Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 35 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters.
Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications.
“You know what condition I was in when I got to my parents’ house that morning…” Blumi folded the blanket with jerky motions. The hotel room was beginning to feel stifling, as if it was closing in on her. She wanted to be in her own home, in her own room. But how could she go home now?
The simplest solution would be to ask Beri who the bachur who had been at the house that night was. But she couldn’t admit to Beri the fact that this was what had been on her mind during those moments. It was bad enough admitting it to herself.
“Not that that was on my mind at the time,” she heard herself explaining to Gideon. “Really, it wasn’t!” She sat down on the bed, fingering the orange cyclamen flower printed on the velour blanket. Who drew orange cyclamens, for Heaven’s sake?
“What wasn’t on your mind?” Her husband was trying to follow her train of thought—albeit not very successfully.
“The yad. My father’s silver yad.”
“Hmmm,” he said, with commendable patience. “And then?” A banal phrase that doesn’t give away how much you don’t understand what the other person is talking about…
“I wanted to go into the room where Abba was,” she said, her eyes wide. He could see that again, she was reliving those difficult moments of frantic packing, the flight, landing in Eretz Yisrael…
“And then I saw that the cabinet in the hallway was open. It was a little strange, because when had it been opened, and what for? I got nervous that thieves had managed to enter. The shelves there were almost empty; it hadn’t usually been a very full cabinet to begin with. I stuck my hand in and felt the envelope.”
“Where my father had hidden his silver yad.”
“I see. Nu?”
“It was only when I stood at the door of the room that I saw…” Her voice broke. “That apparently the one who had opened the cabinet had been Beri, to take out my mother’s old copper candlesticks. You know, when they got married after the war, my father didn’t have money to buy her more expensive candlesticks, so he purchased something simple. Beri had just taken them out to light two candles…” She stared at the orange cyclamen.