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Bricks and Ladders: Chapter 48

Ariella Schiller

I think of the thousands of families in Stonesworth that make up Tamara’s world, and it is heartbreaking that she doesn’t know another family like ours

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

S

unday is the first warm day in a very long while. To celebrate, Abba sets up a gorgeous wooden bench swing in the backyard. Sari and I make our way out there with foamy chai lattes and a Tupperware of cinnamon biscotti. I drape a blanket over our laps. “No swinging until our drinks are done,” I order.

Sari snickers. “Yes ma’am!”

“Ahhh. This is the life.” I make a brachah and take a sip, looking out at the picturesque yard.

Sari murmurs in agreement.

“All we’re missing is a pool and life would be perfect,” I say dreamily.

“Why can’t you just be happy with what you have?” Sari snaps instantly.

I close my eyes. “Let’s not fight,” I say lazily.

“Fine, you’re right, I’m sorry.”

As soon as our lattes are done, we swing, kicking off the ground, enjoying the rhythmic back and forth.

“I don’t want to fight,” Sari says suddenly. “I mean it. But I need to say something.”

I tilt my head, curls fall into my face. I brush them aside impatiently. “What?” I say warily. “Just say it.”

Sari licks her lips. “You… you pushed Tzippy too far.”

I don’t say anything.

“You can’t tell her that her choice in a husband is wrong. I’m 12 and even I know that.”

I roll my eyes. “I do know that. I’m not stupid. It’s just, she makes me so mad. She’s so smug. And holier than thou about everything.”

Sari looks down. “Well, she also used to be your best friend.”

I deflate. “Well, not anymore,” I whisper. “She made that very clear.”

Sari is quiet, the only sound is the squeaking of the swing. I shiver suddenly.

“Let’s go inside.”

Sari gathers the mugs, I fold the blanket, and we head indoors, the swing still swaying slightly in the breeze.

 

*****

So over this production.

I roll my eyes at Tamara’s text. When has Tamara not been over something?

I know, I write. Come over for baking night? I don’t know why I invited her, I’m just in the mood of baking and her negativity is getting on my nerves.

As in the production of carbs ;)?

I snicker in spite of her snobbiness.

Exactly. A diff type of production.

Haha. Guy will drive me in twenty.

Wonderful. I have twenty minutes to make my house Tamara-worthy and to warn my siblings not to embarrass me, on pain of a slow death.

 

*****

I take one look at her chambray shirt dress and hand her a Brick Brunch Bunch apron.

“Brick Brunch Bunch?” Her perfect face is starting to sneer.

“Yup.” Mommy’s smiling at Tamara but her eyes are clearly saying if you have a problem with that, you can leave.

Tamara smiles back sweetly. “How cute.”

She slips it on and then looks at me. “Now what?”

I can’t help it. “Now we’re done! Who wants a cookie?”

She looks so confused, I crack up. “I’m kidding. Now we bake!”

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 751)

 

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