| Fiction |

A Spot for Me

 mishpacha image

Transcript of Conversation at My Niece’s Vort Last Night:

Mrs. Horowitz (from shul): “Oy! Esti! This must be so hard for you!”
Me: Well, um—
Tante Kreindel: Listen, my neighbor, she’s 31, just got engaged, I asked what she did, seems she went gluten-free for six months. Listen, it can’t hurt, right?
Me: Right…
Chaim (brother): Have another kos shel brachah, this is Glenlivet 12, strong stuff, take the whole bottle, maybe—
Mommy: Okay. OKAY! Everyone take three giant steps back from her, now…

Countdown: Sixty Days to Faigy’s Wedding

Bottom line: There really is no shidduch crisis, and I’ll tell you why. My friend Michal got married last year; my neighbor, three months ago. And I know there’s no crisis — okay, I’m calling it S.C., because the term alone gives me heartburn — because deep inside the recesses of my heart, I sincerely believe every girl will find her shidduch parking spot, someday.
Everyone except Esti Cohen, that is, but everyone else will be okay, and I’ll be the only single girl left on the planet, circling, circling—
“Watch the road!” Avigail’s voice interrupted my S.C. ruminations.
I braked abruptly for a red light. “Oops. Sorry.”
It’s like trying to find parking in Boro Park, Michal had told me once, and as the light changed and I turned onto an avenue to find a metered spot at least — Avigail and I worked for the same graphic design company, and the morning commute was terrible — I totally understood. Shidduchim. Some people sail into spots right away, like my niece; mazel tov, the end. Not you. You circle around the block, once, twice, three times, frustrated, maybe even a bit panicky because all those cars parked already and you’re running late, and then — wait.
Is that a spot?
You’re a bit skeptical, honestly, because if it was really legal then why wasn’t it taken already, right? — but you inch forward anyway, suppressing that feeling of hope—
“Fire hydrant!” Avigail groaned, her voice breaking through again. “Aww. You’re totally spaced today, by the way. How was the vort? For the third time.”
“Sorry, stuff on my mind. Fine.” I shook my head, focusing on the present. Ten minutes to find real parking before we were late, Avigail and I, the second day back at work after Succos. “The problem isn’t Faigy getting engaged before me, it’s everyone oy-nebaching about it. I need to get myself married before the wedding.”
“When is it?”
“In two months, in December. Won’t anybody move?” I pressed my hand on the horn, then switched lanes. “I better be engaged by then.”
“Honking your horn won’t make things go any faster. And I quit shidduchim, I told you, right?”
“Like six times in four days.” She’d gone out seriously recently, it had ended suddenly, and I knew her funk stemmed from that experience. I gave her a sidelong glance, switching lanes again. “Hmmm. Maybe we both need to be engaged by then.”
“Whatever. Wanna hear a funny joke? What do guys get when they lose their boots in the winter?” She didn’t wait for me to respond. “Cold feet. Ha ha. What’s that feminist quote, a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle?”
“Come on. Hey, I got an e-mail from this rebbetzin, she runs a shidduch WhatsApp chat—”
“I quit!” She pointed. “Okay, that car’s pulling out.”

Completely unrelated to Michal’s car analogy, but more than going to your niece’s vort, what makes you feel your singlehood the most, in my opinion, is going to the mechanic. As I pulled out of Art’s Auto that evening — I’d needed an inspection — I was really in a mood. He told me to come back at 100,000 miles for a transmission tune-up, like I know what that means, which is reason #300 I need to get married, especially when my father is away and my only resource is Google.
So I was online and in a funk when Avigail called me that evening. “Esti, your shidduch chat?”
“Let’s do it. Full-force hishtadlus, now till Faigy’s wedding. I heard about this other shadchan….”

Countdown: Fifty-Six Days Left

"You never know, that’s my shidduch mantra!” Mrs. Schwarzkopf declared. New shadchan who knew zillions of guys, Avigail claimed. I’d also responded to the shidduch-chat e-mail — there was no name associated with the invite, she signed off as just “The Rebbetzin” — and was waiting to hear back.
“Take my nephew! Super outgoing, insisted on ‘personality’ for ten years, married a peep of a girl, the only time she opens her mouth is when she puts on mascara! My cousin, looking for the posh-posh type for her son, he married a girl, when she asked what color nail polish she uses, the reference goes, for her stockings, you mean? You just never know, that’s my—”
“Shidduch mantra,” I finished.
“Right, well, that couple got divorced actually, but my neighbor’s daughter, she’s five-foot-one and her husband is so tall, his ears pop when he stands, they’re still married, you just—”
“Never know, totally. You have anyone in mind?”
“You heard of Shmuel Weiss, Lakewood?”
“Shimon Rosen, Queens?”
“His mother works through e-mails but I don’t have access now, I’ll text you her e-mail address. Send your profile, say it’s from me, okay?”
I wrinkled my nose. Awkward. “Sure.” Bogus Gmail account, here we come.
“Dovid Gross, Passaic?”
“I’m on all three. Stay tuned.”

Countdown: Forty-three Days Left

"So she’s got this shidduch chat, The Rebbetzin, but she interviews everyone before posting,” I informed Avigail, rounding the corner of another windy road, en route to her office. The Rebbetzin finally e-mailed back — I still didn’t know her name — arranging to meet, which took time to coordinate since Avigail wasn’t around for the first few time slots she’d suggested.
“She’s originally from Portland, moved recently to help the S.C., claims to use original, unorthodox methods—”
“S.C.?” Avigail interrupted.
“I refuse to use the term.”
She looked blank. “What, Stupid Cars?”
“Shidduch crisis, duh. Okay, we’re here.” I parked in front of a dilapidated, ranch-style house surrounded by a weed-infested garden that housed two green-faced gnomes, one missing an arm and the other a leg. “Hmmm.”
Avigail blinked. “How’d you hear about her?”
“E-mail. Also, I know someone who went to her pre-Yom Tov lecture. Tattele, My Succah Is Falling Down: Lessons From the Shidduch Crisis, that was the title.”
“Tattele, My Succah is — huh?”
We both studied the broken steps.
“Please enter!”
The voice shot out before I even rang the bell and Avigail leapt backward, letting out a squeak. I slowly opened the door, and we tiptoed onto a landing. A sign labeled “The Rebbetzin” pointed toward narrow, rickety steps that led to the basement.
Which was empty.
East-Asian-sounding music played softly; the faint scent of cumin wafted in the air. A scattering of photos decorated the mantel. A man in a kippah srugah and a woman in a shpitzel baring their teeth at each other under a chuppah canopy made of Coca Cola cartons. An elderly couple, vaguely familiar looking, posing with serious expressions. In the center was a modern-art style sculpture of what appeared to be fish bones.
“Esti.” Avigail poked me nervously. “When she said unorthodox methods, she meant unconventional-unorthodox or unorthodox as in, like, Buddhist or Scientology? I’m getting funny vibes.”
“Hmmm.” I looked at the fish-bone sculpture.
Chimes sounded and a woman appeared, wearing a sari with tiny bells decorating the bottom, head wrapped in a multicolored turban with white feathers sprouting from the back.
“Shalom.” The Rebbetzin nodded her head. Some feathers loosened, drifting to the floor. “Please, sit. Peace be unto us.”
Avigail threw me a panicked look.

Transcript of Shidduch-Chat-Lady Conversation:
Me: What’s your name? You didn’t mention…
The Rebbetzin: Let us speak shidduchim, not small talk.
Me: I don’t think you ever mentioned—
The Rebbetzin: A few short questions, a profile introductory survey. Here are some pens; take your time filling out these forms.
Avigail: What did you say your name was?
The Rebbetzin: Fill out the forms, dear.

"That was insane!” Avigail yelped, 15 minutes later, after we skedaddled out of the cellar and were safely outside breathing fresh air. “Either she’s a scam or seriously crackers! Animal skeletons? And that display of supposed shidduchim? That old couple, I’m almost positive it’s that famous dentist ad, the American Gothic pitchfork painting!
“And that survey! My checking account information?! ‘Yes, dear, no, there’s no charge, certainly not, but we like to have your financial information up front for shadchanus in case a shidduch goes through’ — was she serious?! But when you asked a fourth time for her name and she said, ‘I plead the Fifth,’ that was when I was like, whoa, let’s get outta here before she pleads the Second.” She took a deep breath and slid into the passenger seat. “Okay, next. I heard of a segulah….”

Countdown: Thirty-Nine Days Left

"Okay, it’s exactly ten minutes before haneitz.” My stomach churned as I peeked down from my position on Avigail’s rooftop. “You’re sure this is real?”
“Of course it is, my neighbor from Morocco told me about it. Did you remember to bring the tzimmes? I brought the other stuff.”
Grimacing, I beamed the flashlight toward the Mendy’s supermarket bag clutched in my other hand. Carrying tzimmes leftovers up the narrow rungs of the stepladder in Avigail’s attic to the roof wasn’t fun. I was still grossed-out that I was able to find it in the back of the fridge, wrapped in foil, when Rosh Hashanah was over a month ago.
“One tzim in your right hand, aravah in your left,” Avigail instructed, holding up a paper. “Move the na’anuim. Walk to the right, hold, shuckel, then the left, then front, up, down, back. Shuckel and raise the tzim and aravah each time.”
“Got it.” Gingerly, I grasped the one piece of tzimmes and an aravah, moved to the right, raised my hands as instructed, and stopped.
“Wait,” I said. “The shuckel, side-to-side or front-back?”
Avigail bit her lip. “I don’t know! Do both!”
I shuckeled mightily.
“Are you having a seizure?” I heard Avigail hiss.
I ignored her, completing the rest of the shuckeling directions.
“Now go to the center of the roof and kazatzka, 18 seconds.”
“Holding the tzimmes?” I half-yelped, half-whispered. “I need my hands for balance!”
“It’s only a 20-foot drop. Okay, go! One-Mississippi, two-Mississippi—”
I somehow managed, closing my eyes and kazatzka’ing as fervently as I was able, and then Avigail repeated all the steps, and we were done.
Exactly one week later, the shadchan called.

Transcript of Phone Conversation With Mrs. Schwartzkopf:
Mrs. S: I have updates!
Me: Great!
Mrs. S: I met the Weiss guy at a wedding, he said it’s not shayach.
Me: Oh…
Mrs. S: I wasn’t going to push because frankly, I don’t trust any man who passes the meat-carving stations at a smorgasbord to stand in line for gefilte fish.
Me: Oh…
Mrs. S: Rosen, never heard back.
Me: Oh.
Mrs. S: And Gross, forget him, he anyway drops after a few dates.
Me: Oh.
Mrs. S: I tried a few other guys. They all said you sounded like such a great girl! But not for them.
Me: Oh.
Guess I’ll go eat worms.
Mrs. Schwartzkopf called me again, three days later. “Don’t feel bad,” she said. “Especially that last one, I called his rosh yeshivah once, got involved with this girl he strung along for two months — ‘Rabbi, what will it take to get this guy actually married?’ I asked him, point-blank, and the rosh yeshivah goes, ‘Gross? Two eidim and hasra’ah’ and hangs up the phone. So forget them all! Fish, sea, etcetera. Next. Yaakov Schwartz, Cleveland?”
“Never heard of him.”
“Stay tuned.”
I absentmindedly logged into the bogus e-mail account I’d created to e-mail Mrs. Rosen. Maybe I should step it up a bit. Dear Mrs. Rosen, I’d write. Just following up on Esti Cohen. If you persist on ignoring excellent shidduch suggestions, we might have to kidnap your son—
Wait. I had a message waiting for me, from Sarah Rosen herself.
My heart raced as I clicked it open. Mrs. Schwartzkopf hadn’t heard back, but if his mother had e-mailed me — how many more days left?
Thanks for thinking of Shimon, she wrote. He’s busy now, and I’m looking into several dozen more names, but will be in touch later if it’s nogeiah. Can you send a picture? I promise not to show it to my son but I like to use them as screensavers.
I was contemplating my kidnapping response when Mrs. Schwartzkopf called.
“Updates! The Schwartz fellow, he got married four years ago, sorry. But I sent your profile to this person someone sent me, he’s from Europe but in the States for shidduchim, and—” She paused dramatically. “He. Said. Yes! Woo-hoo!”
My jaw dropped.
“I booked you as his six o’clock on Sunday, hope that’s okay, he’s coming straight from another date and I suspect he’s got a third right after yours so be punctual.”
“Um, what’s his name?”
“Stop asking so many questions and just go out.” She clicked off.

Countdown: Twenty-Nine Days Left

"Here’s what makes S.C. so tricky: If you’re redt to a guy and he says no, you think there must be something wrong with you. And if you’re redt to a guy and he says yes, you think there must be something wrong with him. So as I changed into my first-date outfit, I didn’t have great expectations, although that was probably also an unfortunate Pavlovian-style association with seeing that same black skirt, ivory sweater, and black heels, yet again.
Five minutes after six, my father yelled up the stairs that a car had pulled up and we quickly assumed our usual positions. Time hadn’t allowed me to vet this guy out so it was possible I’d be meeting a fugitive, but I resolved to think positive, totally, as I hastily hid my driver’s license in one shoe and a 20-dollar bill in the other.
Kabdeim v’chashdeim. That’s my shidduch mantra.
The doorbell rang.
A tall, suited, black-hatted man stepped inside and shook hands with my father.
And he looked… normal.
At that moment, all my doubts and frustration disappeared and those years of waiting melted away, because it comes at the right time, totally, and my heart thanked Hashem for the brachah He’d bestowed upon me while my brain quickly calculated the mathematics, because okay, if we went out now, then averaged twice per week, figured on a total of ten dates, then by December—
“Pardon,” he said. “Pourrait-on parler franחais? Je ne comprends pas l’anglais.”

"So what?!” Mrs. Schwartzkopf’s voice blasted through the line, and I winced as I held my phone a few inches from my ear, three hours later. “Marriage, it is not about talking! Are you sure you’re making the right decision?”
“I didn’t understand a word he was saying!”
“Google Translate! Did I tell you about my cousin, married an Ethiopian—”
“He couldn’t understand me, either—”
“Men never do! Marriage is work! You young people, you don’t understand — hold on, he’s clicking in.”
She came back on the line two minutes later. “Okay, he said the same thing. At least I think he did. But for the record, I think you’re making the wrong decision.”
“I did the best that I—”
“Well, you should try a little harder.”
Slam dunk, right into my gut.
I thanked her, hung up, and burst into tears.

"I quit,” I informed Avigail the next day, back at work. “I don’t want to talk about shidduchim anymore unless absolutely necessary. If you need to bring up S.C., make up a secret code and I’ll speak with you when I’m emotionally ready.”
“A secret code?” She laughed, halting when she saw my thunderous expression. “Sorry. Like what?”
“The Eagle Has Landed,” I said. “Mother, I Ate All The Noodle Soup. The Fat Lady Sings. Anything.”
“Oh.” She looked at me dubiously. “Listen, I was thinking, nusach Ashkenaz does the na’anuim a different direction, do you want to go again tonight—”
She exhaled. “Okay, okay. You heard about The Rebbetzin, by the way?”
“I said no talking!”
“Wait, this one’s okay, because turns out she’s really a gypsy, heard about—” she hesitated, “S.C. or Stupid Cars and set up a business venture in the tristate area, she already did time for that Indian-inheritance wire-transfer stuff…”
All males hate me, I botched the segulah, and I fell for a shidduch scam. I put my head in my arms.
“You okay?”
“I’m fabulous.” I looked up. “Who needs to get married, anyway? Fish, sea, etcetera.” I paused; that didn’t sound right. “No, wait. Fish, bicycles, etcetera.”
“You’re sure you’re okay?”
“I’m just saying what you said, 32 days ago. And for the record—” I didn’t know why this was irritating me now, but it was — “the singular version of tzimmes is not ‘tzim.’ It can’t be.”
“Did something… happen?”
“Nothing happened.” I waved my hand toward my computer, where I had Yeshiva World minimized and a Solitaire game in session. “Look, I’ve got some extremely important work deadlines. We’ll chit-chat another time.”
Avigail threw me a worried glance, then left.

I wonder, sometimes, about this husband of mine.
I stared at my calendar from my bed, where I’d been tossing, fitfully, for the past three hours. I’d come home after work, moped around, played Candy Crush, and finally collapsed, but couldn’t fall asleep.
I exist. So if I believe what they tell me — and I guess I do — he exists, too. So does the existence of a me testify to the existence of a him, even though we keep missing each other? Like, if a tree falls down in a forest, and no one was there to hear it, was there a tree, even? Or is this getting way too philosophical for what was basically, if I diagnosed it properly, a very swift onset of Grade-A, first-degree, king-sized Shidduch Funk?
I glanced at the red blinking lights of my alarm clock. Two a.m.
Time to eat ice cream.
At this point, I’m just plain mad at him, I really am. Assuming he exists. And assuming I exist. Because honestly, what do we know for real, and if he doesn’t exist, does that mean I don’t exist, either? Is this whole S.C. a modus tollens issue? And is there even such a thing as a tzim? Or is it just tzimmes and without two of them, it just isn’t?
I licked another spoonful of chocolate ice cream.
So this question came up at work the other day: If Person A’s brain gets transplanted into Person B’s body, is the result Person B with a brain transplant, or Person A with a body transplant?
Wait. I just thought of something. If all the trees in the forest fell at the exact same time, is it even a forest anymore?
I stared down into the ice cream carton and sighed.
Why does life have to be so complicated?

It 3 a.m., I called Michal, in Israel. “The bottom line is, there really is no shidduch crisis,” I said, when she picked up. “Listen, if all the trees fall in the forest, except for one, is it still considered a forest or just a tree? And by tree, I mean a crisis, metaphysically.”
“Go to sleep.”
“I don’t think I’m ever getting married.”
“Did something happen?”
“Yes,” I told her. “I beat 53 levels on Candy Crush today. And you know what kills me the most? Tzimmes. It’s just depressing.”
“Go to sleep.”
“I need a transmission tune-up first,” I said, drowsily.
I am so, so tired.

"Iow did this happen?!”
I shot up from my slumped position over the kitchen table, hands sliding on melted chocolate glop and knocking the soggy ice cream carton and phone to the floor. “It’s nine o’clock! I started work 15 minutes ago!”
I rushed through my morning routine, dashed for my car keys in a panicked frenzy, and bolted out the door. I’d clean up the melted ice cream goop later.
Avigail accosted me as I entered the office. “You’re late. What’s up?”
“Don’t ask.”
“Eeek. Sorry.” She hesitated. “Listen, Esti, I wanted to talk—”
“Later? I’m on deadline, totally behind.” Not to mention the six missed calls from Michal I’d deal with another time.
She called two hours later. “You have a few minutes?”
“Maybe lunchtime? Sorry, I overslept—”
“Esti,” she said slowly. “Esti. I really need to talk with you.”
I scrunched my face at my computer. “Where’s my Adobe file—”
“It’s important, Esti!”
“Just one minute, can we—”
My fingers stopped typing.
We met outside, in the garden in back of the office. “What’s going on? I told you I also quit, right?”
“That’s what I wanted to talk about.” She hesitated. “Okay, maybe you should sit.”
I looked around — there were no benches — then shrugged, plopping down on a mound of autumn leaves. She did the same.
“Okay,” she said, her hands digging into the grass surrounding her. “Remember that boy? A few months ago? That whole parshah?”
“What about him?”
“We started it again. Esti… it’s getting serious.”

It’s like finding parking.
You circle and you circle and you circle, Michal had told us that night; she’d just finished a dating saga and was in one of those speechifying moods. Shidduch parking in Boro Park. Fire hydrants, alternate side, illegal driveways; okay, so try again.
You see something a few blocks down, looks too small for your car, but someone convinces you to at least give it a shot, so you work to parallel park and it doesn’t fit. You pull out, reverse back in a different angle, and it still doesn’t fit.
Someone tells you, listen, maybe there’s something wrong with your car, get it checked by a mechanic, which you do, and he goes, hmmm, maybe the brake fluid, tells you to be more vulnerable or whatever and charges you two hundred bucks and your car still doesn’t fit, because bottom line: It’s a good spot for someone’s car, but it’s still not for your car.
You pull out again, circle some more, interspersed with interminable waiting behind school buses and garbage trucks, with incessant honking and people yelling at you to turn your steering wheel to the right, no, to the left, no, back right again, and then some passersby helpfully inform you about parking spots they heard about, fabulous parking spots, but they’re in Queens; and other cars like yours are circling, too, both pink cars and blue cars, everybody looking for parking spots, some stalled in the street — okay, not to be mean, but those are mostly the blue cars, if you want to know the truth — because after circling so long their engines burned out and they need a kick in their bumpers to get moving again; and slow-driving through traffic are cars with huge megaphones blaring mournfully, Tayere Yidden, es zenen zayer fil pinke cars, gur asach pinke cars, over and over again, and you’re really late now and exhausted and fed up with driving and running low on gas and sick of hearing about stupid cars and you need to find a parking spot already—
And imagine the relief consuming your entire being, mingled with astonishment and almost giddiness, when that spot finally appears, seemingly out of nowhere….

Avigail was waiting.
I swallowed. “Whoa. I mean, wow. Serious, like…. serious-serious?”
She nodded.
“Wow. This is… this is major. This is — wow.” I was dumbfounded and ecstatic and anxious for her, all at once. “How long was it going on, round two?”
“The shadchan called the day after your niece’s vort, after Succos. She’s great, by the way, maybe you should—”
“Stop right there,” I said dryly. “But Faigy’s vort? That’s when we started — wait. Why’d you call me, then?”
She toyed with blades of grass. “Um.”
And then I got it.
“I pictured us getting engaged a week apart, I really did,” she said sheepishly. “Especially when my neighbor forwarded that European, I really thought he sounded like a good shot….”
“You sent French Guy to Schwartzkopf?” An image of Avigail pushing her way into the driver’s seat and honking the horn popped into my head and inexplicably, I started laughing.
“What?” she asked. “Was it bad?”
“Nothing,” I told her, between giggles. “Parlez-vous francais? Tell me, how’d it happen? Did you go gluten-free?”
“I’ve barely eaten anything the past month. The shadchan called, said he’d called her, had thought things through, whatever.”
“That’s the most loaded whatever I have ever heard in my entire life.”
She laughed, then stopped abruptly. “Maybe this is a bad idea,” she said. “What if he’s crazy?”
“If you haven’t noticed until now…”
“No, he probably is, maybe I should—”
“What happens when girls lose their boots in the winter?”
“He’s not crazy, Avigail.”
She met my gaze and exhaled. I kept silent, ignoring streams of passersby throwing curious looks at two girls sitting on a pile of leaves on the street.
“We did it together, all this time,” she finally whispered. “This is wild. This is wild, Esti.”
“Hey, you found a parking spot, go ahead and grab it.” And she looked confused for a moment but then started laughing again, and I knew we were good.

One week later.

From across the room, Avigail caught my eye, waving excitedly. I pushed through throngs of l’chayim well-wishers, barely able to hear over the chords of “Od Yishama” someone had started up on a keyboard, and she started advancing toward me, too.
She looked gorgeous, Avigail. And so happy.
She’d driven over yesterday, at dusk, and we’d talked in her car for a long time. She’d told me they were making it official the next afternoon. I’d told her — well, I’d said a lot of things. I did not have to assure her that I was happy for her, because you don’t journey through shidduch parking with your best friend for so long without knowing that the happiness you feel is the happiness your friend does for you, because she’s the one who actually knows what it’s like, driving stupid cars in Boro Park.
She cried. I did not. Not in front of her, anyway, and that wasn’t me erecting a barrier but preventing her from subconsciously erecting one of her own between us. Or between her and her chassan. Relationships, gosh; so complicated.
We talked for over an hour. I told her about the screensaver e-mail, and she told me more about The Rebbetzin, and we laughed and laughed until our sides ached and then we watched the sun set and the moonlight peek through and then we just sat in the semi-darkness, quietly, immersed in our own thoughts and comfortable in the silence as only friends can be.
I know we’re not sisters, she’d whispered at the end, and I’m not even younger than you.
And then she’d asked permission to get engaged.
The strains of “Od Yishama” segued into the pounding chords of “Anachnu Ma’aminim,” the vibrations so strong I felt them spreading through my chest and tingling at my fingertips. Vaguely aware of her mother maneuvering bodies to clear a path between us, I forged ahead. Avigail waved again, reaching her arms out.
I stopped my mental countdown to Faigy’s wedding that night. The cheshbon was already under control, parking spots marked with names and routes meant to be taken…. Though I guess it’s hard to fully mean that when you’re still circling, like, hello, G-d, are we there yet? But if anything can make you recognize that reality, it’s the look of astonishment on a friend’s face when she finds a spot of her own. I caught a glimpse of Avigail now and felt my heart expand, pounding in sync to the energy rushing through me.
Mazel tov, Avigail.
And im yirtzeh Hashem by me.
Though if anyone else tells me that, I’d probably knock their teeth out.
The music swelled, Avigail’s fingers pulled me in, our eyes met. And then I leaned forward to embrace my best friend.

(Originally featured in Family First Issue 610)

Oops! We could not locate your form.