How far would you go for your best friend?
For thirty years, best friends Steph and Pip have been through thick and thin. Selfless and trusting; there’s nothing they would not do for one another. Until a few simple words change everything.
‘I need you to say that I was with you.’... read more
“Stephanie liked to cultivate the idea that she was a Mary Poppins sort of character, free from unreasonable gripes and excessive moaning.”
“Pip had been devastated by Dylan's desertion (as she liked to call it). Desertion had a nineteenth-century ring to it, a hint of tragedy and drama that rather appealed to her.”
“Stephanie glanced around her kitchen; her eyes darted from one micro-scene of domestic carnage to the next. Yes, normally she was organised. If anyone caught her at, say, eleven in the morning or two thirty in the afternoon, even 9 p.m., she definitely would be able to proudly wear the badge 'organised'. But the times in-between, the times when her family spilt out into her domestic perfection, were rather more chaotic.”
“The truth was she knew he liked the fact that he earned so much and she spent so much, it was a way of showing the world that he was an effective hunter-gatherer. The kiss he'd never notice because that wasn't on a bank statement.”
“No good ever came out of rushing things or, put less delicately, no good ever came of shagging a man on the first date because what was his incentive to come back? Everyone knew that. It was written on the stone slabs that Moses brought down from the mountain and while those self-help slash dating guidebooks didn't agree on much, they emphatically agreed on that.”
“'I thought we needed to have some kind of formal way of saying, I don't know, maybe goodbye,' said Julian quietly. 'There never was a baby,' Steph sensibly pointed out, as doctors and nurses and family and friends had sensibly pointed out to her. Not to be cruel but in a misguided attempt to comfort her. 'I know. I think we need to say goodbye to our never-was baby.' Steph nodded, unable to speak because of all the love that was choking her.”
“Steph paused in the doorway to gather her breath and her thoughts. She'd done the same thing just before she walked down the aisle to marry him all those years ago. In many ways she felt like she way making that decision all over again. She was committing to him. She was giving herself to him.”
“But I think we're a bit like a vase that's been knocked over and smashed into lots of pieces but a vase that's loved so much that instead of being chucked, we've been carefully glued back together. So now while we're no longer pristine and shiny, we are aware that we are loved and we've endured and that seems somehow more important than being pristine and shiny.”
30 Years Ago
Monday 22 March Last Year
Five Months Later
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