For as long as she could remember, Alison saw herself in her pale wooden frame directly in her father’s line of vision, smiling like a puppy with her head on her hands, telling the self that was watching her, I’m happy here, you see, like this. I don’t want to change. But when the girl with the transparent hair grew outside of that frame as she was forced to do, and developed into her fully redheaded reality, change had already happened.
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Sometimes they meet with their friends in the evening. Ratiba listens. She rarely enters into the debate, but she puts her thoughts into carefully penned articles and submits them, free-lance, to the Arab newspaper in East Jerusalem. On the third Sunday of each month Ratiba takes the bus to the newspaper agency, to collect payment for her articles.
I’m here, near Naama and Elisheva. My, what a brood they have between them, a veritable tribe. I’d better not get into that, though; tribes are what got us onto the wrong path in the first place. We’ve come a long way, Elisheva, Naama, Orit, and I. Yes, and Ratiba. I’ve forced my way into her dreams, too. What I love most about these women is that they are fighters. Not futile bearers of arms, destroyers of life, but fighters for the good life, for understanding. The moment my Elisheva encountered the inside of a hospital ward with its blood, its tears, and its death rattle, she dropped the easy life like a stolen jewel. Healing. That is what enthralls her. It was in such a way that her heart grabbed hold of Dovy, chose him the moment it saw his wound. Elisheva followed her heart without so much as a backward glance. That’s what I love about her. Doesn’t shirk, fights to repair the fabric of her world.