Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

House of Mirrors: Chapter 9

Rachael Lavon

After another girl in the park calls Cookie fat, Laylee returns home shaken — only to have Gavi berate her for running away from the problem

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

 Mishpacha image


"W e need to start fundraising.” Gavi’s words landed with a thud in the middle of the room. It was too late at night for demands; Laylee yawned.

“Whyyyy is it so bright in here?” Sarah walked in squinting and headed toward the fridge. “Because your sister went a little overboard on the lighting,” Gavi answered.

“Course she did.” Sarah muttered.

Laylee shrugged. “I like chandeliers. They’re transformative. And I like light. I like Coco Chanel, and the Hamptons in the summer and Cancun in the winter. And I’m not going to stop liking those things, no matter how much you mock me.”

Sarah gave a long, slow clap. “Bravo. You’re spoiled and proud of it.”

Gavi cleared his throat. “Let’s try this again. We need to start fundraising. I have a photographer lined up to take some photos of Elmway families, ours included, and I’m putting together some literature for the campaign.” He took out a pen. “Describe Elmway in a sentence.”

“Elmway — over two hours from anywhere that matters,” Laylee said, sipping her tea.

“Let’s try for something a bit more positive,” Gavi said with a frown.

“Elmway — we have Costco but no Bloomingdales.” Laylee flipped a page of the magazine she was perusing.

Gavi put the pen down and looked at her. Laylee sighed and thought for a minute. “How about this: Elmway — where out-of-town charm meets in-town sophistication.” A proud little smile played on her lips.

Gavi scribbled the line on a pad of paper.

Sarah grabbed a banana and began peeling it. “Why is that a good thing?” she asked, taking a bite. Gavi and Laylee stared at her blankly.

“I mean, these people right? These Costco people… they don’t need sophistication. They need stable jobs, affordable housing, food — some money left over to pay tuition. That’s why they live in ELMWAY, Laylee. They live here to get away from the circus you call sophistication. They live here so they can dress their kids like kids, they live here so they can breathe. You’re building this shul to up the sophistication, how did you refer to it… to change the face of this community. But honestly? No one wants any more Beloffs moving in. You people raise the bar that no one wants raised. Literally… no one.”

Laylee shifted uncomfortably and threw Gavi a look.

“By the way, Baila’s coming over tomorrow morning so I can help her with her with the siddur thingie.”

“Tzadeikes.” Laylee’s comment dripped with acid.

Gavi stood up. “I have to drop off some paperwork at Friedman. Be back soon.”

Laylee jumped up and followed him. “Oh um… didn’t you want me to come with you for that?” Don’t leave me here with her! Please. One more sarcastic comment and I’m going to explode.

“Uh… yeah. Sure.”

Laylee grabbed her purse. “We’ll be back soon, Cassandra’s here, I’ll text her to listen for the girls.”

Sarah just shrugged.

Outside, the cold air hit her hard and Laylee laughed as the door closed behind them. “My savior. I couldn’t take another minute of that.”

Gavi smiled at her. “Anytime.”

“She was such a pleasure as a kid. So easygoing, refined. I just don’t get it!”

Related Stories

Stage Fright

Chaiky Berger

If this girl was out, then the highlight of the evening and the zing of the show would need to be om...

The Family that Prays Together

Penina Pinchasi

On Shabbos, my daughters and I await our husbands and sons’ homecoming from shul — or I should say s...

Lifetakes: Waiting Again

Esther Kurtz

We stew, and we think, and we regret, and we memorialize, and then we just sit quietly waiting for t...

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!"