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Summer Job: Chapter 31

sighed. “I have no clue. Is that really my job? And what do I know about breakouts?”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"C all him,” Shira Reimer said, putting the cordless phone down on the table. “Come on.” “What, it’s a random Tuesday and I want to schmooze? He’ll think I’m nuts.”

“Yudi, he’s your father. You don’t have to make excuses.”

“Ha, you don’t have to make excuses with your father, Mr. ‘Shira’le, how’s your headache? What did you make for supper? How’s Yudi?’ He wants to talk to you. My father isn’t that guy.”

Shira sat down across from her husband. “Listen, Yudi, get over it. He’s working in camp, and you wish you were, right? So you can spend your summer second-guessing him and being bitter, or you can believe in Hashem…”

“Shira, leave Hashem out of this, I don’t need a speech.” Yudi laughed when he said it, but he looked annoyed.

“Okay, fine, but you get what I’m saying. He’s there and he’s your father, so help him out.” “I hear you, Shira. Can we eat supper now?”

Chaim had spent the day helping the new nurse stock the infirmary. Rather than go to Target with a shopping list, he’d called his friend Wagner, who sold these things wholesale, and he’d saved the camp a bundle of money. He’d immediately sent Penner an itemized list showing the savings. Then, when the van arrived, Chaim got to work unpacking. It felt great to work again, and he was exuberant when he arrived at supper.

He pulled a chair out for Rivky.

“Come sit and tell me about your afternoon, Rivk.”

She made a face as she sampled the strange-looking soup. “Are these fruit?” she said, peering into the bowl. Chaim didn’t stop eating. “Nu, tell me?” She sighed. “I don’t know, it was nice. We walked the path from the baseball field that leads to old Lucas farm. When I was a kid we called it Old MacDonald’s Farm. The path had blackberry bushes and we would pick the berries. Mommy sometimes made jam.” “So it was nice? Memory lane?”

“No, it was hard. Mommy wanted to walk fast, but she really can’t, so she was out of breath and a bit cranky. There were a million mosquitoes. Then on the way back, I scraped my ankle on a rock, and it kills.”

“Uch, sorry.” Chaim brightened. “Hey, you can come to my infirmary and we’ll fix it. Iodine? Neosporin? We’re prepared.”

Chananya Singer approached and stood by the table awkwardly, as if he wanted to say something. “Hey, what’s doing?” Chaim said, looking up. The soup was pretty lousy.

“It’s like this: There’s this guy Kenner, he’s the C.I.T. counselor. He’s been all over and knows what’s going on in all the camps. He’s giving me a hard time, says every camp breaks out the new season with some kind of matzav on the first night. That’s tonight, and we have nothing planned. Regular night activity, nothing more. Do we have any kind of budget for this, and any ideas?” “My father would say, ‘Who cares what other camps do?’ ” Rivky whispered.

“Yes, he would. But he’s also taking a nap on his front porch,” Chaim told her.

Chaim cleared his throat and looked up at Singer. “Tell me, what does he say about the other camps, what are they doing?”

“Well, Meromim had a huge delivery of snow and there was this major snowball fight. Apparently, it was crazy.”

“I hear.”

“And Chevras Kayitz had horses in the dining room.”

“Wow.”

“So, what can we do? Any ideas? I know it’s last minute, but I thought maybe, you know, we can try something?”

“Let me think, okay?”

“Are you going to do something? Can you, even if you want to?” Rivky asked after Singer ambled off. Chaim sighed. “I have no clue. Is that really my job? And what do I know about breakouts?”

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