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Teen Fiction: Sweeter Than Honey

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I was deeply immersed in a phone call with my best friend Naama when the familiar beep intruded on our chat. It was my sister Rosie — the kallah herself. I paused the discussion to take the incoming call. “What’s up?” I asked her a tad impatiently, annoyed at being interrupted.

“I need a favor from you,” she requested, sounding out of breath. “The honey jar from my chassan’s grandmother is in my bedroom on the desk. I need you to hide it somewhere safe before the cleaning lady comes. Mommy’s using someone fairly new and doesn’t know her well yet.”

“No problem,” I agreed happily, glad she wasn’t requesting anything more difficult.

“Do it now, not later,” my sister cautioned before hanging up, knowing my tendency to procrastinate. I should have listened to her and done it immediately, but I was eager to resume my conversation with Naama. The cleaning lady won’t be here for another few minutes anyway, I thought to myself, checking my watch. But I got so caught up in the talking, that by the time I hung up an hour later, the task I had agreed to do was totally forgotten.

Ravenous, I left my bedroom to go make myself a sandwich. Something niggled inside my brain when I heard the vacuuming from the dining room, but I couldn’t place it. After I ate, I decided to stop by Naama’s house to hang out, even though I had gotten off the phone with her a few minutes ago. Hey, isn’t that what best friends are for?

When I arrived home several hours later I nearly tripped over the millions of shopping bags that lined the hallway. Rosie had returned from her shopping spree. She smiled at me when I came in and the niggling in my brain returned.

“Thanks for putting away my honey jar. You hid it so securely, even I couldn’t find it.” She smiled, pleased at her own joke. But I couldn’t smile back. I was in major trouble. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten. Not only that, but if Rosie couldn’t find the honey jar, it could only mean one thing. And I was to blame.

“I didn’t put it away,” I blurted out. “I was going to, but I forgot.”

Rosie’s smile froze on her lips. “But I checked the bedroom and it’s not there. Nor is it anywhere else I thought it would be. I thought you had put it away securely.”

“Is the cleaning lady still here?” I asked desperately, trying to extract myself from this royal mess.

“She left a while ago,” Rosie answered, adding, “and she did look extra happy today.”

“What’s up girls?” my mother asked, arriving at the scene just in time, like a detective sniffing out trouble. Rosie poured out her whole sorry tale of woe.

“She’s been here for a few months already and I’ve never had anything go missing,” my mother said, “but maybe this time the temptation was too great. I’ll call her up and ask her if she found a honey jar when she was tidying up.”

We both held our breath, a cease-fire of sorts until my mother returned.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 747)


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Tagged: Teen Fiction