Although the speaker’s accent was charming, Rikki didn’t want anyone telling her that bad things were really good things in disguise
"Rikki Dee!” Ruchie waved.
Rikki dropped her backpack in her locker then went to join Ruchie. Together they walked through the noisy hallway to their classroom.
“Ready for the big test?”
Rikki shrugged. “I guess.”
“You guess? Uh oh. Do you want to review something now?”
“No. At this point, it is what it is.”
Ruchie touched Rikki’s arm. “Rikki, I know something is bothering you, but I’m not going to pry. Just tell me one thing. Is it some sort of glitch that will fix itself?”
Rikki looked down at her shoes. “I wish.”
Ruchie’s face twisted with compassion. “If you want to talk…”
“Thanks, Ruchie.” Rikki opened the classroom door. “I appreciate it. Not right now, but maybe another time.”
“Hi, all!” Matti jumped off the windowsill when they entered. “Did you see who’s here?”
“We have a surprise guest speaker.”
“You mean, like, she’s speaking during Chumash class?”
“I don’t know, but she’s here from South Africa! She’s starting some program or something.”
“How do you know all this?” Rikki said.
“I met Mrs. Pearl on my way in. You know she can’t keep a secret.”
“She’s so not typical.”
“Yeah, she’s the best.”
Ruchie held her index finger to her lips imitating the school secretary. “You didn’t hear it from me girls, but rumor has it …”
The girls laughed.
“I don’t know when she’s talking to us, but I do know that she has, like, ten more schools to visit today and tomorrow, then catch a flight back.”
“I wonder what the program is about.”
“It’s a ‘give someone chizuk’ type of thingy.”
Rikki laughed. “Mrs. Pearl could have told us all about the program, and saved the speaker from a 16-hour flight.”
“Yeah, but then we wouldn’t get out of class.”
“Good morning, girls.” Mrs. Berman’s singsong tone cut their conversation short. The girls scrambled to their seats.
“I have some good news and some… not such good news.” She laid her briefcase on the desk. “The good news is that we have a wonderful, surprise guest speaker today. The not such good news is…” the girls held their breaths, “today’s Chumash test will be pushed off until tomorrow.”
The collective cheer made Mrs. Berman’s mouth open in mock shock. “Okay, everyone,” she said after the girls quieted down, “let’s go to the auditorium. We’re already a few minutes late.”
The principal had already introduced the speaker when Rikki entered with her class.
They found seats quickly and turned their attention to the woman on stage.
“We all have challenges, tests, and tribulations in our lives,” the speaker was saying. “You know, difficult stuff to deal with. Sometimes these difficulties have been around for a while, and sometimes they hit us from out of the blue.”
Rikki folded her arms. Tell me about it!
“But in truth, girls …”
Rikki had an inkling of where this speech was going. Although the speaker’s accent was charming, Rikki didn’t want anyone telling her that bad things were really good things in disguise.
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 783)
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