Ima serves me steaming pizza and an ice cold can of cola. The smell of the pizza is mouthwatering and I am really hungry. While I wash hands for hamotzi she returns to her room. What could they be discussing for so long in there?

Perhaps it has something to do with Yael? What else could it be? This morning I noticed that my parents seem distracted. Yes, it’s probably something connected to Yael and the child welfare agency.

I wash down three slices of gooey pizza with the cola. Ah, that was good! After all my exercise tonight, this was just what I needed. I stretch my legs and arms. Time to go to bed.

As I pass my parents’ room my curiosity grows. I know they’re careful not to disagree in front of me, but they never took this long to work out a united decision. Without really meaning to, I pause beside their closed door. I hear the ring of Abba’s cell phone.

“Hello?” My father answers it immediately. There is silence for a long time before he responds, “I understand. Thank you.”

“What did he say?” My mother’s voice sounds shrill in the silence.

After a pause, Abba tells her, “We’ve got a very big problem. The lawyers working on it before the police became involved believed we could work things out, but now that the Shin Bet is involved it’s a different story. They recommend we leave Ashdod immediately. They’re suggesting that Meir’s life could be in danger. We know what happened to his mother.”

I freeze. My life — in danger? My mother?

I’d been sure it was about Yael. How could it be about me? I feel chills running up and down my spine. Danger? From who?

I think of those crazy Arabs who followed me. If they had wanted to, they could easily have hurt me when I was trapped in the van with them.

Suddenly I remember that I have no business eavesdropping on my parents. I scoot quickly into my room before they open the door and discover me listening to their conversation.

Just a few weeks ago I was the most ordinary kid in the world. How did everything change?

As I wait for sleep to come, my mind reviews the night’s adventure. Tomorrow I have to visit Zalman and ask him straight out what he was doing in that house, with those men. Zalman’s such a simple soul, he doesn’t know how to lie. He’ll tell me the truth if I ask. Then I can decide whether or not to tell his father about it. Zalman’s just like a little kid. I don’t think he’s responsible for his own actions.

I toss and turn. What’s with Shimon? I really don’t know anything about him except that he’s a terrible bully and that his father and mine daven at the same shul. Mr. Gutman seems nice enough but he’s kind of nervous. Does Shimon have brothers and sisters? I didn’t even know where he lived before Chaim and I accidentally hid behind the bushes outside his building.

My eyes feel heavy and I let sleep creep over me. Tomorrow I’ll figure things out. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 706)