It was one thing to march home, all fired up about her plan, but putting it into practice was another thing entirely. 

First there was the matter of Shiffy not being home. 

“Any idea when Shiffy will be home?” Adina asked Nosson. 

“How should I know?” 

She tried her mother. “Ma, where’s Shiffy?” 

“She’s doesn’t usually get home until later. Why?” 

“Nothing.” Where did Shiffy go every day? 

She tried Aharon. “Do you know where Shiffy is?” 

“Since when do you care about Shiffy?” 

Adina winced and retreated. 

When Shiffy finally did show up, matters did not automatically improve. 

“Can I talk to you for a minute, Shiffy?” 

Shiffy did not reply. 

“Shiffy?” Adina said a little louder. “Do you have a minute?” 

Shiffy turned around in exaggerated surprise. “Oh, are you talking to me?” she said, her voice heavy with irony. “I hadn’t realized!” 

Things had gone too far. There was only one thing left to try. Adina looked Shiffy straight in the eye. “I’m sorry,” she said boldly. “Can you forgive me?” 

Instantly, Shiffy relaxed. “I’ll try.” 

But even then the conversation was disjointed. “So, I wanted to ask you something,” Adina said stiltedly. 

“Go ahead,” Shiffy replied politely. 

What had happened to their easy banter, that intuitive understanding of each other they used to have? Adina felt panicked. Was it gone forever? “Basically, I have a question,” she finally said carefully. She didn’t want to blow her chance. “What are you doing about Shabbaton?” 

Shiffy looked at her in surprise. “What do you mean?” 

Did they live in the same planet? “What do I mean? I mean it costs $250! Don’t tell me you asked Ma and Ta for the money!” 

Shiffy’s face shut down. “You’re doing it again.” 

“Sorry.” Adina felt awful. “Sorry. I’m trying to be careful. It’s not easy.” Was that a flash of pity she saw in Shiffy’s eyes? “Anyway, I just meant, how are you planning on paying for Shabbaton?” She tried to keep her voice neutral. 

“How are you planning on paying for Shabbaton?” Shiffy challenged her. 

Adina shook her head. “I wasn’t planning on going.” 

Shiffy looked shocked. “You weren’t planning on going?” When Adina nodded she said, in a higher voice, “You were planning to miss Shabbaton? That’s crazy!” 

Adina felt stung, but anything she said now would once again come out too sharp. She stared back at Shiffy, waiting. 

“I got a job,” Shiffy said abruptly. 


“I got a job,” Shiffy repeated. “When I saw, you know, what was… going on… with money and stuff, I got a job. I’ve been saving up. I have enough for Shabbaton.”