I don't remember what she was crying about. I didn't buy her a treat? A party missed? That was it, yes, she had a birthday party and somehow I had gotten the date wrong, but she wasn't mad at me because she had also remembered the same wrong date. (Hey, maybe they had told us the wrong date! Just occured to me.)So she wasn't mad, but she was so SAD, she was sobbing so hard she could barely walk up the steps.
"You don't even really know her!" I pointed out, frustrated at her level of sorrow.
This, suprisingly, did not help.
"There will be more parties, better ones!" I said.
She sunk down on the filthy staircase and howled like a--oh, I'm stuck here. Like something that would sink down onto a filthy staircase and howl.
"Princess!" I said sharply. "those steps are gross! Get UP."
She did not get up. Her pain and her decibal level increased to a level that could probably make it into the Guinnes Book of World Records under Saddest Girl Ever Over a Missed Party.
The door two steps down opened. I cringed and looked down. It was the only neighbor in my building who did not cover her hair. "Ma kara,motek!" she asked. What happened?
I flushed and made a face like, kids. gag me with a spoon. "She missed a party," I explained in my halting hebrew over the noise of Princess missing a party.
"Ah...." her lovely brown eyes widened sympathetically. She looked at the pathetic lump formerly known as Princess and said, "Zeh kashe." It's hard. "Aval, hakol l'tovah!" But everything is for the good. Her eyes were still sympathetic. They were also completely sincere.
And Princess stopped crying. She stood up, shakily. "Can you maybe buy me a treat?" she said, swiping a full arm across her nose.
"Yes, I can buy you a treat," I said. I waved at the neighbor lady. She waved back.
"Zeh kasheh la," she said again, before she went back inside her house.
Not anymore, I thought as we headed towards the makholet. A fleeting whisper of a thought,why couldn't I say that? accompanied me all the way there.