Code Red Coffee

Just me, in my apartment, however many miles from Gaza. Who’s counting? Well whoever’s launching those rockets is, obviously. It’s quiet tonight…apart from the high pitched squeals emitting from the fridge (its got a life of its own), the wavering whoosh of swerving traffic (fainter than usual), and the heavy breaths of the asthmatic air-conditioner (no change there). By Tel Aviv standards, this is silence. And me, I can hardly speak from exhaustion, although my imagination’s running circles around the building, like a hyperactive child running away from the Ritalin. Code Red in Israel – bright, bold red, but to stare at it hurts my head – a pale pink would be better, easier on the eyes. Someone hates me – far away – but not too far to try to throw a missile in my direction. There’s a hitman after me. He hates me just because he’s been taught he should, just because that’s what he’s always known, driven into him like the thud of retaliation that will one day smash down into his house, engulfing his anger in flames. I still hope he makes it out alive though. Maybe we’d sit down together, drink a coffee, shade our tired faces from the Middle Eastern sun, and wonder at how it keeps on lighting up our separate paths, that in the darkness, converge. He’d speak a different language – similar, but different, and we’d try to understand each other’s lilts and tongues and accents, and first, second and third languages. And I’d smile and say “Do you remember when…?” And he’d laugh and say, “Oh yeah, that rocket, sorry about that. You just seemed so far away, that’s all.”

About the Author
Former Londoner Ilana Conway lives in Tel Aviv. Likes to dabble in the real world of Journalism and the make-believe world of Creative Writing. Or is it the other way around?
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