The Rainbow Girl: Chapter 6| July 24, 2019
Satisfied that no one was listening, she leaned closer and murmured, “I can’t tell you now. Later, when we’re alone, okay?”
When Mrs. Steinfeld stepped into the classroom before davening, it was a welcome change.
“Mrs. Hertz isn’t here today,” she explained to the curious class. “So I’ll be here with you until recess.”
A murmur ran through the class, and Rachelli grinned at Etty. Mrs. Steinfeld had been their homeroom teacher last year, in seventh grade. She was energetic and creative, the polar opposite of Mrs. Hertz.
“How long will Mrs. Hertz be away?” Tova called out. Mrs. Steinfeld frowned.
“Mrs. Hertz isn’t here today,” she repeated. “Take out your siddurim, please.”
A second mystery. Rachelli glanced sideways and debated asking Etty what was up, why her phone line had been tied up all evening, but the teacher was looking right at her. She sighed and took out her siddur. It would have to wait until recess.
But during recess, Etty was debating with Tova who would be substituting for the rest of the morning, and the Meyer twins and Shiffy wanted her opinion on where Mrs. Hertz was.
“I mean, you should know,” Shiffy said. “She’s your aunt, after all.”
“She could’ve gone to the moon, for all I care.” Rachelli tossed her ponytail. “I have no idea. I mean, my grandparents are here — her parents-in-law. Maybe they’ve gone out for the day.”
“Mrs. Hertz? Take off work to go out for the day?” Rikki Meyer giggled. “I can’t imagine that.”
“Maybe she’s not well,” Shiffy suggested. “Anyway, Mrs. Steinfeld is awesome. I’m so happy we had her today.”
“Her shoes were new, I like them,” Shira, Rikki’s twin, observed. The conversation switched gears; Mrs. Steinfeld had a new top too, but her skirt was last year’s season, definitely. Rachelli detached from the group and nudged Etty.
“Come and talk to me. I want to know what’s going on. You had something to tell me, remember?”
A couple of girls turned around, curious. Etty waved a hand, looking distinctly uncomfortable. “Oh, it’s nothing important, forget it.”
Then, satisfied that no one was listening, she leaned closer and murmured, “I can’t tell you now. Later, when we’re alone, okay?”
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 770)
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