I groan and rest my head on the cafeteria table; the white plastic tablecloth bunches uncomfortably under my cheek. I’d stayed up waaay too late baking chocolate chip sticks with Tzippy and Sari, bouncing around to Avraham Fried, and eating cookie dough by the handful. We’d had a blast but now it is only twelve-thirty and I am done, as in d-o-n-e.

“Rachel Ahuva Brick,” Mikki calls out suddenly from down the table. “Control your hair. It is taking over the country. And getting into my salad.”

I sit up, eyes closed, and shake my head from side to side, bouncing my curls every which way.

“Take cover,” Pessi squeaks amidst laughs, and mission complete, I put my head back down to rest.

“I would,” Shiri says from somewhere on my left, “give my right hand for your hair. My right hand.”

I open my eyes and squint at her.

“Who on earth,” I answer, “would want your right hand?”

Rus dissolves into giggles; I high-five her. Shiri rolls her eyes haughtily.

I sit up straight, ease out the cricks in my neck, and open my fluffernutter sandwich.

Rus groans. “It’s a good thing I love you, otherwise I’d have to kill you. Who eats peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on white bread every day and doesn’t gain a pound?”

I take a fingerful of fluff and swipe it on her face. She screams.

“Stop analyzing my lunch, Steinhouse, and tell us where you got that adorbs bracelet from?’’

Rus holds out her wrist and the patterned purple bangle adorning it.

“Oh, this old thing?” She grins. “I made it! It’s polymer clay.”



“Don’t believe you!”

“Teach me!”

Twelve voices clamor at once.

I sit back, safely out of the limelight, and chew my sandwich contentedly.

I come home to find my family conspicuously around. “Uh, guys?” I say, dropping my backpack on the floor and grabbing an orange from the fruit bowl. “Why is everyone, like, here?”

Tzippy looks up from a book, glances around the den, and shrugs. Sari and Chunah carry on with their game of checkers and Simchi, of course, continues coloring.

Okay, whatever. I peel my orange over the garbage can in the kitchen and space out. I think I’ll take a nap before dinner, I’m just too zonked. I chew tiredly, make a borei nefashos, and poke my head back into the family room.

“Goin to take a power nap, people. Wake me for dinner?”

“You got it,” Tzippy grunts.

I head upstairs and make a crash landing on my bed. Ahh, my sweet, beautiful pillow. Taking a deep breath, I close my eyes, and I’m out.

The door bangs open; I jump up, disoriented, and sway on the spot, dizzy.

“Who? What?” I snap.

Sari doesn’t look very apologetic; her eyes are sparkling and her face is stretched in a huge smile.

“Aidy’s engaged!” she shrieks.

My mouth drops open. “No. Way.”

We hug and shriek and dance around. I pull away.

“To who?” I breathe.

Who is this mystery man good enough for Simchi’s morah, the most amazing girl in the world? (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 708)