Yom Kippur


I won't eat, she thought, and that will fix it.

I'll spend the day fasting and praying as my ancestors did. I'll wear white clothes and somber expressions. I will murmur ancient prayers and close my eyes and connect with something bigger than myself.

I'll ask nicely.

I'll say please.

Over and over, I'll say I'm sorry.

I'll apologize to God.

And things will be better.

But first, she thought, I'll eat.

I'll make the sort of meal that will see me through twenty-six hours of refraining from repast. I'll fill my belly and fortify myself for the denial ahead. I'll be ready.

I'll have seconds.

I'll say yes to dessert.

And things will be better.

She ate alone.

Plenty of food.

Her phone buzzed, and she almost didn't answer it.

Almost sunset, she thought. Who would be calling?

When she saw who was calling, her heart lost the beat, had trouble regaining its rhythm.

If I answer, she thought, I'll have to apologize.

The thought was uncomfortable.

It would be easier to just apologize to God.

So much easier.

She almost rejected the call. Instead she slid her finger across the screen, and slipped into the conversation she had avoided for so long.

There was a pause.

A breath in, and out.

The longest exhale.

I'm sorry, they both said.

And things were, incrementally, almost imperceptibly, but undeniably, better.

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