"She is here with the two young ones. I have eyes on them,” the red keffiyeh-clad man whispered, with a strong Sunni Arabic dialect into his mobile phone. Hidden behind his newspaper, he had watched them from his seat since their arrival. The white façade seaside café bustled with ‘lunchers’ on a late Wednesday afternoon and the heavy smell of coffee mixed with the aroma from an adjacent hedge of Madonna lilies filled the air.
"Do you have the number to call?” the female voice on the other end inquired.
“Yes. Did Brother Nazim place it correctly this time?” He sipped his Turkish coffee.
“I watched him. Finally, we will avenge the deaths of our brothers. Twenty years we chased this Jew bitch. Praise Allah!”
“Allahu Akbar! (God is great!)" he replied quietly, but jubilantly, disconnecting the call.
The man continued to observe his prey.
The mother waved the café owner over. “Moti, we are ready to leave.”
Moti Lichtenfeld, a squat man sporting a heavy beard approached with a limp, a permanent reminder of his Mossad days. Alyn felt at ease in Moti’s café, a longtime family friend and son of the founder of Krav Maga placed the tab on the table.
“Thank you for coming, Alyn. Please tell your sister to come by next time she’s in town. We miss her and … dare I say … her energy,” he said in soft Hebrew, giving her a warm smile.
“I will.” She pulled three fifty-Skekel notes from her purse and placed them on the table to cover her tab.
Moti looked at Alyn’s daughters, and said, “Good-bye girls. Next time I shall tell you about the bull your mother and I wrestled when we were kids.” He winked at Alyn.
Alyn grinned at her friend and stood. “Let us go, ladies.”
Jade, the youngest, looked up with intense interest. Her inquisitive eyes sparkled at Moti. “Really? A bull?!”
Moti nodded and chuckled.
Electra watched her sister’s antics with an I-don’t-believe-this look while Jade continued bouncing around her mother.
“Aww mama, come on ... You wrestled a bull? Just a couple more minutes, pleeease.”
Alyn shook her head, pulling her long, straight black hair up into a high ponytail. “Later Jade, now move.”
“Yes ma’am,” Jade replied, extending her lower lip.
Alyn glanced around the café, then up and down the street. She smiled at the patrons who thought they recognized her as a famous local model. Electra, her oldest, a near replica of her statuesque mother, streaked up the sidewalk followed by the younger brown-haired, green-eyed Jade. It was a beautiful sunny day in the city as Alyn put on her Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses and continued to scan the area.
The lone Palestinian’s dark eyes followed the mother and her daughters.
Jade jumped in the air, and shouted, “SHOTGUN!”
“No way, you can’t call shotgun, Dad isn’t here,” Electra said, looking to her mother for support. “We only do that with Dad.”
“Jade. Let Electra ride shotgun this time. After all, we are heading to your favorite mall.” Alyn raised her eyebrows at her fearless daughter.
“Yes ma’am, but I get it on the way home.”
The threesome approached the old, meticulously-cared-for red convertible Fiat Pininfarina Spider. It was the first car Alyn bought after being assigned to her Embassy post in Naples, Italy, and the car that transported her, and her then soon-to-be husband, all over the Mediterranean.
“Electra, take that bag and throw it in the backseat, please.” Alyn motioned toward the car then stopped dead in her tracks. Something was off.
The Palestinian watched over the edge of his newspaper, a gleam of anticipation on his gaunt face, he was unconsciously holding his breath.
The girls plowed into the car.
“Hurry up, Mom,” Jade shouted, jumping over the trunk into the backseat.
“Stop touching my hair, Jade!” Electra yelled.
Alyn’s highly-trained mind was racing through all the possible security options.
Electra called out, “Mom! Come on!”
Ultimately, she convinced herself everything was fine, gave the girls a loving smile, and entered the driver’s side.
“Thanks, Mom. I love you,” Electra said, adjusting in her seat and shutting the door.
Alyn snapped in her seatbelt and turned the key.
There was a click.
Her mind became a torrent of thoughts, emotions, dreams, and experiences. They spanned nearly twenty flawless years of being a wanted intelligence officer. Her brain raced through the memories: From her conscript day to -- her first Mossad assignment, the last Kidon assignment a month ago, her wedding, her first child, her second child, and finally to the facial expression of her husband when they met for the first time. It all went black. This was the moment it ended and two precious daughters with it. The man of her dreams being unheroically left behind.
Sorry girls. Sorry Marcus.
She dropped her head to her chest and closed her eyes without enough time to even shed one tear.
Then ... nothing. She lifted her head and turned to see Jade playing with her mobile phone in the backseat, repeating the same sound again, click.
Alyn exhaled a deep breath and shook her head. Whew. I am getting too old for this shit.
Hearing the engine start, the Palestinian flipped open his phone, and pressed the auto-dialer number one button. He smiled, and said, “Assalam O Alekum! (Good-bye!)"
The explosion blew the red Fiat into the air and rocked buildings across the whole block.