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The Moment That Matters (By Aarushi Voleti, 11 years old)

“Leah, Love, will you go get some sugar from Mrs. Zechenchi? I’m too busy with Levi,” Mama said, over Levi’s extremely loud crying.

“Sure!” I yelled over Levi’s crying, just to make sure that she could hear me.

Not that I had a choice. Mama would force me one way or another. I grabbed the basket we kept near the front door, for things like this, and headed out the front door. As I skipped my way to Mrs. Zechenchi’s, my heart stopped. There they were, two soldiers in green military uniforms. The Nazis soldier were surrounded around this man… Mr. Zechenchi!

“NOOOOOOO!” I screamed as I jolted awake. Beads of sweat trickled down my forehead. I looked around, happy to see I was in my room, with Levi asleep. Mama bolted through the door.

“Leah, is everything okay? I heard you screaming, and thought something bad happened!” Mama said, concern all over her face.

“Nothing Mama, just a bad dream” I said, forcing a smile on my face to ease her concern.

“Okay, just know I’m always here for you, if you need anyone to talk to, okay?”

“Okay, Mama. I’m going to get ready for the day now,” I said a little awkwardly.

She could not afford to worry about me. Not with Levi being 3 years old and her two full time jobs. I could take care of myself. With the Nazis, and us being Jewish, Mama has it hard enough already.

Wait a minute…Shouldn’t she be at work? Did her bosses fire her? No, her bosses loved her! As these thoughts raced through my head, I bolted out of my room to Mama, where she always was, in the kitchen.

“Mama, why aren't you at work? Did anything bad happen?” I asked, Panic filling my voice.

Mama chuckled. “No, love, I just needed a day off,” Mama said.

“Okay then,” I said, jumping up and down, as I do when I’m happy. “Can we play a game?”

I may be 13, but I haven’t played a game with Mama since Papa disappeared, which was when I was 10 years old. “Please? Levi isn’t even awake yet,”

Right on cue, Levi waddles in rubbing his eye. I groaned. “You have the worst timing, you know that, right?” I told him.

“Yup!” He said, proudly.

He beamed.

I sighed.

Mama chuckled.

“What do you want for breakfast?” Mama asked.

“CREPES WITH STRAWBERRY JAM PLEASE!” Levi and I shouted happily in unison.

Mama chuckled again. “Ok, fine.”

As Mama and Levi made these heavenly treats, ( Actually, Levi wasn’t really helping, all he did was sneeze in the flour and got it all over himself and the floor) I started on the strawberry jam. I rinsed them, tested them (okay, I just wanted a strawberry) , crushed them, added a little sugar, and done! It was simple, but good.

When we sat down, I looked around the table. All three of us, happy, laughing, talking. I never want this moment to end.

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