There are no sirens anymore and no planes anymore. The explosions have stopped and I sit and I wait. “She will come back,” says grandma. “Just you wait and see.” I smile and I nod and I wait. “She’s a smart dog,” says my grandma. “She’ll find her way back.” I nod and I watch the smoke. And I wait until darkness. And I wait the next day. And I wait until night. The house smells of onions and smoke. A hand on my shoulder. “Come to dinner,” says grandma. “And don’t be sad. She’s with your mommy now.”
Every night the smoke comes back. I tried everything and still it somehow manages to squeeze under the door and into the room. It waves around the room as if driven by a strong wind. Then it collects right next to me. Always right next to me – always right above her.
For three weeks I’ve been watching her sleep. Her chest falls and the smoke inches away. Neshay’s chest expands the smoke inches closer to her face. And I lie there, next to her, and stare.
I don’t know when it started. I often wake up in the middle of a night with hunger pangs or tickling legs. Maybe that’s just the stress, maybe it’s the early signs of some sort of disease.
Three weeks ago was the first time I saw it but that doesn’t mean it started that night. The thought that the smoke could have been there for weeks or months, silently hovering right next to me and above her, drives cold sweat on my forehead. Since I know that the smoke is there I can’t really sleep at night. I fall asleep on the bus and in the office but at night my brain is frozen into a constant state of panic. Continue reading