Shmuel squinted at the computer screen. “Are those the film scenes from the camp?”

Gabriella, who’d been obsessively reviewing and taking notes on her documentary footage ever since she’d returned from overseas, answered without looking up.

“No. Rina has that footage. Keeping it under lock and key, no doubt, so that I don’t try to steal it in the middle of the night and make nasty changes.”

Her voice came out more bitter than she’d intended, and her husband raised an eyebrow as he approached the computer screen.

“Then what’s this you’ve been so busy with since you came back?”

There was something in his tone that made her look up and give him a searching glance. Was Shmuel implying that she’d been too preoccupied with her work since coming home? That she was neglecting her family? And was he right?

With a softened voice, she said, “This is my documentary, the one Doug from my film school requested. Now that there’s a lull between shoots, I wanted to get some work done on it.”

He bent over the computer desk. “Can I see?”

She hesitated. “It’s really not in shape now — just a bunch of interviews.”

“Okay, never mind.”

Gabriella’s focus was once again at the screen, so it took her a second to register the fleeting expression she’d caught on Shmuel’s face before she’d turned away. But then she realized — her husband felt hurt.

She had been neglecting him.

Gabriella closed the video screen and looked up. “Hey, come sit down. I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve spoken. Do you want to see some of the pictures I took in Bulgaria?”

Shmuel sat down. “Sure. Especially since I assume I’ll never get there myself.”

“Never say never.” Gabriella laughed. “If you’d told me last year that I’d be in Bulgaria this summer — of all the countries in the world! France, maybe. Italy, Switzerland — hey, a girl can dream, and I’ve always wanted to tour Europe. But Bulgaria?” She shrugged, then added, “I wish you would’ve come with me, though.”

“We’ll just say you owe me, then.”

“Big time!” She shook her head. “After what you did for me this summer…”

“One of these days, when the kids are old enough to babysit themselves, we’ll go on that European tour together.”

Gabriella winked. “When we make our fortune.”

“When? Lady, aren’t you about to strike it rich at the box office?”

Gabriella couldn’t help it. She didn’t know if Shmuel was serious or not, but, after all her frustrations with Rina and this film, the comment was just too comical. She began to giggle uncontrollably, until Shmuel said, “Hey, it wasn’t that funny.”

“Maybe you should go into stand-up,” Gabriella gasped. “That’s how we’ll make our millions.” It took her a few more moments to calm down. “Wow, did I need that,” she said, suddenly feeling much lighter.

Shmuel frowned. “You’ve been working too hard. You used to relax in the evenings after the kids were asleep, and now you’re spending every moment at the computer. It can’t be good for you.”

Gabriella quickly sat up. “No, that’s not it. This is good for me. Don’t you see? It’s exactly what I’ve been missing. I used to not know what to do with myself at night, once my mommying for the day was over, and I hated that feeling. Now, I finally have something meaningful going on in my life.”

Shmuel raised his eyebrows. “As opposed to only being a wife and mother.”

Gabriella sighed. “You know that’s not what I meant. I meant — ah, you wouldn’t understand.”

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 621)