Home > culture, escape, liberty, life, orthodox, religion, secular, sex > Better Late – 18

Better Late – 18

“Perhaps you know that our marriages are arranged for us by the elder Rabbi of the congregation,” she said.

“Yes, I know,” he said, “and you can refuse if you wish.”

“That’s right.” Shaynah said, and paused to sip her coffee before she went on. The flavour was richer and more pleasant than her usual kosher coffee. “I didn’t refuse to marry the very unattractive, unintelligent Itzhak Gnavisch because it was best for the family. The union between the Gnavisch family and the Levy family resulted in vast improvements in the businesses and wealth of each.”

“So you lived your life in a distasteful situation for the good of your family,” David said. “I’m much more selfish. I have always taken care of my own desires as much as those of my relatives and friends.”

“Now is my time,” Shaynah said slowly and softly, as much to herself as to David Goodman. She had not really seen it that clearly before. “That’s why I’m interested in your property. Now is my time to experience the many things of which I’ve been deprived all my life.”

“You should go slowly,” David admonished her. “There is a lot of danger in the real world, from all kinds of sources. Take your time to learn about secular life. If you take too large a first step, you could trip yourself up, badly.”

Shaynah sat silently and drank her coffee and looked across the table at David Goodman who sat silently and drank his coffee while he looked back across the table at Shaynah Gnavisch.

“Please call me Ms. Levy,” Shaynah said as if reading his thoughts. “I want to take my married name, Levy. I want to drop the Gnavisch.”

“May I call you Shaynah?” he said. “It’s a very beautiful name. I like to say it.”

“Of course, if you wish,” Shaynah said. They finished their coffee.

“Look, uh… Shaynah,” David said, “the weather is pretty ugly out there, and frankly, I’m surprised you’re here. I really expected you to phone and cancel, in view of the weather.”

“If we let weather dictate our lives,” she said, “there would be too much time wasted. I’ve already wasted too much of my life.”

“Well, I certainly admit you show the kind of spirit I would not expect in a religious woman,” David said. “Let’s go.”

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