Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



House of Mirrors: Chapter 6

Rachael Lavon

Sarah tells Laylee she’s no longer in school because of an incident involving cannabis. Laylee’s father sends a big check for the shul with Sarah

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

 Mishpacha image


A aylee unlocked the safe in her closet and opened her jewelry box. Her hand hovered for a moment over the diamond earrings her parents had given her for her 18th birthday, then quickly dropped to the side. The conversation with them was still raw, floating disjointedly, bits and pieces raking painfully at her brain.

Sarah just needs to be away from the city for a bit… it will be good for her in Elmway… you and Gavi are so competent….” That was the word they kept using, competent. It irked Laylee.

They were supposed to be the competent ones. Parents are supposed to parent. They’d fooled themselves into thinking they had taken action and were doing the best thing for Sarah. But their argument crumbled as Laylee questioned them, revealing their fallibility. Their weakness mortified her.

She reached for the earrings Gavi had given her for their fifth anniversary and put them on. The past few days with Sarah moping about the house had been challenging, and Laylee had decided that avoidance was the best possible course of action. She quickly filled her time with vital errands, and stayed away as much as possible.

 She locked the safe, her mind returning to the phone call she’d had with Shiri after hanging up with her parents.

“They just kept saying that we’re ‘so competent.’ That’s it. No explanations, no advice. She’s their daughter and they literally had nothing to say!”

“Advice?” Shiri let out a little laugh. “Lay. Seriously? When was the last time Daddy gave you advice on anything but how to spend his money? And Mommy…”

“There was always something more pressing.” Laylee finished, unsure she wanted to have this conversation.

“Always.” Shiri paused for a moment, and then plowed on. “There was money and food and a sparkling house and darling housekeepers, but… sometimes I felt like we were six huge impediments who needed constant bribing. Listen, I’m grateful for my trust fund, Lay, but I’m also aware that I’m lacking… the most basic tools for parenting...” Shiri trailed off.

Laylee held her breath for a moment then hung up, just as the stench of elementary school washed over her. Sandwiches and pencil shavings, aging text books, insecurity. The slap of a jump rope against the tiled hallway. The flavor of uncertainty. Pretzels. Pain, guilt, uncertainty. It had been a long journey until Laylee figured out a recipe for self-preservation: strive to be admired from afar and never become vulnerable. 

Related Stories

House of Mirrors: Chapter 5

Rachael Lavon

Gavi creates a project for the neighborhood’s at-risk boys. Laylee’s sister Sarah suddenly shows up ...

Turning Tides: Brief History

As told to Leah Gebber

I married yichus — and expectations. The world is a shtender and a gemara, and what more could you n...

Windows: Guilty as Charged

I remember Jewish guilt back when I was a “normal” mother, each night as I looked down at each of my...

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.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without