with me. I bring him out, show him how we have evolved, what his
theory proves. He agrees with me, he admires the marble statues,
reads with me about the gods. ‘Very worthwhile’, I say to him.
I come home, no dinner made, the kids in their rooms, David
back from Jerusalem.
‘Where were you?’ he asks. I notice that his grey hairs have grown
‘With Darwin,’ I say shortly, placing the little picture on my own
beside table, not David’s. I do not look at him, I do not ask about his
trip. I can feel his gaze on my back as I change. I imagine him studying
me, willing me to turn around and come to him. But I refuse.
The following dayDavid hands the girls their presents. I am turning to
leave; Darwin stuffed at the bottom of my bag, when he calls me over.
He’s frowning, struggling to comprehend my behaviour.
‘Where are you going?’
‘Out,’ I say lightly. ‘Don’t know where yet.’ I proceed to flounce
away, but he catches me by the hand.
‘Wait, I have something for you,’ he declares urgently.
He brings out a long, woollen blue scarf, very similar to the one
that Nadia often wears. My heart begins to sink, but then I feel
Darwin’s frame poking me from inside my bag and the pain leaves
immediately. I then think, of course, in all of Jerusalem, he finds the
one shop that sells plain woollen scarves in the middle of summer. I
smile casually, waltz out and dump the scarf in the neighbour’s bin.
The next day, I’m sitting on a low wall outside a theatre, a banner
advertising ‘Oedipus’ fluttering above, Darwin standing proudly
beside me. My phone rings. It is my boss, Richard. He sounds tired
and worried. His researcher has had to resign due to family issues. He
needs someone to go to Athens to write a paper on the influence of
Pericles, and could I, please, please do it?
I hesitate, wondering if I should call David before glancing down
at Darwin. We must evolve, he tells me.
Which is true, I think, and you cannot argue with Darwin. He
cannot be destroyed, I must remember that.
I smile and turn my attention back to Richard, wondering
whether my husband would enjoy Greece, the museums, the
tavernas, the ouzo, the real Athena. Always forward, never back.
The Theory Of