The rosary was in stark contrast to its surroundings: beer and wine, a blues band singing Sitting at the Dock of the Bay and sultry voices in conversation. The box was nondescript. From his blank expression, it was obvious he had no idea what the present was before opening it. Her face was radiant as he extracted the set of beads. Hand-carved, she exclaimed, from Bethlehem. Not many people know Bethlehem is in Palestine, she said matter-of-factly. Go on, put it on, she urged. Hesitantly, he placed it around his neck. It looks great, she said getting up, I’ll be right back. He watched her walk away, then tucked the cross into his left pocket and patted the string flush with his shirt.
Published by Ele Pawelski
Ele Pawelski managed human rights projects in danger-pay-locales for a decade before moving back home to Toronto and turning to fiction to ground her experiences. She has published stories in the Nashwaak Review and Globe and Mail’s Fact and Arguments. Still an avid adventurer, Ele keeps a bag packed for spontaneous trips, adding to the 70-plus countries she’s worked in or visited. She’s not opposed to eavesdropping to develop a story idea.