Amanda Quinn was cooling her jealousy on the rooftop of Time—Manila’s (not very) secret hotspot—when she got the call. She scoped out the gathering storm while avoiding a despedida for a friend: pregnancy whisking another smart, funny, foreign woman back to her home country.
Black clouds marched from the east, blowing the venue’s red paper lanterns like baubles. The air beaded against her skin in acid sweat. Her tank pinched her ribs. Danny had a thing for structure in women’s fashion.
She checked her watch. He said he’d be here any minute, but she knew he wouldn’t be. Of course, if she’d had a child from her earlier pregnancies, she couldn’t be up here, feigning intimacy with people she barely knew.
Terry grunted, rummaging in her backpack for her Greek-English dictionary. Instead, she found her latest journal. Flipped it open, jotted down: Marina, Goddess of the Sea. A bit too old and fat to be a siren. What about me? Twenty-ninth birthday yesterday, no man in sight, to Mom’s despair.
The baby moves again, in quick, tiny motions. They are giving her two more weeks to grow, then forcing her out. She will be fine, they say, you will be fine. Everything will be fine. I want to believe them.
Sarah Kessler had her first real encounter with Rick Wolfson when he hit her leg with his gym bag at the West Side Nursery School. She had noticed him before of course, not because he was particularly handsome but because he had dark eyes and reckless hair and the sweaty intensity of an unsatisfied appetite. That Rick was married to a small-busted and well-assembled Wall Street banker who seemed unworthy of her husband’s bohemian charm only increased his value. As Sarah knew from experience, it was easier to fantasize about unhappy men.