ina leaned across the desk and peered at the large computer monitor in Cassie’s office. It was fascinating the way the editing process worked.

Last week, Cassie had explained it to her. First, she imported all of Connor’s footage into her editing program, organizing it by scenes. Then the fun part began, as she sorted through the various shots to find the best ones, piecing them together to create a unified visual, deciding on the order and juxtaposition of the shots. Rina hadn’t realized how much artistry was involved in the process; she made the mistake of saying so now, in front of Cassie and Gabriella.

After spending last week alone with Cassie (the video editor had offered her the option of sitting with her while she edited, and it was a no-brainer for Rina; of course she wanted maximum input), today was Gabriella’s first time joining them.

Rina still didn’t know what Gabriella had been mysteriously busy with last week, but her suspicions that Gabriella was just giving an excuse had turned out to be groundless. Gabriella had certainly seemed eager to be part of the editing process, calling her evenings to find out how things were going, assuring Rina several times that she’d be joining them the following Monday.

Though Rina would have been reassured by Gabriella’s presence the first few days when she felt like a total neophyte, and had to request from Cassie a very basic beginner’s tutorial on video editing, by the end of the week she and Cassie had gotten into a groove — Cassie showing her options, Rina choosing, both of them revising several times until they got what Rina thought was an excellent finished product. They’d already gone through the first ten scenes, and Rina thought they were making good progress.

And now Gabriella had arrived, and the groove was gone.

Rina tried to be friendly, tried to pretend that everything was great between them, at least in front of Cassie. And so, she made her innocent comment soon after Gabriella arrived.

“Glad that you’re here! Cassie’s been doing a fabulous job, we’ve been having such a fun time with the editing. I never realized how much creativity is involved in this part of the process!”

Cassie simply smiled, but Gabriella raised an eyebrow. “Of course. Post-production — editing, sound, color grading — is what makes a film. It takes a lot of talent and hundreds of hours of hard work to do it right.”

Rina pursed her lips. No need to get all snooty here.

Cassie was looking at Gabriella. “Sounds like you have experience. Have you ever done editing?”

“I learned it in film school,” she said, with the superior tone that made Rina cringe. “And I recently completed a documentary I made myself, nuts to bolts.”

Ahhh. The documentary. Now Rina understood.

Cassie looked impressed. “Wow, you made it all yourself? Camera, script, editing, everything? That’s not easy.”

Gabriella beamed with pride. Rina stared at her curiously. Yes, she’d known of course that Gabriella had produced her documentary single-handedly — Gabriella had spoken about it enough over the past half a year. But until this moment, when she’d heard the praise of a professional, she hadn’t quite understood what an accomplishment that was. Or how hard it must have been for Gabriella to give it up.

For the first time, she felt guilty.

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 640)