“Wait for me!” Naomi called out in Hebrew from her bedroom. With one boot on and the other in her hand, she sprinted for the door. “Why are you in such a hurry today? Being late to class has never bothered you before.”
“I need to talk to my professor before class,” I told my roommate.
“Rebecca, are you failing his class?”
“Then why do you need to see your professor?”
“I just have a question, that’s all” I lied.
“Whatever you say, Rebecca,” Naomi said sarcastically.
I knew that she didn’t believe me, but I didn’t care. I strolled over to our car and sat in the passenger seat.
“Since you feel the need to control when we get there, you can drive,” I announced.
Naomi groaned. She hated driving.
We were quiet for the entire drive to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes. I’m not sure if I fell asleep or simply have forgotten the drive, but the next thing I remember we were at the University.
“Look! When we’re early we get a close parking spot!”
I opened my drowsy eyes to see that Naomi was right, our parking spot was close to the entrance.
“Now you will have plenty of time to talk with your professor?”
“Yeah, you’re right,” I replied with a sigh. However, I was a little nervous about my meeting with my professor. He had asked that we meet, not me, and I had no idea why.
Sucking in a deep breath, I pushed open the car door and entered the building. After making my way up the stairs and a couple of turns, I found myself in front of my professor’s door.
There I froze for what must have been at least a minute. I had no idea what to expect. Had I done anything wrong? I didn’t think so. Why did he want to meet me?
Taking a deep breath, I knocked on his door and then pushed it open.
“There you are, Rebecca!” my professor called out. “Please, come and sit with us.”
I noticed two men sitting with my professor at a small round table with four chairs. The two men were dressed in cotton t-shirts, one red and one grey. Who were they? No matter how hard I tried I could not seem to analyze these men; I could not seem to figure out who they were.
I stretched out my hand to them. “Nice to meet you. I’m Rebecca.”
There I stood, awkwardly expecting a response, but none came. Unsure of what to do, I nodded my head and sat down in the chair adjacent to my professor. Now I knew exactly who they were.
“Nice to meet you too, Mrs. David,” the man in the gray responded. The man in the red just stared at me, probably trying to analyze me as I had tried to analyze him before.
“These are two former students of mine,” my professor began, “and they would like to have a conversation with you.” He smiled warily.
“A private conversation with her,” The man with the red said, finally taking his eyes off of me and turning towards my professor.
My professor gave a small nod before excusing himself from the room. “I’ll go get some coffee and let you chat.”
After watching my professor leave, I turned back to the men. “You never told me your names.”
“Our names are not relevant to this discussion.” The man in the grey said.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“The answer to that question is also not relevant.”
I sighed. “Could you tell me what is relevant to this discussion?”
The man in the red turned back to stare at me. “What is relevant depends on what you have to say. Tell us about yourself. Let’s start with something simple. Tell me about your family.”
I nod slightly. “I don’t have much to show for a family. My mother died in childbirth with me, so my father raised me but on my eighteenth birthday, he left. I don’t know where he went or why. All I know or care about is that he’s gone. I have no siblings, no spouse.”
“Ok...” The man in grey said while shifting in his chair, “…What about friends?”
As he shifted in his chair, I noticed a small black device in his hand with a red light on the top. I immediately recognized what it was.
“Sorry, I was not informed that this conversation would be recorded.”
The two men looked at each other and smiled.
“I’m sorry ma’am” the man in grey began, “may we record this conversation?”
“No, you may not.”
“Ok, I understand.” The man held up the recorder so that I could see it, turned it off, and slipped it into his pocket. “About your friends?”
“Why do you need to know about my friends?”
The man in red sighed and exchanged a glance with his companion. “Because… we have an interest in hiring you.”
“Hiring me to do what?”
He opened his mouth to respond but the man in grey quickly jumped in to answer. “Enough with the small talk. Your professor tells us that you have quite an interesting gift. Can you tell us about that?”
My face turned red. What else had my professor told these men? He was my favorite teacher and my favorite person to talk to. He doubtlessly knew all of my secrets.
I took a deep breath, momentarily closed my eyes, and answered. “Yes, I can.”