I t’s odd, the things you see when time stands still.

Things you might never have noticed before suddenly pop out of the woodwork — the dust gathered like a layer of fur on the light fixture, the awkward space between the backsplash and the countertop. I reach over and run a finger over the gap, vaguely aware of my father’s voice over the blood thrumming in my ears.

“It was fast. Two weeks.”

I slide my hand down the counter, squeeze the edge of the granite between my fingertips.

“A good family. Good people.”

I should tell Baruch to caulk it. He should be able to handle that.

“Ariella?”

“Hmm. Yeah.”

“You’ll come up for the l’chayim?”

“Of course,” I reassure him automatically. My voice sounds tinny as it rings through the kitchen, as if it belongs to someone else. My brother’s engaged and no one thought to tell me until now.

I stay standing like a mannequin after he hangs up, stocking feet pressed against the tile, body taut. I let go of the countertop and watch my hand tremble from the release.

Revenge is sweet. It must be, or Yossi would have told me he was getting engaged. I ponder my own idiocy for a moment; I didn’t see it coming. I just spoke to him about the Smerlberg girl last week. He didn’t even tell me he was busy. (Excerpted from Calligraphy, Issue 704)