D ini paced Suri’s living room frantically. Suri kept a close eye on her. The minutes dragged on, and Suri began to wonder if the Goldfeders had decided not to come, after all. It had been a short and terse phone call: “Mrs. Goldfeder? Suri Taub speaking. Dini just showed up on my doorstep. She’s not in a good state. I think you should come over right now and take her to the emergency room.”

Nechi had barely spoken. She’d gasped, cried out, and asked for Suri’s address. Then she’d hung up. Twenty long minutes later, and Suri began to wonder. She tried to picture what must be taking place in the Goldfeder home. How Nechi would have surely told her husband about the alarming phone call, and how Mr. Goldfeder would have angrily dismissed the whole thing as a hoax, designed to get them to drop the lawsuit. How Nechi would have wavered, wondering if she dared risk ignoring the call, but ultimately, her husband’s forcefulness would be too much for her…

A timid knock on the door interrupted her thoughts. Suri quickly opened it to find Nechi standing there, dressed impeccably as usual —even at midnight — but with a caught-in-the-headlights expression.

“She’s here?” Nechi asked. Suri noticed that she was avoiding her eyes.

Suri gestured toward the living room. Any attempt at conversation would be beyond awkward, and in this circumstance, Dini’s behavior clearly spoke for itself.

“Mommeee!” Dini nearly jumped a mile when she saw her mother standing in the living room. Racing over, she cried, “Take me out of here, quick! They’re coming, they’re after me, really! Suri won’t let me stay, I mean she won’t let me leave, she’s keeping me here and she won’t let me fight, she wants them to catch me, she wants me in jail, you have to help me!”

Suri caught Nechi’s sidelong glance at her, as if not sure whether to take her daughter seriously.

Impatient, she said, “Dini showed up at my doorstep half an hour ago. How or why she got here I don’t know, but she was yelling that people were after her, chasing her with guns and stuff. She ran into my kitchen and started searching through drawers for my knives. I was able to stop her, baruch Hashem. I don’t want to think about what she might have done with a knife in this state.”

Nechi was staring at Dini in horror.

“Has she ever been like this before?” Suri pressed.

Nechi shook her head slowly. “Not… like this,” she whispered. “She’s been very, uh, hyper before, but this sounds… psychotic.” Her face was white.

Dini had resumed running around the living room. She paused in front of the breakfront, gazing at it intently. Suddenly, she whipped open one of the glass doors so fast, it banged into the bookshelves next to it and the glass shattered.

“Oh, my!” Nechi gasped. “Dini! What’s gotten into you?”

Oblivious, Dini reached into the breakfront. Suri wasn’t sure what she was going for, but she didn’t want to wait to find out. “Stop!” she cried, sprinting over to grab her hand.

“Care to help?” she called out, panting, to Nechi, who seemed dumbstruck. Slowly, Nechi walked over and took Dini’s hand. “Come with me, Dinaleh.” Her voice broke.

At her mother’s touch, Dini calmed. Clutching Nechi’s hand, she gave a shudder that shook her entire body, and then, slowly began walking after her mother. As they neared the door, Nechi turned back uncertainly.

“Suri, I have no right to ask this of you, I know…” She hesitated as Suri braced herself for what was coming. Please keep this whole episode a secret. Even though it might be your ticket to winning the court case.

Nechi’s eyes were pleading. “Do you think you can come with us to the emergency room?” (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 548)