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[STORY] Damsel in Distress (Update #11b on 26 Teves - p. 16)
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Post Thu, Nov 18 2021, 5:22 am
Love!!!!

Thank you OP!

Can't wait for more!
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Revafe




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 18 2021, 8:14 am
Wow what a treat! Love every bit!!
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amother




Razzmatazz
 

Post Fri, Nov 19 2021, 3:59 am
👏👏👏👏 real life
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Nov 21 2021, 9:29 am
amother [ Royalblue ] wrote:
Do you want to get married, Eli doesn't ask.

Omg I'm blushing and I've read actual dirty romance LOL


It's amazing how frum writers can get us to do this.
Miriam Zakon in Freefall, when (what's his name, you know, one of the main characters. Oops. Goes to visit Mo and introduces himself as family)
EG Schwartz Short Changed and the elephant on her chest
Henye Meyer - Shabbos is your nadan.

Some of the most romantic lines ever.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Nov 21 2021, 9:31 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
In the first version, which ended earlier but was otherwise basically the same, Chava marries Levi. After all the outrage, I had to make some changes… Wink


Aarggh. I thought this was some show, Damsel in Distress people were talking about. Is that version still somewhere? And why in the world did that happen?
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Nov 21 2021, 9:31 am
amother [ Lightgreen ] wrote:
What?no. The story must go on.


Um, who would publish this as a serial?
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Nov 21 2021, 9:47 am
When you do publish it I'd be happy to be a beta reader.
Did I miss any mention of the girls being upset about not having family with them, even if all over people were having different types of simchas?
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Nov 22 2021, 2:47 am
PinkFridge wrote:
Aarggh. I thought this was some show, Damsel in Distress people were talking about. Is that version still somewhere? And why in the world did that happen?

That version is reposted here: https://www.imamother.com/foru.....09854

...and the answer to why is on page 2 of the thread. (In short, I modeled the heroine after an idealized version of myself, and in the interim I got married. My own knight is absolutely nothing like "Eli," so I introduced a plot twist. Understandably, the readership was disturbed, and I was forced to bring back the original shidduch. Of course that ended up making the story a lot longer, which is good for the bored souls on Imamother and less good for my living room.)

As for the not having family, that's addressed a little throughout the story, but only from Chava's perspective. We never actually meet another girl in the building. I'll leave it to someone to write their own fanfic Wink
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 22 2021, 9:12 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
That version is reposted here: https://www.imamother.com/foru.....09854

...and the answer to why is on page 2 of the thread. (In short, I modeled the heroine after an idealized version of myself, and in the interim I got married. My own knight is absolutely nothing like "Eli," so I introduced a plot twist. Understandably, the readership was disturbed, and I was forced to bring back the original shidduch. Of course that ended up making the story a lot longer, which is good for the bored souls on Imamother and less good for my living room.)

As for the not having family, that's addressed a little throughout the story, but only from Chava's perspective. We never actually meet another girl in the building. I'll leave it to someone to write their own fanfic Wink


Thanks. I'm trying to find Levi. I remember Berke somewhat but the other boys not really.
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Revafe




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Nov 22 2021, 9:44 am
OD Dear,

I feel like since we're so vested in the story, we kind of get to have opinion rights...

I would love to see the inside world of Eli, his thoughts, emotions, fears, his feelings for Chava etc the same way we see with Chava.

Anyone else wondering whats he's thinking and how he's feeling?
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Nov 22 2021, 11:45 am
PinkFridge wrote:
Thanks. I'm trying to find Levi. I remember Berke somewhat but the other boys not really.

He’s mentioned (briefly) in Section Two - Salvation. Link https://www.imamother.com/foru.....67537
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amother




Lightcoral
 

Post Mon, Nov 22 2021, 12:32 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
SETTLING IN


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.


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.

To be continued...


Love how Chava dealt with this... so very wise!
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amother




Lightgreen
 

Post Mon, Nov 22 2021, 4:02 pm
Revafe wrote:
OD Dear,

I feel like since we're so vested in the story, we kind of get to have opinion rights...

I would love to see the inside world of Eli, his thoughts, emotions, fears, his feelings for Chava etc the same way we see with Chava.

Anyone else wondering whats he's thinking and how he's feeling?


I’m also thinking about him. I like this current part because up until now he’s been pretty flat and one track (cookies anyone??)
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amother




Cadetblue
 

Post Tue, Nov 30 2021, 8:13 pm
I'm assuming the next installment will be after Chanukah?
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synthy




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Dec 03 2021, 1:20 am
Hey OP, when's the next part coming? I'm loving this! The characters are just so realistic. You must be a deep thinker...
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amother




OP
 

Post Sat, Dec 04 2021, 11:25 pm
amother [ Cadetblue ] wrote:
I'm assuming the next installment will be after Chanukah?

Apparently, since nobody has volunteered to babysit or fry my latkes! Smile

But really still waiting for some inspiration for the next part. I have some vague ideas but it needs to be clearer in my head to write it out.
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Revafe




 
 
 
 

Post Sat, Dec 04 2021, 11:38 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Apparently, since nobody has volunteered to babysit or fry my latkes! Smile

But really still waiting for some inspiration for the next part. I have some vague ideas but it needs to be clearer in my head to write it out.


Pregnancy
Visit from family
Their first fight
A tiny little bit of physical touch here and there.

Do any of these help?
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amother




Lightcoral
 

Post Sun, Dec 05 2021, 12:34 am
I’m sure you had some emergency twist in mind when you introduced the bell that the Rebbetzin told Chava about... will it ever be used?
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Dec 05 2021, 1:46 am
A lot of those are on the agenda for future installments, just not sure which ones are in the next part. Hopefully the muse will strike again soon!
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Dec 07 2021, 4:31 am
SUSHI

Cooking for a crowd has some real advantages, Chava thinks to herself. At least she knows that whatever she makes will get eaten! Catering to two specific appetites is much less flexible.

Eli had mentioned that his family usually enjoyed sushi on Shabbos. Now, struggling with getting the sticky rice and cucumber matchsticks to behave, she wishes she had never asked.

Feeling her frustration mount, she decides to take a break and come back to it later.

Eli is at the table, engrossed in a book. He glances up sharply when he hears Chava walk out of the kitchen, and sees her headed for the bedroom. "Everything okay?" he calls.

"Yes," Chava answers wearily. "Just taking a break for a few minutes."

Despite his promise to try to chill, Eli knows that the adrenalin surge he is experiencing is anything but normal. He breathes deeply for a minute, and tries to go back to his book. He isn't able to concentrate though, so he decides to go see if he can help with some of the Shabbos cooking.

On the counter is a bowl mounded with fluffy sticky rice, stacked sheets of nori, perfect mango and cucumber matchsticks, and a very sorry looking attempt at a sushi roll.

Eli takes a sheet of parchment paper as a makeshift sushi mat, and expertly makes a new roll. He looks at it with satisfaction. It's been years since he helped make sushi at home, but apparently it's not a skill easily forgotten.

He quickly assembles another two rolls, finishing most of the rice. He then puts the mangled roll and remaining mango into the bowl for a small sushi salad.

Imagining Chava's gratitude, he is smiling as he goes back to the table.

----

After a short nap, Chava feels refreshed. This time I'm sure I'll get it right, she thinks.

When she comes into the kitchen, she sees the three perfect sushi rolls, and the bowl of salad. She immediately realizes what happened.

Eli is looking at her expectantly, waiting for her pleased reaction.

But there is acid in her mouth, and the thoughts rising in her mind are not of gratitude.

"See, you can't even make Shabbos yourself." "He had to rescue you again, eh?" "He doesn't trust you." "You'll never measure up."

Eli sees Chava's face darken, and his smile fades.

"Is there something wrong?" he asks.

Chava turns to him, and all of her feelings of inadequacy boil out as a burning anger. "Why don't you ever trust me? You think I'm a baby or something?"

Eli, unprepared for the sudden attack, tries to defend himself. "Sorry, I was just trying to help, I didn't realize it would make you upset."

"Yeah right," Chava shoots back. "If you wanted to help you would have offered to help. But instead you just step in to save the day every time you think I mess up."

Eli tries to formulate a response, but Chava doesn't wait. "And you do this all the time. You're always watching me like you think I'm going to collapse any minute. You don't let me do anything. You don't trust me at all!"

Eli feels his own anger level increasing. "So helping out is a crime now?"

"Helping out like an adult is fine," Chava says cuttingly. "You know, ask if the person wants help and offer to help. Not like a toddler where you pretend to let them set the table and then fix it as soon as they walk away."

"Well, if you'd ever accept help, maybe I'd start asking!" Eli's voice has gotten as loud as Chava's. "You're always insisting you'll do it yourself, like a stubborn two-year-old. Don't be shocked that I treat you like a two-year-old if that's how you act!"

"Well, now you finally tell the truth about how you feel. All the sweet stuff you told me about respect and equality, they were lies. You're a liar."

Eli is on his feet. "You're calling ME a liar? How many times did you lie that everything is fine when it wasn't?"

Chava feels her fury overflowing. She picks up the tray of offending sushi rolls, fully prepared to dump them in the garbage.

But Eli grabs the tray out of her hand before she can, and she stands, arm still outstretched, stunned. Eli's face is red and angry, and for a brief moment she is terrified.

Then the realization hits that she has gone too far, and she is humiliated at her own behavior and equally furious at Eli's part. Tears of fury and self-pity start streaking down her cheeks, and she walks quickly out of the kitchen, trying to keep her last shreds of self-dignity. She goes straight to the studio and locks the door before sinking to the floor and sobbing.

----

It is a long time until she is finished crying. When the tears finally subside, Chava doesn't feel better. She feels utterly spent.

Resentment at Eli, feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment at her reactions, and pain from Eli's words, all swirl around her mind. She doesn't have the energy to work them out, and just sits numbly on the floor. She feels like she should just stay there forever.

Suddenly she hears a knock at the door. "Chava," Eli's voice says hesitantly. "Licht bentchen is in five minutes."

Chava reluctantly stands. She goes into the small bathroom and looks at her red eyes and blotchy face. She is still wearing her weekday clothes.

With a sigh, she unlocks the door. She looks down, not wanting to meet Eli's eyes. She isn't sure if she is still angry at him, or if he is angry at her.

She sees the table is set, and from across the room she can see the soup pot wrapped in towels and the food stacked neatly on the hotplate.

For a moment she considers taking a quick shower and getting dressed in Shabbos clothes, but a glance at her watch tells her that she needs to light now if she wants to make it before the 18 minutes.

Shoulders sagging, she approaches the table. "The holiness of Shabbos is more important than the beauty of Shabbos," her halacha teacher's voice reminds her. "Better to light in weekday clothes than to light late."

But it still feels disrespectful to stand there, shirt lightly flour-dusted and skirt splattered with sauce, giving tzedakah in the gleaming pushka and lighting the two matching tapers.

Chava had thought she had cried all her tears, but more come to her eyes as she brings her hands over her face and says the bracha.

In the darkened space, she feels Shabbos descending onto her as she stands unprepared. She finds herself murmuring quiet words to Hashem, asking for help getting herself out of the mess she has created.

For a long few minutes she keeps her face covered, until finally peace seeps into her heart.

"Thank You Hashem," she whispers, realizing that her tears are not what brought relief, but the comfort of Hashem's closeness.

She lowers her hands and gazes for a long moment at the twin steady flames. Hers and Eli's.

She sees him then, standing beside her.

"You were davening for a long time," he says softly.

"I was asking for Shalom Bayis," Chava replies, just as softly.

Then she walks to the room without a backward glance, to put on her Shabbos robe.

----

At the table, neither bring up the events of the day.

Eli serves, and Chava is glad to sit quietly, soaking in the warmth of the Shabbos candles.

Chava shares a short Dvar Torah on the parsha, and Eli sings the familiar zemiros, but otherwise the table is wrapped in silence. It's not exactly a comfortable silence, but it isn't a painful one either, Chava notes.

After dessert, Chava and Eli clear the table, still not talking to each other.

Then Chava heads to the couch with a book.

Eli follows. "Chava, you up for talking?"

Chava shrugs.

"I'll take that as a yes," he tells her. She does not protest.



to be continued...
ETA: Continued here
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