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Bricks and Ladders: Chapter 39

Ariella Schiller

So, they’re a team now? Tzippy and Sari against shallow little Rachel Ahuva. Well, you know what? They can have each other

Wednesday, January 02, 2019



 wrap my fleece robe tighter, slip on my fuzzy slippers, and go padding down the hallway to Tzippy’s room. I stop outside her doorway. I hear muffled laughter and talking, and my heart skips a beat. Am I that expendable? Sari just moved into Tzippy’s room and she doesn’t miss me at all?

I take a deep breath. No time for self-pity, my entire social future is on the line here, and it’s time for a little hishtadlus.

Knocking gently, I poke my head into the room. “Tzips?”

I push the door open and reveal Sari, pinning Tzippy’s hair into curlers.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I say. “I didn’t realize this was the door to the 1800s.”

Tzippy snorts. “You’re cute. Curlers give my hair bounce without damaging it. Um, you wouldn’t know.”

I toss my curls on cue and we giggle. Sari remains silent, so I ignore her. I really can’t help her if she wants to be disgusting and switch rooms. I’m not going to beg her to come back.

“Anyhow, Tzips, can we talk?”

Tzippy tries to turn her head, Sari yanks it back.

“Ouch! Okay, what’s up, RaRa? You sound super-sketchy.”

I come and stand in front of her.

“Tzippy… when are you going out with Yechiel?”

She makes a mock-scared face. “Tomorrow night, im yirtzeh Hashem. Ahhhh. Crazy, right?”

I go and sit next to her on the bed. “Crazy, yes. Tzippy… you know his parents are divorced, right?”

Sari makes a noise in her throat. I whip around to look at her. “Can I help you?” I say coldly.

She sneers. “No, thanks, I don’t think you’re actually capable of helping anyone except yourself.”

“Sari!” Tzippy exclaims.

“What? It’s true!”

“Sari, shush. Rachel Ahuva, yes, of course I know his parents are divorced, so what?”

I think I actually make the sound, “Lkhgrgle.”

Tzippy giggles. “Oh, okay, that clears it up.”

I put a hand on her knee. “Tzippy. The divorce. People are talking about it. It was messy. Why should you, I mean you’re…” I look at her, so pretty and good and strong.

“Amazing,” I finish softly. “You’re amazing.”

Tzippy stands up and her face is as cold as Sari’s.

“Rachel Ahuva, I love you. But right now, I’m actually embarrassed to say you’re my sister.”

And wresting her hair out of Sari’s hands, she storms out of her own room.


Embarrassed. Embarrassed! I chomp into a French fry angrily.

Chunah elbows me. “Maybe leave some fries for someone else, Grumpy?”

I make a face, but I pass him the fries.

We are celebrating Tzviki’s birthday, and in a rare Brick family move, Abba had insisted we go out to one of Stonesworth’s many trendy cafés, so Mommy can have a break from the kitchen. I would love the idea if I wasn’t so absolutely furious at my two sisters.

I glance down the table and spy them playing tic-tac-toe on the back of a napkin, giggling hysterically.

I slouch back in my seat. Mommy catches my eye. I give her a quick smile and immediately engage myself in a conversation with Chunah. I tune out his story about a baseball game at recess, throwing a few laughs, and “nooos!” in for good measure.

So, they’re a team now? Tzippy and Sari against shallow little Rachel Ahuva. Well, you know what? They can have each other.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 742)


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