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Yardsticks: Chapter 31

How — how — had she gotten hold of this gown? She couldn’t—


Shto — how — Dratler — Bozhe moy — what?!

“Like it?” Mina asked. She was grinning like mad, excitedly gauging my reaction.

My lips were pasted together, my throat clogged. Barely breathing, I managed a nod. Up, down, up, down.

“Gorgeous, isn’t it?” Mina went on.

Voice — wake up.

“I-it’s… b-beautiful,” I stammered. “Beautiful.”

My legs felt wobbly, my neck was bathed in sweat. Bozhe moy. I was going to faint.

Mina was completely absorbed in her phone. “It’s hard to see, my phone takes awful pictures. Here, let me try to zoom in.”

She stuck the phone before my eyes and looked at me. I desperately tried producing a smile.

How — how — had she gotten hold of this gown? She couldn’t—

“Mina, can you come here a minute, please?”

I spun around. Yocheved was leaning over the reception desk, clicking her pen.

Mina’s face turned pink. I watched her stuff her phone into her pocket, as though she’d been caught red-handed. Quietly, she followed Yocheved through the showroom, in Anuradha’s direction.


I conked out on Dina’s bed after reading her a bedtime story.

It had been a crazy day. I’d picked up Rikki and Dina right after work and run to look at Raizy’s neighbor’s gowns. They weren’t anything special, but the girls were happy, the gowns fit, and I was too eager to check this headache off my list.

Then I flew over to the Wedding Center with Shevy to choose a dinette table and chairs, and when we came home, I put up supper, served it, cleaned up, and sat with Rikki for an hour with her homework. A toddler bed never appealed as much.

But my nap lasted all of five minutes. Hindy marched into the room to inform me that the Dratlers were at the door. I rubbed my eyes. The Dratlers — the Levinson gown. Oh, my, I’d totally forgotten! I ran to my room to switch into a sheitel before going to greet them.

As I led them down the stairs to the basement, I was hit by a sudden bout of nerves. I hadn’t realized how invested I was in this project, how anxious I was for my idea to succeed.

Pulling my most convincing saleslady smile, I pointed to the Levinson gown. “This is the one.”

They took one look — and their faces lit up.

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 675)

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