- Vol. 05
- Chapter 01
It was the O that did it. That simple O, pushed askew, symbolised me, after the surreal events of the past month. I had been content, in a complaining sort of way, with my existence. Husband who worked too hard but didn't realise that I did the same. Two kids — teenage, stroppy — with belief systems that put them centre of every stage they moved onto. A good enough house at a good enough address, with neighbours who understood precisely where we sat in the financial hierarchy. I'd been rushing home on Friday, briefcase in one hand, two supermarket bags in the other, checking my Friday night dinner list in my head. Roast chicken, prepare vegetables, set table, prepare for Mum's criticisms...she had never forgiven me for marrying out. I was surprised she deigned to come to us on Friday night — our observance didn't go much beyond Friday and the chicken. She did arrive, over powdered and over dressed, glittering ostentatiously, a certain sort of wealthy Jewish widow. I definitely took after my father. Halfway through the chicken she put down her cutlery. 'I have news.' Dramatic pause. We dutifully stopped eating. 'I'm going to Israel next week. For good.' Her timing was perfect. We all looked at her, chicken forgotten. 'But Grandma,' the children were first to speak, together. I found my voice. 'Mum, how? Where? Have you got somewhere to live?' She waved her hands at me. 'Just be quiet and I'll tell you. I didn't want to say anything until it was arranged, didn't need you interfering.' Her look preempted any response. 'I've bought a nice apartment in Tel Aviv, and we're flying out together.'