Playground school bell rings again.

Rain clouds come to play again.

Ziva knew that something was horribly wrong the moment she saw her father at the door of her preschool when the bell rang. Where was Ima and since when dad Abba have the time to leave work just to pick her up from school?

Has no one told you she's not breathing?

Hello: I'm your mind giving you someone to talk to. Hello.

Dead? How could Ima be dead? She had been so alive, so vibrant just a few hours earlier when she and Ziva had had their weekly mother-daughter breakfast. She had laughed at Ziva's milk moustache and made Ziva promise to tell her everything about her day when she picked her up from school.

Who would she tell that she got the highest marks on the spelling test if Ima was dead? Who would she confess to that she had a crush on one of the boys in the second form? Now these things could only be recited in her own mind. Now Ziva must keep her own council.

If I smile and don't believe

Soon I know I'll wake from this dream.

Ziva stood frozen, as in a dream, watching the mall-- into which her sister, her heart, had just walked-- explode in slow motion, shrapnel fluttering around her like so many deadly butterflies.

Errantly, she thought of Ari's fear of those creatures and smiled ruefully. Now she understood.

Don't try to fix me; I'm not broken.

Hello. I am the lie living for you so you can hide.

Don't cry.

Ziva's peers were amazed by her implacable facade. No matter what happened to her, Ziva never cried. She was a robot, a ninja, invincible and they all envied her for it.

Occasionally people tried to break through, to see the real Ziva behind the mask. They told her that it was unhealthy to always hold in her emotions. But Ziva knew that living a lie was much safer for her than giving in to the pain that lurked in the recesses of her mind. As her father had told her so long ago, Davids don't cry.

Suddenly I know I'm not sleeping.

Hello! I'm still here,

All that's left of yesterday.

The shot rang out, echoing loud in the otherwise silent basement, bringing Ziva out of her trance. When she had pulled the trigger, she had been convinced that it was a dream, a horrible nightmare from which she would awaken to be comforted by the loving big brother that she knew instead of the monster that had stood before her just now spewing the hatred that they had fought against for so much of her life.

But now, hearing the report of the gun and seeing the blood seeping from the wound in his forehead, she knew that Ari would never comfort her again. She had just shot her older brother.

As she mechanically sang El Malei Rachamim over his body, Ziva realized that she was the only one, the last pawn left in her father's master game of chess. The weakest link, the least of them, had survived the others and was left to carry out their father's grand schemes alone.