Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Silver and Gold: Chapter 35

Zivia Reischer

Robot. That’s how she felt these days. Stiff. Empty. Like she was set on autopilot, while the real Sheva was… where? Gone?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The fog that Sheva was living in had become so pervasive that she didn’t even notice anything different when she came home from school. She didn’t notice her father’s car in the driveway, or the fact that the other kids were conspicuously absent. She just headed listlessly to her room, walking right past the dining room without registering the three place settings and the platter of her favorite brownies.

She set her bag on her desk. She didn’t throw it down with an anguished crash or drop it lightly with a contrived nonchalance. She just set it down robotically on the desk and lay down stiffly on the bed. That’s how she felt these days. Stiff. Empty. Like she was set on autopilot, while the real Sheva was… where? Gone?

She couldn’t take this much longer.

An idea, germinating over the past few days, suddenly blossomed in Sheva’s mind, and without having to think about it, she knew exactly what she would do next. The thought brought an instantaneous sense of relief; now she had a plan.

There was a gentle knock and the door opened. “Sheva?”

Sheva turned her head. Her parents — both of them — stood in the doorway, looking at her stretched out on her bed. She sat up, feeling groggy and disoriented. Why were they here, like this?

“Can we talk to you in the dining room, please?”

Sheva followed them back down the hall. This time she did notice the absence of the other kids and understood its purpose. She sat down woodenly at her place and her mother poured coffee for all three of them.

“Have some brownies,” invited her mother.

Who could eat brownies?

“Sheva—” her mother began.

Sheva stared down. If she kept her head completely still, the ivy design on the plate looked like it was moving.

“Ta and I wanted to talk to you about… what’s been going on lately.”

The ivy blurred on the plate.

“You’re not yourself…” Her mother’s voice trailed off. “You’ve been coming home late, and you’re out Sundays, Fridays…”

Sheva swallowed. “Everything’s fine,” she said loudly. She even glanced upward to meet her parents’ eyes.

A brief silence ensued, which Sheva refused to break.

“Sheva, it’s not fine,” her mother said. “We can see it’s not fine. You’re so unhappy. Look, we want to help you… we’re going to help you. But we need you to tell us what it is.”

Related Stories

Animals Can Do What?!?

Rochel Burstyn

It’s not just dolphins. Large and small and very unexpected animals around the world are being train...

Super Avi: Episode 1

Ruchama Schnaidman

A few weeks ago, Jr. Editor Libby Tescher called. “Have you ever heard of Super Avi?” she asked. Tha...

The Fine Line

Shany Goldberger

I was wallowing in a tornado of my best friend’s betrayal. One small act had caused a wreck

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"