Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Learning Curve: Chapter 30

Gila Arnold

Yael flees the clinic after overhearing Suri and Aviva talking about her. Aviva tells Zevi there might be something wrong with their unborn baby

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Y ael spent much of the day huddled in bed, the word failure, failure, failure running through her head like a mantra. It was only when her babysitter went home that Yael roused herself. Sruli came clambering onto her bed, Simi following her big brother. As Yael lost herself in a big, delicious cuddle, she realized it was the first time she’d smiled all day.

“Boy, is Mommy glad to see her two favorite little people in the world!” she said, squeezing one yummy cheek against each of her own.

“Mommy sandwich!” shrieked Sruli gleefully. Simi giggled.

It was exactly what she’d needed to get through the rest of the day, and by the time she’d put them to bed and came down to eat dinner with Ephraim, she was much calmer than she’d been earlier that morning, when she run out of the clinic like a madwoman, with no thought other than the instinct to flee.

Facing Ephraim was a whole other story. Yael didn’t know quite how to tell him what had happened today. After their wonderful weekend together, she’d felt their relationship was finally getting back on track — and now this? How would he react if she walked into the kitchen and told him, “Today my partners decided to push me out of the business by hiring someone to replace me.”

True, they hadn’t actually said that, but anyone with half a brain could see it was the bald truth. The fact that they obviously thought Yael wouldn’t catch on showed just how little they thought of her intelligence.

She sighed as she dished out minestrone soup to Ephraim. “How was your day?” she asked quickly as she sat down, hoping to beat him to it.

“Gevaldig,” he said, beaming. “I felt so refreshed, that the learning was extra geshmak.” He took a spoonful of soup. “But I want to hear about you! How’s the star OT doing?”

She’d confided in him, on the flight home, about her resolution to become the best therapist she could be, and Ephraim, naturally, had applauded this wholeheartedly. Now it seemed like one big, not very-funny joke.

Yael squirmed. “Fine.”

“Just fine? How’d all your sessions go? You told me you had great ideas for today.”

Yael kept her eyes trained on her bowl. Why did he always interrogate her about her work? Why couldn’t he ever ask about the kids, how her outing to the park had gone, what kind of drawings she’d made with them? It was always the clinic, as if that was the only thing worthwhile in her life.

Related Stories

Tichel Tales: Chapter 3

Gabriella Roth

Moe delivers a kosher food package to Rob Morgenstern — who turns out to be the rude woman from the ...

Without Words

As told to Leah Gebber

I could have cried with all my strength, but neither my mother nor my father would have heard. They ...

One Single Birthday Cake

Naomi Wein

What did I want my family to do — ignore my birthday entirely? Not buy a cake and thus abandon famil...

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.

Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”