Girls Girls Girls

Cady Vishniac
| Fiction


“You don’t even know that’s what she means,” says Brianna. “You need help with that thing?” She’s eating one of the cookies, smiling with her cheeks full. In moments like this one, Elkie is intensely jealous of her friend’s uncomplicated relationship with food. “These came out so great.” Brianna’s tank top is cut low, her shorts so short that her thighs make sticky sounds against the imitation leather of the couch.

“Can you tell me what this is?” Elkie hands her the phone, open to the message from Don’s wife.

Brianna looks, then she launches herself across the couch, looping her strong arms around Elkie’s back. “I’m so sorry.”

קענסטו מיר העלפֿן
asks Elkie’s grandmother, then she whispers,
.איך דאַרף פּישן

She’s leaning forward in her chair, as if she wants to get up and hug Elkie too.

“Don’t worry, Grandma. Brianna’s overreacting.”

Brianna pulls back with her hands still gripping Elkie’s arms.

“You’re always talking about this guy. You’re not like the tiniest bit sad?”

“She’s just making it up. She must have caught him.” Elkie’s stomach growls, and she decides she’s earned a cookie. She reaches over to grab one, which has the added bonus of forcing Brianna to release her.

Brianna gives Elkie her serious look. “Most people don’t make up dead husbands.”

“She’s not most people. Don’t make that face.” Elkie recalls all the crying Don has done over his wife when he’s with Elkie, how many times his wife has threatened suicide. She’s manipulative.

אָט איז אַן אמתע נויטפֿאַל
says Elkie’s grandmother.

Cady Vishniac studies Yiddish and Hebrew at the University of Michigan. Her work has won the contests at New Letters, Mid-American Review, Greensboro Review, and Ninth Letter, and is forthcoming in Glimmer Train.

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