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Bittersweet Beginnings



Table of Contents
1. A Fresh Start
2. Lunch with the Bunch
3. Sterling Intentions
4. Meeting at Rochel's
5. New Perspectives
6. Unsettled Emotions
7. Midnight Madness
8. Mixed Signals
9. Bittersweet Birthday
10. Depend on Vicki
11. Crucial Meeting
12. Special Delivery
13. Clearing the Air
14. Fair Solution
15. Getting it Together

A Fresh Start


"Great idea, Rochel!" Shany Perl said wryly,
"her hazel eyes sparkling as she spoke. She
ogled the huge trays of luscious danishes and
sniffed the fragrant air that surrounded them.
Shany leaned forward as the Klein's immacu-
late white delivery van sped through the streets of

"I always dreamed of arriving in school smelling like
a cheese danish," she remarked.

"This morning you thought a ride to Bas Yisrael High
was a great idea," Rochel Klein reminded her. "I men-
tioned that M

"True, but you know I'm on a diet and cheese Danishes

are my absolute favorite!" Shany explained with an ex-
pression of mock suffering on her face. She closed her
eyes dramatically and leaned back to endure the rest of

the ride.

"Rochel," Mr. Mandel reminisced, "it seems like only
yesterday that you were a little girl. I always gave you a
cookie whenever you came into the bakery. I can't believe
you're entering tenth grade now. Look at you, you're all
grown up."

"I remember; you never forgot me," Rochel said.
"Going to visit my parents' store was a treat I always
looked forward to."

The girls listened to the cheerful voice of Mr. Mandel
as he sang along to one of his favorite musical tapes while
he drove along Atkinson Avenue.

"I just want to remind you, Mr. Mandel, that our last
pickup is at York Hill Boulevard," Rochel shouted as
politely as she could over the voices of the Toronto Boys'


"No problem," Mr. Mandel sang cheerfully without
missing a beat. "I didn't forget for a moment."

Rochel found the rhythm of the van soothing, as it
waved its way through the early morning traffic. The first
warming rays of sun appeared and cast a cheerful glow
onto the multi-colored brick homes that made up subur-
ban Thornhill. After a few minutes, the van pulled
sharply into Estee Heim's quarry-stoned driveway.

"Finally!" Estee said as she climbed into the van. "I've
been waiting for fifteen minutes."

She scrutinized the entire contents of the van. The
gleaming chrome shelves inside the van were lined with
pies and cakes with rich, creamy frostings and exotic
pastries she had never seen before.

"The Klein Catering Establishment has really out-
done itself this time," Estee commented. "Is all this for
our program?"

Shany laughed. "That's all I need to break down my
resistance totally," she complained.

"Girls, girls," Mr. Mandel said. "What's this I hear
about diets? You should eat and enjoy! That's what I do!"

The girls looked at each other and giggled.

Rochel smiled dreamily and leaned against the van
window as she watched the changing patterns of people
and traffic. Heading south, they left Thornhill behind as
they swiftly entered the city of Toronto.

Estee tapped her foot restlessly on the van's carpeted
floor, while she drummed her fingers on the black vinyl
upholstery. "This traffic is really impossible today," she
said. "We're taking Bathurst at a snail's pace. It must be
because it's the first day of school. I'm so glad it's not our

first year. Remember how confusing it was?"

"Yes," Rochel answered. "It will be great to be in grade
ten. This year I really want to get more involved in a lot
of school activities." She paused as the van approached
a busy intersection. "Finally, Wilson Avenue," she ex-
claimed happily. "At least we're more than halfway there
and we're still early."

"Brainstorm!" Shany called out excitedly. "Let's get
out and walk the rest of the way! We can speed walk and
get there in plenty of time."





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