| Treeo Serial |

Remember Me: Chapter 5

How I’m going to stop the guys, I don’t know. I just know that if I don’t find out more, I definitely can’t do anything.

Of course, after I’ve counted

down the moments until dismissal and my mind is churning with thoughts and plans for the evening, Mr. Berg decides it’s the perfect time to call me over to discuss the work I’ve missed.

“So Yair, it’s good to have you back in class. We missed you,” he says jovially, and I’m not sure how to respond — Yes, I sure missed it, too? Ha.

I opt for a closemouthed small smile, and Mr. Berg pulls out a stack of papers, handing them to me with a flourish.

“I wanted to make things easier for you catching up with what you missed. I know you have a lot on your plate,” he says, and there’s a flash of sympathy in his eyes that lets me know he means a lot more than schoolwork. Oh, boy, another one on my case.

“Thanks, but really, I’m okay,” I say.

“Good, good,” Mr. Berg says, fluttering his hands. At least he doesn’t seem intent on getting me to talk, or, I don’t know, expect me to burst out crying or something. “I think you’ll find these helpful, though. We can look through them together if you want, and I’ll explain each part.”

“Thanks,” I say, stuffing the whole wad into my backpack. “I… I’m gonna try it myself, my friends can help me also—”

“Are you sure? It’s a lot of material.”

I think of my bike, waiting outside, all ready for the mission I’ve set myself. I just want to get out of here before my nerves explode.

“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” I say.

“I trust if you need any support, you’ll turn to myself or another member of staff? With the work or with anything.”

I give Mr. Berg a practiced, wide-eyed smile. “Thanks, but I’m all good.”

“That’s fine then,” he says, and gives me a little wave as I leave.


My bike is chained right where I left it, but it’s not alone. Yoss is waiting for me, and a bunch of other guys are hanging around behind him: Moish, Levi, Shimmy, Tzvi. Oh boy, I don’t have the time for this.

“Ah, you made it out of the lion’s den,” Yoss jokes.

“Hey, he’s not so bad.”

Yoss makes a face. “Maybe to you he isn’t. You weren’t there when a bunch of us had detention last week.”

Yeah, because I was having so much more fun sitting shivah.

I don’t say that, though. I know what will happen if I do; everyone’s eyes will get all round and sympathetic, and they’ll feel awful. For what they said. For me.

And there’s no reason for that. I’d rather keep talking about detentions, thank you very much.

“Anyway, nice of you to wait for me, but I have to go on an errand. For my… family,” I say. It is for them — well, sort of. I need to find out what’s going on before there are more midnight break-ins. The last thing my mother and sisters need is to be embroiled in this whole story.

How I’m going to stop the guys, I don’t know. I just know that if I don’t find out more, I definitely can’t do anything.

“All right, we’ll leave you to it,” Yoss says easily. He swings around, and the others follow him, Shimmy Gruber looking back at me, something suspicious in his eyes. The kid is… I don’t know.

I don’t have time to analyze Shimmy Gruber, though.

I linger over my bike, pretending to adjust something. The schoolyard clears. The carpool line crawls along and finally slows to a trickle.

I put on my helmet, make sure my backpack is secure, and pedal firmly down the street, away from everyone.


Now that I know where I’m going, the route seems familiar. I pass the main road, the rotary, the ice cream store, thanking Hashem silently for my memory.

It’s not the first time that having an incredible memory has gotten me out of trouble; every test and quiz I’ve ever aced is thanks to it, too. But it’s the first time I feel like I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing without it. There’s no way I could’ve retraced a route had it not mapped itself out in my brain, so I can literally see which direction to go in, like I’m following Waze or something.

I’ll need that memory for the code, too: 4168-8320. It stuck in my brain yesterday, not with an effort, like I had to focus on memorizing it, but simply an imprint, as if it was a series of numbers like 1234-5678.

When I was young, I thought everyone had this. Then I discovered it wasn’t the case; I’m blessed that memorizing is simple, even effortless, for me.

Abba used to tell me it’s a gift. A gift to use to serve Hashem. To help me with learning, with remembering halachos and sources and things like that.

Abba was like that; he always wanted to turn everything into Torah.

For a moment I waver, and my handlebars jiggle slightly, as if in response to my thoughts. Is this… trip… really what Abba would’ve wanted me to use my talents for?

Yes, I tell myself. Yes, it is. Because Abba’s study has been ransacked of everything; well, not the seforim, but everything related to his work. And the men that came that night I was there — the ones who said they were friends, though who knows — seemed to think it was dangerous for it to fall into the wrong hands.

And then there are some other secret agent guys prowling round our house, probably with the same idea about getting into the study, getting their hands on something (what?) before the other guys can…

And I’m the only one who knows. I’m the only one who can.

I need to do this.

Resolve puts speed into my legs, and I pump the pedals furiously. One last corner to round, and here I am, back on a block that seems familiar, even though I’ve only been here once.

Wide road, houses set back behind bushes, and spacious front yards…

And here, the house I’m looking for.

All the windows seem dark, though I can’t be sure because of the net curtains cloaking each one in an aura of mystery. There’s no car in the driveway, though that doesn’t necessarily mean anything either. It’s quiet, the block seems almost dead, like the good, upstanding people of this very upscale-feeling neighborhood would never be outside in the early evening hours.

I take a deep breath. It’s now or never.

I stow my bike behind some bushes, so it can’t be seen from either the house or the street. Then I walk resolutely up to the front door and pause.

No one comes out, no alarm rings. I don’t see movement in the windows or hear a sound — from inside or out.

So far so good.

I punch in the code. Something buzzes, then a green light goes on.

The door is unlocked.

I push it open and hold my breath. But nothing happens, and inside I can see a small hallway, then another door, glass-paneled so there’s a direct view of a large open space beyond it, with stairs and several doors leading off it.

The lights are off.

There is no one around.

This is what you came for, buddy. Time to go inside.

I take one step into the foyer, then another.

And then my blood freezes in my veins, because the hush of the street is broken by the sound of running footsteps.

Someone is running up the path right behind me.

 To be continued…


(Originally featured in Treeo, Issue 1002)

Oops! We could not locate your form.