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Forum -> Hobbies, Crafts, and Collections -> The Imamother Writing Club
[STORY] Damsel in Distress (Update #15b - 14 Teves p. 22)
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Post Mon, Nov 07 2022, 12:39 am
This story has me riveted, you are super talented!! Cant wait for next installment. Hope its a long one!
And to quote an earlier poster, I realllllllly apologize if someone thought this comment was the next chapter
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Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 5:16 pm
Just discovered this gem of a story since it was motioned in another thread! Wow been reading it through at once and loved it!
Just had a few questions... Was there seriously no other way out other than marrying off ALL the boys and girls. I was hoping for a more forbidden romance plot just between Eli and Chava... Nothing cvs Torah forbidden physically just the feelings build up without it being forced as a marital thing.
Also if Chava is mikvah women who is on call for her when she needs? or maybe she get pregnant so no need? Then who will care for pregnancies deliveries? Will an obgyn be placed? And after care will they get clothing and necessities for a newborn.... There's still like what a full year on study. Are authorities okay with all that? Or maybe they had them all prescribed on bc... But hey it's only 95% chance what happens if it fails..? Okay see? I'm totally sucked into this novel.
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Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 5:32 pm
Op, I have not stopped thinking about this story since I found it, and I re-read it 3x. Please post update of when there will be another chapter! Thanks!!!
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Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 5:49 pm
Btw installment on page 16 ended with to be continued... Without linking the next chapters. I went through the rest to find some on 18 and 19
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Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 5:54 pm
liveandlove.ima wrote:
Btw installment on page 16 ended with to be continued... Without linking the next chapters. I went through the rest to find some on 18 and 19

Oops! Sorry, will fix that, and hopefully also work on the next part!
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Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 7:54 pm
amother OP wrote:
Oops! Sorry, will fix that, and hopefully also work on the next part!

Wohoo! Thank you!! Looking forward excitedly LOL
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Post Sun, Nov 20 2022, 5:05 am
Phew! Finally finished this chapter! Posting momentarily. (Don't worry, I have part of the next chapter blocked out.)

Is there some prize for the longest amount of time between updates?
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Post Sun, Nov 20 2022, 5:06 am
Things, plural (continued)

"Rabbi Cohen walked up to the front of the room, slowly. His face was very serious. We all sat there, getting nervous.

"You know that feeling where you want to listen but half of your brain is frantically worrying about what the person might say?"

Eli nods vigorously.

Chava is confused for a moment, then gets it.

"So... first he wished us all Mazel Tov again. And then asked us what we knew about the point of getting married.

"We didn't know what he was looking for, so nobody volunteered. So he told us the posuk from Bereishis, 'Vehayu L'basar Echad,' and Rashi's explanation.

"Then he gave us a 15 minute overview of the mitzvah of Pru U'rvu. From Chumash, Gemara, Shulchan Aruch, modern-day poskim.

"And then he stopped and sighed."

Chava switches to Rabbi Cohen's characteristic sing-song. "'It's not easy for me to say what I'm going to be saying. As I've just told you, this is one of the greatest mitzvos of the Torah and a major part of marriage. But.'

Chava returns to her usual tone.

"Rabbi Cohen told us that he discussed the topic at length with various Rabbonim. That we hadn't really chosen to get married now. That we had no outside support. That birth is not risk free and the medical care here isn't great.

"So they felt that under the circumstances there was room for a blanket heter for birth control.

"Then he spelled out exactly what types of birth control were available, the maalos and chesronos of each, and what kinds of shaalos were likely to come up. We all were sitting there shellshocked."

She notices that Eli is too.

"So then he left, and Rebbetzin Cohen explained some more of the hashkafa of having children, repeated the list of birth control types with experiences from women, told us that the doctor in the building could prescribe them for us, and then told us to discuss it with our chassanim."

"But you didn't."

Chava flushes. "No, I didn't," she says in a small voice.

Eli's speaks with feigned politeness. "Would you mind explaining your reasoning?" he asks.

Chava can't look at him.

"I... it was... I didn't think..." her voice trails off.

She can feel Eli's stare, or is it glare, even without looking up. She swallows hard and tries to continue.

"I... I was convinced from the beginning. And I thought it was so obvious, and I didn't think you needed to know."

"I didn't need to know?" Eli asks, incredulous.

"I guess... I mean you should know, it is your business but..."

Chava stops.


"But... but I guess I was so sure of my decision that I didn't even want to bring it up."

The room is silent.

Finally, Eli speaks. His voice is tight. "Are you even going to tell me what decision that was?"

Chava realizes that maybe she should not have been quite as sure of herself after all. Eli might actually have an opinion, and his right to an opinion is no less valid than her own. Even if his opinion is different.

But then the same stubborn streak that got her into this mess returns. She's right, she knows it. For sure... right?

Her eyes meet his, defiantly. "I didn't take birth control, of course."

"Of course?"

"Of course. Getting married is a package deal. You knew that."

"But you were told that we could wait. And you chose not to. Unilaterally."

"Hey, if you were so dead set against the idea of having kids, you should have brought it up during dating."

"Excuse me? Accepting a heter given by a Rav, or Rabbonim plural, is being dead set against kids?"

"Accepting a heter just because you can get one is basically being dead set against kids."

"Debatable. But saying no to a heter that equally involves your spouse is basically being dead set against having a trusting relationship."

Chava blanches."I knew I shouldn't have told you," she mumbles.

"No, you shouldn't have told me. You should have discussed it with me. From the beginning."

This night has been all too much. Chava feels tears coming to her eyes. Trying to maintain her dignity, she walks to the bathroom and turns on the sink so Eli won't hear her sobbing.

She lets the wave of emotion flood her, then ebb somewhat. There are still too many conflicting feelings roiling inside to really be able to calm down. Retorts and comebacks and apologies keep rising in her mind.

Talking it out would help, she knows, but not with someone who is hurt and angry at her. It will have to be her trusty journal.

Feeling more in control, she rinses her bruised face.

A few minutes later, she exits the bathroom, a strange expression on her face.

Eli is still sitting in the same position at the table, staring straight ahead.

"Well, that was interesting timing," Chava says.

Eli starts and looks at her. "You're pregnant?"

"No, I'm niddah."

to be continued...
ETA: Continued here.
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Post Sun, Nov 20 2022, 8:08 am
Love love love! The plotline keeps getting better!
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Post Sun, Nov 20 2022, 9:59 am
Ah thank you! Best email ever to show up in inbox!
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Post Sun, Nov 20 2022, 10:09 am
Loved it! Thank you!
Now that you got me back into it I’m really looking forward to the next one!! Hopefully soon LOL
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Post Mon, Nov 28 2022, 12:09 am
Fair warning, this next part is somewhat depressing, but used up all my writing time plus change and it'll take time to get them over this hump... Don't worry too much, though, I only believe in happy endings. Smile
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Post Mon, Nov 28 2022, 12:10 am

Chava sits back down heavily at the table.

Eli is not looking at her. He is staring deep into his empty mug. Chava looks gloomily at her own mug. She needs a heker now, she remembers, but has no appetite left anyhow. She pushes the mug away.

Hesitating, she begins, "Eli..."

"Not ready to talk now," he says curtly.


"Shut. Up."

Chava blanches.

Her body suddenly feels immovable. A strange tingling spreads from her face down to her hands and feet, and the walls seem to be closing in. The silence pulsates in her ears.

Eli's anger she has seen and felt, as unpleasant as it is.

But this coldness is new and frightening.

Is this really her husband? And, as her tightening gut is warning her, does he really hate her?

The tears are frozen behind her eyes.

She looks, unfocused, straight ahead. Her mind is pulling her straight down the speeding terrifying track down into a mental abyss. Facades pulled away, cruelty and fear and horrific emotional pain; divorce? Impossible now, shame and hysteria and awful quicksands of misery. She can't even muster the energy to close her eyes in attempt to shut out the world entrapping her.

Chava has no idea how long she's been sitting there, unmoving and unseeing.

Abruptly, Eli stands up. He goes into the bedroom and shuts the door. In the utter stillness she can hear the lock engage.

The sound pulls her out of her frozen state, and she finally crumples forward onto the table, sobbing. She doesn't try to quiet herself, pathetically hoping that Eli, the Eli she knew and loved, will hear her and take pity on her pain.

He doesn't.

At long last Chava takes a shuddering breath, spent.

On shaky legs, she rises and brings the mugs back into the kitchen, half wishing she could hurl them to the floor and stamp on the shards, wishing that she was angry enough to scream or break something, anything to relive the rising tension twisting her up inside.

But she isn't, she's still dead inside, though the feelings are not dead and are swirling around in an accusing cacophony.

For a moment she considers baking something, one of the most soothing activities she knows, but there are too many associations in the kitchen and she can't bring herself to start.

Catching a glimpse at the clock, Chava realizes that maybe she'd better go to bed. Slowly she approaches the bedroom door, hope rising against her will, but the door is still firmly locked and there is no answer to her tentative knock.

"Never go to sleep angry," a voice in her head admonishes her, and she wearily tries to respond to the thought. She isn't angry, that takes too much energy. She's just hurt, wounded, bleeding out from a horrific injury to her soul.

And she is tired, too tired to even try to make sense of it all.

She heads for the studio and the daybed, but it brings up too much also. She considers and rejects the couch, which now symbolizes too much of the early, naive days of marriage. There's nowhere to go. Nowhere to escape.

And then the crushing loneliness falls down on top of her, like a suffocating thick blanket. Six months herself, five months isolated in a crowded apartment, but nothing compares to the total sense of desolation she's feeling now, where she's opened herself up and been chopped off.

Like a toddler, she finally takes a blanket, curls up on the floor at the door of the bedroom, and lets her exhaustion pull her into a tortured sleep.


The day breaks, cloudy and stern.

No cheerful sun rays peek inside to light up the apartment, instead the darkness just slowly dulls.

Chava is still sleeping, her ugly black eye made more prominent by her pale face.

In the bedroom, Eli slowly gets up. His first thoughts after Modeh Ani are the blithe betrayal of his wife, the open relationship he thought they were working on smashed to smithereens.

He'd never been this harsh with her before, and for a moment he feels a pang of regret. But then the hurt feeling rises again. What kind of marriage is this, where the wife doesn't even bother to bring up something so central?

He's not sure he would have done anything differently, he has to admit. He's not afraid of being a father, and not afraid of the challenges that come with it. It's a growing process, together, and in a way he wants it sooner, to bring purpose to the endless monotonous months of isolation stretching ahead of them.

But the searing pain of knowing that this is NOT a growing process together, that she has no problem leaving him out of it, and who knows what else she is keeping secret? Could they ever really work together, if her unremorseful policy is to treat her husband as irrelevant?

He sits on the edge of the bed, feeling the sense of hurt burning into him, white-hot and unceasing.

At long last, Eli pulls himself to his feet. "Go daven," he tells himself. "Whatever today is going to look like, you'll need it."

He stands by the closed door for a moment, relieved that he can't hear sounds of movement. He's not ready to face Chava yet. He doesn't know what he could say in the face of a relationship this broken.

He quietly opens the door and stops, surprised to see Chava huddled like a vagabond in the doorway.

For a moment he feels the tender protective care rise inside of him, but he viciously cuts it short. She was his, but she doesn't want to be.

Eli cautiously steps over the blanket, careful not to touch it. Whatever the future holds, Niddah is Niddah.

Not until he is wrapping his Tefillin with trembling hands does he realize how tense he is.


It is later in the morning when Chava stirs. For one glorious moment she is confused at her sore muscles and bruised face, and then it all comes back to her in one sickening flood.

She just wants to pull the blanket back over her head and return to oblivion.

At first she tries, but her mind is too awake. In the quiet of the apartment, it is relentlessly punishing her with half-formed thoughts and accusations.

To stop it, Chava pushes away the blanket and rises, almost welcoming the protesting muscles which distract somewhat from the emotional pain.

"Go daven," she tells herself. "Whatever happens today, you'll need it."

To be continued...
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Post Mon, Nov 28 2022, 12:18 am
Thank you! Sad and tense, but written so well that as long as I know there is another chapter coming, it's worth it!
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Post Mon, Nov 28 2022, 12:21 am
So well written! Uch, I wanna patch Chava.
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Post Mon, Nov 28 2022, 12:34 am
That's one of the problems with writing. I didn't mean for it to get this intense, but how else could Eli respond? And Chava still hasn't figured out what she did wrong, and now she's too hurt to even start thinking in that direction. So it's going to take time to help them undo the damage, and as much as I pretend that I control things as the author, I have to let it take its course...
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Post Mon, Nov 28 2022, 2:17 am
Love it! Except for Eli telling her to shut up but I guess you had to. It’s just not the Eli we know, no matter how angry! I guess that’s the point though. Waiting eagerly for the next one…
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Post Mon, Nov 28 2022, 2:23 am
He tells her to shut up?
Doesn’t fit

No matter how angry who tells their wife to “shut up”?
With your excellent writing skills op I would think you can find a better way for him to express himself.
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Post Mon, Nov 28 2022, 3:54 am
I wasn't expecting him to say that either... Maybe in my mahadura beis I'll convince him to tone it down! Maybe I should add a nivul peh warning to the beginning? (Along with the "parental discretion advised," of course...)

In the meantime even though I know in general what happens next it's interesting watching how it actually gets there.
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Post Mon, Nov 28 2022, 8:25 am
Well done, as always!
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