Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 30 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.
“It’s true that I invited you to give you a dressing down, so to speak,” Yehuda admitted, “but that was not the only reason. I really was looking for a friend to come here with me. Clear so far?”
“And I don’t think there’s any reason to pity you, particularly. Okay,” he said when he saw Zevi’s grimace. “I imagine that you’ve experienced some tough stuff, but overall you are, baruch Hashem, healthy, and I don’t think that your foot gives you a lot of problems in your day-to-day life.”
Zevi peeked at Yehuda’s face out of the corner of his eye as they walked side by side through the pathways of the moshav. They took care to keep their voices low. Here and there, they heard an isolated moo from a cow suffering insomnia, and there was a chill in the air. Zevi shivered for a second, although he didn’t know why. He wasn’t cold.
“It’s not as simple as you think,” he said finally. “Doesn’t give me problems? I wish. You try to live with the constant pressure that people shouldn’t see your foot, and you’ll realize how complicated it is. My feet have to be covered all the time. I never go to the beach, and there is no such thing as slippers, even at home—as long as my little brothers and sisters are up.”
“I didn’t think for a second that it was a simple thing,” Yehuda agreed. “Didn’t I see how pressured you were in yeshivah? But I said that it isn’t the foot that’s causing the problem.”
“So what is?” Zevi stopped, discovering that they had reached a stone bus shelter. He entered, without saying a word, and sat down on the stone bench adorned with black scribbles. Yehuda sat down beside him.
“You,” Yehuda said simply.
“Me?” Keep Reading…