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The Summer of Hope

By @Glitter_Girl08

Chapter 6

“I’m just saying, these are a lot of people to be on this adventure with us.” Ziv whispered to me in the back of Ally’s Audi. I ignored her. Ally dropped the five of us off at the airport, and Ayala pushed us through security. 

“I can’t believe your parents are letting you do this.” I said to Trevor and Steph. Steph shrugged.

“They had to go on a business trip anyway!!!” Trevor said. I smiled. 

“Come on kids. We are boarding now.” Ayala called, and we hurried to catch up with her. We got on the plane, and Ayala showed us our tickets. We were all in a row, except Ayala, who sat in first class. We were a few rows behind her, but not that many rows. Just like four or five. I gave Ziv the window seat, and Trevor gave Steph the aisle. I plugged in my earphones to my ipad, and started to watch, Black Panther. In English, but with Hebrew subtitles. I leaned over to see that Ziv was watching, Lemonade Mouth, Steph was reading, and Trevor was watching something I couldn’t see. 

I guess at one point, I fell asleep, because I woke up to the flight attendant saying we had arrived. Ayala pushed us off the plane, chatting in Hebrew on her cell phone the whole time.  

Rak shena!” Ayala said to us, holding one finger up as she walked towards the baggage claim.

“She means just a second.” Ziv translated for Trevor and Steph. I dragged Ziv over to get our bags, and my friends followed. I pulled my purple suitcase and Ziv’s pink one off the claim, while Trevor grabbed his and his sister’s. Ayala, still on the phone, led us to a car, and gestured for us to get in. I sat in the front, and Trevor, Ziv, and Steph squished in the back. Ayala drove. 

Slicha,” Ayala apologized when she hung up, “sheli imma.” I elbowed her, and whispered.

“Trev and Steph don’t know Hebrew,” ironically, I said this in Hebrew so that they wouldn’t know what I was saying.

“I said I’m sorry and that was my mom.” Ayala explained to the twins. I smiled, recognizing where we were. 

“We’re close.” Ayala said, her smile almost as big as mine. I looked back, where Ziv was bouncing up and down, smiling, and Trevor and Steph were staring out the window, looking excited. 

We drove up to my grandmother’s house, and she walked out when she saw the car.

“Ziv? Nomi? Nechadot!” She called and ran out to hug us. 

“Who are these Americans? And why is Ayala here? And where are your parents and your brothers and Ellie?” She asked. I explained that Imma didn’t know I was here, and that Steph and Trevor were my friends, and Ayala had helped us because we had needed an adult. I also told her that Abba knows, but promised not to tell Imma, because he understands. All in Hebrew, so by the time I was done, Trevor and Steph were looking very confused. I told Savta that the twins didn’t speak Hebrew, and she apologized about a billion times, before inviting us in.

“I’m sorry, it’s a little messy. I wasn’t expecting you!! This is a wonderful surprise, but I’m going to call your mother and tell her where you are. I assume she’s worried sick. It’s three thirty here, so it’s eight thirty in the morning in New York. She’s gone a whole night without you, hon. Come on. Call her.” Savta pushed the phone into my hand and made everyone leave the room. I dialed my mom’s number. I looked around, at the velvet chairs and gray couches. There was a see through coffee table, and photos of all of my family members on the walls. 

“Imma?” I asked when she picked up.

“Naomi! Oh thank goodness. I’ve been worried sick. Where are you?” My mom said, and I could hear her sobbing. I felt so bad, but told her everything. 

“Naomi Mizrah!!! Oy! I thought you were my grounded one. My oldest. America has changed you, young lady. I know you missed Israel, but how did you pay for the trip?” She asked. 

“Coach Ally. She has a brother who owns the plane company or something, and we got the tickets for free.”

“Well that’s convenient.” I shrugged, but realized she couldn’t see me, and said.

“I guess. I’m sorry Imma.” She started crying again, “I really am.”

“Oh, Naomi. I’m not that mad. Just that you didn’t tell me or anything. I understand!! I miss Israel just as much as you did, maybe more. It’s my home too.” Imma said.

“Was.” I corrected.

“Huh?” 

“It was your home. Now it’s the US. It’s mine too, but I just wanted to be here for the summer, you know?” I could feel her nodding.

“I’ll let you stay.”

“Toda Imma!! Toda roba!! Thank you!! Ani ohevet otach!! I love you.” I repeated in both languages, and hung up.  

“So?” Ziv asked anxiously, I looked down, and she looked like she was going to burst into tears, but then I smiled. 

“We can stay!!” I told her, and she jumped into my arms, laughing. Ayala came into the room with Savta, Steph and Trev trailing them.

“So?” Ayala asked, and I repeated what I told Ziv. Everyone celebrated quickly, and then Savta suggested we unpack. She walked us to her three guest rooms. Ayala would have her own, Ziv and I would share, and the twins would share. 

Our room had two twin beds covered in white sheets with gold stars and comforters, and the pillows were the same. I unpacked my clothes in three of the drawers, so Ziv could have the other three. I placed my stuffed puppy near my pillow, and put my toiletries in the bathroom the two of us would share. My iPad sat on my bed.

“I’m gonna go to Maya’s or Nava’s.” I said to Ziv, and started to leave. I only got to the door before Savta stopped me. 

“Where are you going? Your friends are here.” Savta said.

“Nava’s. Or Maya’s. Please? I haven’t seen them in months!” I begged. She finally gave in.

“Ziv and Ayala can take them to touristy places.” I thanked and hugged her, racing out the door. I ran to Maya’s house first, and rang the doorbell. Her mom answered. 

“Nomi!!!” She pulled me into a hug.

“Shalom Yael!!” I exclaimed.

“Imma? Who is it?” I heard Maya call in Hebrew, so I switched my language. 

“It’s me My!!” I called back.

“Oh. Umm, okay, I’ll be right there!”

“She has a few friends over.” Yael explained. I nodded. Yael invited me in, and I saw Maya sitting on the couch with Nava, a girl I didn’t know, and Eden. The most self-centered, selfish girl I knew. Maybe even more than Alexis. 

I pulled Maya and Nava up, and they followed me into the kitchen. “Um, please explain!” I said. 

“Eden’s not that bad. She’s really nice actually. Emily came up to us one day and asked to sit with us, she’s new this year.” Maya said, gesturing to where the girl I didn’t know was sitting. I didn’t say anything, just walked out of Maya’s house, slamming the door on my way out. My best friends in the entire world had replaced me. Nava ran after me.

Ma?” I snapped, spinning around. 

“Look. Nomi-”

“It’s Naomi.” I snapped again, crossing my arms and biting my lip to keep from crying. 

“Fine. Naomi. I’m sorry about Maya. She misses you more than she will admit, and-” 

“So? I don’t care if she misses me! Until five minutes ago, you guys were still my best friends in the world, even though we were across the ocean from each other. But you both replaced me with Emily and Eden!!” I yelled, and wiped my face from the tears that were starting to fall. 

“Naomi!” Her voice caught, “we still love you, we still are your best friends!! What did you think we would do? Sit at home and do nothing until you visit us?! We are twelve! We have lives! You can’t be mad at us for that.” Yes. I know it’s selfish, and stupid, but it was true. I sank down so I was sitting on the curb, and Nava put her arm around me. We sat there silently for a while.

“Shalom.” I heard a familiar voice behind me, and I turned around.

Ma?” 

“I’m sorry.” Those two words, and all three of us started crying again. Maya sat next to me, and basically repeated the same thing Nava had said before. We stopped crying, and walked to the playground. We sat on the swings, and started talking. About everything. America, Israel, gymnastics. They were still on their team, and I was on mine. 

“Um. Nay? Hey. Are these your friends from Israel?” Trevor asked, and I turned around. 

“Oh! Hey Trev. Trev, this is Nava and Maya. Maya, Nava, Trevor, Stephanie.” I introduced, pointing to them. 

“Ohh. Is Trevor your American boyfriend?” Maya teased, and I sighed, relieved my friends didn’t know each other’s languages.  

Lo!!” I shook my head, and elbowed Maya.

“What?” Steph asked, I could tell she was getting annoyed.

“Sorry. I’ll translate everything from now on.” I repeated it in Hebrew, so my Israeli friends put on serious faces, and nodded. 

“So… you guys want to hang out?” I said in both languages. 

“We have gymnastics, but you can come if you want,” Nava said. The three of us left to get our leotards. I had brought one just in case. 

“We’ll come watch.” Trevor said. We got to the gym, and I dropped my gym back and squealed. 

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