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Double Dance: Chapter 17

“I bet Devory told all the girls not to speak to me. She’s the queen of the eighth grade, you know”

“W

hat happened?”

Miri’s chest heaved as fat tears rushed down her face. “I… I…”

“Oh, Miri!” Mrs. Weiss steered the car onto a side street and parked. She leaned over and opened the glove compartment for a box of tissues. “Here.” She put her arm around Miri and pulled her close.

Miri buried her face in her mother’s shoulder, and her mother stroked her back.

Gradually the sobs subsided. “Better?” her mother said. Miri lifted her head and sniffled. “What happened, sweetie?”

Miri blew her nose. “I was having an okay day until lunch. I mean, now that I think back, no one really spoke to me before lunch either.”

“What do you mean?”

“I thought it was just in the lunchroom, but it was all morning, Ma. The more I think about it, the more I’m sure.” Her body shuddered. “It had to be Devory.”

“What had to be Devory?”

“When I came into the lunchroom, Devory and her friends giggled about something. Probably me.”

“Why would you think that?”

Miri rolled her red eyes. “I just know. I sat down at the table, and not one single bingle girl said a word to me. It’s like I wasn’t there. When I tried to make conversation with the girl across from me, she basically ignored me. I also saw her look in Devory’s direction after I tried to get her to talk.” Miri filled her cheeks with air and blew it out shakily. “I bet Devory told all the girls not to speak to me. She’s the queen of the eighth grade, you know.”

“No, I didn’t know. Queen or not, though, that’s a pretty strong accusation.”

Miri folded her arms across her chest. “I’m sure it was her. Why else wouldn’t anyone speak to me?”

“You still have to be careful with accusations.”

“Okay, so maybe not all the girls, but her class for sure. It just makes so much sense.”

“I’m not saying that it doesn’t look that way, but facts and assumption are two different things.”

“Why does everyone always take Devory’s side?”

“Miri, I’m not taking her side. I just don’t want you to accuse her of anything without proof. I’m actually protecting you.”

“It was horrible, Ma!” Miri cried. “It felt like everyone was against me.”

“What about your friend, Shoshie?”

“She wasn’t in school today.”

“So you can’t even ask her about your suspicion.”

“Right.”

“Maybe it was just a coincidence that the girls were extra quiet today.”

“I doubt it.”

 (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 795)

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