| From A to Z |

From A to Z : Chapter 6

They want to put me in therapy. The school wants me to see their social worker. They think I am depressed


I went to school the next day just to make my mother stop nudging me.

I sat through Jewish history and halachah and a whole bunch of other classes, but my mind was on Lali.

That girl was so sweet. Why didn’t she talk to anybody? I had plenty of time to mull it over as I skipped Chumash for obvious reasons and spent the period wandering around the school building.

The principal walked out of the office just as I was walking past. My bad luck.

“Shulamis!” Her face softened. “Can we talk?”

I didn’t really have a choice, so I walked into the office I had come to dread.

I left it after 20 minutes, seething.

They want to put me in therapy. The school wants me to see their social worker. They think I am depressed. To make matters worse, they already planned a session for me today! Now I understood why my mother wanted me to go to school today. I felt so betrayed. I’m 17, more than capable of leading my own life!

I resolved to keep my mouth shut during the session. I hoped that would make them give up the idea.

But all I managed to do was land myself another session.

Did I talk about my bad luck yet?

With all the new things going on, the sessions and my mother driving me up the wall to go to school every day, I almost forgot about the whole Lali incident, when two weeks later, my mother approached me with a funny look on her face.


I lifted my head from the comic book I was pretending to try to read, just to make my father happy.


“I just got a call from someone named Mrs. Bergman.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Mrs. Bergman? Who’s Mrs. Bergman?”

“That is exactly what I would like to know.” My mother frowned. “She said she works in Neshama.”

Neshama was a special-needs school at the other end of the neighborhood . Neshama was where Lali went to school. I started to get curious.

“What did she say?” I asked, after a quick explanation of how I had met Mrs. Bergman.

“She asked if you’re in education,” my mother said slowly.

“And—?” I hated it when people stretched out what they had to say.

“She has a job for you.”

My jaw still hurts from hitting the floor. A job? Me? At Neshama? It was the most prestigious institution for special-needs children in our area. Girls waited years to get a job there, and I was offered a job?

“What did you tell her?” I asked. After the initial excitement, reality took over again. I was still officially in high school, even if I had not stepped into that building for weeks. Mom for sure said no.

“I told her I want to discuss it with you,” my mother said, surprising me.

What? I looked at her, not daring to believe my ears. So there was still a chance?

“You, Dad, and I need to talk, Shulamis.”

I nodded. As long as there was a chance to leave the craziness I call school, I will cooperate.

Shulamis is back at school. After I left, I heard she began attending school again, almost fully. I felt so bad when I heard this. I must have caused her so much pain, without intending to! Had she listened the first time I tried to explain to her why I was so determined to make her read, she would have understood me. But she was too hurt to think….

What a shame.

I hope something will work out for her. It’s Yonah’s yahrtzeit today. I’ll say an extra perek of Tehillim for Shulamis so she will never end up where he did. Ever.

to be continued…


(Originally featured in Teen Pages, Issue 875)

Oops! We could not locate your form.