On the taxi’s radio, Bobby McFerrin was singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” but I felt very far from happy. I looked at Lev. He wasn’t crying, and even though we were stuck in a traffic jam, it wouldn’t take long to reach my parents’ house. I tried to find another ray of light in that unpleasant ride, but I couldn’t. I smiled at Lev and tousled his hair. He looked at me hard, but didn’t smile back. “Daddy,” he asked, “what did the man say?”
“The man said,” I answered quickly, as if it were nothing, “that when you’re riding in a car, you have to watch how you move your legs so you don’t break anything.”
Lev nodded, looked out the window and a second later asked, “And what did you say to the man?”
“Me?” I said to Lev, trying to gain a little time. “I told the man that he was absolutely right, but that he should say what he has to say quietly and politely, and not yell.”
“But you yelled at him,” Lev said, confused.
“I know,” I said, “and that wasn’t right. And you know what? I’m going to apologize now.”
I leaned forward so that my mouth almost touched the driver’s thick, hairy neck and said loudly, almost declaiming, “Mr. Driver, I’m sorry I yelled at you, it wasn’t right.” When I finished, I looked at Lev and smiled again, or at least I tried. I looked out the window. We were just easing out of the traffic jam onto Jabotinsky Street; the hard part was behind us.
“But Daddy,” Lev said, putting his tiny hand on my knee, “now the man has to tell me he’s sorry, too.”
I looked at the sweaty driver in front of us. It was clear to me that he was hearing our whole conversation. It was even clearer that asking him to apologize to a 3-year-old was not a really good idea. The rope between us was stretched to the breaking point as it was. “Sweetie,” I said, bending down to Lev, “you’re a smart little boy, and you already know lots of things about the world, but not everything. And one of the things you still don’t know is that saying you’re sorry might be the hardest thing of all. And that doing something so hard while you’re driving could be very, very dangerous. Because while you’re trying to say you’re sorry, you can have an accident. But you know what? I don’t think we have to ask the driver to say he’s sorry, because just by looking at him I can tell that he’s sorry.”
We’d already driven into Bialik Street. Now there was only the right turn onto Nordau and then a left on Simtat Habe’er. In another minute, we would be there. “Daddy,” Lev said as he narrowed his eyes, “I can’t tell that he’s sorry.”
At that moment, in the middle of the incline on Nordau, the driver slammed on the brakes again and pulled up the hand brake. He turned around and moved his face close to my son’s. He looked Lev in the eye and, a very long second later, whispered, “Believe me, kid, I’m sorry.”Continue reading the main story
Открыть дверь и вызвать сотрудников отдела систем безопасности, я угадал. - Совершенно. Будет очень глупо, если вы этого не сделаете. На этот раз Стратмор позволил себе расхохотаться во весь голос.