“Ma’s busy. She has work soon, she can’t come running just because you have a headache.
Take a Tylenol and deal with it. Grow up"
My little brother wanders past, pajamas trailing from his hands.
“Ari, tell Ma to come,” I croak.
My mouth is dry. My head is spinning. Am I going to faint? No, I got dizzy a few times recently, and nothing happened, except yesterday was worse than usual and today is even worse—
Henny barges into my room a minute later.
“What’s the big deal?” she demands. Hands on hips, dark hair tumbling over her shoulders. Big sisters, ugh.
“I’m— seriously, I need Ma.” I clutch my stomach — of course, it’s acting up as well — and roll over.
“Ma’s busy. She has work soon, she can’t come running just because you have a headache. Take a Tylenol and deal with it. Grow up. Go to school. You missed two days already.”
My head is throbbing, beating a painful rhythm in my skull. “For your information, I missed yesterday because I was sick, and I still am, and can you just call Ma? Aaahh!”
I groan out loud, as something inside my stomach twists painfully. That scares her. She flings her hair into a ponytail and tramps down the stairs.
“Ma, Libby wants you.”
Sure enough, Ma calls from another room, “Who needs what? I’m in the laundry room.”
I hear Henny slam the front door. I wonder what Shana will think when I don’t meet her at the corner, again. I drag myself out of bed and sit on the top step, looking down the staircase for Ma. I don’t have the energy to get all the way down.
Something is so wrong. Maybe I have mono again?
Ma seems to think so, when I finally make it downstairs.
“You look exhausted, Libby. Did you sleep last night?”
She’s sitting at the kitchen table, a mug of tea sending steamy spirals into the air. Ta’s home too. He pushes away his bowl of cereal and frowns.
“I slept all day, Ma. I don’t know why I’m so tired.”
“She’s tired because we’ve had a busy few days, Chaim’s vort and everything. Tuesday night was a late night for everyone,” Ta interjects firmly. “But we’re up to Thursday, Libby, it’s really time to get back into routine.”
“It’s not that!” I say, frustrated. “It’s nothing to do with Chaim’s engagement! I’m just not feeling well!”
Ma holds up a hand, looking worried. “What is it, Libby? Just tiredness?”
I am vaguely aware of cramping in my lower back, but that would sound weird. What does a backache have to do with anything? Maybe I’m imagining it.
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 800)
Oops! We could not locate your form.