FICTION AT MERCY / Tess Gallagher IN HIS OVER- SIZED V-necked sweater, sitting in front of the cold fireplace, he looked, she thought, like a bleak husband. She reaUzed she had never thought of him as a husband at all, until the phone call that morning. It had been one of his students calling to say her couch was for sale. should be stranded on the hard bricks with the mound of ashes to one side. That call had changed everything. It seemed right to her now that he "Mrs. Rolland?" the voice had asked that morning, and although she couldn't abide a lie under the most innocent of circumstances, she had who were only trying to do their jobs. She had thought the call was from the furniture people concerning delivery of the new table. For that one moment, she had been Mrs. Robert Rolland. said, "Yes?" After all, she did not want to confuse professional people "I think I met you," the voice said. "Last week at the ballet." "Oh, I don't think so," Esther had said quickly, then, unbelievably, "What did I look like?" Her heart had begun to quaver. The voice on the other
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1981
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