I rolled over in bed and opened my eyes; it was still dark but my phone was ringing. I looked at the clock: 12:30. Who was calling me at 12:30? I should ignore them, it was probably a wrong number, I’m not the type of person you call at 12:30, even an emergency.

“You gonna get that?” Rafi mumbled.

I waited another few seconds. It still rang. I reached for the phone.


“Abby? You up? I guess you’re up, you answered your phone, it’s Chana.” She sounded disoriented, not very Chana-like.

I sat up. “Hi, what’s up?”

“Rivky’s wedding is tomorrow.”

I knew that, first wedding since Shifra’s. Wonder which version of me I’ll be.

“Right,” I said.

“Her ring was incinerated. Not literally incinerated, the stone is out, chips are missing, I have some, not all, it’s a mess. I told Rivky to calm down and go to sleep and I’ll take care of it tomorrow, but that may be too late, and I’m sitting here shvitzing over seating charts and so stressed about this ring, and thought of you. Can you help?” Chana sounded like a mad woman.

Could I help? Most probably.

“Sure, come over to my house, use the second entrance, that’s for my office.”

“See you in a few,” Chana said, and hung up quickly.

“Is someone coming over?” Rafi asked.

“Chana. Her daughter’s wedding’s tomorrow and I don’t know what happened, but basically her ring needs help.”

“And you’re going to save the day?” Rafi asked.

“Whodathunk someone would ever believe I could be their savior.”

We both laughed, then Rafi drifted back off to sleep in nanoseconds — his superpower. I eased myself out of bed.

Minutes later I heard a car rumbling. I ran to the entrance to open it before she could ring the bell. Don’t need Batsheva waking.

Chana had dark circles under her eyes. She shuffled in and took a seat.

“Coffee? Danishes?” I offered. I had a few left from a meeting that I’d forgotten to bring back to the house for Rafi to munch on. I was surprised but pleased when she said yes.

Chana laid a Ziploc bag on the table. “It’s worse than I described. It was crazy, we just left the ice cream store after a last-hurrah party, Rivky took it off to show me something on it, but my hands were slippery and I dropped it when she gave it to me, it bounced and then a garbage truck rode over it. Seriously, a garbage truck, one of those private company pick-up-at-night ones, Lamangino Brothers — totally the Mafia.” (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 578)