T

he office phone and her cell phone rang simultaneously. Suri’s hand wavered between the two. A glance at her cell phone screen told her it was her father’s aide. The office phone might be a new client.

The client always comes first, she thought, pursing her lips as she snatched at the landline.

“Big Bounce Therapy, how can I help you?” She typed in the details of the new client, while at the same time reading the text that Jackie, the aide, had just sent.

Couldn’t rch you by phone. Dad’s refusing to eat again. Plz call.

Suri dug her fingernails into her hand. She and her siblings had all agreed that assisted living would be the best move for Tatty. He needed social stimulation and an accessible minyan. With Mommy gone, he had just been sitting at home, depressed, not even interested in going to their houses for Shabbos. All in all, the move had been a good one… except when he had his fits of — well, she hated to say it, but childish stubbornness.

In such circumstances, she, the youngest, Daddy’s girl ever since she was a kid, was the only one he’d listen to. She sighed. She’d have to make the trip intoBrooklynafter work.

Yael walked in as Suri was texting Jackie to expect her within the next few hours.

“How’d your day go?” she asked, watching Yael put her files away. She always felt a little sorry for the younger woman; it was easy to get bulldozed by Aviva if you didn’t know how to stand up for yourself, and Yael seemed to cower whenever Aviva looked her way.

Yael shrugged. “Okay.” She looked like she wanted to say more, but instead went back to her files.

“We just got a call for a new OT case,” Suri continued. “What’s your schedule like?”

Yael was still facing the file cabinet. “Just had a spot open up,” she murmured.

“Yeah?” Suri clicked on the schedule screen. “Who finished?”

“Fried.”

“Already? Didn’t they just start a few weeks ago?”

Yael took a moment to answer. “She… uh… said she wants to end it.”

“Oh,” said Suri uncomfortably. She tapped on the keyboard. Should she ask? “Did she say why?”

“Of course.” Yael turned in her direction. “Because her daughter is miraculously cured of all fine motor deficits. She wants to nominate me OT of the century.”

Suri gave an uncertain smile. Was that sarcasm? She didn’t know Yael well enough to tell.

Yael sighed. “The dark and ugly truth? She says I messed up big time in my diagnosis and she wants to find an OT who knows what she’s doing. What do you say, should I quit?”

Suri blinked. “That’s quite a jump.” Good thing Aviva’s not here. She stood up and walked over.

“I do think you should go out and treat yourself to a nice, big iced coffee. With caramel and a scoop of ice cream. It’s what I always do to get over rejection.” Well, actually, I curl up in bed, head buried under my pillow.