S uri was in the middle of a therapy session, the first day back at work after Pesach, when the phone call came.

“Goldfeder’s lawyer,” Shira mouthed when Suri raised her eyebrows at the interruption.

Suri was tempted, oh, so tempted, to send a message that she was busy, that he should call back in a half hour. She really did not have the stomach to deal with whatever Goldfeder’s lawyer had to say. But she decided it was unwise to play the arrogant professional to the other side’s legal team. So, with a hasty apology to the client and her mother, she took the call.

She returned five minutes later, a wide smile on her face.


“Wait, wait, start from the beginning! I want to hear every detail!”

Aviva leaned forward on her couch, looking more animated than Suri had seen her in a long time. No, she thought, animated wasn’t the word. Aviva was often excited, but now, Suri realized as she watched Aviva stroke little Yerachmiel, who was sleeping in her arms, there was something else there as well. The strain was gone from her face. She looked at peace with herself.

Suri thought back to the last time she’d seen Aviva, at the bris. She’d been nervous to contact her afterward, realizing Aviva clearly needed space. But now, a few weeks later, it was obvious that some sort of change had taken place.

Meanwhile, Aviva was eagerly digesting Suri’s news. “So, you actually went to their house and apologized? I could never have done that!”

“What are you talking about? You would’ve been much more confident walking into their house than I was. I’m telling you, I nearly went straight back home!”

Aviva waved her hand. “I meant I could never have apologized. That takes guts.”

Suri adjusted her glasses uncomfortably.

“Yeah, well, I wasn’t really sure how it went over. Nechi was all gracious about accepting my apology, of course. Accepting!” She shook her head. “Didn’t even occur to her that maybe I deserved one also. And her husband… forget about it. He still looked like he wanted to throttle me when I left.”

Suri’s eyes twinkled. “Yet then, today, I get this call. ‘My clients have decided to drop all charges.’ I nearly fainted!”

Aviva laughed in delight. “Unbelievable! Your apology really did do the trick, after all. Or maybe it was the fact that you saved their daughter’s life?” That look of admiration was back. “Suri, you did it. I know I wasn’t as involved as I should have been, and you had to handle this all on your own.”

Suri squirmed. “Yeah, well, I got us into this mess all on my own, too.”

Aviva ignored that. “So, how are things going at the clinic? Are people still scared away?”

Suri grinned. Yet another thing that had gone right today. “Shira actually told me that she got a few calls today. You know it always gets busy right after Pesach. Baruch Hashem, no lasting damage, it seems.”

Aviva shifted Yerachmiel to her other arm. “Gosh, I can’t wait to get back! It’s been forever!” She looked down at the baby, a wry smile flitting across her face. “He’s the sweetest, but I’m desperate to get back to work. I’m actually thinking of cutting short my maternity leave.”

Suri was conscious of a sudden clenching inside, and that old nasally voice saying, “Here she goes again with all her kvetching, totally oblivious to the fact that there are women who would give anything to be home on maternity leave.” But for some reason, when she batted away the voice, it didn’t return. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 552)