Read How to Ruin Series Part 125

How to Ruin Series is a web novel made by Simone Elkeles.
This webnovel is currently completed.

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Read WebNovel How to Ruin Series Part 125

I signed up for PJSN … you know, the Professional Jewish Singles Network. It’s a dating service. And I did it for my dad.”

The rabbi’s eyebrows raise up. “You signed your father up for a dating service without his permission?”

I nod. “He needs a wife.”

Rabbi Gla.s.sman sighs, then says in a quiet voice, “Amy, sometimes you have to let people choose their own paths in life.”

“Yeah, but what if they’re taking the wrong one?”

“Everyone makes mistakes. Even rabbis.

We’re all human.”

I seem to be making more than my share of human mistakes lately. “So you’re saying I should let my dad live his life alone and lonely?”

“Nonsense. He has you, doesn’t he?

Some things aren’t measured by their size, but by their importance.”

“That’s very philosophical, Rabbi,” I say, smiling.

“You caught me on a good day.”

I bite the inside of my cheek. “I haven’t had a lot of those lately.”

“Ah, but you can’t appreciate a great day unless you’ve experienced bad ones.”

“Like Jonah had when G.o.d made the whale eat him?”

“I see you’ve been studying for cla.s.s.”

I lean forward and whisper, “Yeah, although I don’t really buy it all, Rabbi.

It’s a little far-fetched for me, if you know what I mean. Can I still be a Jew if my brain can’t grasp around certain Bible stories?”

The reason I can talk to Rabbi Gla.s.sman honestly is because he’s never judged me or laughed at my opinions or arguments in cla.s.s. He makes me feel like everything I have to say is really important and smart.

Even when I’m disagreeing with him.

Rabbi Gla.s.sman leans forward and whispers back, “Amy, I think it’s far- fetched, too.”

My mouth goes wide. “You do? Don’t worry, Rabbi. Your secret is safe with me.”

Rabbi Gla.s.sman smiles and says, “I think it all comes down to faith and trust.”

“In people?” I ask.

He shrugs, as if he doesn’t have all the answers to all of his questions. “In people … in G.o.d … in yourself. Do you think you have faith and trust?”

I look up at him. “Should I answer that now?”

My rabbi shakes his head. “I don’t know if you’re ready to answer that yet. Why don’t you think about it for a while and get back to me when you’re … let’s say …

twenty years old.”

I stand up, taking in all the information Rabbi Gla.s.sman gave me as I leave his office. “See you at cla.s.s, Rabbi,” I call over my shoulder. “And thanks for the talk.”

“Any time,” he calls back.

Five minutes later, I’m in conversion cla.s.s with five other people. Even though my father is Jewish, my mother isn’t. I’ve lived with my mom most of my life, and she raised me without any religion. I went to Israel this past summer and realized I was missing something in my life: being Jewish. So I’m learning as much about my faith as I can.

Hence the conversion cla.s.s.

We meet once a week. Rabbi Gla.s.sman has us read stories from the Bible and we discuss our opinions and reflect on the meaning or lessons behind the stories. He also teaches us about the different Jewish holidays and laws. The rabbi says a lot of Judaism comes from traditions. Since I don’t really have any Jewish traditions, I’m going to have to make up some myself.

Back at home, I take Mutt out then walk over to Perk Me Up! Yes, I’m officially a Perk Me Up! employee, thanks to my father and Marla. My punishment is a job at my favorite cafe, and I’m not thrilled about it.

Marla greets me with a huge smile.

“Nice to see we’re all perky this evening.”

“It’s been a long day.”

“Oh, then maybe I’ll just have you sweep floors and wipe off tables so you don’t have to interact with the customers.”

I put a fake smile on my face.

“Thatta girl,” Marla says. “That’s what my customers like to see.”

Marla directs me behind the counter, has me sign forms, then holds out a yellow ap.r.o.n. “Here, put this on. You can shadow me until your shift ends.”

Yellow isn’t really my color, but I hang the sunshiny thing around my neck and tie the wrap at my waist without complaint.

Even though it’s seven o’clock, there are still customers hanging out and ordering pastries. They’re even drinking coffee this late, especially the ones who pull all- nighters.

The most all-nighters I see are lawyers.

The ones who have to head to court in the morning or prepare for what they call depositions. Do you think the money they make is worth it for the amount of sleep they’re missing? There’s no way I could ever be a lawyer. I like my sleep too much.

After fifteen minutes, Marla hands me a white rag with antibacterial stuff on it and tells me to wipe off the tables.

I was really hoping to hide behind the counter all night until my shift was up, but Marla’s having none of that. I’m just thankful she hasn’t asked me to clean out the bathrooms so I shuffle over to the tables and start wiping them off.

I start cleaning the private nook where a couch and two cushy chairs are located, then I freeze. Sitting in the chair, reading, is none other than Nathan Keener’s-not my-last-name Greyson. He looks up and I can tell he’s about as thrilled to see me as I am to see him. The cup stops short of his lips.

Ignoring the urge to confront him about spreading rumors about me, I hurriedly wipe his table before he sets whatever he’s drinking back down.

“You missed a spot,” Nathan mumbles. I huff. I did not miss a spot.

“All the tables are clean,” I tell Marla back at the register.

She seems pleased as she does an eye scan of the cafe. For the next thirty minutes, Marla gives me the rundown on how to make the espressos, cold drinks, blended drinks, and tells me the particulars of some of her customers. She also explains how to use the cash register. I’m dizzy from the information overload, but I think I got it.

Or at the very least I’ll make it look like I got it.

“You think you can hold down the fort for five minutes while I call in an order for more cups?” Marla asks. “And don’t forget to smile. Remember, the cafe is called Perk Me Up!”

Just call me the Smiling Barista Extraordinare. Well, not really-I don’t know how to “garnish,” as Marla puts it, with cinnamon, nutmeg, and other fancy stuff. I’ve been hanging out at Perk Me Up!

ever since I moved in with my dad, so I pretty much know the basic routine. It’s the non-basic that throws me off.

While I’m counting how many cups we have left, the door to the cafe opens.

My first real customer. I smile and look up then relax as I realize who my customer is.

My dad.

“Welcome to Perk Me Up!” I tell him in an overly formal tone. “Can I help you?”

He walks up to the counter and surveys the scene. “You look good as a working woman,” he says, looking proud.

“Cut the c.r.a.p. What do you want?”

I hear a gasp beside me. Oops, it’s Marla. And she can’t see I’m talking to my dad instead of a real customer. “Amy!” she chastises.

But when she reaches me, she breathes a sigh of relief.

“Boy, you’ve got tough employees,” my dad says, then gives Marla a wink. “Okay, Amy, give me a large cup of your house coffee, black, with a shot of espresso.”

“You’re never gonna fall asleep,” I tell him.

“Good. I’ve got a lot of work to do tonight.”

It’s a wonder my father isn’t a lawyer.

He never tells me the specifics of his work. I guess it’s cool that he’s got a top- secret job, so I don’t bug him about working late.

I pour the mixture into a cup while Marla watches me closely. She smiles as I finish; then I hand it to my dad. He takes a sip right away, not even waiting for it to cool off. “Best-tasting coffee I’ve ever had in my life,” he tells Marla, his overzealous reaction totally obvious.

I roll my eyes. “Aba, go sit down already.”

“Why don’t you join him,” Marla says.

“Your shift is over.”

“I’ve only been here an hour. How can it be over?”

“That’s our deal,” my dad chimes in.

“An hour a day on the weekdays, three hours on Sundays. I didn’t want it to interfere with your schoolwork.”

Eight hours a week isn’t so bad, especially because I’ll still have my nights free.

I hand Marla my yellow ap.r.o.n, but she says to bring it back tomorrow when I work. Then I grab my purse from the locked cabinet and sit down with my dad at one of the tables.

My dad takes out mail from his briefcase and starts rummaging through it.

I’m craning my neck to see if there’s a letter from Avi. It’s been over two weeks since I’ve gotten one. It’s unlike him.

“Well?” I ask.

My dad has this mischievous smile that gives it away.

I hold my hand out. “Give.”

He holds out a letter and I s.n.a.t.c.h it out of his hand. My heart skips a beat and my stomach feels like little b.u.t.terflies are flying around inside me as I run my fingers over the return address.

Since Avi and I have this long-distance relationship, I get insecure. When I’m in bed at night, thinking about how much I miss him, I wonder: Did he forget about me? Has he met someone else who’s cuter or nicer or just … doesn’t have as many hang-ups as me?

I’m feeling a bit better as I rip open the letter, but then notice my dad staring at me … gauging my reaction.

“Why don’t you read it out loud,” he suggests.

“Yeah, right,” I say sarcastically. I stick the letter in my pocket, I’ll read it later when I’m in bed … alone.

“Wait!” Marla calls out as we’re about to leave. She’s holding a backpack. “Do you know that boy who was sitting on one of the chairs over there? He left this.”

“It’s Nathan’s,” I say. “I’m sure he’ll realize it and come back to get it.”

“Don’t be silly, Amy,” my dad says.

“You can return it to him on the way home.”


Deborah was a great prophetess of Israel, even led Israel for a time (Judges 4:4).

She ordered a man named Barak (relation to me, perhaps?) to take ten thousand men into battle.

Barak told Deborah that he’d only do it if Deborah came with him. Kind of parallels my life, doesn’t it? Also reinforces that men need women to back them up.

I want to protest, but the backpack is being shoved into my hands. “Dad, I’m sure he’ll come back to get it once he realizes-“


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