We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows
~ Lamentations 5:3 (King James)
“The mouth smiles but the heart weeps”
~ Perla Ovitz
I am alone (by fashioneyes deviantart.com)
“Mother Come Home”
Winter in New Acres.
A young man was standing in the middle of a New Acres field watching the sun set.
Everything was shining and white.
Like a winter wonderland.
A thick blanket of snow covered the earth and the trees around him.
The frozen landscape had an ethereal beauty.
A young man in torment.
And a solitary figure against a forbidding landscape.
Acres and acres of snow capped pasture surrounded him.
The strong winds bustled about him and whistled through the trees.
But Ezra Geller did not feel the cold.
He was lost in his own reverie.
The pale grey winter sky was tinged by a yellow light.
And Ezra Geller was alone in his mind again.
The woods of New Acres held a great resonance for the young man.
Geller pondered the captivating landscape.
And cast his mind back.
He was ten years old again.
He was kneeling before his adopted mother as silent tears trickled down his face.
She was gently dabbing his bruised knee with a swab of cotton wool soaked in TCP.
The little boy winced as she applied a plaster over the weeping wound.
Then the woman leaned in close and wiped away his tears with her hand.
“You’re special to us” she soothed.
The boy looked up into her big brown eyes.
“You’re not like the other kids at school. Because we chose you” Elisa Geller finished.
Little Ezra did not understand her words.
She was his mother.
The adult Ezra Geller smiled sadly to himself at the memory.
Elisa Geller – the sweetest woman any boy could have for a mother.
But she wasn’t his real mother.
Geller watched as a flock of Blackbirds flew overhead and alighted upon a tree.
The young man was momentarily distracted by their fluting song.
“Birds are free”
Now he was eleven years of age.
Fishing with his adopted father.
Little Ezra was sitting beside the older man on the banks of the Surrey lake.
It was late afternoon on a summer’s day.
They were surrounded by other pensive anglers – all facing the still and quiet lake.
It was with a sense of exasperation that little Ezra waited beside his adopted father.
Gradually the water rippled and the silence was broken by happy cries of the other would-be fishermen around him.
Benjamin Geller glanced at his adopted son and smiled.
There was a grimace on the boy’s face as he stared impassively at the water.
As if he were willing it to be filled with fish.
“Patience, son!” Benjamin Geller urged the boy.
But the teenager had just about given up.
They wouldn’t have anything to show by the time they returned.
“What’s the point?” Ezra Geller protested sulkily.
Suddenly he felt a tug on the line.
The boy was beside himself as it became a certainty.
“I’ve caught something! I’ve caught something!” Ezra Geller exclaimed excitedly.
He was tugging on the line as the resistance intensified.
The teenage Ezra Geller let out a cry of triumph as the silvery common bream emerged on the end of the line.
The fish wriggled and gulped.
The boy was beaming.
He turned to share his moment of glory with his adopted father.
But Benjamin Geller had nodded off beside him.
It was getting colder now
Ezra Geller sighed at the happy recollection.
Elisa and Benjamin Geller had adopted Ezra when he was just a couple of weeks old.
Benjamin was a jocular man with greying brown hair and laughing hazel eyes.
He had an easy smile and ready charm and was a respected doctor.
Elisa was a handsome brunette with warm brown eyes and a kindly disposition.
She taught English at the local school.
They were a childless couple.
And resigned to a life without ever having children of their own.
So they were intrigued and overwhelmed by the unmistakable offer made to them by an older couple at their synagogue.
Suddenly a light had been shed on a barren couple.
Benjamin and Elisa were as Abraham and Sarah.
And the wizened woman and her prepossessing husband had suddenly become their angels of mercy.
They had known each other socially for some time.
They moved in the same circles.
And attended the same synagogue.
Yet Solomon and Golda Menchen were fiercely private.
They only let people know what they were happy to hear.
Golda Menchen was a lively woman.
She had dark brown hair and bright green eyes.
Golda was a respected photographer who had lived in Haifa, Israel for much of her life.
She met and married her British born husband there.
Solomon Menchen was a celebrated TV reporter.
He had salt and pepper hair and grey eyes.
Short and stockily built – Solomon Menchen was regarded as a pillar of the community.
The couple returned to England with their ten year old daughter and settled in New Acres.
Little Rachel became the focus of all their love and affection.
The auburn haired girl was very pretty and had vivid green eyes like her mother
She had an endearing personality and had a budding career as cellist.
Then she met Ariel Abrams and her life was changed forever.
The swarthy and handsome Israeli was a talented violinist in the orchestra.
And they soon became inseparable – Rachel was in love for the first time in her life.
They were married in Cyprus.
And Rachel quickly became pregnant.
The couple considered moving to Israel permanently.
Then tragedy struck.
And Rachel Abram’s world was completely torn apart.
The Menchen’s were intensely protective of their only daughter.
Golda and Solomon Menchen met the Geller’s under cover of darkness outside the synagogue.
The childless couple were struggling with their emotions as they waited to see their new baby.
Their quest for a baby of their own was miraculously over.
“It is God’s will!” Golda Menchen declared as she placed the sleeping baby carefully into Elisa Geller’s expectant arms.
The new mother wept with joy as her husband enfolded her in a protective embrace.
Golda and Solomon Menchen watched the unfolding scene silently.
Tears filled the older woman’s eyes as she observed the childless couple overcome with emotion for the little life they were now holding.
“You are saving our daughter” Solomon Menchen declared – but there was sadness in his resonant voice.
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Elisa Geller repeated over and over again.
Golda Menchen managed a sad smile.
There was no need for words.
Then she followed her husband to the car.
And after taking one last look at the new mother and father with their baby boy – Solomon and Golda Menchen drove slowly away.
Benjamin and Elisa Geller looked at each other – still unable to comprehend what had happened.
The arrival of the tiny baby had been an answer to their prayers.
So they took the boy home to live with them in their big house in Surrey.
And he became their child.
They named him Ezra.
And they never spoke of his real mother – even though they knew her.
The past was buried.
It was better left that way.
Golda Menchen crept quietly into the darkened hospital room.
The curtains were half drawn.
Rachel Abrams was lying in bed and staring dolefully out of the window.
Everything was still.
A sliver of light from the partially drawn curtain illuminated her beautiful but wan face.
She was locked in a private hell.
Golda’s heart ached at the sight of her desolate daughter.
She was almost as pale as the hospital’s bed sheets and the white painted walls and ceiling.
“Rachel” Golda Menchen whispered.
The young woman turned to look at her mother with large haunted eyes.
“Is it done?” Rachel Abrams asked falteringly.
The older woman sat on the side of the hospital bed and gently took her daughter’s hand in hers.
“Yes, my love” Golda Menchen replied benignly.
A solitary tear rolled down the disconsolate young woman’s cheek.
“There now” her mother soothed as she stroked a strand of hair out of her daughter’s eye “soon, you will be home with me and your father. You can begin to build a new life”
Golda Menchen’s heart was breaking and she suddenly fought the urge to scream.
She wanted to believe her own words.
But her daughter was mentally and emotionally shattered.
Rachel Abrams – her beautiful and clever daughter.
The best daughter a mother ever had.
A talented cellist with the world at her feet.
Now a shadow of her former self.
A widow mourning the loss of a husband and a son.
A cruel fate.
“The Geller’s?” Rachel asked simply and devastatingly.
The words hung in the air.
Her mother was unable to speak.
The look of desolation in her daughters eyes was unmistakable.
“Yes” Golda Menchen replied finally “And you must never go back looking for the past. It is only a place of pain for you now. He will be well cared for”
The older woman felt such a surge of helplessness at the sight of her devastated daughter that she fought the urge to shout in the face of adversity.
But instead she took Rachel in her arms.
to the light (by diggedy deviantart.com)
The two women were sobbing when Solomon Menchen entered the room.
Their daughter had at last found refuge in tears.
After several moments he quietly removed himself to permit the two women to vent their grief in peace.
Now Benjamin and Elisa Geller were both dead.
And Ezra Geller was alone.
There was a gaping hole in his heart.
Several swallows descended upon the spidery branch of a tree above him.
There was a yellow tinge to the sky and it cast an ethereal light upon the frozen landscape.
It was a twilight world of fading shadows.
Ezra Geller’s mind was preoccupied by recurring thoughts of his birth mother.
This was the place she had lived.
And he felt close to her as the wind rattled through the trees.
Ezra knew little about her.
He knew that she had been unable to keep him because she was unwell.
Pressing a family friend further, he discovered that his birth father had been killed by a suicide bomber in Israel.
He was born shortly after but his mother was too unwell to look after him.
Ezra Geller knew no more.
A conspiracy of silence surrounded everything.
“Does being here feel good to you?” Chana Geller asked her pensive husband – suddenly shaking him out of his reverie.
His beautiful Israeli-born wife nuzzled her chin affectionately into his shoulder.
Her angelic-looking husband had a pensive expression on his face again.
“I feel closer to her” Geller replied.
He took his wife’s hand and they stood staring at the darkening sky together.
The chattering swallows were just ascending.
Ezra and Chana Geller observed the swarm of birds as the wind whistled around them.
His wife leaned close and kissed him on the cheek.
Channa understood that Ezra was on a journey of self discovery and she wanted to be there for him every step of the way.
The young man knew little about his birth mother and her life.
There was a big empty space in his life.
And it was suffixed by a big question mark.
His birth mother was the ghost haunting his dreams.
Although his adopted parents did not discuss her – she was never far from his mind.
Now he was ready to go looking for her.
To put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Although his adopted family had given him a good start in life – a strong sense that something was missing pervaded everything in his life.
“I love you” Chana Geller whispered.
She squeezed his hand tightly.
“I am here for you” she added firmly.
Her eyes were glittering brightly.
The couple embraced.
When they finally parted – Ezra Geller was so overcome with emotion that he had to look away.
He felt like a lost little boy.
“Did you know that trees can stand for hundreds of years?” Ezra said finally – but his voice faltered.
“I love you” Chana Geller repeated looking deeply into his sad eyes.
Finally they walked hand-in-hand to the car together.
The moon had risen in a dark and starless sky.
Later that evening, Ezra and Chana Geller were standing in the middle of their new apartment.
They surveyed the scene with a great sense of achievement.
The large apartment was an understated and modest residence – a little less flashy than their regular abodes.
It resided in a complex of luxury residences for the well heeled in an exclusive area of town.
The successful couple had a mansion in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire and a summer residence in Tel-Aviv, Israel.
The smart apartment was their latest acquisition and the media had already been hot on their heels.
A new and more affordable complex of apartments was being built opposite their residence.
Images of the couple entering and leaving their residence were featured in newspapers and magazines around the world.
Now Ezra and Chana Geller were surrounded by pieces of expensive designer furniture and countless boxes and crates full of their many belongings.
There were suitcases piled up against the walls and numerous pots of paint and decorating materials were lined up in readiness for a apartment’s glossy make-over.
Many residences in the exclusive apartment complex still remained unoccupied – although not for long.
An actress and a multi-millionaire entrepreneur had already moved and also a mystery woman who nobody had seen.
Ezra Geller was a highly acclaimed and much sought after photographer.
He had snapped everyone from rock stars to royalty.
Ezra Geller’s portfolio was very impressive and every aspiring actor or supermodel chose him to photograph them.
And his star had risen high.
Geller had tried to keep the move to the exclusive New Acres apartment complex low-key.
But everyone soon knew about it.
And now they were getting used to seeing a small band of cameramen and reporters camped outside their abode every time they entered or left it.
Chana Geller even took to handing out tea and biscuits if they were well behaved.
The new apartment was already creaking under the artifacts of their mutual success.
Framed magazine covers and numerous gleaming awards poking out of boxes testified to the Geller’s fame and global celebrity.
Several enthusiastic delivery men had even demanded that Ezra Geller give them his autograph.
Chana Geller was a world famous make-up artist.
She was born Chana Yadin in Petah Tikva, Israel and had briefly lived in New York before moving to England.
By the time she established herself in Britain, the beauty was already well known on movie shoots and top fashion shows and was much sought after.
Chana Geller was petite and olive skinned with raven hair and brilliant black eyes.
She moved in all the right circles and could count actors, models and minor-royalty as personal friends.
Chana and Ezra met during the making of The Fires of Love five years previously in Lisbon.
It was love at first sight.
“You have the saddest eyes I have ever seen” Chana Yadin informed Ezra Geller between takes one day in her richly accented voice.
Those were the first words she had ever spoken to him.
And the serious young photographer had instantly been smitten with the dazzling creature with the intriguing black eyes.
“My eyes are happy when they look at you!” Ezra Geller replied earnestly.
He was impressed by the raven haired beauty and her no-nonsense directness.
“Israeli, right?” Geller asked her with a knowing smile.
“How did you ever guess!” Chana Gold replied wryly.
Then she planted a kiss on his cheek and disappeared.
Ezra Geller was blushing wildly as he watched the fabulous creature vanish into the make-up trailer.
For the next several weeks – the couple conducted a gentle dance together as they began to get to know each other.
Things moved quickly for the glittering couple.
And very soon they were inseparable long after the movie shoot was over.
Chana Yadin moved into Ezra Geller’s smart London pad but they were soon considering a bigger place of their own and Buckinghamshire seemed ideal.
Media attention became intense.
But they were both veterans of the media circus and knew how to handle themselves.
Within a two years of meeting the lovers were married in a flurry of media attention in a synagogue in North London surrounded by family and close friends.
His adopted parents had already passed by then and he felt alone as he observed the warm and protective Yadin family.
Chana Yadin was utterly radiant on the day they married in her ivory wedding dress.
As he looked into her sparkling eyes – he knew that he had been fortunate enough to meet his soul mate.
And Ezra Geller knew that a new life had begun.
But he wasn’t ready to let go of the old one.
And he was in the town where his real mother had lived.
Hoping to uncover the mystery.
And perhaps meet her at long last.
For she was never far from his thoughts.
Ezra Geller was tall and good looking with curly blond hair and clear blue eyes.
He looked like an angel.
Ezra and Chana Geller moved in beauty.
And the media couple had fallen in love as much with their talents as with their picture perfect looks.
They were a perfect fit.
The Geller’s were like two celestial beings stranded in New Acres.
And they had both agreed that now was the right time to unravel the past.
To solve the mystery of Ezra Geller’s missing mother.
They were prepared for every eventuality.
And Chana Geller was Ezra’s greatest cheerleader.
His wife was his guardian angel.
The momentous night they decided to buy a property in New Acres – something in Ezra Geller changed.
“Thank you” he answered simply.
Perhaps he would find out at last what happened to the tragic woman who had given birth to him.
Merryview Convalescence Home.
It was elegant building situated on the outskirts of the town.
A place for the broken minded to heal.
Everything in the home was either brilliant white or institution green.
Eighteen months had already passed since Rachel Abrams had been admitted there.
Eighteen months since her nervous collapse.
And the quiet home had offered her a haven from her shattered life.
Now as Rachel Abrams walked through the pretty garden alone she looked at the small white envelope in her hand.
It was addressed to her in her mother’s elegant hand writing.
Sitting on a bench beneath a tree – Rachel Abrams carefully opened the envelope.
A small photograph fell out.
The unmistakable image of a baby looked up at her.
Rachel’s heart skipped a beat.
The chubby rosy cheeked infant gazed contentedly out of the photograph and looked straight into her heart.
A rush of maternal love filled the shattered woman.
She read the little note.
My darling Rachel,
This is little Ezra.
He is happy and well.
We miss you.
Rachel Abrams smiled for the first time in months.
Her spirits had been lifted.
A chink of light had appeared for her in the darkness.
Ezra Geller spent most of the night pacing up and down the living room.
His heart was racing and his head was spinning.
The young man was excited and frightened at the same time.
Tomorrow would be the day of reckoning.
Chana Geller entered the room quietly.
“You must sleep” she urged.
Then she took her husband gently by the hand and led him back to the bedroom.
The following day Ezra Geller and his wife walked down the bustling street.
Several people recognized the couple and whispered excitedly among themselves.
But they were both preoccupied with their mission.
Every woman who passed Ezra Geller could have been his mother.
Every time he saw a woman with a child – his heart would leap inside him.
The tenderness in a mothers touch and the affection in her voice tore out his heart.
Chana Geller tugged gently on his arm.
She looked knowingly into his eyes.
Now the couple stood outside the adoption agency and Ezra’s heart was racing fast and hard in his chest.
He was extremely nervous.
Ezra Geller took a deep breath.
“It’s now or never” he muttered.
“We are in this together” Chana Geller assured him.
And they walked arm in arm into the agency.
They waited patiently to be seen.
Ezra Geller’s mind was spinning.
The couple spoke to a sympathetic woman in her office for over an hour.
Connie Rivkin had been successfully running the smart little adoption agency for almost forty years.
Ezra Geller felt a huge sense of relief in unburdening his plight to the sympathetic woman.
And she listened intently and made copious notes on a little pad.
Her motherly tone had unlocked the door.
Connie Rivkin was petite and attractive with greying brown hair and lively green eyes.
A pair of golden spectacles perched on the end of her nose and her heightened paternal instincts made her invaluable in her job.
The older woman paused to ponder the young man before her.
Connie Rivkin was already aware of Ezra Geller’s story.
The Geller’s were a glittering couple with a high profile after all.
But there was something else happening here..
It wasn’t so much the young man’s words that intrigued her – but the sad and lost look in his pretty eyes.
“We’ll find your mother” Connie Rivkin assured the couple simply as she showed them out.
Standing outside agency – Ezra Geller did not know whether to laugh or cry.
“I think we are on the right path” Chana assured him.
“Yeah” Ezra replied simply.
Hope had entered the frame.
The couple embraced.
Several weeks passed easily for the Geller’s.
Ezra was busy photographing a top London model for Essentials magazine.
And Chana was the principle the make-up artist for the top NTV drama series Long Distance.
It was early evening when the phone rang.
The Geller’s were lying in each other’s arms on the sofa.
Connie Rivkin sounded confident on the other end of the line.
“I have managed to get some background on your birth mother” she informed Ezra Geller “and I have some contacts for you”
The young man’s heart jumped.
He almost dropped the phone.
“Come to the office tomorrow at 10 am” Connie Rivkin informed him.
“Yes, yes yes – I’ll be there!” Ezra Geller replied.
The phone clicked off.
Chana Geller was smiling brightly.
“I have a good feeling about this!” She pronounced.
Everything was beginning to open up.
At long last.
The friendly woman at the agency had been able to locate Ezra Geller’s birth mother on the system after some almost forensic investigation.
Now the young couple were sitting in her office again and waiting expectantly for her findings.
Ezra Geller’s heart was pounding loudly in his chest.
And Chana Geller gently squeezed her husband’s hand and smiled encouragingly.
“Rachel Abrams” Connie Rivkin informed the young man “That is the name of your birth mother”
He silently mouthed her name.
“She was born Rachel Menchen in Haifa, Israel but moved to England when she was ten with her father Solomon and mother Golda Menchen” Connie Rivkin continued “She married Ariel Abrams and you were born shortly afterwards. You were privately adopted by Benjamin and Elisa Geller. Your mother lived in New Acres district at 12 Chelsea Street for seventeen years and then she moved”
The couple were listening intently to her in a hushed silence and hanging on her every word.
“Your father was killed in Israel by a suicide bomber” she divulged carefully “Merryview Convalescence Home. Your mother spent some time there”
“She must have been very ill” Chana Geller cried.
Connie Rivkin nodded.
“She did get better and when she was well enough she moved” the older woman added “I have the details”
Roberts took out a brown envelope from a draw and placed it on the table before the couple.
Silence had descended upon the couple as they attempted to process all that had been shared.
“I can’t thank you enough” Ezra Geller said finally.
“You have given my husband hope” Chana Geller added.
“It’s my pleasure” Connie Rivkin replied warmly with a smile.
As Ezra and Chana Geller got up to leave – the older woman put her hand gently on his arm.
“I remember Rachel” Connie Rivkin informed them “We lived in the next street to the Menchen’s. Your mother was such a beauty and so talented – a musician I believe. One moment she was married and the next she was a widow. Everything happened so quickly and it was very sad “
“Did she ever mention me?” Ezra Geller implored the kindly older woman.
“No love” Rivkin confided “One moment she was pregnant and the next it was over. The family were very private and nobody knew what had really happened”
“I wish I had known her” Geller shared sadly.
“Now is your chance to find out what happened” the older woman imparted “I believe she might be living in Toronto”
Suddenly there was light shining in the darkness.
A candle had been lit.
The older woman embraced the young man.
“Shalom Aleichem” Connie Rivkin said.
A month passed.
The luxurious apartment had been completely transformed and furnished tastefully.
A new chapter was just beginning for the Geller’s.
And they could both feel it.
It was late evening and the couple were just finishing one of Chana Geller’s favourite dishes – Boeuf Bourguignon.
The door bell suddenly chimed.
Ezra Geller was intrigued by the unexpected visitation.
The older woman standing at the door was petite and attractive with greying auburn hair and bright green eyes.
She had a sweet smile and was elegantly attired in a fine green Jaeger wool coat.
Ezra Geller smiled broadly at her.
There was a long pause before she began speaking.
Geller quickly supposed that she must be a fan.
And a rich one at that.
“I am sorry to disturb you” the woman said “but I just moved into the apartment across the landing and I just wanted to introduce myself to you”
Her voice was faintly accented.
“Of course” Ezra Geller replied.
“My name is Miriam Bloom” she continued “And if you ever need anything just let me know”
“I am Ezra Geller and this is my wife Chana” Geller replied as his wife appeared from behind him “its a pleasure to meet you”
“Yes!” Chana Geller interjected “Call on us anytime!”
“Thank you my dear” Miriam Bloom answered “These are for you”
The older woman took out a small blue velvet box of luxury Neuhaus chocolates from her Valentino handbag.
Chana Geller accepted the gift with a warm smile.
“Good night” Miriam Bloom added.
And with that she glided across the landing and disappeared into her apartment.
“What a sweet woman” Ezra Geller declared as he closed the door of the apartment.
“Another Jewish woman in the vicinity” Chana Geller informed him with nudge of her elbow.
“Yes!” Geller groaned “However will I survive!”
And the couple laughed lightly together.
A couple of days later and Ezra Geller was standing outside a large apartment block in Toronto, Canada.
The area was clearly the preserve of the well heeled for not only was the property private but everything looked immaculate and expensively privileged.
Ezra Geller checked the piece of paper carefully in his hand.
He had already lost track of the amount of times he had memorised the details.
Now he took a deep breath.
Geller had felt so confidant on his flight there.
But now his bravado had deserted him.
“What if she doesn’t want to see me or what if she is dead?”
His mind was whirring and he was considering every eventuality.
“Its now or never” Ezra Geller reminded himself.
He found “Abrams” on the list of residents beside the large door and tentatively pressed the buzzer beside the name.
His heart was beating wildly.
There was a crackling sound.
“Hello?” A raspy older man’s voice enquired.
“Hi!” Ezra Geller replied nervously “I’m … looking for Rachel Abrams and I was told she lived here”
There was a long pause,
“I’ll come down” the male voice responded.
Several minutes passed as Ezra Geller waited anxiously outside the plush apartment block.
Everything suddenly seemed so unreal.
He was highly perplexed.
Perhaps he really was about to meet his real mother at last.
Three sleepless nights had preceded the venture.
It was too much to take in.
Finally a well dressed older man with a wizened face and grey hair appeared.
Ezra noticed that the man was wearing a purple kippah.
“I was hoping to see if Rachel Abrams lived here” Ezra Geller informed him “I am … a relative“
“I’m sorry, son” the older man answered “Rachel left about a month ago. It all happened quite fast and they haven’t changed the name on the buzzer”
The man did not have a Canadian accent and Geller suspected he must have been living in England before moving to Toronto.
Ezra Geller’s heart sank like a rock sinking to the bottom of the sea.
“Do you have any idea where she might be now?” The young man implored the older man.
The older man could tell there was more to the young man’s request than met the eye.
“I believe she returned to England” the man replied ” and I do hope she is settled because she is a lovely woman”
Ezra Geller smiled sadly.
There was no more need for debate.
Rachel Abrams took one last look around her room.
It was a happy and sad day.
All her bags were packed and her father had just loaded the last big suitcase into the back of the black taxi-cab.
Rachel Abrams was dressed in a black Chanel coat and her auburn hair was hidden beneath a small black Givenchy hat.
A bloom had noticeably returned to her cheeks of late.
And there was a sparkle in her vivid green eyes.
The bedroom Rachel had occupied during her girlhood was full of childhood memories.
But now those memories were increasingly tinged with sorrow.
It seemed so bare.
A beloved golden teddy bear perched on her pillows.
She smiled sadly.
A part of her had died the day she lost her husband and a part of her was still missing the moment she knew her baby had been given away.
A new life beckoned her in Canada.
She would be staying with a cousin.
Her mother and father were waiting beside the cab.
“Call us as soon as you get there” Solomon demanded as he kissed and embraced his daughter.
“Of course” the young woman replied.
“Shalom Aleichem” Golda Menchen declared as she embraced her daughter and kissed her gently on the forehead.
The young woman climbed into the cab.
There were smiles of joy and tears of sorrow.
Like sunshine in the rain.
Solomon and Golda Menchen were waving vigorously as the cab pulled away.
Their daughter was leaving her shattered past behind.
But their happiness was ringed by melancholy.
They had lost a grandchild.
They had lost a son-in-law.
And now their only daughter was leaving them.
Rachel Abrams watched as her parents disappeared into the distance.
She looked down at the photograph she was clutching tightly in her hand.
A photograph of a baby.
As the young man turned to leave – the older man put a hand reassuringly on his shoulder.
“Shalom Aleichem”” he said.
Now Ezra Geller believed that his mission to Canada had not been a success.
So he cut his trip short to fly back to England.
On the plane he veered between hope and despair.
Part of him was confidant that he would be reunited with his birth mother.
But part of him believed she was lost to him forever.
Perhaps he should let it all go and focus on his present life.
Ezra Geller called his wife from Heathrow Airport as soon as the plane had landed.
He explained everything that had happened to her.
“It’s like she’s vanished off the face of the earth” Ezra Geller informed her sadly.
“Don’t give up” his wife answered gently.
The beautiful and glamorous Chana Geller.
Beautiful and uncompromising.
A fragment of hope still shone in the gloom.
“I’ve missed you honey” Ezra Geller told his wife.
“And so have I” Chana Geller replied “Mrs Bloom has been keeping me company. She’s amazing“
Ezra Geller smiled.
“The perfect Jewish mother!” Geller responded “I’m sure her children must be proud of her”
The following few weeks were riven by a great inner struggle for Ezra Geller.
It felt like a battle of good against evil.
And Ezra Geller was losing.
He had begun to despair of ever finding his real mother.
And he was sliding slowly into a deep depression.
Ezra Geller was like a drowning man.
memory of water (by hearthy deviantart.com)
And like a drowning man – he had nothing to cling to.
Chana Geller was silently watching her husband in his office.
He was brooding again and pouting.
The young man was staring blankly out of the window.
Ezra Geller looked like a little boy.
And he was locked up in his own private hell.
Not even Chana Geller could save him.
She felt completely helpless.
And it was tearing her apart.
Ezra Geller was the best man she had ever known.
But he was suffering and she was suffering with him because she was unable to help him.
“I want to give you a child, Ezra” Chana Geller informed her husband quietly.
Ezra Geller flashed his wife a haunted smile.
He looked up at her with big tragic eyes.
“I want to make you happy” she added.
And they embraced.
Three days later and the couple were driving to the beach.
They had booked themselves into The Imperial Hotel beside the coast.
The French Riviera of New Acres beckoned them.
Moonlit nights walking hand-in-hand across the beach.
Candlelit dinners in the grand hotel restaurant.
The re-discovering of the joy of being together.
All these aspects conspired to lift Ezra Geller’s tormented soul.
Now they were lying in the big silken bed together.
The bedroom window was slightly open and the sound of lapping waves against the shoreline filled the room.
Chana Geller nuzzled her nose into her husband’s warm chest.
He smelt of woods and spices.
The smell of sweet honeysuckle permeated the room from the open window.
Ezra Geller smiled down at his wife.
She was delectable tonight.
Her black eyes were shining brightly in the half light and she exuded effortless sensuality.
“I think a baby will heal you” Chana Geller informed her husband.
“They say a child is a blessing” Ezra Geller replied.
Everything was quiet in the hotel bedroom now.
Saving for the hypnotic sound of lapping waves wafting across the warm breeze.
Three weeks after returning from their vacation – Chana Geller discovered at last that she was pregnant.
The couple were elated.
Suddenly everything had changed.
Everything was charged with meaning.
And every day bought with it new surprises and fresh reasons to be thankful.
There was a fascination with minutiae of life.
Chana Geller had already noticed a change in her husband.
He was no longer preoccupied with despair.
Ezra Geller had been lifted out of himself.
Music filled the apartment again.
And the couple were avidly planning their future together.
Joy had returned to their lives.
At last – Ezra Geller was smiling again.
The first person the euphoric young couple informed about their impending new arrival was Miriam Bloom – the kindly woman who lived across the land.
Bloom was overcome with emotion as she embraced the young couple in the doorway of her smart apartment.
She insisted that they stay for supper.
Suddenly Ezra Geller felt like a little child again.
There was something about Miriam Bloom that far went beyond a caring friend.
It was evident in her lingering smile and touch and knowing green eyes.
“She is a marvelous woman” Chana Geller pronounced as she finally closed the door of their apartment later that night.
“Yes she is” Ezra Geller replied wistfully.
“I didn’t see any family photos anywhere” Chana remarked “I think she must be very lonely”
“I guess so” Ezra answered thoughtfully “But she has us now … and the little one”
Chana Geller smiled brightly.
She took her husband gently by the hand and led him to the bedroom.
The next couple of months past in a flurry of activity.
Ezra Geller a high profile photo shoot for London Fashion Week and Chana Geller was working on a big budget action movie called Apache Surrender.
Chana was held up at the film studio one evening while Ezra remained alone in the apartment.
He was wading through a large unmarked box full of family heirlooms.
Ezra Geller had left the unpacking of this particular box until last – suspecting that he was about to open a Pandora’s Box.
There were countless ornaments carefully wrapped in tissue paper.
There were numerous deliactely worked Cerenne plates – all individually wrapped in newspaper.
And expensive oil paintings wrapped up in brown paper and tied up with twine.
As the young man searched through the big box he came upon several photo albums encased by a layer of dust.
The photo albums were bound to be full of memories.
He blew off the dust and hesitated.
“Curiosity killed the cat!” Ezra Geller muttered wryly.
Then he began tossing the albums to the side.
Better to leave the past where it belonged.
He looked up at the framed photograph of a beautiful Chana Geller smiling down at him from the wall.
She was his life now.
And the little life in his womb.
Just as he was about to fling the last photo album – a small frayed black and white photo suddenly slipped out.
Ezra Geller watched transfixed as the image twirled and twirled until it had fluttered into his lap.
The photograph was beckoning to him.
Geller was momentarily emotionally paralyzed.
It was a photo of a serious little boy in a Fred Perry t-shirt and navy shorts.
Ezra Geller at eight years of age.
Tears filled the young man’s eyes.
A maelstrom of emotions began to engulf Ezra Geller as he stared at the photograph he was clutching in his hand.
Suddenly he was twelve years old again.
Benjamin Geller was siting on the edge of his bed.
The young boy had been innocently asking awkward questions.
Unknown to him – it had put his adopted parents in a quandary.
“Son” Benjamin Geller addressed young Ezra gently “We are your family now. Let the past be buried”
“Will I ever meet my real mother and father?” The young boy pressed with large sad eyes.
“I and your mother are your parents now” Geller informed him “And you are our son”
Then he embraced the boy as Elisa Geller watched silently from the partially open bedroom door.
All was still in the big apartment now.
Save for the sobbing of the adult Ezra Geller.
All the joy he had been feeling lately had evaporated.
He was an orphan again.
Unsure of who he really was.
It was getting dark outside now.
Suddenly the door bell chimed.
Ezra Geller was momentarily shaken out of sadness.
He opened the door to Miriam Bloom.
“I am sorry to disturb you” Bloom declared “but I just wondered if you needed anything”
Ezra Geller looked at the kind woman standing before him.
He was touched by thoughtfulness.
But nothing could assuage his sorrow.
Geller had gone down into the pit once more.
And he didn’t know how or when he would be surfacing.
His ghosts were haunting him again.
“No, thank you” I think we are okay” Ezra Geller replied glumly “I think we are fine”
The older woman was searching him with her eyes.
“Are you okay?” Miriam Bloom asked with concern “You seem a little … sad?”
“Just struggling with a few things” Ezra Geller answered quickly “Pay no mind”
Several long moments passed as the older woman gazed at the dejected young man with the maternal instincts of a mother.
She reached out a hand and put it gently on his shoulder.
The young man flinched slightly at the expression of tenderness.
“I understand” Miriam Bloom declared – looking directly into Ezra Geller’s eyes.
“How the hell can you understand?” Ezra Geller exploded “How can you goddamn understand how I feel?”
Suddenly the older woman was an unwanted visitor encroaching on his grief.
Suddenly she was just a stranger handing out platitudes that meant nothing to him.
And she had chosen the wrong night to do so.
“Trust me my dear” Bloom assured him “I feel it too”
Ezra Geller was staring at her in outraged disbelief.
She was a mad woman.
“You understand nothing!” Geller raged.
He angrily shrugged off the hand on his shoulder.
“I bet you had nice Jewish parents and have had a nice Jewish life!” Ezra Geller erupted “I bet you’ve been a good Jewish girl with God knows how many children and grandchildren”
Miriam Bloom was looking at Ezra Geller with a distraught expression on her face.
“I’m sorry if I seem rude but this is not a good time for me!” The young man continued sharply “You could never understand how I feel because you are not an orphan. You’ve never had to give up a child!
“That is where you are wrong” Miriam Bloom answered him quietly.
“What the hell do you mean?” Ezra Geller demanded.
Who was this woman?
Why was she still standing at his door?
“Ezra, I am your mother” Miriam Bloom informed Ezra Geller simply.
Everything was quiet now.
“I am your mother”
Miriam Bloom suddenly fought the urge to embrace her child.
“I am your mother, Rachel”
Suddenly the older woman fought the urge to hold the child she had lost over thirty years before.
Ezra Geller was unable to comprehend was he was hearing.
The older woman standing before him had suddenly been transformed.
Suddenly time was compressed into a few moments.
The beautiful day she met Ariel Abrams.
And they day married in Tel Aviv.
The tragic day they called to inform her he Ariel dead.
The first time her baby kicked in her womb.
The tragic day they took him away from her.
And the countless days, months and years she yearned for her child.
It had all happened at once in a fragment of time.
Rachel Abrams had been following her son’s journey for most of his life.
She collected every newspaper and magazine clipping she could find.
She watched every TV show he appeared.
And all along her heart was breaking.
Rachel Abrams was his secret mother.
But nobody knew.
The guilt and the shame followed her all her life.
“I had a difficult pregnancy …your father was in Israel looking for a place for us to live when he was killed by a suicide bomber … you were born soon after … and I became very ill … I just couldn’t cope … so your grandparents gave you away to a couple at the synagogue … then they placed me in a convalescence home … I lost my husband and my child”
Tears were falling down Ezra Geller’s cheeks as she spoke.
“There has never been a day I have not thought about you and wondered whether you were happy or sad … you have always been in my heart … I was blessed that your father left me well provided for … so when I heard you were living here I bought an apartment to be close to you …”
Tears were falling down Rachel Abram’s face too now
“I will understand if you don’t want to see my anymore … It was I who gave you up after all … I just wanted you to know that its me”
“I am your mother”
Ezra Geller took the older woman’s hands gently in his.
“Please don’t go – stay”
Mother and child were sobbing as they held each other in the doorway of the apartment.
A new chapter was just beginning.
Chana Geller silently observed the scene as she approached the apartment.
There was no need for words.
“Your journey is over” Chana Geller whispered.
Within the Artist’s loving Hand (by Ileina deviantart.com)