Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 25 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.
Two days later they were discharged by the department director in Tel Hashomer Hospital.
“Keep an eye on it,” he said, and picked up his pen to sign the form. “We took out all the glass that we found, but please keep an eye on it and be aware if any changes occur in the color or shape. Come back at the beginning of next week for a check-up in any case, even if you see an improvement in the burn.”
They went from there to the car that waited for them outside. Zevi’s head rested on Chanoch’s broad shoulder, and Shoshi gazed at the small, pale face. The last round of tears still twinkled on the edges of the little boy’s eyes. Shoshi couldn’t find a tissue, so she gently wiped the tears away with her hand. Abba waited for them in the car next to the entrance of the hospital, and they climbed in quietly. Chasida was sitting in the back, and she moved over a bit to allow Shoshi to climb in. Chanoch carefully passed Zevi inside.
“Zevi, darling, I brought you a candy!” the doting aunt crooned before greeting her sister and brother-in-law.
Zevi shrugged and turned his head to the other side, letting it droop onto his mother.
“He has no interest in anything,” Shoshi whispered and stroked the short, orange hair. “No candy, no nosh. All he ate today was a few spoonfuls of yogurt, and even that was difficult to get him to swallow.”
In the front, Abba and Chanoch were discussing the doctor’s orders and the rest of the treatment. Behind them, the two sisters sat and gazed silently at Zevi, who suddenly looked much smaller than he had two days ago. The two days that were the longest ones of Shoshi’s life.
“You’re coming home to us now, right?” Chasida asked.
“I think so. The truth is, we haven’t even thought about it at all.”
“Of course you’re coming to us. How will you take care of his foot yourselves?”
Shoshi didn’t reply. She continued stroking Zevi’s head as he looked quietly out the window, squinting every few seconds.
“Does your foot hurt, sweetheart?” she asked, touching his chin.
“Not now,” the three-year-old whispered, his eyes still on the window. “There’s Uncle Eliyahu,” he suddenly said, louder. “He has flowers for me. Yellow ones.” He closed his eyes and turned his head in the other direction. Keep Reading…