Archive | July, 2011

The Best Part: Chapter 1

3 Jul

Looking back, it all made sense. All the events that lead up to this moment and all the crazy “coincidences” that had to take place. Who could have guessed it? But as they stood yards away from the Kotel, there was no question to be asked. This was bashert. This was what had been worth the wait all along:

It all began at a USBG shabbaton…

It was Shifra’s very first. With home being six hours away, she knew she has to find something consistent to do with her shabbatot. Pittsburgh wasn’t much of a party anyway. Besides, it was finally her turn to be a USBG advisor. Throughout high school, she just knew that one day, she’d be the one leading circles and midnight DMCs. She wasn’t all that involved back then- she went to the occasional event when it came to her community- but somehow she knew that this is something she was meant to be a part of. 

Her wistful dreams abruptly melded with reality as her arms were stuffed with information packets, a community map, a plastic poncho and a candy dish for the hosts. An advisor meeting was quickly assembled. Ice breakers were strategically put in place, with favorite flavors of ice cream and comic book heroes ricocheting from all ends of the circle. Predictions of the next day’s weather forecast were exchanged from person to person as rides to host’s homes were quickly dosed out.

“I’ve got room in my car for one more!” a blond-haired, Lacoste kippa-ed guy called to the crowd.

“I’ll take it!” Shifra responded. She quickly grabbed her trusty rolley suitcase and hanging clothes. She had been meaning to get a garment bag since moving to the city, but never got around to it. Hopefully the local pigeons didn’t have anything too pungent for lunch that day.

Shmu had been waiting in the car for quite some time now. As a chapter advisor, he did not have the privilege of having USBGers that weekend, though generally they never had enough guy staff to man the ground. 

“Alrighty we’re ready to rumble!” Dovid cheered as he clicked himself into the driver’s seat. “Tell me where you’re supposed to be headed and Sally will take us there.”

“You mean to tell me that having gone to school here for four years didn’t familiarize you with the area?” Shmu gaped with mocked disdain. 

“Look buddy, that’s better than you can say. You don’t even know what side of the road to drive on.”

“I could easily say the same about you,” Shmu smirked.

“Not in this country. Oh, move your knapsack over. We’ve got another advisor coming in coche de Dovid. “

Just as Shmu lifted his bag from the vacant seat, a wad of black, grays and purple whizzed onto it. 

“Sorry,” the owner apologized, “I have to put my luggage in the trunk, I’ll move that in one second.”

Luggage? What would it take to convince a girl that all she really needed for a day and a half can be stored in a good ol’ fashioned Jansport? Or an Eastport. Or whatever -port did not require wheels and a handle.

A moment later, Freida Lappin, director of the NY USBG division took her spot in the front passenger seat. She was completely zoned into her cell phone; working out last-minute catering catastrophes before sundown. Shmu was hoping she’d be available to talk since he had no idea what was expected of him this shabbos. He took this job out of curiosity, really. USBG needed him, USBG was paying him…now if only he knew exactly what he was being paid for.

“Aight, I’m plugging in the addresses,” Dovid announced.” 

“2347 Washington Ave,” the new girl advisor answered as she slipped into the seat next to Shmu. “Oh, I’ll take those.” She quickly huddled her mob of shabbos clothed onto her lap.

Shmu considered being a good chapter advisor and formally introducing himself, but he wasn’t in the mood. Sometimes he enjoyed being outgoing, sometimes not. Now was the time for a power nap. Tonight he was expected to lead circle– though he wasn’t quite sure what that meant yet. 

“And where am I taking you, Shmu?” Dovid asked.

“The corner of Jefferson and Adams, please.”

“Whoa, you’re from South Africa?” the girl queried, picking up on his foreign dialect.

“Gibraltar, actually.” He had gotten used to the mix up, though no one had been quite so oblivious as to confuse his accent with a South African’s thus far. No matter, it was power nap ti–

“I’m Shifra, by the way.”

“Shmu,” he politely extended a nod of the head in her direction, then turned his gaze to the inside of his eyelids. Frieda wasn’t getting to him anytime soon. He might as well enjoy some rest while he could.

To be continued…

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