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A Girl Named 'Toaster'
Her name was Toaster. She was 17 years old, and had a curious habit of snorting hot cocoa mix. Her Rabbi, Rabbi Jesús, who noticed her soft spot for hot cocoa mix always warned her about the dangers surrounding it.
“You know, you could really screw yourself up if you keep doing that hot cocoa nonsense!” he would say. “Be careful!”
“Why does Rabbi Jesús care about my health so much?” She would think. “… Is he coming on to me? I mean, he’s only 40-ish, I guess. Maybe I should make a move…?” Toaster’s hand would slowly and nervously shake through the air in a straight line, her arm completely outstretched, like a soldier. She would begin to caress Rabbi Jesús’ arm.
“I mean, this snorting hot cocoa nonsense is ridiculous! This could really affect- what are you doing?” Toaster was still. The blood drained from her face. Perhaps if she didn’t move, he wouldn’t remember that she was there to begin with, and just move on with his day. She was in too deep. “Toaster? Why are you petting me?”
“Huh?” She said in a trance.
“What?” her arm fell lifelessly, and her eyes darted around.
“What’s the matter with you, young lady? Now, I’m not sure if this hot cocoa thing is a cry out for help or what, but here I am, talking to you-”
“I love you.”
Now, besides being a little indecisive and having a lack of confidence, Toaster had always been a little off-the-beaten-path, a little quirky. Her given name was Charlotte Aaronson, but she chose instead to go with Toaster, for God’s sake. Where you or I would go left, she would go right. Where we would ‘zig’, she would consider ‘zagging’, but ultimately elect to ‘zog’. Falling in love with a middle-aged Rabbi made sense to her. It stood for what she stood for. And standing there in that Rabbi’s office, she realized just how similar she and him were.
“You… you… love me?”
“Well, yeah.” Should I kiss him now?
“What do you mean you love me? I mean, you can’t love me! It- it- it just isn’t right, Toaster! It’s not in the normal nature of things!” I should totally kiss him. “I just… can’t wrap my head around the fact that you-”
And without a say in the matter, Rabbi Jesús was kissing a 17-year-old girl, one he had known since she was in diapers.
“WHAT WAS THAT?”
“What was what?” she responded, this time, without a beat of silence.
“Thatthatthatthat kissing thing! What was that about?”
“We’re in love now.”
“WE’RE? THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS, TOASTER! YOUR PARENTS WOULDN’T LIKE THIS! THE LAW DOESN’T LIKE THIS! HELL, I DON’T LIKE THIS!”
“HONEY?!” Toaster leaned in again, and Rabbi Jesús’s hand shot into the air and held the jawline of the teenager across from him, keeping it in place and far away. “Charlotte Elizabeth Aaronson, get out of my office!”
Her eyes opened, and her lips faded into a gasp. “Don’t call me that.”
“Young lady, you need to calm down. This is disgusting and non-consensual and illegal and most likely, some weird case of – I don’t know – reverse pedophiliac rape. I’m going to call the police, and-”
“You’re going to call the police?!” she panicked.
“What on earth else should I do? I’ve never even imagined that I’d be in a situation even remotely close to what I’m in now! I’m going to call the police!” He whipped out his phone and dialed 9-1-1 as Charlotte stood paralyzed.
“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
Charlotte grabbed the phone, eyes wild, and threw it through the glass window across from her. They were quiet. Rabbi Jesús was still. His eyes avoided Charlotte’s as she scanned his face for any sign of emotion, or intention, or anything. Then, Rabbi Jesus leaped behind Charlotte and sprinted for the door, slamming it behind him, prompting the blinds on the window to tilt and sending papers everywhere. “CHERYL! CALL 9-1-1! TOASTER TRIED TO RAPE ME!” screamed the Rabbi as he frantically scampered past his secretary’s office.
“…What?” she yelled out, half-asleep, as her wrinkled fingers deliberately dialed 9-1-1.
“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
“Hi, yes – I’m at Temple Beth Shalom, and… I think our Rabbi has been hurt by his toaster oven…? Can you send an ambulance, please…?”
Charlotte ran out of the office, and headed for the nearest emergency exit. Breathless, scared, unsure of what she had done and why, she drove herself through the cold metal door of the stairwell, setting off a siren and a slam behind her. She bounded down the stairs, through a set of doors, and out onto the freeway behind the temple, and into the Wendy’s across the way. She slowed herself inside, found the nearest bathroom, and went inside.
Rabbi Jesús sprinted out to the front lawn, where he curled into a ball and cried as he pushed the power button on his phone to reveal a picture of himself and his wife kissing on their honeymoon. The police officers drove up to the temple without seeing him.
A small microwave oven was arrested later that night.