Tom Rossi

It is a crowded street in Bnei Brak, Israel. A young boy, wearing a red sweatshirt walks into the Daron Bakery. In-side, Zvi Daron, the owner, looks up as the door opens. The boy silently crosses to the display of pastries.

Zvi notices his dusty clothing and asks if he has had breakfast. The boy shakes his head and Zvi hands the boy a pastry. The boy hesitantly takes it and eats slowly, savor-ing each bite.

Zvi begins to reminisce about his own son, Avram who is now in the Army. Finally, he tells the boy to go off to school and the boy reluctantly leaves. At that moment, Zvi has a vision of Avram as he was seven years before at his Bar Mitzvah ceremony.

A customerís voice brings him out of his reverie. She asks if Zvi has received any word from his son. A tremendous explosion just down the street from the bakery interrupts them. Zvi rushes out, knowing that the boy was probably right where the bomb exploded.

He runs toward the explosion, asking anyone he can find if theyíve seen a boy in a red shirt. A bystander is helping an injured man and begs Zvi to take the victim to the hos-pital.

Driving there, Zvi asks if the man saw a young boy in the area. The man saw him all too clearly. The boy was the one wearing the bomb.

The man dies in Zviís car.

Hours later, Zvi is sitting in his kitchen. Sarah, his wife, arrives and he tells her what happened, growing more angry and frustrated as he talks. He could not save the boy or the innocent man in his car. With growing certainty, he realizes he cannot save himself or Sarah or his son either.

He confesses that he is having visions of his son; visions that he believes portend Avramís death. They are signs from God, just like the boy and the man in his car.

Then Zvi discovers that there may be a letter from Avram waiting at the post office in Tel Aviv. Itís little more than a rumor and yet he and Sarah decide to go there.

During the drive, they remember when Avram ran away with his best friend, David Sousan. David is in the Army as well and his parents also have not heard from him in months.

The Post Office is in chaos. A bombing has damaged the building, flooding the facility. A clerk does a search, but it is fruitless.

As they drive home, Zvi has another vision of Avram. This time, the boy is reciting the Prayer for the Dead.

They pull in front of their house. Two occupants get out of a car parked across the street and Sarah recognizes them as Davidís parents.

Inside, they share the news that theyíve received a letter from David. Zvi opens the envelope and pulls out a piece of light blue cardboard. It is torn on one end, having been ripped from a larger piece. He begins to read si-lently.

The Sousans prompt Zvi to read aloud. Reluctantly, he does. Itís exactly the kind of reassuring letter he wants from his son.

Zvi stops reading, he cannot go on.

The telephone rings and Zvi, still clutching Davidís let-ter, answers it.

The postal clerk has found what may be Avramís letter but it has been soaked in the flood. All the ink has washed away, leaving only a blank piece of torn blue cardboard.

Zvi slowly brings David Sousanís blue cardboard letter up to his face. Zvi begins to laugh. They are deep, hearty laughs that break into deep cathartic sobs of relief as we fade to black.

Copyright 2005 Tom Rossi
All Rights Reserved