| Teen Fiction |

Be Careful What You Wish For

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I had been working on my math homework for over an hour already. Fed up, I hurled my workbook across the room. School and homework exasperated me. I needed action. I made my way downstairs to the kitchen.

“Can I bake, Ma?” I asked, as though whipping up a batch of luscious chocolate brownies would solve all of life’s problems.

“Only if you clean up completely, leaving no remnants of a mess,” my mother warned me, referring to my last attempt at baking a chocolate cake. We ended up with a chocolate mural on the ceiling, leaving my mother with hours of clean up.

Put off by her condition, I returned glumly to my bedroom just as the phone rang. I brightened up when I saw the number displayed on the caller ID. Sara!

“Just the person I need to speak to,” I bellowed, not even giving her a chance to say hello. “My life is too boring, too predictable. I need something to spice up my humdrum existence a bit.”

There was a strange silence which was so unlike my best friend. When Sara finally replied, her voice sounded funny. “If you’re looking for change, I have just the thing for you. But I need to come over. It’s not something I want to announce over the phone.” It took a couple of minutes until Sara’s familiar knock sounded at the door.

“So, let’s hear your plan to make my life more interesting,” I said after I had escorted her up to my bedroom.

“I’m moving,” Sara blurted out. “To America. In less than a month.”

Thinking the loud music was making me hear things, I yanked out the plug. Hard.

“Say that again?” I demanded.

“I’m moving. To America. In twenty-five days.”

So I hadn’t been hallucinating, I thought to myself. As the reality set in, I began to dissolve in panic.

“It can’t be. Why now? Why so suddenly? How am I going to manage without you?” I continued to rant and rave without waiting for a reply to my earlier questions. Hadn’t I just been lamenting my routine existence minutes before? I should have been more careful what I wished for.

“How will I manage?” Sara asked feeling sorrier for herself. “You at least get to stay here in familiar surroundings. I have to move halfway across the globe, to a new country, a new house, a new school, and get used to a new mentality. A new everything. And in the middle of the year, to top it off.”

“Why couldn’t your parents wait until the end of the year? What’s the rush?”

“It’s not so simple,” Sara said sadly. “My parents would obviously prefer to let us all finish the year here, but while we were in America two weeks ago for Pesach, my father got an amazing job offer. The only drawback is that they need him to start immediately. My parents have already enrolled us all in schools. I was desperate to confide in you earlier, but my parents didn’t let me say anything until everything was final and they had told all the other children.”

An idea popped into my head. Without stopping to weigh the pros and cons I blurted it out. “If someone offered to put you up until the end of the year, would your parents let you stay behind to finish off the school year?”

Sara glanced at me shrewdly. “What exactly are you proposing?”

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 729)


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Tagged: Teen Fiction