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Silver and Gold: Chapter 48

Zivia Reischer

Sheva cast around for something to do. Surely there were lots of things she could do on this unexpected day off!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

S heva woke up too early on Friday morning. She shut her eyes against the sunlight and wished it were raining. Everything felt strange, it was just so weird, to be here, when she was supposed to be there —

She scrunched her eyes shut, trying to block that train of thought. Her classmates were probably getting up now too, staggering, bleary-eyed against the freezing cold morning in layers of sweatshirts and socks. After davening there was coffee and hot cocoa in the dining room, and then—

Sheva turned over. This was not what she was going to do all day, lie in bed and think about everything she was missing. No, she was going to get up and get dressed and daven and have a productive day. Really, there was so much she could do with her free day, like… Sheva cast around for something to do. Surely there were lots of things she could do on this unexpected day off! Nothing came to mind.

Shopping? Blarg.

Although, if she was going to seminary, she really did need new stuff. Big if.

In a way this was worse than everything else. It had actually happened — Shabbaton had come, and she had not gone. What had she imagined? That Mrs. Brandweis would apologize in a dramatic scene, and tell everyone what had really happened? That Adina would come running and beg her to attend? Had she really expected, deep down, that someone would come and save her?

And she had nothing now, just an outrageous fantasy of going to seminary. Like it could really happen. What was she thinking?

The sound of her mother’s voice filtered into her consciousness. Sheva sat up. If she stayed in bed or moped around all day, her parents would pity her. She cringed. No, no, no. Better get moving. Her mother was on the phone when she entered the kitchen. Sheva pasted on a bright smile. “Good morning,” she said.

Mrs. Goldman started and turned around. She pointed at the phone and motioned frantically. Mrs. Dickstein! she mouthed.

Sheva felt like her heart stopped. “What? What?”

Mrs. Goldman flapped a hand. Quiet! Quiet! “I’m so sorry,” she said into the phone, sounding flustered. She closed her eyes in concentration. “I missed that. You were saying…?”

Sheva leaned in as close to the headset as she could. She could just about make out Mrs. Dickstein’s voice, tinny and shrill. “… this morning,” she was saying.

“Wow, so Rebbetzin Finklestein just called you?” Sheva heard her mother ask.

“Yes,” Mrs. Dickstein chuckled. “You’ll get a letter of course. But she wanted me to know — and I wanted you to know.”

Mrs. Goldman laughed. “Mrs. Dickstein, I don’t know how we can ever thank you!” “Not me, not me, Mrs. Goldman, I assure you. That daughter of yours is a gem.”

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