Sariel looks down, away from my eyes, and very slowly lets out some words: “Sam … you … ah … you weren’t put in a grave. I mean, I wasn’t here, but I think you forgot yourself. We can talk about that later.”

Sariel’s hand is still in mine, and her eyes slowly come up to meet mine again while she continues. “There were some really big floods a few months back.”

“That’s right, a lot of people lost a whole lot in those floods,” Joey says.

Sariel is chocked up. She actually swallows, before continuing. “Sam is no exception. You, me, and Gad, another friend of ours, were out together. A flash flood overtook the roads, so we couldn’t get back to our families. Gad’s children died in the flood. My children died in the flood, and your wife and children died in the flood.”

“I’m very sorry to hear that. I’m sorry for you. Were they all together?” I say.

“No. No. They were all at home. In our different homes,” Sariel says.

“That’s a strange coincidence isn’t it? I mean did y’all live in the same neighbourhood or something?” Joey asks.

“No. We live in different neighbourhoods,” she says in almost a whisper.

“How many people died in the floods?” I ask.

“Less than 20 people died,” Joeys says.

“How many kids do we all have?” I ask.

“Sariel shakes her head a bit and says: “I have three, and you and Gad each have two.”

“So, that’s seven children plus my wife. So, the three of us, who are friends and live in different neighbourhoods, lost nearly half of all the people in the flood. That seems way too remarkable to be a coincidence,” I say.

“You helped Gad a lot. You helped him get through it. You and I, we helped each other. There is more to this, but you need to remember to understand.” she said.

Son of Sappho Through the Gates , ,

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