‘Other Women’ by Nicholas Montemarano


Black Spot I, Wassily Kandinsky, 1912

From Five Chapters:

It had to be their son.

That was my first thought when Peter called early that cold March morning to say that there was an emergency and could I come over right away.

Before I could say yes, I’d be right there, he said, “We’re in the middle of a crisis here,” and that’s how I knew—that word, crisis, which I associate more with adults than children—that he was talking about him and Diana.

“I’ve been having an affair,” he told me.

“Okay, wow, okay,” I said, trying to sound and be calm.

“I told Diana, and she’s a mess, and Yo is crying, and we need help.”

“I’ll be there in ten minutes,” I said.

I’d said yes without knowing what day it was, what time Michael was teaching, and who was going to bring Emma to school.

Emma was still sleeping in bed beside Michael, who was prepping class, notes on his lap, reading glasses on the edge of his nose. He’d been teaching for five years—he would come up for tenure the following spring—but still got nervous before class. The location of his glasses made him look older than he was—he was thirty-eight then, and I was forty—and I wanted him to push them up on his nose.

I walked quietly to his side of the bed and whispered that Peter and Diana were in trouble and I needed to go over to their house.

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