Uncertain Terms

Small gray jackets hung on hooks and Wellington boots nestled in cubbies. Sabina approached Sofia’s mother in the school cloakroom to ask if she and her daughter would like to come for a playdate, and her flat American accent clanged in the narrow corridor.

“What day were you thinking of?” Sofia’s mother sounded like Ingrid Bergman.

“How about Thursday?”

“Sofia has a piano lesson on Thursday.”


“I’m afraid she studies ballet after school on Tuesday.” On Monday, the girl had tea with her grandmother. On Wednesday, the French tutor came. Weekends were impossible, of course, because when the family didn’t go to the country, the girl’s father took her to a museum or the playground in the park. The only possible day was Friday. The nanny had off on Fridays, but the mother supposed she could accompany her daughter.

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