R afi and I were in my workshop. I was making links for a basic cable chain. Rafi likes to watch, he thinks it’s cool for some reason. I was supposedly telling him about my day; really, I was ranting.

“Seriously? They called me in for a meeting for that? We could’ve just had a phone conversation. Yes, Daniel’s miserable, yes, the move messed him over. No, I don’t think he’s depressed. I mean, I appreciate the school being on top of it — that’s super important — but I dunno, the whole presentation was a bit much for me.”

Rafi nodded kindly. “So what are they doing?” he asked.

“Nothing. Just making sure we’re on the same page, parents aren’t in denial, and we’ll be in touch.” I started wrapping gold wire around a one-centimeter dowel that was attached to a hand drill. The hand drill makes making a coil easier. I’m strong, but no need to waste my energy.

Rafi nodded again, he looked a little sympathetic this time. “Yeah, for you, a phone call would’ve been better.”

“Thank you.” So nice to be understood. I changed the subject. “Shifra popped in this morning.” He waited. I finished wrapping the wire, pulled the gold coil off the dowel, and reached for my jeweler’s saw.

“Don’t stop. Didn’t your mother teach you it’s not nice to tease people?” Rafi clicked open QuickBooks on my PC.

I looked up at him and put the saw aside. “She wants to bring her guy over sometime this week.”

“For my approval?” He frowned as he said that, but the frown was for the sorry state of my bookkeeping, I knew.

“Nope. She’s kinda past that. More like a preview.” I picked up the saw and positioned the coil against the bench anvil so the side was exposed.

“She’s getting engaged!” Rafi stepped away from the computer, thank G-d.

“That’s what she said.” I began sawing, links falling into my lap, one at a time.

“Wow! That’s huge!”

I nodded. “Yup.”

“You’re being weird. You should be more excited.” He started leaning back toward the screen, not a good thing.

I put the saw down, though I still wasn’t done. “I know, I don’t know what it is.”

“Okay, gimme a second to be excited for you.” He jumped up and waved his hands a bit.

I laughed.

“Wow, wow, this is huge. I’ll finally have a real ‘wife’s friend’s husband.’ I hope I like him.” He pressed print on some report. Oh, no.

“You like everyone.”

“Good point.”

I gathered all the links in my lap, picked up one link to examine it, then slipped another link through it, and closed it with flat-nosed pliers. I then added the next link and closed it, and the next and next. “I must make a friend.”

“Non sequitur much?”

“No, I’m just thinking everything is gonna change, not that I’ll lose Shifra, but maybe I’ll lose her for a while. Even when she settles it’ll be different than it was before. I don’t know… I need more friends.”

“I thought we already had a deal?” Rafi gathered the papers and even my books couldn’t keep him from smiling.

I gave a half laugh. “You’re right, I’m going to make a friend, now stop talking about it before I cut off my nose to spite my chin.”

Rafi’s turn to laugh, and he left. I finished the links; the soldering would have to wait. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 557)