| Double Dance |

Double Dance: Chapter 1

“No,” Rikki said. Her mother’s unease made her wary. “But my birthday is coming up, so I just thought that maybe…” Her voice trailed off


"Let’s all meet at Rikki Dee’s at seven o’clock.”

The girls nodded their consent. Hands down, Rikki’s house was the best place to study.

“Great,” Rikki said. “I’ll see everyone later.” She swung her backpack over her shoulder and fell into step beside Ruchie. “Tomorrow’s test is going to be murder, you know that, don’t you?”

Ruchie tucked the edge of her pink uniform blouse into her grey pleated skirt. “For sure! Four perakim with Rashi, and mi amar l’mi! It’s almost not fair to put so much material on one test! I’m, like, totally stressed about it.”

Rikki rolled her eyes good-humoredly. Ruchie was a genius who hadn’t ever received a grade lower than a 95. As her best friend since nursery, Rikki knew it was only Ruchie’s worrywart nature that made her complain about schoolwork.

They stopped at the corner. “See you later, Ruchie.”

“For sure. I hope your mother baked her heavenly cinnamon rolls.”

“Me too!”

Rikki crossed the street to the neatly trimmed lawn and colorful flowers that complimented the impressive two-story Tudor brick house.

“Hi, Ma!” she called from the front door. “Smells oh-my-gosh!”

“Hey, Rikki.” Mrs. Levin’s head came into view. “New recipe, I hope you’ll like it.”

Rikki dropped her backpack in the closet then joined her mother in the kitchen. “Well, if it tastes like it smells, then I love it.”

“How was school, sweetie?”

“Good. We have a maaajor Chumash test tomorrow. Some of my friends are coming over tonight to study. Is that okay?”

“Sure. We’ll eat in about an hour.”

“I’ll never last ’til then.” She rummaged through the fridge. “Ooh, yum!”

“If you eat last night’s ziti, you’ll be too full for supper.”

“That’s in a whole hour. I’ll be starved again by then.”

Her mother laughed. “At least warm it up.” She turned back to the stovetop.

“I like it cold.” Rikki dug her fork into a loose piece of pasta while glancing through the mail spread out on the kitchen table. “Anything for me?”

“Any what?”

“Mail?” She reached for the thick cream envelope.

Mrs. Levin spun around. “Uh … no.” She swooped up the scattered mail and plucked the envelope from Rikki’s hand. “Nothing came for you. Why? Are you expecting something?”

“No,” Rikki said. Her mother’s unease made her wary. “But my birthday is coming up, so I just thought that maybe…” her voice trailed off.

“Right!” Mrs. Levin looked relieved. “This month. Thirteen! A real teenager!”

Rikki noticed her mother’s tight grasp on the day’s mail. “I feel like I’ve been a teen forever. I guess it comes with being the oldest. But I still can’t wait to officially be one.” She popped some ziti into her mouth waiting for her mother to say something endearing or funny, but instead, a shadow crossed her face. It was gone so quickly, Rikki thought that perhaps she had been mistaken.

“Are you okay, Ma?” she asked, to be sure.

Her mother’s eyes unexpectedly moistened.

“Ma!” Rikki was out of her seat. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, really, I— I’m just emotional. You’re growing up so fast.”

Rikki sat back down. “Whoa! You scared me.”

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 779)

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Tagged: Double Dance