Extract, Jo Platt

An extract for You are Loved by Jo Platt

An ExtractHere is an extract from the book You are Loved by Jo Platt.

Prologue

 

Aiden hesitated, his hand resting on the latch of the unopened front door.

I gazed at him, feeling strangely detached and wondering if this would be the moment when he would blame, or explain, or apologise and attempt some sort of situation retrieval. I also wondered what my reaction might be if he did.

He turned and looked over his shoulder at me. ‘Solicitors then,’ he said quietly.

His expression left me uncertain whether it was a question or a statement, but I said nothing in reply. I wasn’t being strong, or playing a part. I simply didn’t have anything more to say. He had broken my trust, broken my heart and shown no remorse. This ending, this exit, might, I reflected, actually be the least painful part of the process to date.

He glanced at the stairs. ‘I’ll email about the rest of my things.’

So, no situation retrieval then.

He turned, opened the door and left without another word.

I’m not sure how long I remained standing in the hallway, staring at the glossed white surface of the front door, but I moved only when my mobile rang. I took it from my pocket and looked at the screen. It was Simone.

‘Hi, Sim.’

‘Hi, Grace. Is it OK to talk?’ Her tone was gentle and uncertain.

‘Yes, he’s gone.’

‘Did you agree anything?

‘We agreed that it’s over.’

There was a pause before she spoke again. ‘Guy is home. Shall I come round? Or you could come here? Stay over, if you like.’

I shook my head.

‘Grace? Are you still there?’

‘Yes, sorry, I’m here,’ I said. ‘Thanks for the offer, but I’m really tired tonight. Maybe another night? Would that be OK?’

‘Of course. Shall I call you tomorrow morning and we’ll fix something up?’

‘Great,’ I said.

Another pause. ‘Are you OK? How are you feeling?’

I smiled into the phone, as if the unseen facial expression would make what I was about to say sound more convincing. ‘I just want to draw a line under it all, and I can do that now. So I actually feel OK.’

‘That’s good to hear,’ she said.

I thought I heard a note of relief in her voice, and I was pleased for her sake that she seemed to believe me. There was no point, I decided, in telling her that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to draw a line under Aiden. And as we said our goodbyes and my forced smile fell away, I knew there was certainly no point in telling her that what I actually felt was unloved.

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