NEW Story: Drip
✿ This article was featured in Issue #2 of the Atlantic Bulletin
When Tzipora first laid eyes on Ayn, hours after her arrival in the country, she thought, “that’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
It wasn’t just her features or figure that captured Tzipora’s attention — it was also her confident, inconspicuous movements and a quiet self-assuredness that seemed obvious in her gentle expression and posture. Tzipora was not quite sure how to describe it. Her beauty was very alive in the way she inhabited a space, as she walked into the hotel lounge to meet them. Maybe it was grace — maybe it was a little girl-crush — she didn’t know.
As Baron greeted her and they exchanged cheek kisses, it appeared to Tzipora that Ayn and Baron were old friends, and she was further assured in her respect for him — that Baron could know such beautiful women seemed natural! Baron was capable of anything in Tzipora’s eyes, a figure of ultimate power — it only made sense that he knew this woman!
Of course, both Ayn and Baron were mortal, and Tzipora got to know them well during the helter-skelter weeks following her arrival in Vekllei. Baron might have rescued her, but it was Ayn who introduced her to Vekllei, as AB/NI called Baron into office for the first time in a decade. It was Ayn who took her clothes shopping and wrestled with Zelda’s obsessive-compulsive fabric requirements. It was Ayn who taught Tzipora her first Vekllei sentence. And in the end, it was Ayn who convinced Baron that he had to take responsibility for Tzipora.
It was only years later that Tzipora began to realise that Ayn and Baron were, in a sense, married to each other through their work. They worked closely (he as recent head of operations at AB/NI, she as a research analyst in American economics) and their friendship went back decades. She was his “work wife,” which was the closest Baron could ever get to that particular institution, and so her proximity and love towards Tzipora made her a mother.
She was a vision of everything Tzipora wanted for herself — to be capable and respected; beautiful and unassuming; intelligent and productive. And once more, it was Ayn, in the end, who convinced Tzipora that she could these things for herself, regardless of her genetic disability. “Go out there,” is what she said, “and trust in yourself."