Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chapter 30: A Bottle, a Boy, and a Phone Call

She felt at home here. The polished mahogany tables, the stiff brocade sofas, the gold velvet curtains falling to the floor, nothing had changed in the years since her first visit. The same pictures still hung on the walls in their gilt frames, obtuse splotches of dark paint; she was beginning to find them almost attractive.

The boy was pulling back his jacket sleeve, looking at his watch. He did it openly. He didn't seem to care that on Shidduch dates it was rude to check the time; that it showed he didn't want to be there, with her.

Brachy could have saved him the bother. She was quite aware of the amount of minutes that had passed, and the amount that were still left to be gotten through. An hour and a half was the standard duration of a first date.

His face creased, as he examined the watch's hands. He looked back at Brachy, and at the half full Coca-Cola bottle and nearly untouched glass, on her side of the table. Both his bottle and glass were empty.

"What do your siblings do?" He asked her.

"I'm the oldest" Brachy said. "They are all in school still." Had he not taken the trouble to find out even that basic information beforehand? Or had he not made the effort to remember it?

She saw his gaze travel down again, to the unconsumed beverage. They couldn't leave, until her Coca-Cola was finished.

Brachy picked up the glass, and tried to gulp down the drink as fast as she could.
The hotel no longer seemed welcoming. She could sense when her company wasn't wanted.

He continued to ask the routine questions. She refilled the glass from the bottle, and answered as best as she could, between swallows.

Finally the glass was empty. She rested it on the table, and looked back at him.

He stood up.

The bill was paid, the taxi cab found, the ride passed with polite small talk, and soon Brachy was alone again, standing on the pavement. She could walk down the gravel path, between the trimmed hedges, and unlock the metal door, and press the elevator button, and travel up to home and sleep.

It wasn't late. The date had been short, shorter than usual. The other boys had pretended to be interested in her, at least. Brachy felt tears well up in her eyes. She never cried. She wouldn't cry.

Would she never find a boy who liked her? What was wrong with her? Was she too quiet, too shy? Didn't she smile enough?

Some boys liked her. Avner liked her. He'd said she should call sometime, and they could do something fun. She didn't have to go in straight away, Ima wouldn't be expecting her home yet. She could meet up with Avner first. She pulled out her cell phone to call him.


  1. Great last line. And Avner has something better than the others - he's not a BOY, he's a MAN.

  2. I would have preferred for Avner to call her just when she was feeling so down.

  3. FNF, can you PLEASE write more often? the suspense was killing me the last few days!

  4. How come she doesn't ask her own questions?

  5. i feel bad for her mother.

  6. Its about time she spoke to Avner - if not, there's a risk that the story could come to a premature end.
    Keep up the postings!

  7. Very intriguing end...I am waiting for the next chapter!

    BTW, congrats on your published piece in this week's Mishpacha magazine--that was yours, wasn't it (the Life Takes column in Family First)?

  8. Second to last paragraph, mind or find?

  9. JKL- Sorry! Writer's block.. I'm sort of stuck on the next chapter..

    Anon #1 - good point, I think I'll change it in my next draft!

    Anon #2- Hmm, I was attempting to have Karen's point of view as indirect, without quotations, but maybe that doesn't work.

    Anon #3- Why do you feel bad for her mother, she's not worrying?

    Anon#4 - what did you mean by a premature end?

    Anon #5- Yeah it was me! So cute of you to notice!

    Anon #6- Thanks. Changed to find.

    Ps. Dear anonymous commenters- I always love getting your comments! But wouldn't it be more fun if you used nick-names? ;-)

  10. are there any more of these??

  11. Where is the rest of this fantastic story?? :D

  12. Still to be written..

    But I think I'll be posting some more chapters next week. Hope people still remember the plotline

    1. Ill be back to read them! I am busy visualizing so many conclusions... must know how these stories will end.

      Thanks in advance