Recap: Michal mulls over all the information she has received, still unable to come to a decision. She meets Malky.
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Michal remembered. Malky was the daughter in a family of divorced parents. The father of the family, a well-rounded person, collapsed suddenly, in the middle of life, and turned into a person it was impossible to live with. The parents divorced, the father went off to his strange, new occupations — prowling the streets, giving speeches, and harassing government ministers. The mother was left with four little children
The father’s fleeting visits wreaked havoc on the family. He would come to the house “to see the children” and sow ruin and destruction. At first, the mother couldn’t bring herself to distance him from his children, but afterwards, she understood that there was no choice. The father acted like a savage, spoke nonsense, and mixed up the children so much that every encounter with him left them needing a full year with a psychologist.
“She’s about our age, in shidduchim (dating for marriage) now,” Libby added.
Michal went to the Kotel, speaking with Hashem all the way there. Hashem (G-d) , please, give me an answer and a solution. She’d just finished davening (praying) when she saw Malky.
Michal waited until Malky would come out. She leaned on the stone fence, waiting for her, almost in ambush. “Hi, Malky,” she waved to her when she finally came out. “Maybe you have a half hour for me? Can I speak with you?”
“With pleasure,” Malky agreed. “You’re Libby’s friend?”
They went up to the Jewish quarter and sat down in a little shop. Michal felt an immediate chemistry forming between them.
“I’ll start with my story,” Michal said to her.
“I heard about your story,” said Maggie.
“What did you hear?” asked Michal curiously.
A cloud settled on Maggie’s face. She lowered her voice. “Tell me, is it true that your chatan hit you at the wedding in front of everyone?”
“And that you went together to a psychiatrist and he gave the whole family injections? That’s what they said.” Malky shook her head, her eyes smiling at Michal’s shocked reaction. “I understand that none of this is correct.” “Remember how we used to play ‘Broken Telephone’ in Bnos group when we talked about shemirat halashon? That’s what happened here.”
“I understand… You know, it sounds very familiar to me… You know what they said about my father, poor thing?”
“What? You mean he didn’t get an order to stay away from you because of his wild behavior when he came to you?” Michal suddenly knew the answer even before it was said.
Malky shook her head.
“And you do meet with him?”
“What’s true, from all the rumors?”
“My parents are divorced. And my father, he… had a nervous breakdown because of a certain incident, but he’s under psychiatric care, and when we’re with him, he’s wonderful and loving, and giving, and attentive.” Michal told her what’s true from the rumors about her story.
As Michal walked home, she thought of rumors that grow out of hand, of Elchanon – what a wonderful person he was, of bitachon (trusting in Divine Guidance) – how Hashem (G-d) orchestrated all the events, of Ezer Mizion – full of caring, ready to help at any time she’d need them. It was decision time.