ina leaned against her front door, arms laden with shopping bags, and pressed the doorbell with her elbow. While waiting for someone to answer, she squinted at her phone.

A text from Gabriella: When’s Jen starting?

Rina furrowed her brow. Jen? And then she remembered: Jen was the video editor Gabriella had wanted to hire. Some friend of hers from film school. They’d worked well together; Jen was good at understanding Gabriella’s artistic vision. And she was even available at the beginning of February. Gabriella had already checked.

Rina had nodded and taken Jen’s number, but she knew she wasn’t going to hire Jen if she could help it. She didn’t need the two buddies huddled together for the entire post-production, Jen executing Gabriella’s artistic vision perfectly, while Rina was left out in the cold.

Instead, Rina had quietly approached Connor and asked him for names of editors he could personally recommend. He’d given her a few names. Cassie was available for their time range and, in their phone conversation, had seemed to appreciate Rina’s aesthetic concepts. Rina had hired her on the spot.

But now she realized that, in the bustle of their preparations for Bulgaria, she’d forgotten to inform Gabriella.

Rina rang the bell again. Her bags were getting heavy; she’d overdone it a bit on the purchases, but there was nothing like a good dose of shopping to relieve stress. The door finally swung open.

Rina’s eyes opened wide. “Heshy? What’re you doing home so early?” She dropped her bags and glanced at her watch. Six o’clock. “What’s wrong?”

“Everything’s fine.”

Atara and Huvy ran over. “Ooh, let me see!” Atara started opening some bags, while Huvy carried the others inside.

Rina ignored them, and stared at her husband. “So…” she prompted.

He gave an almost boyish shrug. “I thought I’d come home for dinner for a change. Considering you just got back from your trip.”

Rina’s mouth dropped. “Really?” She started to glow, but then stopped. No, there must be something more. “Everything okay at work?”

“Of course. A man’s not allowed to eat dinner with his family?”

Atara snickered. “Tatty, you’ve never eaten dinner with us on a weekday.”

Heshy frowned at her. “Well, I am, now. Any chance we can start? I need to get back to work in an hour.”

Rina wasn’t quite sure what to make of this, but, thankful that she’d made dinner before going out, she said, “Sure, let’s go eat,” and headed toward the kitchen.

Behind her, she heard Atara whisper to Huvy, “I bet Tatty’s been listening to one of those shalom bayis shiurim about spending more time with your family.”

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 639)