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[STORY] Damsel in Distress (Update #11b on 26 Teves - p. 16)
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amother




Phlox
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 2:09 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Sorry, will fix...

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


Oh phew!
We'll all be patiently waiting...
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amother




Razzmatazz
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 5:06 am
Niiiice! Love the part about the house after an hurricane. And Eli looks like a great husband
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amother




Tealblue
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 6:24 am
smiling from ear to ear
loving it
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Winterb




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 7:26 am
Woke up to the latest installment! It was so amazingly good!!!! Thank you!
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Cookiegirl




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 8:07 am
Great work! Loving it....
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amother




Orchid
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 8:27 am
I can't Heart Heart Heart
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Revafe




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 10:12 am
How is it that a few black words on a screen have the power to make my heart flutter???

Op you are better than some seasoned writers that have written novels!

Love it! ❤
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chili-n-cholent




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 10:18 am
OP this is insane!!!!!
Totally proves how we need such novels out there in the frum world where we can relate to their life with ALL THE DETAILS INCLUDED!!!
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amother




Forestgreen
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 10:26 am
This is excellent. I am actually crying tears. Can't wait for the rest
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amother




Razzmatazz
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 10:47 am
chili-n-cholent wrote:
OP this is insane!!!!!
Totally proves how we need such novels out there in the frum world where we can relate to their life with ALL THE DETAILS INCLUDED!!!


Totally! Interesting and in an atmosphere of kedusha!
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amother




Lightcoral
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 11:30 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Sorry, will fix...

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


Loved it!! So beautifully written with so many values intertwined!
Really don’t want it to end... Op, please make this story last as long as you possibly can! So fun to look forward to!
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 11:34 am
(You guys are all REALLY BAD for my ego problem.)
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amother




Lightcoral
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 11:43 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
(You guys are all REALLY BAD for my ego problem.)

Lol LOL
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amother




Steelblue
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 11:52 am
Op, THANK YOU so very much.
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amother




Coral
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 4:26 pm
amother [ Daisy ] wrote:
No but I feel like an insider knowing what they are! It was clearly given away when referencing a real person's name

Oh I'm chassidish and you got me so curious!!! Which page is the give away on? I feel dense that I missed it!
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amother




Aconite
 

Post Wed, Nov 17 2021, 4:44 pm
OP THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! So amazing!!
Would you be able to put the whole story on one link somehow? So we could re-enjoy it all in one place?
Please?
Also super curious about which chassidis, can we please have a hint?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Nov 18 2021, 4:25 am
Oysh, I feel bad now! Not trying to make anyone feel excluded.

I think the giveaway that was referred to is in this part.

It's not a "standard" Chassidus, which is why it's more if you know you know.

(Not particularly trying to hide it, but didn't want to make it seem too focused on a specific group.)

As far as posting all in one place, happy to upload as a PDF, what site wouldn't be blocked for people?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Nov 18 2021, 4:26 am
SETTLING IN

Marriage makes the apartment feel very large.

It takes a little while until Chava realizes that it is not due to marriage specifically, rather in comparison with the conditions before.

As per the Rabbi's sage advice, taking the cows out of the house makes all the difference.

Marriage also makes cooking a challenge. It's not easy to adjust to making meals for two, and it takes a lot of leftovers to figure it out.

Oddly, Chava notices, marriage hasn't made Eli any less overprotective.

----

Her mind on the Shabbos menu, Chava is not looking where she is going. Her toe makes painful contact with a chair leg.

"OWWWWW!"

Eli drops what he is doing and runs over. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, I just stubbed my toe," Chava says, plopping down on the chair as she waits for the throbbing to subside.

"Are you sure you're okay? Let me see. How bad is the pain?"

Chava rolls her eyes. "Eli. I STUBBED my toe," she enunciates.

Eli looks a little sheepish. "So no ambulance?"

"If you insist, you can call a toe truck."

----

Chava is relaxing on the couch with a book, one of the pleasures she had needed to forfeit for months. Eli is on a recliner, perusing a sefer.

Turning a page too quickly, Chava winces as she feels the paper slice neatly across her thumb.

She lifts her thumb to examine it, and watches with morbid fascination as a thin line fills up with blood.

Eli's peripheral vision is apparently excellent. Catching a glimpse of blood, he slams the sefer shut and jumps to his feet. "What happened?"

"Paper cut," Chava replies.

"Let me see," Eli demands, coming over to her.

Chava looks at him incredulously and turns her thumb around to show him.

"It's a PAPER CUT. Not Hatzolah material. I don't know if it even qualifies for a bandaid."

"Any break in the skin qualifies for a bandaid."

Chava sighs.

Eli brings over a bandaid and lays it on the coffee table. He waits until she obediently puts it on her thumb before returning to his seat and his sefer.

But Chava doesn't go back to her own book.

"Eli, are you bored?"

Eli is already engrossed again. "Huh?"

"Do you want me to create emergencies for you?"

Eli slowly lowers the sefer and meets Chava's gaze. "What?"

"I can pretend to faint dramatically, invent stomach pain in all four quadrants at once, or even accidentally on purpose twist my ankle."

"Chas Veshalom!" Eli responds instinctively. "Chava, what on earth are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about the fact that you seem to be on high alert for emergencies. All the time. Is it because you are bored?"

Eli shakes his head slowly.

"So maybe you have the same problem you keep accusing me of?"

Eli raises his eyebrows. "And what problem is that?"

"Thinking you prove your worth by doing something, in this case saving people?"

"Ouch."

Chava sits with her arms folded as Eli digests.

"That might be part of it," he finally says.

"Part?" Chava looks skeptical.

"Yes, part."

"And what is the other part?"

Eli takes a deep breath. "Don't get angry, okay?" He waits for confirmation before continuing.

"Well, you realize that I can't really trust you?"

Chava falls back, hurt. "What?"

"Not in general, but with medical things. I can't trust that you'll tell me that there's something wrong."

Chava tries to address the issue objectively. "It sounds like you are referring to something specific?"

"Some specific THINGS, yes. Bekitzur I don't feel like I can trust that you're okay unless I make sure of it myself."

"Would you mind elaborating on those things? It's hard to fix something when you're not exactly sure of what it is."

Eli plays with the arm of the chair. "I don't want you to feel hurt, Chava. I'm not angry, I'm not even annoyed. But if you want to know where I'm coming from…"

He clears his throat and looks directly at Chava. "So, after living here for a few months, one day Berke walks into the kitchen and finds you sitting on the floor not breathing. I try to give you an oxygen mask and you push it away."

"It wouldn't have helped!" Chava defended herself.

"Not the point. You didn't seem very happy to tell us, but you admitted that you'd been having episodes where you couldn't breathe, for up to three full minutes, for nearly a month. And you didn't tell anyone."

"I tried to tell the doctor!"

"Yes, I know, and I used that to defend my side of the argument."

"Argument?" Chava is confused.

"Berke wanted me to strap you to a board and put you on a monitor around the clock."

"You wouldn't have done something that extreme."

"I sure would have. Do you know what three minutes without oxygen looks like?"

"I know what it feels like…"

"Well it looks very bad. And putting you on a monitor full-time would have been a perfectly reasonable choice. Strapping you down would have been reasonable too if you didn't want to cooperate."

Chava shudders. "Glad it didn't come to that."

"No, I told Berke we should give you a chance to work with us. He agreed after a while, but was furious with me that I let you go to sleep."

"Why?"

"He pointed out that you could have another episode in the middle of the night, and that it could end up even longer. I was second-guessing myself all night. We were both really relieved to see you in the morning.

"But when we were waiting for you to come into the kitchen, I told Berke, it's be'ones or beratzon."

"I'm sorry for all the Agmas Nefesh."

"That wasn't all. You weren't exactly enthusiastic about using the panic button either. Remember when we were trying to get you to use it on Shabbos?"

Chava winces and puts up her hands. "Okay, enough! I get it. I'm a nightmare patient and I'm really sorry."

"I told you, I'm not upset. And I'm sorry we were mean about it. We needed to make sure you were safe.

"Still, bottom line, you never came to us willingly when you needed help. So do you understand why I might have a hard time trusting that you're okay?"

Chava shakes her head. "Yes and no. This was going on for a long time. You weren't so overprotective before."

Eli exhales slowly. "I guess I’m not as good at Ahavas Yisroel as I thought. I was able to separate emotionally better before. Once it’s someone close to you, then it’s much harder."

The room is quiet.

Chava plays with the bandaid on her finger. "So is there a way to undo the damage?"

Eli doesn't answer right away. "Well, acknowledging it is a step, I guess. But trust takes time. Can we start with you committing to let me know every time you aren't feeling well or hurt yourself?"

Chava nods. "I can try."

"And from my side, I'll try to tone down my reactions. Unless it's an actual emergency."

"Let's not have any more of those, okay?" Chava requests.

"Fine with me," Eli grins.

----

A few weeks into married life, Chava starts to notice something upsetting.

Eli is waking up later and later, and staying in pajamas for more of the day. He is still animated when he talks to her, but he doesn't seem to be learning as much. It seems to be taking longer and longer to even start davening Shacharis in the morning.

She reminds herself of the wisdom drilled into her by many teachers: "You're not your husband's mashpia!"

But is that true in a situation like this? she worries. Here there's nobody else. Should she say something? What should she say? Will it impact their Shalom Bayis? Will he get angry?

Unsure, she stays silent, but tries not to make her behavior an obvious contrast to his. She still davens on her schedule in the morning, but chooses to stay in her robe as long as Eli isn't getting dressed.

One Shabbos morning, it finally hits her.

Eli is just adjusting.

Chava thinks back to her first few weeks alone in the apartment. It had gotten steadily harder to wake up on time, to eat normal meals, to do anything productive. The days had dragged, and her spirits dragged lower.

Eventually she had found her rhythm and decided to stick to a schedule for her own sake. That schedule had served her well until now.

But Eli had never really been in this kind of setup before.

He'd been in Yeshiva, in camp, in a community with regular minyanim. Even in the apartment, he'd been with a group that supported each other.

Now he was on his own.

Clarity is a big relief. Chava finds it much easier to relate to Eli, without the tension of wondering if and what she should say.

She simply continues cheerfully interacting with him, privately davening that he find his footing soon.

----

One afternoon, things reach a head.

It is well past Zman Tefillah, fast approaching Shkiyah, and Eli hasn't even put on Tefillin.

Chava's stomach is in knots, but she doesn't say a word.

Eli finally pulls his day together and mumbles a quick Shacharis, followed soon after by an equally hasty Mincha.

Then he sits at the table and buries his head in his hands.

"Eli, are you okay?" Chava asks, concerned.

"No, I feel like garbage," he tells her frankly.

Chava waits.

"I feel like I tricked you."

Chava just listens.

"You thought you were marrying a nice bochur with Yiras Shomayim. Welcome to the real me."

There is another pause.

"Are you upset?"

Chava chooses her words carefully. "No, and I don't think this is the real you either."

Eli picks up his head and looks at her with a questioning gaze.

"I mean, I went through this too. But I had a head start."

"You went through a rough teenage patch?"

"Yes, but not talking about that. I already adjusted to life in isolation. You're just starting to figure it out."

Eli sits, digesting this thought. His face seems to ease.

Then he shakes his head decisively. "No, not just starting. Hopefully I reached the lowest part.

"But I'd better stop pretending I know everything and learn to ask for help myself.

"Chava, mind sharing some of the coping strategies you came up with?"




To be continued...
ETA: Continued here
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amother




Phlox
 

Post Thu, Nov 18 2021, 4:44 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Oysh, I feel bad now! Not trying to make anyone feel excluded.

I think the giveaway that was referred to is in this part.

It's not a "standard" Chassidus, which is why it's more if you know you know.

(Not particularly trying to hide it, but didn't want to make it seem too focused on a specific group.)

As far as posting all in one place, happy to upload as a PDF, what site wouldn't be blocked for people?


Hey can you please do us all a favor and be more specific?
Thanks!
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amother




Phlox
 

Post Thu, Nov 18 2021, 4:46 am
Amazing!
The ups and downs of married life...
Well done!
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