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Silver and Gold: Chapter 50

Zivia Reischer

Ignoring a vague anxiety that whispered to leave Leah alone, Adina made her way over to Leah.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

T he mad scramble to dress for Shabbos had given way to what Adina was sure was the most intense picture-taking session in the history of teenage girlhood.

“Here, can you take a picture?”

Dini thrust her camera into Adina’s hands and dashed over to Gitty. The girls’ hair blew in the breeze as they smiled for the camera.

“Thanks!”

Adina began to turn but Dini grabbed her arm.

“No, wait, here, Gitty, can you—?”

Adina forced a smile, and Dini released her. She melted to the side, trying not to remember the photo fest at Chanukah Chagigah and trying not to think about how much Sheva would have loved this.

She wasn’t, she noticed, the only one who seemed unenthusiastic. Leah stood awkwardly near their bunkhouse, camera hanging loosely between her fingers. Now and then Sari or Gitty pulled her in for a picture, but her smile was remote.

Adina frowned. That was strange.

Ignoring a vague anxiety that whispered to leave Leah alone, Adina made her way over to Leah. She tried to appear nonchalant, like she just happened to end up here, but she doubted Leah was fooled.

“How are you?”

Leah nodded distantly. “Fine.”

Adina nodded. Now what?

“Something bothering you?”

Leah turned away.

Suddenly Adina got it. “You miss Sheva.”

Leah shrugged.

Adina wished she had never started this conversation, but some inner demon egged her recklessly on. “You think it’s my fault.”

Leah shrugged again. “It’s not only your fault,” she said. Adina dared a glance at her; Leah looked exhausted.

Fraida materialized suddenly. “Hi,” she said, glancing at Adina and shooting Leah a questioning look. She stepped up alongside Leah in a protective gesture.

“I’m sorry,” said Adina. She turned and walked away.

A vast, pristine sky hovered over the gently rolling campgrounds. Adina stared at the tips of the treetops. Wouldn’t it be great if she could just run — run into those woods, run through the trees, run until she couldn’t breathe anymore, climb a tree all the way to the top where she could sit and touch the sky?

Around her, groups of girls in twos and threes posed and laughed and traded cameras from hand to hand. She didn’t belong here. Adina turned toward the trees, took an involuntary step… “Adina!”

Adina almost fell over.

“Adina, come on, we have to take a picture!”

It was Shiffy. She was grinning, panting, having raced over from the ninth-grade bunkhouses, her freshly blown curls flying wildly around her face as she staggered slightly in her high heels. A camera dangled from her wrist. “Quick, can you ask someone to take a picture?”

“Uh… sure. Um… Dini? Dini!” Adina raised her voice. Dini turned. “Can you take a picture?”

“Sure.” Dini blew her hair out of her eyes and took the camera from Shiffy. Shiffy grabbed Adina around the shoulders and smiled widely, pressing her head close. “Gorgeous!” Dini handed the camera back. “You guys totally don’t look like sisters, you know that?”

Shiffy laughed. “We know,” she said. “We’re totally different.” She grinned at Adina before turning to rejoin her friends. “But we love each other anyway

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