ari shifts on the bed and I almost burn her ear off. “Stop moving!” I shriek, grabbing her shoulder with my free hand.

She giggles. “Calm yourself down, sister dear.”

I resume curling her gorgeous, straight, thick locks. “I can’t understand why you would want to curl your hair,” I moan. “We should just switch and be done with it.”

Sari laughs. “Hey, I want curls, not a mane.”

I swat her head. “Either way, this is so cute, your first Shabbos away. Are you excited?”

I can’t help feeling just the teeniest bit jealous of Sari. She’d walked in the first day of school with Michal at her side, and walked out with both Michal and Chanie Bloom. The three were as thick as thieves and making me wish I was back in seventh grade.

The dynamics in 10-B are convoluted, complicated, and utterly confusing. I try to spend as much time as possible with Hadas, because, well, I really like her. She’s smart and funny and sharp and we just click. But I have a feeling Tamara really likes me. And being liked by Tamara Fine is no small matter. I’ve seen the way the other girls look at me whenever she calls out a sunny, “Hey there, RaRa.” She doesn’t say hello to Hadas, though, which is both rude and immature.

I curl the last lock of hair and set down my iron. “There you go, hon. All done.”

Sari admires herself in the mirror. “Stonesworth worthy.”

I take a bow and then sit on the bed next to her. “What do you mean by that?”

She wrinkles her nose. “Oh, please, I don’t have to explain it to Miss Popular.”

I blush. “Don’t be nuts, I’m so not popular.”

Sari runs a hand over her hair. “Maybe not, but you’re definitely an item with the popular crowd. I know, because Rachelle Fine is in my class.”

I startle at this. “She is? What’s she like?”

Sari smiles at me. “Arrogant little brat,” she says conversationally.

I gasp. “Sari!”

She throws up her hands. “What? You asked! Besides, are you worried about lashon hara or that Tamara will hold it against you if your little sister isn’t friends with her little sister?”

Ouch. “Um, both?”

We laugh, but my stomach is churning. Could Sari be a little less flippant about our social future here in Stonesworth?

A thought strikes me. “So, this Rachelle. She’s, uh, not a fan of Michal Shimoni and Chanie Bloom?”

“Nope,” Sari says cheerfully. “I’m pretty sure she hates them. Anyway, I gotta run, Tzippy’s driving me to Chanie’s. Have a great Shabbos, RaRa, love you!”

And with an air-blown kiss, she’s gone. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 727)