| Double Dance |

Double Dance: Chapter 11


“You know, Miri, you’re the only girl in the whole class… no the whole grade… no, make that the whole school, I ever invited over”

Shoshie closed the door to her room behind Miri.

“Make yourself comfortable.”

Miri sat down in the bubble chair hanging from the ceiling. “This is so cool.”

Shoshie shrugged. “Overrated.” She sat down at her desk and took out her Share and Care package from a drawer.

Miri pulled her card from its envelope. “You have a pen?”

Shoshie tossed one to her. “Thanks. Do you think we have to answer all the questions?”

“Probably, makes more sense that way.”

“But I can’t answer one of them. I mean, I could, but it would sound weird.”

Shoshie lowered her pen. “Which question?”

“The one about what makes you happy.”

“Just write dancing, music, or a clean house, or clean clothes.” Shoshie’s voice lowered. “Or a hot supper.” She gave a sorry little grin.

Miri’s heart melted. Had this been five days earlier, she would have rolled her eyes or even laughed. However, being in Shoshie’s house for the second time, she understood there was deep yearning in those words.

“You know, Miri,” Shoshie said, “you’re the only girl in the whole class… no the whole grade… no, make that the whole school, that I ever invited over.”

“I guess you don’t want to make them jealous with this way cool room you have.” She spread out her hands at the decor for emphasis.

“Exactly.” Shoshie laughed. Her voice became serious. “I wish that were the reason.” She frowned then shook her head as though to clear it. “Why are you having a hard time with such an easy question, Miri?”

“Because what made me happy in the past doesn’t make me happy now.”

“I have about a thousand questions on that, but I won’t snoop.”

“I have nothing to hide, it’s just a fact.”

Shoshie clicked her pen against her teeth, but didn’t say anything.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Miri said. “What’s wrong?”

The clicking stopped. “Nothing.”

“Come on.”

“Well, I’m a little confused. Your father was niftar, and you must have been so lonely. I just figured you’d be happy to be in a real family again.”

Real family? “So, first let me tell you that yes, my father died, and it was terrible. My mother cried a lot, and so did I. I missed him every day and still do, but I wasn’t lonely. My mother and I had each other. We became closer than ever. It was really nice… so nice that I actually miss it. I’m probably lonelier now.” It was Miri’s turn to give a sorry little grin. “And why does having a stepfather and stepsiblings mean a real family? My mother and I were a real family without all of them.”

“You miss just living with your mother?”

“So much.”

“I can’t believe it.”

“Why?”

“Because, I mean, how could it be that you weren’t lonely?”

“I was with my mother. Why would I be lonely? We’re best friends, I love being with her.”

“No way!” Shoshie slid to the front of her chair. “I totally don’t believe you.”

“Why can’t you believe it?”

Shoshie’s mouth clamped shut unexpectedly.

“Shoshie?”

“I guess,” Shoshie said slowly, “it’s because I don’t have such a great relationship with my mother. I have a way better one with my father. I just figured you—”

“Also had a better relationship with my father,” Miri concluded for her.

“Yeah.”

Shoshie laughed unexpectedly.

“What?” Miri said.

“I thought we were just filling in these cards, not having deep meaningful conversations.”

“Unexpected DMCs are the best kind.” Miri swung back and forth in the Lucite chair, then looked up at the ceiling. “Is this thing going to fall?”

Shoshie chuckled. “No, my older brother hung it up. He’s very good at things like that.”

“Are you close with him?”

“Yes. He kind of ran the house… before he left.”

“I have about a thousand questions on that, but I won’t snoop.”

“Why?” Shoshie said dramatically. “I have nothing to hide. It’s just a fact.”

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 789)

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