Spring 2013 • Vol. XXXV No. 2 FictionApril 1, 2013 |

Hindsight

Clare and her oldest friend from college had been planning this visit for the past three months. But only yesterday, her arms full of towels and pillows, Clare realized that it was too soon for her husband's study to become a guest room. First she needed to talk through her anguish and anger at finding him there, slumped over his desk beside the empty vials of pills, finding his folded note that said "Clare." Today, Brenda was driving her rental car down from Maine, where she'd been camping with her youngest son and his girlfriend. The young couple would be staying behind in Castine for another week. That had been the plan, so Clare was startled to see three people outside of her back gate—Brenda, but also Brenda's son and a girl—looking irritable and unwashed. She tried to hide her dismay as Brenda said "Oh Clare," and folded her into strong arms. Nate hung back for a long moment, then stepped forward to introduce a shyly nodding Rebecca. The girl was runner thin—noti

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Pamela Painter is the author of three story collections, Wouldn't You Like to Know, Getting to Know the Weather, which won the GLCA Award for First Fiction, and The Long and Short of It. She is also the co-author of What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers. Her stories have appeared in Atlantic, Five Points, Harper’s, The Kenyon Review, Missouri Review, Ploughshares, and SmokeLong Quarterly among others and in numerous anthologies. She has received a grant from the NEA, and has won three Pushcart Prizes and Agni Review’s The John Cheever Award for Fiction. Painter lives in Boston and teaches at Emerson College.

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