The text message flashed onto my phone a few hours later as I lay rigidly under my covers in a futile attempt to make up for too much alcohol and a terrible nightâ€™s sleep. â€œNice handwriting,â€ it said. I pulled the covers over my head and ignored it.
A few hours later still, as Tanya and I were driving back from Noaâ€™s parentsâ€™ home where we had all shared our Friday night dinner, while in the middle of telling her that of course nothing had happened and nothing was going to happen, because itâ€™s just ridiculous because Iâ€™m leaving in a couple of weeks and have only just split up with Boaz, I texted him back, â€œWell, Iâ€™m a very inventive Taurus.â€
The call came almost immediately, and I ignored it.
Another call came about an hour later. I answered it.
â€œWhat are you doing tonight?â€
I am staying in, I thought, Iâ€™m knackered and feel terrible and just want to go to bed.
â€œDo you want to meet me in a bar, or a coffee shop, or something?â€
No, no, no, no. I am going to sleep; this shouldnâ€™t be happening. I am staying in and then I am going to pack and am going to start thinking about my flight back home.
â€œSo Iâ€™ll call you later.â€
Oh I was getting into deep water. I knew it. But I couldnâ€™t help myself.
I met him that night and all the next day and the night after that and pretty much every night after that, and on one of those nights as I softly said that â€œI think I came to Israel for the wrong man,â€ I knew before heâ€™d said â€œThen why donâ€™t you stay for the right oneâ€ that I wouldnâ€™t be leaving Tel Aviv, that I wouldnâ€™t be flying back to England, and that â€“ oh my God â€“ my mother was going to kill meâ€¦
She didnâ€™t kill me, of course, but I think I took a few years off her life when I called her up to tell her that in the two weeks since I had last spoken to her, I had seemed to have fallen in love with yet another Israeli â€“ a half Yemen, half Egyptian singer/actor Israeli at that. So I wouldnâ€™t be needing my room cleared out after all because I was going to stay in Israel. â€œOh,â€ she said in the tone of a mother who has already given up expecting to hear anything rational coming from the mouth of her daughter. â€œOh.â€
A couple of days after that I called up David Landau, my boss at Haaretz, too, and made an appointment to see him.
I sat in his office trying not to come across as a love-struck teenager who would quit and unquit in the flutter of a heartbeat and asked if I could have my job back. While naturally taking the opportunity to remind me of the absolute necessity that I do much better and that my only saving grace as a goya unversed in the complexities of Judaism and the Land of Israel being that I had a â€œreasonable grasp of the English language,â€ he actually seemed quite pleased to have me back â€“ in fact at one point Iâ€™m sure he even betrayed a half smile.
Boaz, on the other hand, was livid â€“ angry, hurt, shockingly betrayed, humiliated, bitter photo-rippingly livid. I understood him and was almost shamed into heeding his enraged shouts down the phone at me one day at work to â€œget out the country and go back to my own country, because this was his country,â€ were I not so ridiculously, glowingly, weight-sheddingly happy with Saâ€™ar.