Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 37 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.
“Have you gone to see the apartment yet, Elisheva?” Yocheved, Eliyahu’s oldest sister, began the call without any small talk or niceties. “I didn’t know you’re the type, you know, who buys raffle tickets.”
“I didn’t buy them,” Elisheva said. Her pre-lunch nap had now been disturbed for the fifth time by an excited phone call. Her head had ached terribly this morning after a night of talking and efforts to digest this news—efforts that were not crowned with much success. So this morning she’d sent Tzippy to work at the day care center instead of her.
“What? You didn’t buy any tickets for this raffle?”
“Nope. My father did.”
“Your father? Wow!”
“Yes. He bought three tickets—for us, for Miri, and for Tzippy…and our ticket won.” For the fourth time, at least, she listened to herself objectively, as though she was just an observer, with interest. Our ticket won….our ticket. It was one thing when people who purchased raffle tickets dream about the fraction of a chance they have of winning. But she? Them—Eliyahu and Elisheva Potolsky? Was it really them who had received that phone call last night?”
“For Tzippy? Why did he buy a ticket for Tzippy?”
“I don’t know, Yocheved.”
“She has a beautiful apartment already, doesn’t she?”
“Yes. But my father didn’t consult me.”
“So let’s hear! Where is your new apartment?”
“In the new buildings at the end of Chazon Ish.”
“I don’t know Bnei Brak very well, but I take it that the location works for you. And what does ‘furnished’ mean? What does it have?”
“I don’t know.”
“Is it just standing and waiting for you with furniture? Or will they give you a credit and let you choose the furniture you want to buy for it?”
“I think we get to go buy it.”
“And they didn’t tell you exactly how much they’re giving you?”
“No, not yet.”
“How big is it exactly?”
“If I understood correctly, it’s eight rooms, plus it has a large porch.” She looked at the half-empty laundry basket. What had she done with all the clothes that were in it? Had she folded them? No, they were here in a big pile to her left. “I hope that my father will agree to come live with us there. I told him that I’m planning to make him an apartment together with us.”
“He kept refusing to come live with you until now, right?”
“Right, and I understand him. Until now I wouldn’t have been able to give him his own space, with the quiet and relaxation that he needs.” She glanced at her tiny, overcrowded home. The home that, when all was said and done, she loved very much.
“Elisheva, it sounds absolutely amazing.”