I t’s hard for me to keep up with Shimmy. “Faster!” he barks. A few seconds later he dives into the speeding traffic and disappears. I stand paralyzed with fear at the edge of the road. Cars honk and brakes squeal but Shimmy gets across the road in one piece. 

The line of cars stretches back as far as I can see. I am buffeted by the wind from the vehicles as they speed by me. Will Shimmy wait on the other side, or did he keep running after Zalman? If he’s not there, how will I be able to find my way home again?

A break in traffic! Can I make it? While I hesitate, the opportunity is lost. In the dark I can’t see whether Shimmy is still there or not. Does it mean that I’m a coward because I won’t risk dashing across this thoroughfare between the speeding cars? 

I take a deep breath and try to think calmly. What would my father tell me? He’d say that running in front of speeding cars on a busy street is not just dangerous, it’s foolish. Nothing is worth getting run over, or causing a driver to swerve into another car by accident. No, I won’t do it. 

I look up and down the road, trying to remember which direction we came from. When I was with Shimmy we crossed at a stoplight somewhere around here. It must be fairly close. To the right I see a line of red taillights in the distance. I begin to jog in that direction, keeping as far from the street as I can. Too bad there are no sidewalks here. 

I realize that both my pants and jacket are dark. This means that I’m practically invisible in the darkness. I shrug off my jacket without slowing down, hoping my light-colored shirt will help drivers see me. The street turns sharply and I see a stoplight up ahead. Just a few more yards and I’ll be at the corner.

Even though it’s a cool autumn night, drops of sweat are traveling down my back between my shoulders. I jog in place until the traffic light turns green. The impatient hum of motors from the cars stopped at the intersection accompanies me as I cross to the traffic island between the lanes. Now the light to cross to the other side is red. I study the line of buses waiting to turn and recognize the number 350! It must be on its way to Bnei Brak. That means it will pass through Rova Zayin, where I live! Quick, where’s the closest bus stop?

The huge green-and-white bus lumbers around the corner and stops not far ahead of me. What siyata d’Shmaya that there are so many passengers waiting to board. Most are dressed up, obviously going to or returning from a simchah. I hear them call for the driver to open the baggage compartment. Now my light is green. I run as fast as the wind, my legs pumping and my heart pounding. One passenger is still trying to fold up a baby stroller while maneuvering luggage so that he can shove it into the hold. Maybe I can get there in time? Please, Hashem! (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 705)