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O+F by John Moncure Wetterau

Copyright (c) 2003 by John Moncure Wetterau

O + F

John Moncure Wetterau

Copyright (c) 2000 by John Moncure Wetterau.

Library of Congress Number: 00-193498 ISBN #: Hardcover 0-7388-5815-3 Softcover 0-9729587-1-1

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial License. Essentially, anyone is free to copy, distribute, or perform this copyrighted work for non-commercial uses only, so long as the work is preserved verbatim and is attributed to the author. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to:

Creative Commons 559 Nathan Abbott Way Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Published by: Fox Print Books 137 Emery Street Portland, ME 04102 207.775.6860

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. This book was printed in the United States of America.


Cover art by Majo Keleshian. I want to thank Majo, Sylvester Pollet, and Nancy Wallace for suffering through early versions of the book and for offering useful suggestions. Thanks to Francois Camoin and the Vermont College MFA program for giving me a good shove down the road to fiction. And thanks to Ellen Miller for her consistent encouragement and support.

for Rosy


Tall. Dark hair. Nose almost straight. Mouth curving around prominent teeth. Beautiful, Oliver realized as their eyes met perfectly.

"Francesca, sorry I'm late," another woman said, guiding two girls into the next booth.

"I just got here."

"Hi, Mommy." Francesca's smile turned down, traveled around, and turned up independently at each corner.

"Hi, Sweetheart. Turn around, now."

One of the girls was looking tentatively at Oliver, holding the top of the booth with both hands. He waved at her, raised his eyebrows, and bent to his eggs. Toast. Nothing like toast. He wiped up the remaining yolk. Where's the husband? Probably one of those jerks in a Land Rover. A bad golfer. Cheats. Christ. Oliver drank the rest of his coffee and prepared to leave. As he slid sideways across the green plastic seat, he again caught the woman's eyes. They were calm and questioning, brown with deepening centers the color of the inner heart of black walnut. He stood and nodded in the Japanese manner. No one would have noticed, unless perhaps for her friend.

He buttoned his coat before pushing open the outer door of the diner. The air was damp, tinged with car exhaust and diesel. The first flakes of a northeaster coasted innocently to the ground. Francesca--what a smile! She reminded him of the young Sinatra in _From Here To Eternity_, awkward and graceful at the same time. The friend was heavier and looked unmarried, a career teacher, maybe. Problems on short leashes yapped around her heels. Oliver shrugged, pulled a watch cap over his ears, and walked toward the Old Port.

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