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Historical Fiction Drama Speculative

This story contains sensitive content

(anti-semitic sentiments mentioned)


Rachel’s daydreaming was suddenly brought to an abrupt end.


The door opened with force, and standing in the doorway was her daughter Rosemary. She was ushered in by Inspector David, this was his idea of grandstanding to break whatever was going on with the pair.


“Now, one of you two is lying, or has made a false statement, one of you is going to pay for what you have done here.” The inspector easily stood taller over the two women.


“I’ll give you some time alone, for you both to align your stories, then I want the truth.”


He abruptly left, closing the door with a snap, leaving Rachel and Rosemary in the room. At first, they couldn’t look at each other directly in the face, it was furtive, fleeting looks and glances. A heavy silence of tension was trapped in the room, with the closing of the door.


“Why did you alert the authorities that I was kidnapped, whatever gave you that impression, Rosemary?” The tense silence was broken, Rachel had raised the obvious question.


“Why are you even here?” Rachel added incredulously.


“I came to see you! I found out your real name, Rachel!” Rosemary looked sideways at her mother.


Rachel took a quick intake of breath at this revelation. “Who told you?” she said.


“Daddy, of course! He’s not well by the way, not that you care about Daddy.” Rosemary lifted her hand to face, her voice faltered, her emotions were overtaking her indignation. 


“What’s wrong with him?” Enquired Rachel.


“He’s heartbroken, he has never recovered from you leaving, you know that!” The disgust and indignation were back again in Rosemary’s voice.


“Why did you leave a loving home? Who are you, Mum? Who is this, Rachel?” Rosemary’s voice was full of emotion now, she wanted answers.


“What do you really know about me Rosemary, what exactly did your father tell you about Rachel – me?” Rachel tried to gain some insights into the feelings of her daughter, she wanted to know why she had traveled to Israel, what her objective was.


“Well, to be honest, I don’t know very much about you. You never talk about your family; you never talk about your childhood. All that Daddy told me is that your real name isn’t Alizee, it is Rachel, and you are Jewish, and that’s why you moved to Israel. He told me never to talk to you about your past, and you never gave any reasons for leaving our lovely home.” Rosemary said.


“All of sudden, it’s; I’m going on vacation to Israel, and then never to return.” Rosemary ended with disdain written all over her face.


“But why now, why after all these years? Why did you come? Please don’t tell me it was because of the broken heart of your father, our relationship ended years ago. Like any relationship that breaks down, there is not one person to blame, and not one single reason. Your father has his work, he has his friends, and most importantly he has you, Rosemary.” Rachel explained.


“Your father wasn’t devastated when I left, quite the contrary. You were at university, and you had your own friends, it’s been some time since I made my home here, it was never my intention to stay, but I love it here, and I decided to stay. Your father knows more than he is letting on.” She continued.


“I don’t understand. How does anyone leave Long Island, our home is everybody’s dream, why come to this underdeveloped country, what life do you have here, what makes you happy here?” Rosemary was getting angry.


“This is my life, and it hasn’t been easy getting started, but I feel happier here. Did you know I bred dogs, and I train dogs, I have friends here, Abdullah and Fatima.” Rachel was trying to explain her newfound contentment. She had found peace, a new life, but it was separate from her US life, and Rachel knew she would never return, how could she reveal the truth to her only daughter?

It was difficult to explain her past, her childhood, coming to America, her marriage, a man who worshipped her, but she could not show the same degree of passion, something inside was lacking, broken, her maternal feelings for Rosemary were missing, there again was a hole, her centre had been removed, stolen in those years, the sudden traumatic forced separation from her Jewish family, and then the subterfuge of being hidden away by the good hearted Bruchys in Vichy France saved her life. She had survived the holocaust. Unfortunately, all those early years, the past she could never forget, blighted her relationship with her own family with dear Joe, and her lovely daughter – Rosemary. How could she confess all this to Rosemary?


It was difficult to discuss with her daughter. They had never been well connected, from the moment Rosemary was born, Rachel didn’t have those maternal feelings. Nowadays they barely kept in contact, they hadn’t spoken in years, birthday wishes were the minimum. Their relationship never possessed shared and respected feelings, Joe was the magnet for Rosemary’s affections, Rachel wasn’t jealous of this relationship, she was pleased there was a strong bond between father and daughter – she however, avoided this closeness with either Joe or Rosemary, her hidden past was locked from all. She felt her life was that of a victim, she never forgot it, her marriage, and then the birth of Rosemary, these were important and joyous moments in anybody’s life, but it did nothing to change Rachel’s, her heart was missing, it had been stolen in her tender years. Her years in America with Joe and Rosemary made her lonelier, she needed to move on, and find some peace and contentment, the early years of her life had scared her forever.

Then Rachel remembered the most important question, and the reason why both Rachel and Rosemary were there in the room.


“Why did you report that I was kidnapped? What made you think that?” Rachel said suddenly.


“You weren’t at your house; I needed to see you. I had something important to tell you.” Rosemary’s composure started to disappear; the indignation was no longer apparent. The conversation had turned.


“How did you know where I lived?” Rachel started to explore. “I never told you, my address.”


“I found it out from the local police. You didn’t leave your contact with anybody, what could I do.” Rosemary admitted.


“Your father has my contact details, didn’t you know? I assumed you were busy with your own lives. I didn’t want to encourage contact anyway. I’m not exactly proud of my situation, leaving and choosing to live a separate life.” Rachel said reluctantly.


A realization came to Rachel “Does your father know you are here?” Rachel suddenly asked.


“He does now.” Rosemary was hiding something.


“I don’t understand.” Rachel knew that Rosemary wasn’t telling all.

“We seem to be a family with many secrets, our relationships, I would say, it is more about being in the occasional contact, but hardly connected or close.” Rosemary sighed.


“Daddy thinks I’m in the US, on a long sabbatical after Uni. He doesn’t know I’m in Israel!” Rosemary admitted.


“I met a boy at university, his name is Adam, from New York, from a Jewish family. He wanted to visit a Kibbutz, and I wanted to be with Adam, I loved him. Adam is different to you, Mother, he hates the Arabs, and he hates anybody that is anti-semantic. He wanted to support the building of the nation of Israel. His family is not strict religious Jews, and he would never live in Israel, he is too American.” Rosemary paused.


“I often came to your neighbourhood, and I watched from afar. I watched you with those filthy Arabs, and your dogs, Mother; you are dishonouring the name of your race by even talking with them. I have learnt a lot since coming to this country, the Arabs they hate us. Israel must be strong, not just fight back, but fight first.” She said passionately.


Rachel interrupted this rhetoric. “So where is your boyfriend now, Adam?”


“He left; we had a fight.”


Rachel peered at Rosemary, she didn’t see sadness in her eyes, she saw panic. There are still things hidden, Rachel thought, and then said. “Why did you stay?”


“Why not go back to Daddy, in New York?” Rachel said sardonically.


“I can’t right now, he has his own life, I haven’t been back for some time, university and after…” Rosemary's voice trailed off, her mind was thinking of something she could not talk about.


Rachel's mind was trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Based on the small amount of information being revealed by Rosemary. There were few mother-daughter feelings, not since birth, Rosemary was Daddy’s girl. Joe the husband, and Joe the father handled the two girls differently, his daughter meant everything, especially since Rachel never returned his love and passion, Rachel was distant, and then became even more distant with her move to Israel. Joe had found solace with other women, and this unspoken distant arrangement had appeared between husband and wife. Although Rachel suspected, she didn’t really care, and in some ways thought Joe deserved better. Rosemary was protected from Joe’s other life, and then she had her own life, the separation between all three had become a chasm, a Y-shaped fissure, dividing each into leading separate lives, where secrets and feelings are hidden – lives out of sight from each other. So, why is Rosemary here, why did she report Rachel missing, more than missing – kidnapped, to the police. Was there malice and intent behind her motive? Rachel needed to know more.


“Did you actually tell the police I was kidnapped?” Rachel said carefully.


“No not kidnapped. I told the police I hadn’t seen you at the house, and I told them the last time I saw you were with those Arabs!” Rosemary confessed.


“So, in fact the police assumed I was kidnapped, you didn’t actually tell them.” Rachel glared at Rosemary for an answer.


“They already knew about your Arab friends, you are a security risk to Israel, do you know that?” Rosemary blurted out.


“I didn’t see you for days, and I needed to see you.” There was a distinct change in her voice, it was the voice of a little girl, there was panic in the voice.


“It doesn’t make sense. You have been in this country for ages. You spied on me for ages and didn’t come to see me. Why is there some urgency now? Is it because of the boy, this Adam?”


“Nooo! I don’t want to see Adam ever again, and that would be too soon!” Rosemary gave a forced laugh.


“Then why did you want to see me after all these years, what’s changed, what’s the panic?” Rachel was now confused.


“I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know where to go, I’m ---------------.” Rosemary burst into tears.


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February 17, 2024 06:11

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12 comments

Aaron Bowen
13:31 Feb 27, 2024

I like the difference between your dialogue and your prose. By breaking grammar in your dialogue, you do an impressive job of creating the flow of emotional speech or even, possibly, the colloquial rhythms of New York. Well done.

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John Rutherford
13:50 Feb 27, 2024

Thank you for your comment.

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John Rutherford
06:57 Feb 23, 2024

Thank you for the comment. Yes, there is a wider story here.

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Nissa Vaghela
06:18 Feb 23, 2024

Seemed distant however hidden connection between mom and daughter... really love reading this....

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Kristina Aziz
13:42 Feb 19, 2024

This definitely feels like part of something larger with all of the layers and crisscrossing relationships. I like the emotional buildup to the end.

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John Rutherford
13:46 Feb 19, 2024

Yes, you are correct, there's lot more going on. This is just a short scene, from a bigger story. Don't forget to leave a like, if you like the story. Thanks for your time in reading, and the comments.

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Trudy Jas
23:12 Feb 17, 2024

There are so many layers and secrets here. Wgat are the rest of Rachel's secrets? What is Rosemary not saying? Will we get a sequel, prompt permitting? Rachel's story reminded me of the movie Resistance - the story of Marcel Marceau. Seen it?

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John Rutherford
08:10 Feb 18, 2024

Yes, there are secrets from the past for both characters. It is part of a book, Yes, I did see that Movie, and Rachel's past is connected with that part of History. Glad you liked it.

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Stella Aurelius
15:11 Feb 17, 2024

Oooh ! Nail-biter of a finish there, John! As usual, beautifully-weaved with lovely imagery! Lovely job!

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John Rutherford
17:09 Feb 17, 2024

Thanks Stella - nice compliment.

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John Rutherford
09:44 Feb 17, 2024

Nope, --- I'm to start reading the Torah!

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Mary Bendickson
08:38 Feb 17, 2024

I'm going to have a baby! ???

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