A lthough it feels like hours, it’s probably only a minute or so until my father manages to get a hold on Yael. He presses her so tightly against his chest that she can’t flail about anymore. Gradually my foster sister stops screaming and her body hangs limply in his arms.

I can’t hear the words, but I see that Abba is whispering something into her ear. Yael turns her tear-stained cheeks up to better see his face. I hear Abba promise, “It’s alright, my brave girl. It’s all over now. No one is going to hurt you anymore.”

Yael hiccups. Her little body shudders a couple of times before she finally rests her head against my father’s shoulder. When I smooth her soft black curls out of her face, those beautiful chocolate brown eyes meet mine. I smile to encourage her and I feel her little hand close on mine. She knows I’m here for her.

“She’s exhausted,” Ima points out. My mother holds a cup of juice to Yael’s lips and she gulps it down. I bend over to gather up the broken pieces of the toy bus from the floor. “It’s completely destroyed,” I inform my parents. “I don’t think it can be fixed.”

“Not to worry,” Ima reassures me. “We can always buy another bus.”

I look at my little sister. Her eyes are almost closed now and her breathing is steady. It seems to me that Yael is also broken, but she can be fixed. Im yirtzeh Hashem, Yael will get better, and one day she will be whole again.

Ima takes the sleeping child from my father. Yael nestles against my mother. I’m way too big to do that, but just looking at them together gives me comfort as well. Later I hear the murmur of my parents’ voices from my bedroom for a long time before I finally fall asleep.

Abba doesn’t usually walk me to cheder, but this morning he tells me that he wants to have a few words with the menahel about something. I kind of guess that he really wants to be sure I’m alright, but he won’t come out and say so because I’m not a baby anymore and he doesn’t want to embarrass me. Chaim doesn’t mind the extra company. After yesterday we both feel better having a grown-up with us.

There’s no sign of the Arabs or their car, but I didn’t expect to see them. Now that the police are involved, they won’t dare show their faces in our neighborhood again.

The minute we arrive at cheder I’m surrounded by a mob of shouting boys. “It looks like you’re a celebrity,” my father laughs. He waves goodbye and heads for the menahel’s office.

I’m not comfortable being the center of attention. Fortunately, Chaim’s not shy and soon all the questions are aimed at him. Our school friends listen with open mouths as he gives them a dramatic account of what happened in the park. I back slowly through the rapidly growing crowd until I can edge away without being noticed. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 700)