Mazal Tov! Shmuel was finally a chassan. His friends and relatives were joyous and relieved at the same time. Shmuel had been dating for years and he was well over thirty. However, his story was not the typical story of an older single. Biting words that were uttered many years before still lingered in his memory. In fact, he felt goose bumps every time he thought of them. He was sure that these words, so carelessly said, had something to do with his years of suffering and waiting.
Many years before, Shmuel had been a young yeshivah bochur. He was a very serious and orderly person. He seldom participated in the socializing and good-natured bantering that took place in the dorm until the wee hours of the night. He made sure to be in bed every night by 10:00 P.M. so he would be well rested for his learning the next day. This wasn't easy in a dorm full of boisterous yeshivah bochurim. One night, the fifth night of Chanukah, the dorm was particularly noisy. Shmuel tried to fall asleep, but a group of boys had gathered right outside his door and were talking loudly. Shmuel got up and asked the group to relocate themselves, but they laughed and ignored him. Shmuel resignedly returned to bed and lay there, becoming more and more frustrated as time passed. Finally, his anger propelled him to the door once again, where he heard the boys discussing the engagement of one bochur's sister to another bochur who learned in the yeshivah. "My parents were thrilled to hear that not only is he excellent in learning, but he shines in his midos as well," said the brother of the kallah. "And what about your middos? Maybe if you would have better middos, you wouldn't be disturbing my sleep," Shmuel blurted out.
Shmuel was normally even-tempered, but his frustration had caused him to lash out. He calmed down and was about to enter his room and close the door when he heard Leibel's voice. Leibel was known as the class clown and frequently made sarcastic comments. "What about you? Who would ever want you as a son-in-law with your strict rules and orders? Why, you won't get engaged until the Twin Towers fall!
The boys laughed a little, but realized that this comment had been uncalled for. They felt badly and they moved away from Shmuel's room. Shmuel himself felt embarrassed and hurt. He finally had quiet but the price he paid had been too high.
Years later, Shmuel got engaged on September 13, 2001, two days after the Twin Towers collapsed. (Making a Difference)