Uzi’s Wife

by Moshe Dann (March 2013)

Holding the rings in the palm of his hand as if weighing choices, Avraham nodded.

Bella walked quickly towards the waiting bus and boarded. Squeezing past a Hassid wearing a long black coat and hat, she breathed a sigh of relief as she found a place to stand in the back. She wondered how he could wear such heavy clothing, put her forehead against the metal pole and held on as the bus jerked violently down the street, wishing someone was waiting for her at home.

*  *  *

Avraham arrived exactly at eight. A yekke, she said to herself as she opened the door.

Bella felt trapped, unable to step back and close the door. His eyes, she thought, so clear and calm, so sure of himself as he clutched his violin case.

When she stepped aside he walked in as if that was what he had been waiting for all the time.

Avraham glared at the violinist and pulled his chair closer to Bella, who blushed as she tried to comprehend what was happening.

Frowning, Avraham said nothing. The sound of knives and forks clicked against the silence. Bella turned to Avraham.

The musician suddenly leaned over, took out his violin, placed it under his chin and tightening his bow, rose and began to play. She listened intently. It was a melody that was familiar to her as if someone had called out her name. A gypsy fiddler, she thought, without a red scarf.

Suddenly Bella began to laugh gently. The musician was unsure of what to do as Bella then burst into laughter. Even Avraham began to smile. Bella blew her nose into a napkin and looked at the musician. She noticed a small gap between his teeth and then his eyes, shining playfully beneath his heavy eyebrows.

Bella looked at him and then at the musician. Uzi would not have liked Leonid, she thought, this strange eccentric man who had intruded and refused to leave.

Avraham also seemed bewildered, his shoulders sagged, unsure of what he should do. A fresh breeze filtered through the window. Avigal was cooking onions. And what would she think about such guests?

The two men sat across from each other. Bella put a plate of fruit between them and watched them eat.

She watched them from the doorway, turning the ring with her thumb. Avraham looked up.

To comment on this essay, please click here.


If you enjoyed this essay and want to read more by Moshe Dann, please click here.