Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 57 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters.
Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications.
“Elka is not answering this time.” Adi dropped the phone onto a pile of towels and continued folding. “I guess I’ll try again soon.”
This was the fifth day since Noa had disappeared. Adi had returned to her own home by now, but every day she was back at Racheli’s place for a few hours, trying to make headway with her in tracking down Noa.
Racheli peeked out from the kitchen. “Yehudis, go help Adi,” she said. “I don’t feel comfortable that she’s folding our laundry. Where’s Esty?”
“She’s watching Chana’le.” Adi’s face was creased with worry. “Do you think I did the wrong thing by not calling the police? I don’t think Elka can help. She just wants to settle accounts with Noa.”
“In any case, the police will tell you to first check all the other places where Noa could be before they take any action,” Racheli said. “I know how it works. A nine-year-old kid from this neighborhood once disappeared for three hours, and the police did not come before the parents called all the friends to find out if they knew anything. And that was regarding a child, not an adult like in this case.”
“What happened in the end with that boy?”
“His friends had no clue where he could be, so the police finally agreed to get involved. They eventually found the boy in Ramat Gan. He got mixed up with the bus numbers and had no money for a return trip and no phone with which to call home.”
“So maybe I should try and call a few mutual friends,” Adi remarked. She abandoned the washcloth she was folding. “Maybe Noa went to one of them or said something to one of them.”
But none of the friends she called had heard from Noa for at least half a year. Adi seemed to be the last one she had been in touch with.