The Morning Following the Discovery of the Affair ‹ Literary Hub


Hannah CALLS Trish

Hannah wakes up early and is immediately alert. From the apartment next door, she can hear a mans muffled singing. Pancho and Lefty? Candle in the Wind? She dials Trishs number.

Trish: Its early. Are you okay?

Hannah: Its six a.m. Yeah. Its early. Do you have a minute?

Trish: Youre in the city, right? Ill see you tonight, right?

Hannah: Can I ask you something?

Trish: Your book launch party is tonight, isnt it? I have the best outfit.

Hannah: Quick question.

Trish: Is everything okay? You sound distracted.

Hannah: Maybe so. Im concerned about Patrick.

Trish: You are?

Hannah: I am.

Trish: Why? Has something happened to him?

Hannah: Do you think something has happened to him?

Trish: Like what?

Hannah: I think something really bad has happened to him.

Trish: Oh my god.

Hannah: I think he had sex with someone.

Trish: You do?

Hannah: Yeah.

Trish: Why do you think that?

Hannah: I think he had sex with you.

Trish: Thats crazy.

Hannah: Did you have sex with him?


Hannah: Hello?


Hannah: Can you hear me?

Trish: This is probably a conversation you should be having with your husband.

Hannah: Please dont use that word with me.

Trish: What word?

Hannah: Husband. Are you going to answer my question?

Trish: You should talk to Patrick.

Hannah: Im hanging up.

Trish: He told me youve always been jealous of me.

Hannah: Its just like him to get a word wrong. Youll figure that out soon enough. Hes smart but not that smart. Hes sloppy with language.

Trish: He says youve always been terrified of this happening.

Hannah: His memory is even lousier than his vocabulary. Ive never trusted you. Not trusting a person is different from being jealous.

Trish: I think he did this on purpose. To drive a wedge between us.

Hannah: I feel sorry for you.

Trish: Hes a dick.

Hannah: Youre playing this all wrong.

Trish: Im not playing.

Hannah: Thank you for your honesty. I appreciate you telling me the truth.

Trish: Do you want me to have him call you?

Hannah: Im hanging up for real now.


Several hours later: A phone call from Patrick

Its early afternoon. Hannah is alone in Hughs apartment. She feels like a caged animal, pacing and sitting and pacing again, but she knows better than to be caught off guard and in public when Patrick finally calls, which he ultimately does sometime after lunch.

Patrick: So?

Hannah: You sound angry.

Patrick: You talked to Trish?

Hannah: Its funny that you sound angry. Its also funny that you sound like you just woke up. Its noon. Its past noon.

Patrick: And?

Hannah: How hungover are you?

Patrick: Thats your question?

Hannah: Are you even writing up there? Are you doing any- thing besides drinking?

Patrick: Fuck you.

Hannah: You had sex with Trish?

Patrick: Yes.

Hannah: More than once?

Patrick: Yes.

Hannah: And you think youre in love?

Patrick: Its confusing.

Hannah: Thank you for your honesty. I get the house. I get the car. I get the dog. Ill see a lawyer on Monday.

Patrick: Did you rehearse that?

Hannah: I didnt. But its good, isnt it? I expected to be flus- tered, but Im feeling pretty clearheaded at the moment.

Patrick: Were not going to talk about this?

Hannah: Did you have sex with Trish?

Patrick: I told you.

Hannah: House, car, dog. All mine. Lawyer on Monday.

Patrick: Fine, then. We can talk about this when I come home.

Hannah: Home? Home?

Patrick: My home. Our home.

Hannah: You dont have a home anymore.

Patrick: Dont be dramatic. We have a dog!

Hannah: I have a dog.

Patrick: You didnt even want to get Elmer!

Hannah: I cant sleep without him.

Patrick: Oh, please.

Hannah: Elmer stays with me.

Patrick: What about the car?

Hannah: My car. Dear god, I wish I were recording this. Its going so well.

Patrick: This is just like you.

Hannah: What did you expect?

Patrick: I thought youd fight. I thought youd cry.

Hannah: There are like nine million women you could have had sex with, and we would have worked it out. Cindy in Philosophy. Nancy in Geography. Nine million and twenty-nine women. One billion women. But Ive made it incredibly clear from the beginning that there is one woman who is off-limits.

Patrick: Youre so self-righteous. Its disgusting.

Hannah: I wont have sex with a man whos had sex with Trish. And that doesnt mean Im jealous of her. It just means I dont trust her.

Patrick: Youre an asshole.

Hannah: Get a lawyer.


Patrick CALLS Trish

Trish has taken the day off from work. Patrick is shaken and confused and feels also as though hes isolated from the center of the action, which to his mind is in New York City, which is where his wife and his girlfriend happen to be. He doesnt like their propinquity. He doesnt like how far away he is from either of them.

Patrick: Im coming to New York.

Trish: Good.

Patrick: Im leaving this awful place. Theyre all frauds up here. I need to see you.

Trish: Yes! I need to see you, too.

Patrick: I need to figure this out.

Trish: Yes.

Patrick: Can I stay with you?

Trish: Of course.

Patrick: Did you tell George?

Trish: I did.

Patrick: What did he say?

Trish: He hung up. He didnt believe me at first, and then he hung up. Hes probably talking to Hannah now.

Patrick: Should I call him?

Trish: Give him time. Hell come around. They both will. P

atrick: I dont think so. Hannahs mad.

Trish: Shell get over it.

Patrick: She says shes seeing a lawyer on Monday. Dont you think thats fast?

Trish: I think its good.

Patrick: Divorce, though? It feels sudden.

Trish: Do you love me?

Patrick: I think so.

Trish: You think so?

Patrick: I feel muddled.

Trish: We just blew up our lives. You dont get to feel muddled.

Patrick: Im going to the train station now.

Trish: Good.

Patrick: I need a drink.

Trish: Wait until you get here.

Patrick: I need something to clear my head.


We Are Too Many

From We Are Too Many: A Memoir (Kind Of). Used with the permission of the publisher, Holt. Copyright 2023 by Hannah Pittard.

Add Comment