“You sure are impatient.”
Rachel gave the woman sitting next to her an annoyed glance. Taking in her flowing skirt, intricate head covering, and serene smile Rachel decided to ignore her seatmate but that wasn’t possible.
“The bus isn’t going to get there any faster no matter how many times you look at your watch,” the woman told her.
Rachel nodded impatiently, adjusted her hat, and addressed the other passengers.
“What’s the problem? Is there an accident or what?”
“The light’s out at the intersection,” one man standing in the aisle informed her. “We should get past it soon.”
They didn’t, though. Apparently the light was out because of an accident. It looked like just a little fender-bender but with the police car, repair truck, and smashed cars Rachel knew it would be a while before she reached home. She sighed and squirmed willing the bus to go.
“Calm down,” the busybody next to her instructed. “Whatever you have to do can get done later.”
Exasperated Rachel glared at the woman. “It just so happens I have a very important phone call to make before my children come home and I don’t want to make it on the bus.”
“I’m sure that’s upsetting,” the woman smiled. “You need to remember, though, that HaShem has a plan and everything’s for the best.”
“Right,” Rachel snapped. “I don’t need you to tell me that. I’m perfectly capable of figuring it out on my own.”
“Sorry, dear.” The woman smiled again and turned her attention to the pamphlet of inspirational verses in her lap.
Not to be outdone Rachel took out her small book of psalms, but as much as she tried, she couldn’t concentrate on the words. Finally, finally the bus began moving. It crawled through the intersection, picked up speed, and three stops later deposited her a half a block from her apartment. Another glance at her watch told her she had at least twenty minutes before her first child would arrive. Maybe she’d really be able to make the phone call. Elated she took out her key as she scampered up the stairs. Only she didn’t need her key since the front door was ajar.
“Dovid,” she called as she entered her home.
There was no answer.
“Dovid?” She repeated a little louder.
There was perfect quiet. Rachel’s heart began to hammer. Something wasn’t right. She grabbed the broom that had been left next to the door.
Once more she tried her husband’s name. This time she yelled it.
Gingerly she moved into the kitchen and gasped. The contents of the freezer were spilled all over the floor. Instinctively she knelt ready to clean up the chaos and then stopped. The food hadn’t just fallen out of her freezer. Someone had been there and it wasn’t Dovid and her kids. Maybe he was still there? She had to get out of the apartment! Broom still in hand she fled from the kitchen, out her door, down the hall, and banged on her neighbor’s entrance.
Thankfully Sharon was home.
“Rachel, you’re white as a ghost!”
“Someone broke into our apartment!”
“Sit down,” Sharon was already pouring her a glass of juice. “I’ll call the police.”
It took them fifteen minutes to arrive. Once again Rachel was impatiently checking her watch every few seconds.
“What am I going to do when the kids get home?” she worried.
“No problem,” Sharon reassured her. “They’ll spend the afternoon with mine until everything’s under control.”
Rachel had just finished thanking her neighbor when she heard footsteps on the stairs. Two policemen had come. The older one stood at the entrance with her asking question after question while the younger one entered the apartment.
“Lady,” the younger one finally called out. “No one’s here. You can come on in.”
The three of them made a full tour of the apartment. The children’s room was fine. Her bureau in the bedroom was a disaster, though, with contents strewn all over the beds. Their silver plated candlesticks and wine cup had been tossed on the living room floor.
“Obviously looking for valuables,” the older policeman stated scornfully. “Is anything missing?”
Rachel shook her head. Her diamond ring was safely on her hand.
“It looks like there were two of them,” the younger policeman said. “They came in through there.” He pointed to the patio door that had been jimmied and dirty footsteps on the floor. “These are fresh. They couldn’t have left too long ago.”
He pulled out his walkie-talkie and called for back-up. “I’ll see if I can find them,” he called over his shoulder as he sprinted out the door. “Dan, finish up the paperwork.”
Dan nodded. “I bet they were angry they couldn’t find anything. Lady, it’s a good thing you didn’t come home when they were here.”
Rachel blanched at his words. “I was supposed to be home,” she said in a small voice. “But the bus was stuck in traffic.”
".That sure was lucky"