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In Bloom

Rachel Stein

“There’s actually something I wanted to talk to you about,” she began hesitantly. “You know how my father lost his job, right?”

Thursday, June 01, 2017

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W alking up the hill of her driveway, Sora’le paused and stared. Right in the middle of her front yard lay some listless twigs, looking very forlorn. Sora’le shook her head. She knew her mother loved this plant. At least twice a year, red roses would appear and glorify the slender, thorny stems. But their lifespan was limited to a few weeks, and then the lush flowers wilted. If I had my way, Sora’le thought, I would just get rid of them. What’s the point of keeping something if it only blooms for such a short time? Maybe it’s like me, she mused wryly, too shy to show its face most of the time.

Picking up her stride, Sora’le made her way down the block to Miriam’s house. She and Miriam had been best friends since kindergarten, and they spent the majority of their waking hours together.

“How are you?” Miriam greeted her, opening the door wide.

“Glad to be here,” Sora’le replied.

“Are you in the mood to bake? It’s always good to have extra nosh around for Yom Tov.

“Sure,” Sora’le agreed. “Cookies? Brownies? Cheese cake?”

“All of the above,” Miriam giggled. “Come. Let’s get started!”

 

Taking out the mixer, the girls assembled the ingredients and got to work. In no time, the kitchen smelled heavenly.

Once the first batch of chocolate chip cookies were out of the oven, Miriam put some on a plate and invited Sora’le to join her in sampling.

“It’s only right,” she explained. “Otherwise, how can we serve them if we’re not sure they taste absolutely scrumptious?”

Sora’le laughed as the sweet taste filled her mouth.

What would I do without Miriam? she wondered.

Suddenly, Miriam’s happy expression took a nosedive; it looked as though a dark cloud had suddenly arrived, and now hovered over Miriam’s eyes.

“There’s actually something I wanted to talk to you about,” she began hesitantly. “You know how my father lost his job, right?” Sora’le nodded, alarm bells ringing in her head.

“Well,” Miriam plowed on, avoiding Sora’le’s gaze, “in the middle of the summer, we’re moving.”

Sora’le gasped, and tears began to flow.

“No!” she cried. “You can’t do that to me!”

“Now look what you did,” Miriam admonished gently. “You made your cookies all soggy.”

Sora’le pushed the plate away and stared at Miriam through a veil of tears. “First of all,” Sora’le choked up, still crying, “you mean way too much to me. Second of all, you know I can’t make friends! I can barely open my mouth in public. What in the world am I going to do without you?”

Miriam reached for Sora’le’s hand and grasped it tightly. And they sat there, the clock’s ticking the only sound in the laden silence. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Teen, Issue 38)

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