Friday, February 9, 2018

Growing With My Cousin

Last week was the birth announcement of my novel and here’s the prologue. Want to read the rest? Go to  
“Is this the Chazon family?” Sondra asked uncertainly in Hebrew. She’d checked her watch before dialing the number. It was almost eight in the morning in Israel, not quite ten o’clock in the evening in Phoenix.

“Yes.” She didn’t recognize the voice at the other end of the receiver.
“May I speak to Lisa?”
“Who’s calling?”
“Her cousin, Sondra. I’m calling from America.”
“Just a minute.”
It was more like five.
“Hello?” Lisa’s voice was thick, as if she’d just woken up.
“Lisa, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” She didn’t sound fine.
“Listen, I have some bad news from here.” Sondra cleared her throat nervously. “I think it’s something you should know.”
“Shaindy’s husband was killed in a car accident Saturday night.”
There was a brief silence and then Lisa mumbled half to herself, “Well, at least she knows where he.”
Horrified by her cousin’s inappropriate response, Sondra cried out, “Why would you say such a thing?” But as she spoke, she realized the line was dead. She redialed the familiar number with a trembling hand. This time Lisa picked up.
“Lisa.” Not wanting to wake any of her children, Sondra struggled to keep her voice low. “Are you okay?”
There was a long pause before Lisa responded. “Sondra,” she said carefully, “Kobi’s disappeared.”
Sondra gasped, “What happened?” She heard her younger cousin sobbing. “Lisa?”
“I’m here.” Lisa struggled for control. “Sunday morning he went to work and never came home. Yesterday the police told me that he’d been on a flight that  landed at JFK, but that’s all we know.”
“Oh my gosh!” Sondra rose from her seat and began pacing the den, trying not to get tangled up in the long phone cord. “Oh my gosh,” she repeated. “Do your parents know?”
“I just found out yesterday.” Lisa was crying again. “There’s a lot to sort out.”
“Did he leave a note?”
“Oh, Lisa, I wish I could help you. Is there anything I can do from here?”
“Find Kobi!”
“I wish I could.” Sondra recalled how Lisa had met Kobi at her apartment at the first Seder she and Danny had made. “I can’t believe he walked out on you!”
“He’s been depressed ever since the murder.” Lisa’s voice was flat.
“Yes, that was awful, but that’s no excuse!” Sondra grew angrier as she absorbed Lisa’s news.
“You’re… Just a minute… Sondra, someone’s at the door. I need to hang up.”
“Okay,” Sondra answered reluctantly, “but I’m calling you again in the morning, my time.”
She replaced the receiver and sank down into her chair, her thoughts awhirl. If it hadn’t been for her, Lisa might never have met Kobi. Of course, she reminded herself, if it hadn’t been for her, Lisa might have converted to Catholicism and married a goy.
That had been such a long time ago. Winter 1975. Over eight years. She’d been a young bride living in Los Angeles and Lisa had been a freshman at Arizona State University in Tempe. So much had happened since then...

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