This is part 2 of a new series by Ayala. For part 1, in which she is first introduced to the loveable Stein, click.
On my usual Shabbos excursion to visit friends who were not in my school, I decided to take a shortcut through a playground and save myself an entire half a block. The park was packed. I had to actively focus on picking my way through the hordes of children.
“Hey!” It was Stein, who was sitting on a bench with some girl who was around my age. I groaned. I had clearly chosen the wrong thing to focus on. Breaking my neck tripping over a toddler would have been preferable to talking to Stein.
“Who are you?” The girl glowered up at me. Her dislike surprised me, as I had never met her before in my life.
“I’m Ayala. I met Stein at a bus stop last week. Who are you?”
“I’m Bina,” she paused dramatically, giving me a significant look. I looked at her, bewildered. “His girlfriend!” she said aggressively, putting her arm around his waist.
I burst out laughing. The idea that someone could love a person like Stein, and find him physically attractive, was just too absurd. Bina bristled visibly.
“Relax babe,” Stein droned. His hand flopped to her back. He spat listlessly, and then rested his head on the back of the bench. He looked pale.
As much as I hated Stein, he did not seem well. “Are you ok?” I asked, heartily wishing that he would get stuffed into an ambulance and go to some hospital, preferably one on the moon.
“He’s trying not to smoke on Shabbos!” Bina informed me haughtily.
I raised my eyebrows. Stein’s cell phone was sticking out of his pocket. “Well at least he isn’t dying. Have a fun Shabbos with your boyfriend!” As I scurried off, I felt Bina’s eyes burning holes in my back.