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[STORY] Damsel in Distress (Update #11d - 22 Iyar - p. 19)
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amother




Steelblue
 

Post Sat, Nov 06 2021, 8:07 pm
I meant I thought it would be really awkward for them to spend their wedding night with three bochurim in the apartment and then get welcomed the next morning as they leave the room together.
I agree that they're great sports though.
anxiously awaiting an update!
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amother




Lightgreen
 

Post Sat, Nov 06 2021, 11:15 pm
Dearest op, thank you for sharing this with us! I’m really enjoying it! I know it doesn’t matter but as I’m reading again, is the crowd chassdish? Are you? Certain nuances just seem so pious on the characters part. Can’t help but think this is the way they were raised.
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amother




Razzmatazz
 

Post Sun, Nov 07 2021, 10:56 am
amother [ Steelblue ] wrote:
Ok, I'm trying to imagine if the wedding was pushed up and chava wasn't niddah. I think I'd prefer this situation better.


I don’t agree. In most novels the suspense definitely makes the reader hold his breath!
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Orchid




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Nov 07 2021, 12:03 pm
I'm wondering why she woke up with a tichel. She is in her own room and never even consummated her marriage.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Nov 07 2021, 6:40 pm
To answer some of the questions:

When's Mikvah night already?
Patience! They have to get through tonight (Sunday night) and Monday first Wink

Are they Chassidish?
Guess it's hard to hide Smile Yes they are a certain type of Chassidim, those who know know!

Why is Chava wearing a tichel?
You're right, she doesn't need to. But it fits her character to want to get used to wearing a tichel as a married woman, and so she doesn't forget to cover her hair when she leaves her room.
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Revafe




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Nov 07 2021, 7:15 pm
Op I think I'm in love with you!
This brilliant creativity that lives in your brain... please hurry up with the next installment!
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Revafe




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Nov 09 2021, 3:59 pm
Op in case you thought we've all but given up... were anxiously waiting for the next installment
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amother




Razzmatazz
 

Post Wed, Nov 10 2021, 2:32 am
Yes!!! I wonder how they will deal with daily life as a married couple in lockdown.
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Hidden




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 10 2021, 2:57 am
Revafe wrote:
Op in case you thought we've all but given up... were anxiously waiting for the next installment


Haha same here!
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Winterb




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 10 2021, 4:34 am
Revafe wrote:
Op in case you thought we've all but given up... were anxiously waiting for the next installment


Me too!!!!!
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amother




Razzmatazz
 

Post Sat, Nov 13 2021, 10:58 am
Hi op how are Eli and Chava? 🤗
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amother




Azure
 

Post Sat, Nov 13 2021, 8:59 pm
Is the fact that they are chassidish relevant to the story? Meaning, I'm not chassidish and I don't know much about it. Are we non-chassidish people missing out on some major background information that would change our view of the story?
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amother




Daisy
 

Post Sat, Nov 13 2021, 9:10 pm
amother [ Azure ] wrote:
Is the fact that they are chassidish relevant to the story? Meaning, I'm not chassidish and I don't know much about it. Are we non-chassidish people missing out on some major background information that would change our view of the story?


No but I feel like an insider knowing what they are! It was clearly given away when referencing a real person's name
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PractclyPerfect




 
 
 
 

Post Sat, Nov 13 2021, 9:48 pm
And I am Chassidish and I must have missed it! Can you share? Pm me if you don't want to post.
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a2z




 
 
 
 

Post Sat, Nov 13 2021, 9:50 pm
PractclyPerfect wrote:
And I am Chassidish and I must have missed it! Can you share? Pm me if you don't want to post.

Me too, btw what flavor chasidish?
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amother




Lightcoral
 

Post Sun, Nov 14 2021, 6:30 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
To answer some of the questions:
Are they Chassidish?
Guess it's hard to hide Smile Yes they are a certain type of Chassidim, those who know know


It doesn’t look like Op thinks it’s important to know, let’s just respect that... like in a magazine serial they don’t usually say what ‘type’ the characters are. I think we can all continue enjoying this story without this info Wink
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 16 2021, 10:34 pm
Limbo

Rabbi Cohen arrives not long after Shacharis. He wishes a formal Mazel Tov to Chava and embraces Eli.

Then he promptly pulls one of the bochurim into the bedroom for a private talk.

The other two look relieved not to be first.

It occurs to Chava that both she and Eli are still waiting for theirs.

----

While the other two bochurim are learning together, Eli pulls up a chair near Chava and makes some lighthearted observations on the advantage of their own wedding. "See how scared the other guys are? Much better to do it our way. By the time you find out, it's already happening."

Chava grins and plays along. "Yup, who wants to be nervous at their own chasunah? Much better to be in total shock."

"It's like a surprise party. Only better."

"A surprise party with no balloons?"

"Aren't flowers better anyhow?" Eli counters.

"True," Chava has to admit.

"And best of all, I can now compete with Dans Deals."

Chava looks quizzically at Eli.

"I mean, look what I got for a Shaveh Prutah!"

Chava glances at her gold wedding band. "Better keep your day job, Eli," she advises.

----

Once all three of the unmarried bochurim have had their last class, Rabbi Cohen gathers them at the table for a final shmooze about marriage.

Chava sits unobtrusively on the couch, pretending to read a book.

Rabbi Cohen looks at each of the young men seriously. "You've had until today to focus on your personal Avodah. That's it. It's over." He slices his hand across the air in a gesture of finality.

"Now you're going to be starting a new stage, building a Yiddishe home.

"Yes, you still need to daven, you still need to learn. But it's not because of you anymore. It's because your family unit needs a husband who is a Yerei Shomayim and stays connected to the Aibershter.

"If you keep this in mind, you'll stay out of a lot of trouble." They all smile, and Rabbi Cohen takes a deep breath.

"Marriage is going to create new conflicts where none ever existed. It's going to bring out the best in you, and bring out the worst in you.

"But as long as you remember that you are not the priority anymore, you should make it through okay. It's not you, it's not her, it's definitely not you VERSUS her, it's about the home you are working to build together.

"And since you're going to be spending so much time together, alone, you will have space to really plan how you want that home to look."

Chava looks over at Eli. His face is earnest, determined.

----

Somehow, the rest of the day passes quickly, and Chava is startled when the clock hits 4:30 and the bochurim begin heading down to their Chasunahs.

The original plan had been for Eli to try to go to along with them, but Rabbi Cohen, seeing which guards are on duty tonight, decides against it.

Instead he sends Chava and Eli to their rooms, and warns them that either he or his wife might be back at any point to check on them.

The apartment door closes, and Chava, sitting in her studio, is glad that she is not entirely alone. She can hear Eli learning aloud in the bedroom, and it is a reassuring sound.

A few minutes later, Rebbetzin Cohen pops in and wishes them a quick Mazel Tov before heading back down to her other Kallahs. "I'll see you soon," she promises.

It's funny, Chava thinks. I was in this apartment with 17 bochurim and had zero issues with Yichud. I get married, and only now it gets complicated.

----

It is a relief when Rabbi and Rebbetzin Cohen return.

Chava automatically heads for the kitchen to make supper, but Rebbetzin Cohen stops her. "No Kallahs in the kitchen!" she announces, unknowingly echoing Moishy. "I'll make supper tonight."

Chava protests, but the Rebbetzin is firm. "Go talk to your chosson."

Rabbi Cohen sits in a corner with his seforim, and Chava finally feels like there is enough privacy to bring up an issue that's been bothering her.

"Eli, tell me the truth, are you upset about this?"

Eli regards her thoughtfully. "You mean, Chuppas Niddah?"

Chava blushes. "Yes."

"Well," Eli says, "it's actually partially my fault."

Chava raises her eyebrows.

"Rabbi Cohen spoke to me first. He told me that something came up for another one of the couples, and that if we were okay with this, we could save them a lot of Agmas Nefesh.

"He asked me how I thought you would feel.

"I told him that based on what I know of your personality, you would much rather be a little uncomfortable for a few days and save someone else a lot more trouble.

"Rabbi Cohen looked really relieved. He told me that there really wasn't much of a choice, but that he felt bad."

"So that explains how I feel, or at least how you think I feel," Chava persists. "But how do YOU feel?"

"Personally? Marriage is about two neshamos getting back together. There's a Ruchnius part and a Gashmius part. I'm not so upset to have a few days where we need to focus more on the Ruchnius part."

Chava finds herself really relaxing for the first time since before the wedding.

----

Supper feels so normal Chava wonders at herself.

They've only known each other for a few short weeks, but it feels like sharing a meal with beloved grandparents.

To Chava's enjoyment, Rabbi Cohen spends the first half of the meal praising Eli for his middos, his insight, and his Yiras Shomayim.

When Rebbetzin Cohen takes over for the second half of the meal, it is Eli's turn to enjoy the conversation.

As the meal winds down, the Rebbetzin turns to Chava.

"Chava, I have a request."

Chava turns to her, wondering.

"It's officially a request for you, but really it's for both of you.

"We were hoping not to have to put this on any of the girls here, but it looks like that's what we need to do.

"Are you okay with being the on-call Mikvah lady for your building?"

Chava starts. "Me?"

Rebbetzin Cohen smiles. "Call it Mikvah young lady if you'd prefer."

"How is that going to work anyhow?"

"We've arranged that when you press the call button for the doctor, she will ask if it's for the doctor or for the mikvah. If they ask for the mikvah, the guard will bring them to the Mikvah lady's apartment and then bring them down to the mikvah."

"Is this safe?" Eli asks, worried.

"We have a few safeguards in place," the Rebbetzin responds vaguely.

Chava looks at Eli. "It's a big mitzvah," he responds to her unasked question.

"We'll do it," Chava says firmly.

Both Rabbi and Rebbetzin Cohen look relieved.

Rebbetzin Cohen pulls out a clunky bracelet from her pocket. "This is an alert bracelet," she tells them. "If you feel like the situation is getting dangerous, turn this on and press the button."

"Isn't that illegal?" Eli asks.

"Yes, it is. If you press it, someone's going to end up in jail. But nobody is okay with you being in danger, so if you feel you need to, just press it. We'll deal with the consequences later. But keep it off unless you need it, and make sure it's always charged. They may be able to detect it if it's on. Oh, and there's another button built into the mikvah. I'll show it to you later," she says to Chava.

Chava looks wide-eyed at the bracelet, a little afraid to touch it.

"I'll explain the whole procedure to you properly," the Rebbetzin reassures her. "I just want you to know that we are doing our best to make sure you're safe."

Chava still sits for a minute, trying to assimilate all of this. Then she thinks of something. "So you're not able to come back?"

"We can, sometimes," the Rabbi answers. "But not often enough to really be here to help.

"Part of the Chosson classes we did included what to do when there is no Rav to ask. It's really not ideal, but what can we do?"

"But what if a real shaalah comes up?" Chava asks.

"I don't know," the Rav answers heavily.

Eli is thoughtful. "Can we send some kind of signal if we really need to?"

"How?"

Chava suddenly has an idea. "Rebbetzin, are there any new kosher products on the market, like since we got here?"

The Rebbetzin smiles. "Yes! There's a white chocolate flavored or cookies and cream spread that recently came from Israel."

"So can we arrange that whoever fills the grocery orders will let you know if we make an order with both of them? To let you know something has come up?"

Rabbi and Rebbetzin Cohen look at each other. "I think we can make that work."

----

While Eli is learning with Rabbi Cohen, the Rebbetzin sits next to Chava.

"Chava, I'm actually glad we have this extra time. There's something I wanted to bring up with you."

Chava looks at her, a little nervously.

"All of the girls have gone through a rough isolation period, and you have too. But you've gone through much more.

"You had the whole crew staying here, a medical crisis, and then this on top of things.

"I'm concerned that you have a lot of boards you will need to take down."

"Boards?" Chava looks at her uncomprehendingly. "What do you mean?"

"Have you ever seen a house gearing up for a hurricane?"

Chava thinks. "I've seen pictures," she says uncertainly.

"The most obvious thing you saw was probably the boarded up windows."

Chava nods.

"But after the hurricane is over, you take down the boards.

"Why? If they are protective, why not leave them up? There may even be another hurricane someday.

"But if you leave the boards up, your house looks unavailable, you don't have sunshine, and you can't see what's going on outside."

Chava still looks confused.

"To survive in an apartment with a big group of people you shouldn't interact with, you had to board yourself up internally. That was good and correct for that time.

"But now that is over, and you're going to have to remember to take those boards down.

"That's not always easy. You need to remember which boards are part of the house, and which ones you put up temporarily. But it's very important that you work on it, for the sake of yourself and the sake of your marriage."

----

It feels like her wedding day all over again, Chava thinks.

It's just an hour or so of preparation, but somehow the mikvah preparations take up her entire day, or at least that's how it feels.

At dusk, the Rebbetzin takes her down to the simple but pristine mikvah in the basement.

It is awkward, embarrassing, but surprisingly uplifting.

----

Rebbetzin Cohen escorts Chava back up to her apartment. At the door, she gives her a last hug and a Mazal Tov, then turns to leave, back to civilization.

Chava watches her disappear from sight, then gently knocks on the door, still propped slightly open.

Eli opens the door, and she is suddenly shy.

She steps inside, looks up at his smiling face, and whispers, "I am tahor."

Eli lets the door click shut, and for the very first time ever, they are alone.



To be continued...
ETA: continued here
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amother




Phlox
 

Post Tue, Nov 16 2021, 10:51 pm
OMG this is insanely good!!!
Why doesn't it say to be continued???
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a2z




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Nov 16 2021, 10:52 pm
Wow, thanks!
Can we please have an epilog about when they come back to civilization?
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 16 2021, 10:53 pm
amother [ Phlox ] wrote:
OMG this is insanely good!!!
Why doesn't it say to be continued???

Sorry, will fix...

There's still at least one more chapter about life in isolation, partially written Smile
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