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Messiah

By Avram Mlotek

Section: Arts

January 18, 2008

dc0118083.jpgI have a secret. I haven’t shared it with anyone but I’ve decided to share it with you, diary. You know how I am- I usually come to you first- and only you- but this was something special, something really unordinary.

Do you remember when I wrote to you last year -the first day of seventh grade- when I thought what’s his name had a crush on me? I won’t even write his name again, that jerk. This, diary, is something so much bigger. Scarier, even.

I was in the bathroom a few weeks ago taking a shower and I noticed something on the window and I leaned quickly to see what it was when I slipped, suddenly, and was about to fall on the ground, flat on my back. Can you imagine?

I remember being there, diary, with my face squeezed tight and my eyes shut, bracing myself for the collapse- but it didn’t come. I never fell. I opened my eyes and there I was elevating. Floating, really, in thin air! I screamed.

“Khave!” my mother shouted. “Vos tustu dortn?” What are you doing in there?

And like always, I responded to Mama in English, “Talk to me in English, Mama!”

“You yelling like this in ze shower and to me you say, ‘Speak English!’ Take care of yourself!” she said, in her heavy accent, and went back to whatever she was doing.

I laughed at the absurdity of it, diary. You should have seen me there. In midair! And slowly, I lowered myself down, on the ground, in the shower. I looked at my hands and reached for the shampoo, when it came to me. I didn’t touch the bottle, the soap- I just thought about it and well, they came to me- flew to me- in the shower. Do you get the picture here, diary?

I quickly looked at my hands; maybe I was getting tsa’arat, leprosy, or something. It’s this biblical disease, I’m telling you, and we just learned about it school and I don’t know, I thought for a moment maybe I did something wrong and God was punishing me, diary. But no- no leprosy I had- I was as clean as ever. Smooth too (thanks to Mama’s new soap). And this was no punishment, or so I thought.

I quickly finished showering and rushed into my bedroom and slammed the door on Hannah’s face. She cried.

“Mama! Evee, she slammed the door on me!”

I couldn’t focus on that now. I locked the door and looked around the room. You know how it is, sharing a room with three other girls. But again, I’m used to that, diary. It’s the same for the brothers- and they have five- all in the same room. But we don’t complain. At least I don’t have to shower with them anymore. I looked around the room. Naomi and Esther had gone to school already, my older sisters, I’ve mentioned them, you remember? And little Hannah doesn’t go to school yet. I was alone.

So I thought to myself, what was it about this morning, what it is about my body? Was I dreaming? I kept wondering and wondering; what made today different? I did miss my alarm- that I remember. I’m digressing, I’m sorry, diary. I should just tell you what happened.

I quickly looked around the room when I noticed myself in the mirror. The big mirror, you know where, by the closet. I let my towel drop to the ground and looked at myself- naked. I quickly picked it up, knowing it was NOT the modest thing to do but I couldn’t help myself.

It was bizarre, this sensation, this power. This was the kind of thing that stayed in books, in fairytales, diary. You know? Not to a girl like me. I got dressed quickly and came outside.

“Nu, vos is geshen dortn in shpritz, Khave?” my mother asked me. So what happened there in the shower, Eve?

“Nothing, Mama. I need to pray before you take me.”

“Vat iz this pray? Khave, go daven. Daven, you’ll go. Then we’ll talk about how you’re getting to school. I cannot drive you to school. Your father has ze cah. You missed your alarm, missy.” She let out a laugh. “Not me. Ha, go daven, Khavele, we’ll talk about it at breakfast.”

Ukh. I stormed off and grabbed a siddur from one of the bookshelves in the living room and “davened.” I skipped a lot, knowing I was already late, and really wanted to get to school. I need to get out of this house, see if- I don’t know- my little secret worked outside.

“Done!” I said, making my way into the kitchen, looking for something to take to lunch. “Happy?”

“Come maybe eat a something before you run off,” my mother said.

“Mama, I’m not hungry. Oh, can’t you please take me to school?” I begged her.

“No, no. I can’t. Who will stay to be here with your sister?”

I looked at my six-year-old sister who was washing the dishes.

“She’s old enough to stay home by herself.”

My mother laughed. She leaned over to me and handed me a lunch and said, “Have a good day. I’ll see you later tonight when you come home. Behave today, Khavele, remember!” She gave me a kiss on the top of my head.

Editor’s Note: The continuation of “Messiah” will be printed in next week’s issue.

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