| Double Dance |

Double Dance: Chapter 19

"Devory told the girls in her clique to give you the silent treatment today”



Miri absentmindedly twirled the strands of hair that had come loose from her ponytail.

“Ma,” she said, “I think Shoshi’s mother is sick with something serious.”

“Oy, I’m sorry to hear that. She should have a refuah sheleimah.”

“It sounds like they need help at home.”

“Did Shoshi say so?”

“No, but the house was really messy when I was there, and the way Shoshi speaks…”

“I’ll speak to Ta. Maybe he knows an organization that can help out.”

“Yeah, but I don’t want Shoshi to feel like a nebach. Can’t we just help them?”

“I don’t know Shoshi’s mother, and she may feel uncomfortable if we get involved. Let me give it some thought. By the way, I’m going out with Ta tonight in about an hour. Will you be okay, you know, staying home?”

You mean, “with Devory”?

“You’re going out?” Miri said louder than she intended. “For how long?”

“Not too long. I didn’t want to say anything to the others, but I’m going to tell you.” She leaned closer to Miri and lowered her voice to a whisper. “I was thinking that maybe we should move.”

Miri’s eyes widened in delight. “You mean from this house?”

“I see you like my idea.”

“Yes, because…”

“Because maybe it will be easier for everyone if we started fresh,” her mother interjected. “No one will have the upper hand, so to speak.”

“I wish!” Miri said. “Then Devory wouldn’t own the room or the house.”

“It’s that bad?”

Miri frowned.

“Who knows, maybe moving will make things better.”

“Does he also think so?”

“I haven’t told him yet about wanting to buy a new house.”

Miri’s eyes promptly dulled.

“That’s why I’m going out tonight,” her mother said. “I made an appointment to look at a house. I think once Ta sees it, he’ll like my idea.”

“You’re not going to tell him first?”

“No, it’s a surprise. I looked at the house yesterday. It’s perfect for us. I know Ta will go for it.”

Miri hoped so.

The phone rang.

“Miri!” Benny shouted. “Phone!”

“Hello?” Miri said after picking up an extension.

“You were right!”

It took Miri an instant before comprehension sunk in. “I knew it! Who did you call, Shoshi?”

“I don’t want to say, but she’s very reliable. She said that Devory told the girls in her clique to spread the word that they should give you the silent treatment today.”

(Excerpted from Teen Pages, Issue 797)

Miri’s mouth parted.

“Sorry, Miri. If I were in school today, I totally would have done something about it.”

“Thanks. I know.”
“Why would she do that now? Did something happen to make her angry at you?”

“You mean, angrier?” Miri said. “She’s already angry at me for just living in her house and being in the family.” Miri suddenly gasped. “Oh my! I don’t believe it!”


“I think I know why she’s so angry at me. Her father, you know, Mr. Weiss, made an announcement at the table that he wants to adopt me.”

“Wow! I don’t know anyone that’s adopted.”

“Hello! That’s not relevant to this discussion.”

“Sorry. It’s just so cool.”

“No, it’s not. Anyway, she’s probably angry because I said no.”

“You said no?!”

“Of course!” Miri shouted. “I don’t want to be a Weiss. It’s enough that my mother changed her last name. If I change mine, my father’s name will be forgotten.”

“I never thought of that. Did you tell him that?”

“No, it’s private. I just told him that I don’t want to be adopted. I don’t have to give him an explanation. I didn’t ask him to marry my mother and certainly didn’t ask him to adopt me.”

“Okay,” Shoshi said. “Boy, you sound so angry.”

“I am. At him, at Devory, at the girls in school. I’m even angry at this house!”

“You want to do a ‘Mimmy and Simmy’ switch?”

“Ha, ha, ha, Shoshi. Very funny.”

“I’m serious. I’ll live in your big, beautiful house and deal with Devory’s attitude. Her father can even adopt me! How’s that?”

“Shoshi,” Miri said unexpectedly. “You want to come over?”

“Now? It’s almost eight o’clock.”

Miri looked at her watch and was surprised it was so late. “I know what time it is. We can catch up on today’s schoolwork. Also, my mother is going out soon, and I don’t want to be home alone with ‘The Queen of The Class.’ ”

Shoshi laughed. “Okay, I’ll come.”

“Great. Do you have a ride?”

“No, I’ll walk.”

“You can’t walk alone at night!”

“Why not? I always do.”

“Wait a sec, Shoshi. I’ll be right back. Okay,” she said a minute later, “my mother is coming to pick you up.”

“No way! That’s so awkward!”

“It’s fine,” Miri said. “My mother is beeping the horn for me. See you soon.”


Mrs. Weiss slowed the car. “Which house is hers?”

“Uh … a little further… that one over there, with the small light on the porch.”

Mrs. Weiss stopped the car. “Oh, Ma,” Miri said. “Don’t mention Shoshi’s mother.”

Mrs. Weiss nodded.

“Thanks.” Miri jumped out and ran towards Shoshi’s house. Shoshi was out the front door before Miri even reached the steps.

“I’m so embarrassed, Miri. Your mother didn’t have to pick me up.”

“Why not?” Miri looped her arm through Shoshi’s and led her to the car.

“Hi, Mrs. Weiss,” Shoshi said shyly as the girls slid into the back seat. “I’m sorry that you schlepped out for me.”

Mrs. Weiss flashed a smile. “My pleasure.”


The girls giggled about nothing in particular until they reached the Weiss’s house.

Miri noticed her stepfather’s car in the driveway at the same time as her mother did.

“Oh, good, Ta’s home.”

Miri caught Shoshi’s eyes, but didn’t say anything.

Mrs. Weiss unlocked the front door and pushed it open. “There’s nosh in the pantry and cut-up melon in the fridge.”

“Thanks, Ma.” Miri took Shoshi’s arm and led her upstairs.

“Cut-up melon? Yum.”

“My mother always keeps cut up stuff in the fridge. She says it’s the only way I’ll eat healthy.”

Shoshi followed her down the wide hallway.

“Just a sec,” Miri said as they neared the closed door to her room. “Let me see if Devory is inside.”

She opened the door a crack and looked in. “Great!” Miri opened the door widely. “Her royal highness, Queen Devory, isn’t here.” She held her arm out invitingly. “Come on in.”

Shoshi laughed as she entered the room.

Without warning, the door to the walk-in closet swung open, and Devory stepped out. Her expression was rigid as stone. Miri swallowed, Devory slammed the closet door shut behind her, the pictures on the wall taking the brunt of its force. Without a word, she took a step closer to Miri. Miri stepped back and braced herself.

Her eyes slits, Devory stared into Miri’s. Unable to tear her gaze away, Miri stared back. Devory continued to glare at her. Then she spun around and walked out of the room, leaving Miri and Shoshi trembling.

To be continued

(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 797)

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