Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 19 of a new online serial novel, The Black Sheep, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters.
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Ariella spent the rest of Friday exploring the streets near her small apartment. It was refreshing to see children wearing velvet yarmulkes, and young men in suits and hats, walking briskly with a typical Erev Shabbos purposefulness. Not that she could ignore the rolling Arabic that she heard as well, as Arab women in their distinct garb, pushing strollers and surrounded by children, passed her by.
Her Shabbos was ready, and there was nowhere for her to hurry. She studied the buildings; some were very well kept, while others were just the opposite. She noticed the clean sidewalks and streets and wondered about the lack of traffic lights both for vehicles and for pedestrians. She did not see Osher, or any other youths that could have been his friends in whatever learning framework he was in. Just at the end of her walking tour, she found an Arab woman sitting under a massive umbrella with a few buckets of flowers. Ariella selected two modest bunches, paid for them, and then, in the rain that had begun to fall, walked back to her temporary home.
When she entered the building, she hesitated, not sure whether or not to knock on Miriam’s door. There was a little mat near it, and she decided to leave one of the bouquets there, where her hostess was sure to find it. She placed the other bouquet in a plastic cup on the small table in her room, and leaned it against the wall.
Shabbos was about to descend on the world.