Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

House of Mirrors: Chapter 7

Rachael Lavon

Sarah says their siblings are jealous of Gavi’s and Laylee’s prominent community roles, which makes Laylee see Elmway in a different light

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

 Mishpacha image


"T hey want to use Katz.” Gavi said, sinking into the couch opposite Laylee and Sarah.

“Who?” Laylee asked.

“Katz. Tall guy, lives on Laurel, couple of little kids? He’s an architect. The guy doesn’t look a day over 18. Has practically no experience... But he’s a community member.”

“I thought someone had died,” Sarah said drily. “Literally, your face was pasty.”

Laylee shot her sister a look. “Gavi’s been working really hard on this. He’s changing the face of this community. If the board wants someone subpar we may end up with a structure that doesn’t represent the community we’re trying to develop. We want something... breathtaking.”

Gavi stared.

Laylee glanced down at her nails. Her sudden enthusiasm for the project must strike him as nothing short of miraculous.

“Well, obviously.” Sarah rolled her eyes. “But breathtaking costs money.... Dollars. Moola. Scratch. Benjamins…”

“We’re familiar with the word.” Gavi said curtly.

“Maybe they want to use Katz because he’s cheaper than whatever insanely overpriced firm you two want to use,” Sarah said smugly.

Gavi and Laylee glanced at each other.

“No.” Laylee shook her head. “They probably just don’t want to hurt his feelings. Completely ridiculous. Rome wasn’t built on feelings.”

“They’re not seeing the bigger picture here,” Gavi mumbled, rubbing his temples. This isn’t some temporary building... this is it.”

Sarah suddenly snapped her fingers. “‘Zeh keili v’anveihu.’”

Gavi’s face lit up. “‘Zeh keili v’anveihu,’” he repeated. “Genius.” He stood up and began pacing the room. “I’ll start the first official board meeting with a little vort, impressing upon the members the chashivus of beautifying a mitzvah.”

“Then do a closed bid,” Laylee cut in. “That way there won’t be any biases and the hiddur mitzvah will be completely lishmah. No way anyone’s going to vote in Katz’s design after they see Ricardo’s. He’s done shuls in the Five Towns, Lakewood...”

“Ugh.” Sarah stood up. “You people... is there a library near here?” she asked, heading for the front door.

“Wait.” Laylee shot Gavi a frantic look. “You’re basically in pajamas... there’s a hole in the bottom of your skirt!” Laylee said, following Sarah.

“Your powers of observation are truly astonishing.”

“You can’t go out like that! There are live… seeing... people outside!” Laylee said, her voice rising.

“Watch me.”

The front door slammed behind her.


“Just leave it, Lay,” Gavi said, grabbing his jacket. “You’re not in a position to be telling her what to do — you haven’t even found out why she’s here. A straight-A student with everything going for her... You need to get to the bottom of what happened before giving her mussar. A nice long chat should be your number-one priority.”

Laylee followed him outside. “I don’t do mushy talks or DMC’s, Gavi.”

“Yeah. I’ve noticed.” The way he said it made Laylee’s stomach fall to her knees.

Related Stories

Leftovers Make a Comeback

Libi Astaire

Once they were the hallmark of the savvy homemaker. Then they fell into disgrace. Today leftovers ar...

House of Mirrors: Chapter 6

Rachael Lavon

Sarah tells Laylee she’s no longer in school because of an incident involving cannabis. Laylee’s fat...


Esther Kurtz

Rochel rolled over in bed. It was after two in morning. Hindy had abused the power she had access to...

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!"