The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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In Kindergarten, Anjali visited India and missed school. Thus, she was eager to come back and show her friend, Rebecca Verela, a pair of shoes she brought back from her trip. These shoes are called jhootas, and they are typically made of silk. Her jhootas in particular were special as they had little bells on them that she hoped Rebecca would love. Instead, Rebecca somehow managed to get one of these bells stuck in her ear.

Rebecca Verela curled her blonde hair around her pointer finger, leaned her elbow on the desk, and waited for someone to talk to her. That’s when the door flung open and Anjali skipped through, a peppy little Indian girl, excited to tell her friend all about her vacation to India.

She clicked her heels as she moved towards Rebecca, “Ahhh look at my new jhootas, I look so cute. Rebecca is probably jealous.” The golden silk beauties announced her presence as the prettiest set of 3 bells on each of her jhootas rung with each step.

Her outfit was a carefully arranged pair of blue, bootcut jeans, loose white top, and golden shoes, so everyone would notice. She felt mystical, happy as could be when finally she reached her seat next to her best friend.

“Oh my god, did you know – “

“Anjali I hear a ringing in my ear,” Rebecca interrupted.

“What do you mean? Are you okay?” All Anjali had wanted to do was brag about her trip but now her best friend needed medical attention.

Within a minute, Rebecca ran to the teacher, “Ms. Schessel I hear a ringing in my ear!” That’s when Anjali became a 5 year old adult and offered to save Rebecca by walking her to the nurse. She accompanied Rebecca, the little damsel in distress, to the nurse’s office. Like any other kid in the class she just wanted to get out of doing work, and what better way to do that than volunteer to be the nice kid and take your friend to the nurse.

With each step the pair took, Rebecca whined, as if the ringing caused her pain. Anjali didn’t know what to do so she stayed quiet until they reached the nurse and explained the situation to her as Rebecca was too injured by the sounds she was hearing.

“Sweetie sit down, are you sick? Do you have an infection?” The nurse asks Rebecca.

“No! I’m fine just make the noise stop,” she demanded, tears rolling down her cheek.

Anjali waited, shaking her leg nervously, scared that Rebecca could miss school for the next week and leave Anjali alone in class. At the end of the day Rebecca was her friend and a companion that she didn’t want to leave.

While Anjali sat there stressed, Mrs. Robinson soothed Rebecca, offering her a lollipop to get her to enunciate her words and stop crying. She then proceeded to shine a light in Rebecca’s ear for an answer.

“Rebecca! There’s a bell in your ear.”

Rebecca took a breath from the crying, wiped away her tears, and prepped to answer Ms. Robinson.

Slowly she lifted her arm and pointed to Anjali, “she put it there.”

Anjali’s jaw dropped. She was speechless, how could her friend just blame her for something like that.

Ms. Robinson carefully used tweezers and within 5 seconds, in and out, there was the little green bell. A very peculiar bell. Anjali looked down, “oh”. She was staring at her right jhoota, and there it was, only 2 bells remaining out of 3.

Rebecca Verela

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2006
New York Kindergarten

In Kindergarten, Anjali visited India and missed school. Thus, she was eager to come back and show her friend, Rebecca Verela, a pair of shoes she brought back from her trip. These shoes are called jhootas, and they are typically made of silk. Her jhootas in particular were special as they had little bells on them that she hoped Rebecca would love. Instead, Rebecca somehow managed to get one of these bells stuck in her ear.

Recorded by Hetal Lad on March 13, 2019
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