ina felt unaccountably nervous as she invited Gabriella to sit in her living room. The way Gabriella had called her yesterday to request a meeting — it had sounded so formal. Especially because she’d specifically requested Huvy be there too.

Rina didn’t know what exactly happened between Huvy and Gabriella the other day. She’d been extremely wary about letting Huvy go out with her, and when Huvy had returned wound up, she’d regretted not putting her foot down. But since then, Huvy had calmed down, and seemed to be more at peace than she had been in a long time.

Now she watched as Gabriella smiled at Huvy, and Huvy beamed back. So things had straightened out between them. That was a good thing — right?

Gabriella cleared her throat. “I came over today because I wanted to show you something.” She took out her laptop. Rina eyed Gabriella suspiciously. If this was about that documentary again….

Gabriella turned the screen to the two of them. “You never got to see the whole documentary,” she said to Rina. “Huvy, I don’t think you saw any of it. So I’d like you to watch it now. Don’t worry,” she added with a faint blush. “It’s revised.”

Rina wondered whether she could trust that. Then Gabriella pressed Play, and, despite herself, Rina leaned forward curiously.

The film opened in a burst of music. There were the girls, practicing the opening sequence. She smiled at the memory. There was Dini, talking about how proud she was to be the star of the show; Malka, discussing their practice schedule, and how she’d found herself becoming more disciplined in other areas of her life as a result. And Connor, relating his impressions of the cast, his doubts when he first met them, and how he’d seen them blossom over time into a truly capable, confident group.

Nowhere did Rina actually speak, but her imprint was all over the film. Gabriella had portrayed her as an influencer, an innovator, and, now that all the uncomfortable Huvy interviews had been taken out, Rina could at last appreciate what Gabriella had been trying to tell her all along. The documentary was generally very warm and positive.

She vaguely heard the front door opening, but she was so focused on the screen in front of her that when a deep male voice said, “What’s this?” she literally jumped.

“Heshy!” she shrieked, putting a hand on her heart. “You— you’re home! Early! For dinner!” There was no reason for her to be flustered, certainly no reason to feel guilty about Gabriella being here, and yet, oddly, she felt both.

Heshy’s eyes were narrowed as he looked at Gabriella. “I didn’t realize you had company.”

Rina tried to compose herself. “Gabriella — I don’t know if you two have met? — came over to discuss something with me and Huvy. We’ll be finished soon.”

Gabriella nodded at Heshy. Heshy gave her a cold head jerk in return, then walked over to the bookcases and stood contemplating the seforim.

Heshy doesn’t trust me to handle myself with her, Rina thought. She didn’t know if she should be offended, or grateful that her husband had her back.

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 647)