Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 17 of a new online serial novel, Without a Trace, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters.
At three o’clock, as the pale moon began to sink below the horizon, Eliyahu woke up and could not fall back asleep. For many long years he had slept, very deeply. Now the time had come to act, and with him, as always, action didn’t come far after the decision, even if it was difficult or puzzling. Perhaps the fact that Zevi was reasonably tall was what was bothering him. That was a sign that he was toward the end of the growing stage, wasn’t it? And if he had understood Arthur correctly, it was easier to repair the problem when the body had not yet reached its final growth. Perhaps these were the final days when something could still be done, if at all!
And maybe it was his impulsiveness, which had never given him any respite. His Aunt Minda had always said that the moment he decided something, nothing could stop him.
Either way, Eliyahu felt that he had to act. He couldn’t wait, despite the discomfort and awkwardness he knew would be involved. He waited impatiently for another hour to pass, and then got up and went out to the nearest shul where a vasikin minyan was held. He learned a bit, davened, and went back home. Chavi and the girls were up, as they usually were at this early hour. Only the boys’ room was still quiet. Elchanan had to get up for davening already, but he had an alarm clock. He didn’t need his father to wake him. Eliyahu marveled at how mature and responsible the boy was.
“Chavi?” He found her in the kitchen, cutting tomatoes on the blue cutting board as she listened with a sigh to the screams coming from the girls’ room. “Do you know how someone can get from Bnei Brak to Yerucham?”
“From Bnei Brak to Yerucham?” The knife in her hand froze in mid-motion for a second. “I think there are private buses a few times a day. Not too many.”
“Is there a direct bus from here?”
“I don’t think so. I imagine that you can take a bus from the Central Bus Station to Beer Sheva, and from there I’m sure there’s a link to Yerucham.” Keep reading…