D id you know that avoiding someone is an art? You can’t just ignore your best friend, one day, out of the blue. People notice when they suddenly start to be ignored and when I had to avoid Penina, that’s the last thing I wanted to happen.

Okay, I’ll start at the beginning.

Did you ever do something you told people was just for fun, but in reality, it was something you really wanted to do? That’s kind of what happened when I tried out for Yad Miriam’s annual production. Open to girls from grades five to eight, Yad Miriam’s production has been the highlight of every Lag b’Omer for as long as I can remember. Their productions aren’t just plays put together by a group of random girls; they are the real thing. Every part of the production from the dance to the scenery is professional and gorgeous. Girls dream of getting parts in the production but it’s only open to serious talent, something I never really thought I had.

“What are you doing today?” Penina asked when she called me that Sunday, five weeks ago.

I flipped through a local magazine that gets tossed on our doorstep every Thursday.

“Dunno,” I said. “Probably nothing.”

I flipped a few more pages.

Penina said something, but I didn’t hear what it was because my eye suddenly landed on a brightly decorated ad.

Got Talent? Yad Miriam wants you to star in our upcoming, annual production. The word YOU was written in huge letters and it popped into my face.

I quickly glanced at the bottom of the page to check for the time and location. Sunday, March 4th 12:00–2:00. I looked at my watch; it was 1:15.

“Uh, Penina,” I said. “I gotta go.”

“Huh?” she asked. “Why?”

“I… um…” I said. “Um, something just came up. I’ll talk to you later.”

I quickly hung up the phone and ran to find my mother. She was sitting on the floor in my sister’s room, literally up to her ears in bags of old clothing.

“Ma,” I said. I pressed my hand against the wall and swallowed. “Could you give me a ride to Bnos Leah High School?”

“Bnos Leah High School?” my mother asked. She lifted a mustard colored T-shirt from one of the bags. “Do you think this will look good on Racheli?”

I shook my head. “I don’t know, but can you give me a ride?” I asked. “Yad Miriam is having tryouts for their production today and I want to see if I can get a part.”

My mother dropped the T-shirt and stared at me. “Really?” she asked.

I shrugged. “Yeah.”

“Okay, then,” Mommy said. If there’s one thing Mommy loves, it’s when her kids try new and exciting things. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 707)