyes quickly scan the lines, not stopping in order to understand. Half a page, and then another one, the second page, the third—there, that’s as far as we got. One moment, what’s this woman’s family name? She doesn’t mention it even once. She writes everything in first person, and even omits her first name.
I go into the kitchen. Keep Reading…