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The Summer of Hope

By @Glitter_Girl08

Chapter 5

Abba, Imma, my siblings, and I sat around the table at dinner. After Abba said the blessings over the food, we fell silent. Noah started whining, so I got up to feed him. Imma was helping Ellie and Tzvi. Ziv was moving food around on her plate, but wasn’t eating anything. 

“Imma, why aren’t we going to Israel this summer?” I asked. Ziv shot me a look. We had to be as “okay” with staying in the States as possible, so neither of our parents will suspect anything. 

“Oy, Naomi. I told you. It’s just not the right time. Abba has to work, and tickets are expensive! Slicha, metuka.” Imma said, taking a bite of her salad. I crossed my arms, and sent Ziv an apologetic look. “Ahhh. Baby. It’s okay. We have good summer here, no?” 

“Fine.” I sighed and played with my food.

“It’ll be fun,” Abba tried helping. I could tell my mom was getting annoyed, but I was too. Before I could say anything and mess up our trip, Ellie jumped in. 

“But I want to see Savta!!” Ellie whined, and started throwing a tantrum. “Llama, Imma!?! Llama??!!” Imma gave me a look, and picked Ellie up. My sister started kicking, and Ziv and I slid out of the room. 

Tzvi followed us and curled up on my lap when I sat down. I kissed his head, and he soon fell asleep. “Naomi! Llama aseet et zet?” Why did you do that? Ziv whispered loudly. It took me a moment to translate her Hebrew words into English in my head.

“I’m sorry! But seriously. I want Imma and Abba to take us. I was trying one more time. Plus, Ellie and Tzvi want to come, and Noah’s never going to remember Israel, if we never go anymore! I’m sorry,” I said in Hebrew, and put an arm around Ziv. She pulled away and walked out. I sighed, and picked up Tzvi to follow her. 

I followed her through the hallways to Abba’s office, where she was sitting on his chair, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Hey. You wanna tell me what’s really going on?” I asked my seven-year-old sister. She shook her head. We sat like that for a couple of minutes, Tzvi asleep in my arms, Ziv sitting in Abba’s chair.

“She promised.” Ziv said. I waited. “She said we would go home. Home, where I can be a kid, and I can be the one having tantrums and get mad and play at the park. Here… here I have to be the big kid. I mean, I guess you do too, but still. You are older. I’m only seven. At home Savta takes care of me.” I leaned into Ziv. 

“I know, and I’m so sorry about that. But you have to remember that… Imma and Abba are in a new country too. They also have to learn to adjust. We all do. And apparently to our parents, that means putting their seven- and twelve- year old daughters in charge. I’m sorry sweetie,” I said, and she leaned into me. She pulled back quickly. 

“Naomi!” She cried. 

“What?” Ziv started sobbing, and I just stared at her. 

“What??” Ziv stopped to explain.  

“No-no accent.” 

“What?” I repeated for the third time. 

“You’re accent. It’s almost gone!” Ziv said. I stared at her. 

“We have to go to Israel this summer!” I stated, and brought Tzvi back into his room. When I walked back to Ziv, Abba was sitting next to her. I paused before walking into the room.

“Hi Naomi. Liheeteehashave (come sit down).” Abba’s English is even worse than Imma’s so he speaks in Hebrew at home. 

Ma?” I asked. 

“I heard your plans. You can go to Israel with Ayala. I won’t tell Imma. Okay?” He said, and smiled when Ziv and I gave him a big hug. 

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