Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Learning Curve: Chapter 32

Gila Arnold

Suri puzzles over client Dini Goldfeder’s behavior. Aviva and Zevi meet with the doctor, who tells them there’s an indication their baby has Down’s syndrome

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


evi insisted on taking her out for a coffee, even though the last thing in the world she wanted to do was eat. The ride from the doctor’s office had been completely silent, with Aviva struggling the entire time not to cry. She’d done too much of that in the past few days.

Once she was ensconced in a cushioned bench in a corner table at Coffee ‘n Cream, the new caf? that had opened downtown, Aviva had to admit that Zevi had used smart strategy. Here in public, there was no way she would dissolve into tears. They could have a calm, logical conversation, weighing their options, discussing the what-ifs, the repercussions, all with cool, controlled emotion.

She sucked in her breath, as Zevi studied the menu. Her baby might have Down Syndrome! No, she was going to cry, burst into tears right here in the middle of everyone, and one of her clients just sat down three tables away, and she couldn’t do this, could not, needed to get out of here now—

Zevi looked up. “Split an appetizer?” he asked.

Her mouth dropped open. How could he be thinking about something so ridiculously inane when their world was about to fall apart? She quickly lifted a menu up to her face, to hide the tears spilling out, pretending to be intensely interested in which stupid appetizer her husband wanted to split — as if that was the biggest issue they had to think about right now.

Suddenly, tears dissolved into fury. She slammed down the menu.

“How can you think about food at a time like this? Don’t you, don’t you even care about what the doctor said? Doesn’t it mean anything to you, that our baby might have — might be—” She bit her lip, unable to continue.

Zevi sighed. “Of course I care. It’s… it’s…” he waved his hand around, for once at a loss for words, “well, terrifying to think of what might be.” He paused for a moment. “But I don’t see what we can do about it right now, other than daven that things should turn out all right.” He picked up his menu once again. “And I happen to be hungry. Is that allowed, ma’am? Or do I have to go on a starvation diet until you give birth?”

Zevi’s smile was so disarming that, despite herself, Aviva found her lips twitching through her tears. How did he always manage to hit just the right spot?

“No, you don’t have to starve,” she murmured with a half-smile. “Go ahead and order something for me, too, and then you can eat both.”

“Oh, I get it. Instead of you eating for two, I’m eating for three.” He grinned. “I can get used to that.”

Related Stories

Lifetakes: Operation Triple T

Yehudis Lieber

Complain? Never! What’s two days spent in excruciating labor; what’s some minor (okay, extreme) slee...

Bending Rules

Esty Heller

My mother smiled lightly. “How much is it?” The question sounded nonchalant, but only almost. I hear...

House of Mirrors: Chapter 15

Rachael Lavon

“Are you actually upset that she didn’t come? Or just sad she didn’t see your overpriced centerpiece...

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!"