Two sit in a café. The cold penetrates the windowpane. Their gaze is not on each other but on the moon, shining through the eucalyptus leaves in a cloudless sky. The woman speaks.
Because you followed me in the wilderness, she says, in a land unsown. They are both trying to be polite, to the point. Their oldest son’s wedding is next month.
The man wears a uniform, with a colonel’s insignia. Why don’t you stop fondling your gun, she suggests. He had not realized that his left hand had wandered there, and quickly removes it.
He clears his throat. There must be some sort of protocol for this. We can’t be the first. The hand that had been on the gun is now on his head, playing with the clip on his kipah. He brings it down, carefully intertwining its fingers with those of its counterpart, keeping both under control.
The woman shrugs. It’s not up to us. It’s what Eliav wants. And Sivan.
He lets out a long breath, very slowly, focusing on control of his breathing.
Let me put it to you straight, he says. Eliav hates me. The two of us are divorced. Now he’s located his father and invited him. Do you really want me to come?
She sips her cappuccino. The left side of her mouth goes up. He doesn’t know if it’s a smile or an attempt to hold a tear back.