Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 9 of a new online serial novel, Without a Trace, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday. Click here for previous chapters.
Shevi’s mother scraped the last plate and placed it on the counter. Her daughter sat at the table, following her mother’s moves silently, in a near dreamlike state. Her mother wanted to wash the dishes? Fine. Nothing really made a difference to her right now. The dishes could dance in circles in the sink or wash one another, for all she cared.
“It’s a good thing Gavriel called me!” her mother said as she bent down to the cabinet under the sink, where, like at home in Haifa, the cleaning supplies were stored. “My daughter feels like this, and no one should help her?” She took out the bleach. “For the chagim I will buy you a dishwasher, do you hear me, Elisheva? A dishwasher! Who washes dishes these days?”
“Gavriel, sometimes,” Elisheva said weakly, and lay her head down on the table. She raised it almost immediately. The pain in her ear only grew worse in that position.
“Nu, but he has his learning. There’s no reason for either of you to have to stand at the sink. If you don’t have a dishwasher, then at least use paper goods!” She glanced at her daughter. “Do you want to go lie down a bit? You’re pale.”
“The ear hurts much more when I lie down…” Shevi replied tiredly. Just a few days earlier she had parted from her parents, regretting that their visits were so rare, and now her mother was already here again.
“An ear infection,” the doctor had said in a surprised tone. Apparently he didn’t often have young women with ear infections—and in the summer to boot. Ear infections were much more prevalent among children, and in the winter. But Shevi wasn’t surprised; she knew she had always had sensitive ears that reminded her of their existence at least twice a year. Infections in the summer were not especially out of the ordinary for her.
Elinor came into the kitchen holding the broom. “Where’s your dustpan, Shevi?” Keep Reading…