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Jumping to Conclusions

Rivka Small

“I’m writing an essay for school,” Shiri declared in her way, talking to the air more than to a person. There was no point in asking Shiri, “Oh, what’s the essay about?” because she was going to tell you anyway, once she got started. “It’s about how when something hard or bad happens to a person, he can feel it’s not so bad after all if he can use the experience to help someone else.”

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Mendy was intrigued. “Like if one kid loses a five dollar bill, and somebody else finds it?” Shiri gave her younger brother a look dripping with pity at his lack of understanding, “No. That is not what I mean in the least.” No point in asking Shiri what she did mean because she was going to tell you in 100 sentences or less, but probably not less. “What I mean,” Shiri said, emphasizing each word with a tap of her pencil on the Formica kitchen table, ponytail bouncing in unison, “is that a person often feels bad when something happens to him — he makes a wrong decision or she makes a mistake. If they can say that one day someone else will benefit from that mistake, or even they themselves will learn from it, then they can feel a little better, like some use came out of their experience.” “Sure.” “What do you mean, ‘sure,’ Mendy? Are you being sarcastic because you didn’t follow a word I said?”

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