Better Late – 30

The atmosphere in the main house was a bit strained.  David Goodman was analyzing the proposal set forth by Shaynah Gnavitsh: She, a woman about fifty years old, suddenly broken away from the restrictive cult of the Hassidics, sharing an isolated island with a thirty-year-old author.  David’s first thought was that it might work if they did not live under the same roof.  David had been living in the guest cabin most of the time, to allow the main house to be pristine for any potential buyers to view and experience.

The thought suddenly hit David that this is exactly what was happening. Naturally, he had expected that he would be showing the place to mature couples entering retirement, and had not really thought of any other possibilities in the sale of his beloved island.

Shaynah was sitting in the living room watching television with wrapped attention when David approached from his office. She turned to greet him.

“Do you know, David?” she said, “I have never before been allowed to sit and face a television screen and enjoy the show.”

“It does seem extraordinary,” he said. “Don’t get carried away with it.  They can make the most unlikely things appear to be true, and believe me, it’s not. Be especially wary of commercials.  Their language is very tricky, and if you analyze their statements, you can see that they cover as much as they reveal.”

“How disappointing,” Shaynah said.

“Yes, it is,” David said.  “I’m going down to the cabin for a while, to contemplate your proposal.”

“I’ll right,” she said. “I hope you decide to try it. I’ll see you later.” She turned her attention to a soap opera, and was absorbed into the outlandish situations.

The afternoon wore on, and Shaynah began to wish David would return to the main house.  The late afternoon light bathed the rooms in a rosy-golden glow, and she was suddenly quite hungry. She saw the intercom installation on the kitchen wall, and the buttons that were labeled ‘bedroom 1’, ‘bedroom 2′, bedroom 3’, ‘office’, ‘living room’, ‘dining room’, ‘cabin’.  She held down the ‘cabin’ button and spoke into the grill.

“David, are you coming up for dinner?” she said, released the button and awaited the response.  None came.

“Calling David Goodman,” she said, attempting levity to overcome her increasing nervousness.

Shaynah told herself that he was probably out walking on the beach, enjoying the setting sun.  She convinced herself that it was not her place to pursue him on his own home turf, and instead went into the kitchen to prepare herself a delicious, non-kosher meal.  She was disgusted with herself for enduring the ridiculous cult traditions for so many years while her young life was speeding away.  She was going to break every Hassidic taboo that had deprived her of joy and pleasure throughout her enslaved life.

Before she set about preparing her meal, she returned to the intercom, pressed the ‘cabin’ button.

“David, please come up for dinner.  It’s on me,” she said, trying to sound light-hearted.

Again, there was no response. Reluctantly, Shaynah began to explore the refrigerator for the makings of a meal.




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