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Teen Fiction: All That Matters

Chana Yanofsky

Sometimes, Henny admitted, it was the little people who were in the right place at the right time, innocently absorbing the most important information.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

matters

Photo: Shutterstock

"Me have good news,” came the voice from next to Henny’s bed. Upset at being woken, yet slightly curious, Henny opened one eye at her room’s invader. 

“Esti!” she groaned, pulling the warm covers over her shoulder. She gave her little sister’s blonde head a slight push in the direction of the door. “Get out and let me sleep! Why do you always bother me on Fridays?!” As adorable as Esti was, she was home all day and it was quite annoying. Often bored, she sought the company of whichever family member was home and on the one day that Henny had off from school, it was predictable that she was chosen to be bothered. 

Insulted, Esti wandered out of Henny’s room, a pout on her face, and thumb in her mouth. Henny heard her whisper, “But Faigy is gonna be a kallah soon”. 

Now both eyes were open. Henny felt her heart begin to beat faster with excitement. Could she believe what her toddler sister was saying? Two year olds, particularly the talkative type like Esti, spent half their waking hours imagining things that didn’t exist. But sometimes, Henny admitted, it was the little people who were in the right place at the right time, innocently absorbing the most important information. This particular news seemed too interesting to dismiss as false. 

Faigy was 18, the oldest child in their family — and in Henny’s mind, the most privileged. There were five years between them, a gap that seemed larger since they were separated by three brothers... probably one of the reasons they’d never been close. 

Henny had spent most of her childhood climbing trees, scraping her knees, and getting into mischief with her brothers, while older sister Faigy, aka Mother’s Best Helper, was always busy trying to keep everyone out of trouble.

Photo: Shutterstock

Yes, thought Henny, it was definitely time for her to get married. For one, Faigy had her own bedroom, which Henny decided would be the first thing she’d claim after Faigy left the house. Secondly, having Faigy out of the house would mean an end to being bossed around — everyone knew that things got done when Faigy was around, but Henny was sick of taking orders. Her mother’s cake business, run behind the scenes by Faigy, would do so well if Henny finally had a chance to use her own cake-decorating skills — until now she had only been allowed to sift the flour and crack the eggs. It also meant that Henny would finally be sister of the bride, and have her hair done professionally for the wedding. She hoped it wouldn’t be a rushed engagement, as this detail would require months of planning. 

But best of all, her brother Mordy would need to travel back home from yeshivah for the wedding, and Henny missed him terribly. He hadn’t even come home for Pesach, despite Henny’s desperate pleas to her parents, because their financial situation was too tight. 

The following couple of days found Henny playing detective. She kept a close watch on her older sister for any suspicious behavior. Her mood was particularly cheerful, and at the Shabbos table there was a definite exchange of happy looks between her mother and Faigy. Something was up. Her Motzaei Shabbos shopping trip was nothing out of the ordinary, but when Henny took a peek inside one of the bags and found a more-than-expensive outfit, she confirmed her suspicion with a smile. /p>

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