Israeli (5) – 2005.

Israeli.

And then, he was back.

We met for drinks to catch up and somehow, amid the silence of catching up, we sensed where each of us had been in the past two years.

“You didn’t think I was going to come b’aliyah, did you?” I said it with my best defense mechanism smirk.
“Well… I thought it could go either way. Yes, I am surprised.”

Two nights later he called me again.

“Elizabet, be ready at your house in ten minutes. Can you do that?”
“I’m not home – gimme 15 –“
“B’seder.”
Click.

I was at some friends’ watching downloaded episodes of Americana when he called, and as the last episode was wrapping up I collected my second-hand bag and my ratty cream-colored sweater and thanked the boys on my way out to meet Shachar in front of my house.
I wondered on the walk home what this drive was to meet him. The adventure he brings in any given meeting? What is that adrenaline, really, that he pumps into me with a phone call or an ‘Elizabet’? After two years of not speaking, after two years of failing to find ourselves, what kept the spark of ridiculousness still glowing in two dim hearts?

Ten minutes later, calves burning from the rush home, I found the familiar white VW Gulf parked in front.

A bed poked itself out the back.

He found me a new bed. Crazy.

I found Shachar waiting in the stairwell.

“There you are! Come, help me bring this up.” He took my hand in his and we started towards the car and like Lot’s wife, I looked back behind our trail… Was there something there I missed? Is this a ghost pulling me by my palm towards a car I once knew well?
In breathy silence we managed to pull the bed up to the top floor and in short commands managed to get it into my niche of a room, set under the window. I had been going months on four skinny mattresses piled up like the Pea Princess. I looked at Shachar, who was looking at me.

“Ma ha’sha’ah?” I scrambled to find my pelephone.
“9:50.”
“I have to go darling, I will speak to you soon.”

I walked him to the stairs and just stopped —- and watched him continue down. I didn’t know what to say to this… guy.

“Thank you… you’re so nice…” I stammered, half remark, half question.

I could hear Shachar laughing that familiar laugh as he bounded down the twirls of stairs.

“I am so… Israeli,” he replied, the words floating toward my ears like the beeping of an alarm clock.

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