After You: A Novel PDF/EPUB è After You: PDF/EPUB ²

❰Download❯ ✤ After You: A Novel Author Jojo Moyes – Dudley-ward.co The big man at the end of the bar is sweating He holds his head low over his double scotch and every few minutes he glances up and out behind him toward the door and a fine sheen of perspiration glist❰Download❯ ✤ After You: A Novel Author Jojo Moyes – Dudley-ward.co The big man at the end of the bar is sweating He holds his head low over his double scotch and every few minutes he glances up and out behind him toward the door and a fine sheen of perspiration glist The big man at the end of the bar is sweating He holds his head low over his double scotch and every few minutes he glances up and out behind him toward the door and a fine sheen of perspiration glistens under the strip lights He lets out a long After You: PDF/EPUB ² shaky breath disguised as a sigh and turns back to his drinkHey Excuse me I look up from polishing glassesCan I get another one here I want to tell him that its really not a good idea that it wont help That it might even put him over the limit But hes a big guy and its fifteen minutes till closing time and according to company guidelines I have no reason to tell him no So I walk over and take his glass and hold it up to the optic He nods at the bottleDouble he says and slides a fat hand down his damp faceThatll be seven pounds twenty pleaseIt is a uarter to eleven on a Tuesday night and the Shamrock and Clover East City Airports Irish themed pub that is as Irish as Mahatma Gandhi is winding down for the night The bar closes ten minutes after the last plane takes off and right now it is just me the intense young man with the laptop the two cackling women at tableand the man nursing a double Jamesons waiting on SC to Stockholm and DB to Munich the latter of which has been delayed for forty minutesI have been on since midday as Carly had a stomachache and went home I didnt mind I never mind staying late Humming softly to the sounds of Celtic Pipes of the Emerald Isle Vol III I walk over and collect the glasses from the two women who are peering intently at some video footage on a phone They laugh the easy laughs of the well lubricatedMy granddaughter Five days old says the blond woman as I reach over the table for her glassLovely I smile All babies look like currant buns to meShe lives in Sweden Ive never been But I have to go see my first grandchild dont I Were wetting the babys head They burst out laughing again Join us in a toast Go on take a load off for five minutes Well never finish this bottle in timeOops Here we go Come on Dor Alerted by a screen they gather up their belongings and perhaps its only me who notices a slight stagger as they brace themselves for the walk toward security I place their glasses on the bar scan the room for anything else that needs washingYou never tempted then The smaller woman has turned back for her scarfIm sorry To just walk down there at the end of a shift Hop on a plane I would She laughs again Every bloody dayI smile the kind of professional smile that might convey anything at all and turn back toward the barAround me the concession stores are closing up for the night steel shutters clattering down over the overpriced handbags and emergency gift Toblerones The lights flicker off at gates andthe last of the days travelers winking their way into the night sky Violet the Congolese cleaner pushes her trolley toward me her walk a slow sway her rubber soled shoes sueaking on the shiny MarmoleumEvening darlingEvening VioletYou shouldnt be here this late sweetheart You should be home with your loved onesShe says exactly the same thing to me every nightNot long now I respond with these exact words every night Satisfied she nods and continues on her wayIntense Young Laptop Man and Sweaty Scotch Drinker have gone I finish stacking the glasses and cash up checking twice to make sure the till roll matches what is in the till I note everything in the ledger check the pumps jot down what we need to reorder It is then that I notice the big mans coat is still over his bar stool I walk over and glance up at the monitor The flight to Munich would be just boarding if I felt inclined to run his coat down to him I look again and then walk slowly over to the GentsHello Anyone in here The voice that emerges is strangled and bears a faint edge of hysteria I push open the door The Scotch Drinker is bent low over the sinks splashing his face His skin is chalk whiteAre they calling my flight Its only just gone up Youve probably got a few minutesI make to leave but something stops me The man is staring at me his eyes two tight little buttons of anxiety He shakes his head I cant do it He grabs a paper towel and pats at his face I cant get on the planeI waitIm meant to be traveling over to meet my new boss and I cant And I havent had the guts to tell him Im scared of flying He shakes his head Not scared TerrifiedI let the door close behind meWhats your new job He blinks Uh car parts Im the new Senior Regional Manager bracket Spares close bracket for Hunt MotorsSounds like a big job I say You have bracketsIve been working for it a long time He swallows hard Which is why I dont want to die in a ball of flame I really dont want to die in an airborne ball of flameI am tempted to point out that it wouldnt actually be an airborne ball of flamea rapidly descending one but suspect it wouldnt really help He splashes his face again and I hand him another paper towelThank you He lets out another shaky breath and straightens up attempting to pull himself together I bet you never saw a grown man behave like an idiot before huh About four times a dayHis tiny eyes widenAbout four times a day I have to fish someone out of the mens loos And its usually down to fear of flyingHe blinks at meBut you know like I say to everyone else no planes have ever gone down from this airportHis neck shoots back in his collar Really Not oneNot even a little crash on the runway I shake my headIts actually pretty boring here People fly off go to where theyre going come back again a few days later I lean against the door to prop it open These lavatories never smell any better by the evening And anyway personally I think there are worse things that can happen to youWell I suppose thats trueHe considers this looks sideways at me Four a day huh SometimesNow if you wouldnt mind I really have to get back Its not good for me to be seen coming out of the mens loos too oftenHe smiles and for a minute I can see how he might be in other circumstances A naturally ebullient man A cheerful man A man at the top of his game of continentally manufactured car partsYou know I think I hear them calling your flightYou reckon Ill be okayYoull be okay Its a very safe airline And its just a couple of hours out of your life Look SK landed five minutes ago As you walk to your departure gate youll see the air stewards and stewardesses coming through on their way home and youll see them all chatting and laughing For them getting on these flights is pretty much like getting on a bus Some of them do it two three four times a day And theyre not stupid If it wasnt safe they wouldnt get on would they Like getting on a bus he repeatsProbably an awful lot saferWell thats for sure He raises his eyebrows Lot of idiots on the roadI nodHe straightens his tie And its a big jobShame to miss out on it for such a small thing Youll be fine once you get used to being up thereMaybe I will Thank youLouisa I sayThank you Louisa Youre a very kind girl He looks at me speculatively I dont suppose youd like to go for a drink sometime I think I hear them calling your flight sir I say and I open the door to allow him to pass throughHe nods to cover his embarrassment makes a fuss of patting his pockets Right Sure Well off I go thenEnjoy those bracketsIt takes two minutes after he has left for me to discover he has been sick all over cubicle I arrive home at a uarter past one and let myself into the silent flat I change out of my clothes and into my pajama bottoms and a hooded sweatshirt then open the fridge pulling out a bottle of white and pouring a glass It is lip pursingly sour I study the label and realize I must have opened it the previous night then forgotten to stopper the bottle and then decide its never a good idea to think about these things too hard and I slump down in the chair with itOn the mantelpiece are two cards One is from my parents wishing me a happy birthday That best wishes from Mum is as piercing as any stab wound The other is from my sister suggesting she and Thom come down for the weekend It is six months old Two voice mails are on my phone one from the dentist One not Hi Louisa Its Jared here We met in the Dirty Duck Well we hooked up muffled awkward laugh It was just you know I enjoyed it Thought maybe we could do it again Youve got my digitsWhen there is nothing left in the bottle I consider buying another one but I dont want to go out again I dont want Samir at the Mini Mart grocers to make one of his jokes about my endless bottles of pinot grigio I dont want to have to talk to anyone I am suddenly bone weary but it is the kind of head buzzing exhaustion that tells me that if I go to bed I wont sleep I think briefly about Jared and the fact that he had oddly shaped fingernails Am I bothered about oddly shaped fingernails I stare at the bare walls of the living room and realize suddenly that what I actually need is air I really need air I open the hall window and climb unsteadily up the fire escape until I am on the roofThe first time Id come up nine months earlier the estate agent showed me how the previous tenants had made a small terrace garden dotting around a few lead planters and a small bench Its not officially yours obviously hed said But yours is the only flat with direct access to it I think its pretty nice You could even have a party up here I had gazed at him wondering if I really looked like the kind of person who held partiesThe plants have long since withered and died I am apparently not very good at looking after things Now I stand on the roof staring out at Londons winking darkness below Around me a million people are living breathing eating arguing A million lives completely divorced from mine It is a strange sort of peaceThe sodium lights glitter as the sounds of the city filter up into the night air engines rev doors slam From several miles south comes the distant brutalist thump of a police helicopter its beam scanning the dark for some vanished miscreant in a local park Somewhere in the distance a siren wails Always a siren Wont take much to make this feel like home the real estate agent had said I had almost laughed The city feels as alien to me as it always has But then everywhere does these daysI hesitate then take a step out onto the parapet my arms lifted out to the side a slightly drunken tightrope walker One foot in front of the other edging along the concrete the breeze making the hairs on my outstretched arms prickle When I first moved down here when it all first hit me hardest I would sometimes dare myself to walk from one end of my block to the other When I reached the other end I would laugh into the night air You see I am herestaying aliveright out on the edge I am doing what you told me It has become a secret habit me the city skyline the comfort of the dark and the anonymity and the knowledge that up here nobody knows who I amI lift my head feel the night breezes hear the sound of laughter below and the muffled smash of a bottle breaking see the traffic snaking up toward the city the endless red stream of taillights an automotive blood supply It is always busy here above the noise and chaos Only the hours between to am are relatively peaceful the drunks having collapsed into bed the restaurant chefs having peeled off their whites the pubs having barred their doors The silence of those hours is interrupted only sporadically by the night tankers the opening up of the Jewish bakery along the street the soft thump of the newspaper delivery vans dropping their paper bales I know the subtlest movements of the city because I no longer sleepSomewhere down there a lock in is taking place in the White Horse full of hipsters and East Enders and a couple are arguing outside and across the city the general hospital is picking up the pieces of the sick and the injured and those who have just barely scraped through another day Up here is just the air and the dark and somewhere the FedEx freight flight from LHR to Beijing and countless travelers like Mr Scotch Drinker on their way to somewhere newEighteen months Eighteen whole months So when is it going to be enough I say into the darkness And there it is I can feel it boiling up again this unexpected anger I take two steps along glancing down at my feet Because this doesnt feel like living It doesnt feel like anythingTwo steps TwoI will go as far as the corner tonightYou didnt give me a bloody life did you Not really You just smashed up my old one Smashed it into little pieces What am I meant to do with whats left When is it going to feelI stretch out my arms feeling the cool night air against my skin and realize I am crying againFuck you Will I whisper Fuck you for leaving meGrief wells up again like a sudden tide intense overwhelming And just as I feel myself sinking into it a voice says from the shadows I dont think you should stand thereI half turn and catch a flash of a small pale face on the fire escape dark eyes wide open In shock my foot slips on the parapet my weight suddenly on the wrong side of the drop My heart lurches a split second before my body follows And then like a nightmare I am weightless in the abyss of the night air my legs flailing above my head as I hear the shriek that may be my own CrunchAnd then all is blackWhats your name sweetheart A brace around my neckA hand feeling around my head gently swiftlyI am alive This is actually uite surprisingThats it Open your eyes Look at me now Look at me Can you tell me your name I want to speak to open my mouth but my voice emerges muffled and nonsensical I think I have bitten my tongue There is blood in my mouth warm and tasting of iron I cannot moveWere going to move you onto a spinal board okay You may be a bit uncomfortable for a minute but Im going to give you some morphine to make the pain a bit easier The mans voice is calm level as if it were the most normal thing in the world to be lying broken on concrete staring up at the dark sky I want to laugh I want to tell him how ridiculous it is that I am here But nothing seems to work as it shouldThe mans face disappears from view A woman in a neon jacket her dark curly hair tied back in a ponytail looms over me shining a thin torch abruptly in my eyes and gazing at me with detached interest as if I were a specimen not a personDo we need to bag her I want to speak but Im distracted by the pain in my legs Jesus I say but Im not sure if I say it aloudMultiple fractures Pupils normal and reactive BP ninety over sixty Shes lucky she hit that awning What are the odds of landing on a daybed eh I dont like that bruising though Cold air on my midriff the light touch of warm fingers Internal bleeding Do we need a second team Can you step back please sir Right back Another mans voice I came outside for a smoke and she dropped onto my bloody balcony She nearly bloody landed on meWell there you goits your lucky day She didntI got the shock of my life You dont expect people to just drop out of the bloody sky Look at my chair That was eight hundred pounds from the Conran shop Do you think I can claim for it A brief silenceYou can do what you want sir Tell you what you could charge her for cleaning the blood off your balcony while youre at it How about that The first mans eyes slide toward his colleague Time slips I tilt with it I have fallen off a roof My face is cold and I realize distantly that I have started to shakeShes going into shock SamA van door slides open somewhere below And then the board beneath me moves and briefly the pain the pain the paineverything turns blackA siren and a swirl of blue Always a siren in London We are moving Neon slides across the interior of the ambulance hiccups and repeats illuminating the unexpectedly packed interior The man in the green uniform is tapping something into his phone before turning to adjust the drip above my head The pain has lessenedmorphine but with consciousness comes a growing terror It is a giant airbag inflating slowly inside me steadily blocking out everything else Oh no Oh noEgcuse nge It takes two goes for the man his arm braced against the back of the cab to hear me He turns and stoops toward my face He smells of lemons and has missed a bit when shavingYou okay there Ang IHe leans down Sorry Hard to hear over the siren Well be at the hospital soon He places a hand on mine It is dry and warm and reassuring I am suddenly panicked in case he decides to let go Just hang in there Whats our ETA Donna I cant say the words My tongue fills my mouth My thoughts are muddled overlapping Did I move my arms when they picked me up I lifted my right hand didnt I Ang I garalysed It emerges as a whisperWhat He drops his ear to somewhere near my mouthGaralysed Ang I garalysed Paralyzed He hesitates his eyes on mine then turns and looks down at my legs Can you wiggle your toes I try to remember how to move my feet It seems to reuire severalleaps of concentration than it used to He reaches down and lightly touches my toe as if to remind me where they are Try again There you goPain shoots up both my legs A gasp possibly a sob MineYoure all right Pain is good I cant say for sure but I dont think theres any spinal injury Youve done your hip and a few other bits besidesHis eyes are on mine Kind eyes He seems to understand how much I need convincing I feel his hand close on mine I have never needed a human touchReally Im pretty sure youre not paralyzedOh thang Gog I hear my voice as if from afar My eyes brim with tears Please don leggo og me I whisperHe moves his face closer I am not letting go of youI want to speak but his face blurs and I am gone againAfterward they tell me I fell two floors of the five bursting through an awning breaking my fall on a top of the line outsized canvas and wicker effect waterproof cushioned sun lounger on the balcony of Mr Antony Gardiner a copyright lawyer and neighbor I have never met My hip smashes into two pieces and two of my ribs and my collarbone snap straight through I break two fingers on my left hand and a metatarsal which pokes through the skin of my foot and causes one of the medical students to faint My X rays are a source of some fascinationI keep hearing the voice of the paramedic who treated me You never know what will happen when you fall from a great height I am apparently very lucky They tell me this and wait smiling as if I should respond with a huge grin or perhaps a little tap dance I dont feel lucky I dont feel anything I doze and wake and sometimes the view is the bright lights of an operating theater and then it is a uiet still room A nurses face Snatches of conversation Did you see the mess the old woman on D made Thats some end of a shift ehYou work up at the Princess Elizabeth right You can tell them we know how to run an ER Hahahahaha You just rest now Louisa Were taking care of everything Just rest nowThe morphine makes me sleepy They up my dose and its a welcome cold trickle of oblivionI open my eyes to find my mother at the end of my bedShes awake Bernard shes awake Do we need to get the nurseShes changed the color of her hair I think distantly And then Oh Its my mother My mother doesnt talk to me anyOh thank God Thank God My mother reaches up and touches the crucifix around her neck It reminds me of someone but I cannot think who She leans forward and lightly strokes my cheek For some reason this makes my eyes fill immediately with tearsOh my little girl She is leaning over me as if to shelter me from further damage I smell her perfume as familiar as my own Oh LouShe mops my tears with a tissueI got the fright of my life when they called Are you in pain Do you need anything Are you comfortable What can I get you She talks so fast that I cannot answer We came as soon as they said Treenas looking after Granddad He sends his love Well he sort of made that noise you know but we all know what he means Oh love how on earth did you get yourself into this mess What on earth were you thinking She does not seem to re.

Uire an answer All I have to do is lie there My mother dabs at her eyes and then again at mineYoure still my daughter And and I couldnt bear it if something happened to you and we werent you knowNgung I swallow over the words My tongue feels ridiculous I sound drunk I ngever wangedI know But you made it so hard for me Lou I couldntNot now love eh Dad touches her shoulderHer words tail off She looks away into the middle distance and takes my hand When we got the call Oh I thoughtI didnt know She is sniffing again her handkerchief pressed to her lips Thank God shes okay BernardOf course she is Made of rubber this one eh Dad looms over me We had last spoken on the telephone two months earlier but I have not seen him in person for the eighteen months since I left my hometown He looks enormous and familiar and desperately desperately tiredShorry I whisper I cant think what else to sayDont be daft Were just glad youre okay Even if you do look like youve done six rounds with Mike Tyson Have you actually looked in a mirror since you got here I shake my headMaybe I might just hold off a bit longer You know Terry Nicholls that time he went right over his handlebars by the Mini Mart Well take off the mustache and thats pretty much what you look like Actuallyhe peers closer at my facenow that you mention itBernardWell bring you some tweezers tomorrow Anyway the next time you decide you want flying lessons lets head down the ol airstrip yes Jumping and flapping your arms is plainly not working for youI try to smileThey both bend over me Their faces are strained anxious My parentsShes got thin Bernard Dont you think shes got thin Dad leans closer and then I see how his eyes have grown a little watery How his smile is a bit wobblier than usualAh she looks beautiful love Believe me You look bloody beautiful He sueezes my hand then lifts it to his mouth and kisses it My dad has never done anything like that to me in my whole lifeIt is then that I realize they thought I was going to die and a sob bursts unannounced from my chest I shut my eyes against the hot tears and feel his large wood roughened palm around mineWere here sweetheart Its all right now Its all going to be okayThey make the fifty mile journey every day for two weeks catching the early train down and then after that come every few days Dad gets special dispensation from work because Mum wont travel by herself There are after all all sorts in London This is saidthan once and always accompanied by a furtive glance behind her as if a knife wielding hoodlum is even now sneaking into the ward Treena is staying over to keep an eye on Granddad There is an edge to the way Mum says it that makes me think this might not be my sisters first choice of arrangementsMum has brought homemade food to the hospital ever since the day we all stared at my lunch and despite five whole minutes of intense speculation couldnt work out what it actually was And in plastic trays Bernard Like a prison She prodded it sadly with a fork then sniffed the residue She now arrives daily with enormous sandwichesthick slices of ham or cheese in white bloomer breadand homemade soups in flasks Food you can recognize and feeds me like a baby My tongue slowly returns to its normal size Apparently Id almost bitten through it when I landed Its not unusual they tell meI have two operations to pin my hip and my left foot and left arm are in plaster up to my joints Keith one of the porters asks if he can sign my castsapparently its bad luck to have them virgin whiteand promptly writes a comment so filthy that Eveline the Filipina nurse has to put a plaster on it before the consultant comes around When Keith pushes me to X ray or to the pharmacy he tells me the gossip from around the hospital I could do without hearing about the patients who die slow and horrible deaths of which there seem to be an endless number but it keeps him happy I sometimes wonder what he tells people about me I am the girl who fell off a five story building and lived In hospital status this apparently puts me some way above the compacted bowel in C ward or That Daft Bint Who Accidentally Took Her Thumb Off With Pruning ShearsIt is amazing how uickly you become institutionalized I wake accept the ministrations of a handful of people whose faces I now recognize try to say the right thing to the consultants and wait for my parents to arrive My parents keep busy with small tasks in my room and become uncharacteristically deferential in the face of the doctors Dad apologizes repeatedly for my inability to bounce until Mum kicks him uite hard in the ankleAfter the rounds are finished Mum usually has a walk around the concourse shops downstairs and returns exclaiming in hushed tones at the number of fast food outlets That one legged man from the cardio ward Bernard Sitting down there stuffing his face with cheeseburgers and chips like you wouldnt believeDad sits and reads the local paper in the chair at the end of my bed The first week he keeps checking it for reports of my accident I try to tell him that in this part of the city even the double murders barely merit a News In Brief but in Stortfold the previous week the local papers front page ran with Supermarket Trolleys Left in Wrong Area of Car Park The week before that it was Schoolboys Sad at State of Duck Pond so he is yet to be convincedOn the Friday after the final operation to pin my hip my mother brings a dressing gown that is one size too big for me and a large brown paper bag of egg sandwiches I dont have to ask what they are the sulfurous smell floods the room as soon as she opens the bag My father mouths an apology waving his hand in front of his nose The nursesll be blaming me Josie he says closing the door of my roomEggs will build her up Shes too thin And besides you cant talk You were blaming the dog for your awful smells two years after hed diedJust keeping the romance alive loveMum lowers her voice Treena says her last fellow put the blankets over her head when he broke wind Can you imagine Dad turns to me When I do it your mother wont even stay in the same postcodeThere is tension in the air even as they laugh I can feel it When your whole world shrinks to four walls you become acutely attuned to slight variations in atmosphere Its in the way consultants turn away slightly when they are examining X rays or the way the nurses cover their mouths when theyre talking about someone who has just died nearbyWhat I say What is it They look awkwardly at each otherSo Mum sits on the end of my bed The doctor said the consultant said its not clear how you fellI bite into an egg sandwich I can pick things up with my left hand now Oh that I got distractedWhile walking around a roofI chew for a minuteIs there any chance you were sleepwalking sweetheart DadIve never sleepwalked in my lifeYes you have There was that time when you were thirteen and you sleepwalked downstairs and ate half of Treenas birthday cakeUm I may not have actually been asleepAnd theres your blood alcohol level They said you had drunk an awful lotI had a tough night at work and I had a drink or two and I just went up on the roof to get some air And then I got distracted by a voiceYou heard avoiceI was just standing on the toplooking out I do it sometimes And there was this girls voice behind me and it gave me a shock and I lost my footingA girl I only really heard her voiceDad leans forward Youre sure it was an actual girl Not an imaginaryIts my hip thats mashed up Dad not my brainThey did say it was a girl who called the ambulance Mum touches Dads armSo youre saying it really was an accident he saysI stop eating They look away from each other guiltilyWhat You you think I jumped off Were not saying anything Dad scratches his head Its justwellthings had all gone so wrong since and we hadnt seen you for so long and we were a bit surprised that youd be up walking on the roof of a building in the wee small hours You used to be afraid of heightsI used to be engaged to a man who thought it was normal to calculate how many calories hed burned while he slept Jesus This is why youve been so nice to me You think I tried to kill myself Its just he was asking us all sortsWho was asking what The psychiatrist bloke They just want to make sure youre okay love We know things have been allwell you knowsincePsychiatrist Theyre putting you on the waiting list to see someone To talk you know And weve had a long chat with the doctors and youre coming home with us Just while you recover You cant stay by yourself in that flat of yours ItsYouve been in my flat Well we had to fetch your thingsThere is a long silence I think of them standing in my doorway my mothers hands tight on her bag as she surveys the unwashed bed linen the empty wine bottles lined up in a row on the mantelpiece the solitary half bar of Fruit and Nut in the fridge I picture them shaking their heads looking at each other Are you sure weve got the right place Bernard Right now you need to be with your family Just till youre back on your feetI want to say Ill be fine in my flat no matter what they think of it I want to do my job and come home and not think until my next shift I want to say I cant go back to Stortfold and be That Girl again The One Who I dont want to have to feel the weight of my mothers carefully disguised disapproval of my fathers cheerful determination thatits all okay everything is just fine as if saying it enough times will actually make it okay I dont want to pass Wills house every day to think about what I was part of the thing that will always be thereBut I dont say any of it Because suddenly Im tired and everything hurts and I just cant fight anyDad brings me home two weeks later in his work van There is only room for two in the front so Mum has stayed behind to prepare the house and as the motorway speeds by beneath us I find my stomach tightening nervouslyThe cheerful streets of my hometown feel foreign to me now I look at them with a distant analytical eye noting how small everything appears how tired how twee Even the castle looks smaller perched on top of the hill I realize this is how Will must have seen it when he first came home after his accident and push the thought away As we drive down our street I find myself sinking slightly in my seat I dont want to make polite conversation with neighbors to explain myself I dont want to be judged for what I didYou okay Dad turns as if he guesses something of whats going through my headFineGood girl He puts a hand briefly on my shoulderMum is already at the door as we pull up I suspect she has actually been standing by the window for the past half hour Dad puts one of my bags on the step and then comes back to help me out hoisting the other over his shoulderI place my cane carefully on the paving stones and I feel the twitching of curtains behind me as I make my way slowly up the path Look who it is I can hear them whispering What do you think shes done now Dad steers me forward watching my feet carefully as if they might suddenly shoot out and go somewhere they shouldnt Okay there he keeps saying Not too fast nowI can see Granddad hovering behind Mum in the hall wearing his checked shirt and his good blue jumper Nothing has changed The wallpaper is the same The hall carpet is the same the lines in the worn pile visible from where Mum must have vacuumed that morning I can see my old blue anorak hanging on the hook Eighteen months I feel as if I have been away for a decadeDont rush her Mum says her hands pressed together Youre going too fast BernardShes hardly flipping Mo Farah If she goes any slower well be moonwalkingWatch those steps Should you stand behind her Bernard coming up the steps You know in case she falls backward I know where the steps are I say through gritted teeth I only lived here for twenty six yearsWatch she doesnt catch herself on that lip there Bernard You dont want her to smash the other hip Oh God I think Is this what it was like for you Will Every single day And then my sister is in the doorway pushing past Mum Oh for Gods sake Mum Come on Hopalong Youre turning us into a freaking sideshowTreena wedges her arm under my armpit and turns briefly to glare at the neighbors her eyebrows raised as if to say reallyI can almost hear the swishing of curtains as they closeBunch of bloody rubberneckers Anyway hurry up I promised Thomas he could see your scars before I take him to youth club God how much weight have you lost Your boobs must look like two tangerines in a pair of socksIt is hard to laugh and walk at the same time Thomas runs to hug me so that I have to stop and put a hand out against the wall to keep my balance as we collide Did they really cut you open and put you back together he says His head comes up to my chest He is missing four front teeth Grandpa says they probably put you back together all the wrong way And God only knows how well tell the differenceBernard I was jokingLouisa Granddads voice is thick and hesitant He reaches forward unsteadily and hugs me and I hug him back He pulls away his old hands gripping my arms surprisingly tightly and frowns at me a mock angerI know Daddy I know But shes home now says MumYoure back in your old room says Dad Im afraid we redecorated with Transformers wallpaper for Thom You dont mind the odd Autobot and Predacon right I had worms in my bottom says Thomas Mum says Im not to talk about it outside the house Or put my fingers up myOh good Lord says MumWelcome home Lou says Dad and promptly drops my bag on my footLooking back for the first nine months after Wills death I was in a kind of daze I went straight to Paris and simply didnt go home giddy with freedom with the appetites that Will had stirred in me I got a job at a bar favored by expats where they didnt mind my terrible French and I grew better at it I rented a tiny attic room in the th above a Middle Eastern restaurant and I would lie awake at night and listen to the sound of the late drinkers and the early morning deliveries and every day I felt like I was living someone elses lifeThose early months it was as if I had lost a layer of skinI woke up laughing or crying I felt everythingintensely saw everything as if a filter had been removed I ate new foods walked strange streets spoke to people in a language that wasnt mineSometimes I felt haunted by him as if I were seeing it all through his eyes hearing his voice in my ear What do you think of that then ClarkI told you youd love this Eat it Try it Go on I felt lost without our daily routines It took weeks for my hands not to feel useless without daily contact with his body the soft shirt I would button the warm motionless hands I would wash gently the silky hair I could still feel between my fingers I missed his voice his abrupt hard earned laugh the feel of his lips against my fingers the way his eyelids would lower when he was about to drop off to sleep My mother still aghast at what I had been part of had told me that while she loved me she could not reconcile this Louisa with the daughter she had raised So with the loss of my family as well as the man I had loved every thread that had linked me to who I was had been abruptly cut I felt as if I had simply floated off untethered to some unknown universeSo I acted out a new life I made casual arms length friendships with other travelers young English students on gap years Americans retracing the steps of literary heroes certain that they would never return to the Midwest wealthy young bankers day trippers a constantly changing cast that drifted in and through and past escapees from other lives I smiled and I chatted and I worked and I told myself I was doing what he had wanted I had to take some comfort at least in that Didnt I Winter loosened its grip and the spring was beautiful Then almost overnight I woke up one morning and realized I had fallen out of love with the city Or at least I didnt feel Parisian enough to stay The stories of the expats began to sound wearyingly similar the Parisians started to seem unfriendly or at least I noticed several times a day the myriad ways in which I would never uite fit in The city compelling as it was felt like a glamorous couture dress I had bought in haste but that didnt uite fit me after all I handed in my notice and went traveling around EuropeNo two months had ever left me feelinginadeuate I was lonely almost all the time I hated not knowing where I was going to sleep each night was permanently anxious about train timetables and currency and had difficulty making friends when I didnt trust anyone I met And what could I say about myself anyway When people asked me I could give them only the most cursory details All the stuff that was important or interesting about me was what I couldnt share Without someone to talk to every sight I sawwhether it was the Trevi Fountain or a canal in Amsterdamfelt simply like a name on a list that I needed to check off I spent the last week on a beach in Greece that reminded me too much of a beach I had been on with Will only months before and finally after a week of sitting on the sand fending off bronzed men who all seemed to be called Dmitri and trying to tell myself I was actually having a good time I gave up and returned to Paris Mostly because that was the first time it had occurred to me that I had nowhere else to goFor two weeks I slept on the sofa of a girl Id worked with at the bar while I tried to figure out what to do next Recalling a conversation Id had with Will about careers I wrote to several colleges about fashion courses but I had no portfolio of work to show them and they rebuffed me politely The course I had originally won after Will died was awarded to someone else because I had failed to defer I could apply again next year the administrator said in the tones of someone who knew I wouldntI looked online at jobs websites and realized that despite everything I had been through I was still unualified for any of the kinds of jobs I might actually be interested in doing And then by chance just as I was wondering what to do next Michael Lawler Wills lawyer rang me and suggested it was time to do something with the money Will had left me It was the excuse to move that I needed He helped me negotiate a deal on a scarily overpriced two bedroom flat on the edge of the Suare Milea neighborhood I chose largely because I remembered Will once talking about the wine bar on the corner and it made me feel a bit closer to himand there was enough money left over with which to furnish it Then six weeks later I came back to England got a job at the Shamrock and Clover slept with a man called Phil whom I would never see again and waited to feel as if I had really started livingNine months on I was still waitingI didnt go out much that first week home I was sore and grew tired uickly so it was easy to lie in bed and doze wiped out by extrastrength painkillers and tell myself that letting my body recover was all that mattered In a weird way being back in our little family house suited me it was the first place I had managed to sleepthan four hours at a stretch since I had left it was small enough that I could always reach out for a wall to support myself Mum fed me Granddad kept me company Treena had gone back to college taking Thom with herand I watched a lot of daytime television marveling at its never ending advertisements for loan companies and stairlifts and its preoccupation with minor celebrities whom the better part of a year abroad had left me unable to recognize It was like being in a little cocoon one that admittedly had a whacking great elephant suatting in its cornerWe did not talk about anything that might upset this delicate euilibrium I would watch whatever celebrity news that daytime television served up and then say at supper Well what about that Shayna West then eh And Mum and Dad would leap on the topic gratefully remarking that she was a trollop or had nice hair or that she was no better than she should be We covered Bargains That Could Be Found in Your Attic I always wonder what that Victorian planter of your mothers would have been worth ugly old thing and Ideal Homes in the Country I wouldnt wash a dog in that bathroom I did not think beyond each mealtime beyond the.

after pdf you download novel free After You free After You A Novel PDFEPUBUire an answer All I have to do is lie there My mother dabs at her eyes and then again at mineYoure still my daughter And and I couldnt bear it if something happened to you and we werent you knowNgung I swallow over the words My tongue feels ridiculous I sound drunk I ngever wangedI know But you made it so hard for me Lou I couldntNot now love eh Dad touches her shoulderHer words tail off She looks away into the middle distance and takes my hand When we got the call Oh I thoughtI didnt know She is sniffing again her handkerchief pressed to her lips Thank God shes okay BernardOf course she is Made of rubber this one eh Dad looms over me We had last spoken on the telephone two months earlier but I have not seen him in person for the eighteen months since I left my hometown He looks enormous and familiar and desperately desperately tiredShorry I whisper I cant think what else to sayDont be daft Were just glad youre okay Even if you do look like youve done six rounds with Mike Tyson Have you actually looked in a mirror since you got here I shake my headMaybe I might just hold off a bit longer You know Terry Nicholls that time he went right over his handlebars by the Mini Mart Well take off the mustache and thats pretty much what you look like Actuallyhe peers closer at my facenow that you mention itBernardWell bring you some tweezers tomorrow Anyway the next time you decide you want flying lessons lets head down the ol airstrip yes Jumping and flapping your arms is plainly not working for youI try to smileThey both bend over me Their faces are strained anxious My parentsShes got thin Bernard Dont you think shes got thin Dad leans closer and then I see how his eyes have grown a little watery How his smile is a bit wobblier than usualAh she looks beautiful love Believe me You look bloody beautiful He sueezes my hand then lifts it to his mouth and kisses it My dad has never done anything like that to me in my whole lifeIt is then that I realize they thought I was going to die and a sob bursts unannounced from my chest I shut my eyes against the hot tears and feel his large wood roughened palm around mineWere here sweetheart Its all right now Its all going to be okayThey make the fifty mile journey every day for two weeks catching the early train down and then after that come every few days Dad gets special dispensation from work because Mum wont travel by herself There are after all all sorts in London This is saidthan once and always accompanied by a furtive glance behind her as if a knife wielding hoodlum is even now sneaking into the ward Treena is staying over to keep an eye on Granddad There is an edge to the way Mum says it that makes me think this might not be my sisters first choice of arrangementsMum has brought homemade food to the hospital ever since the day we all stared at my lunch and despite five whole minutes of intense speculation couldnt work out what it actually was And in plastic trays Bernard Like a prison She prodded it sadly with a fork then sniffed the residue She now arrives daily with enormous sandwichesthick slices of ham or cheese in white bloomer breadand homemade soups in flasks Food you can recognize and feeds me like a baby My tongue slowly returns to its normal size Apparently Id almost bitten through it when I landed Its not unusual they tell meI have two operations to pin my hip and my left foot and left arm are in plaster up to my joints Keith one of the porters asks if he can sign my castsapparently its bad luck to have them virgin whiteand promptly writes a comment so filthy that Eveline the Filipina nurse has to put a plaster on it before the consultant comes around When Keith pushes me to X ray or to the pharmacy he tells me the gossip from around the hospital I could do without hearing about the patients who die slow and horrible deaths of which there seem to be an endless number but it keeps him happy I sometimes wonder what he tells people about me I am the girl who fell off a five story building and lived In hospital status this apparently puts me some way above the compacted bowel in C ward or That Daft Bint Who Accidentally Took Her Thumb Off With Pruning ShearsIt is amazing how uickly you become institutionalized I wake accept the ministrations of a handful of people whose faces I now recognize try to say the right thing to the consultants and wait for my parents to arrive My parents keep busy with small tasks in my room and become uncharacteristically deferential in the face of the doctors Dad apologizes repeatedly for my inability to bounce until Mum kicks him uite hard in the ankleAfter the rounds are finished Mum usually has a walk around the concourse shops downstairs and returns exclaiming in hushed tones at the number of fast food outlets That one legged man from the cardio ward Bernard Sitting down there stuffing his face with cheeseburgers and chips like you wouldnt believeDad sits and reads the local paper in the chair at the end of my bed The first week he keeps checking it for reports of my accident I try to tell him that in this part of the city even the double murders barely merit a News In Brief but in Stortfold the previous week the local papers front page ran with Supermarket Trolleys Left in Wrong Area of Car Park The week before that it was Schoolboys Sad at State of Duck Pond so he is yet to be convincedOn the Friday after the final operation to pin my hip my mother brings a dressing gown that is one size too big for me and a large brown paper bag of egg sandwiches I dont have to ask what they are the sulfurous smell floods the room as soon as she opens the bag My father mouths an apology waving his hand in front of his nose The nursesll be blaming me Josie he says closing the door of my roomEggs will build her up Shes too thin And besides you cant talk You were blaming the dog for your awful smells two years after hed diedJust keeping the romance alive loveMum lowers her voice Treena says her last fellow put the blankets over her head when he broke wind Can you imagine Dad turns to me When I do it your mother wont even stay in the same postcodeThere is tension in the air even as they laugh I can feel it When your whole world shrinks to four walls you become acutely attuned to slight variations in atmosphere Its in the way consultants turn away slightly when they are examining X rays or the way the nurses cover their mouths when theyre talking about someone who has just died nearbyWhat I say What is it They look awkwardly at each otherSo Mum sits on the end of my bed The doctor said the consultant said its not clear how you fellI bite into an egg sandwich I can pick things up with my left hand now Oh that I got distractedWhile walking around a roofI chew for a minuteIs there any chance you were sleepwalking sweetheart DadIve never sleepwalked in my lifeYes you have There was that time when you were thirteen and you sleepwalked downstairs and ate half of Treenas birthday cakeUm I may not have actually been asleepAnd theres your blood alcohol level They said you had drunk an awful lotI had a tough night at work and I had a drink or two and I just went up on the roof to get some air And then I got distracted by a voiceYou heard avoiceI was just standing on the toplooking out I do it sometimes And there was this girls voice behind me and it gave me a shock and I lost my footingA girl I only really heard her voiceDad leans forward Youre sure it was an actual girl Not an imaginaryIts my hip thats mashed up Dad not my brainThey did say it was a girl who called the ambulance Mum touches Dads armSo youre saying it really was an accident he saysI stop eating They look away from each other guiltilyWhat You you think I jumped off Were not saying anything Dad scratches his head Its justwellthings had all gone so wrong since and we hadnt seen you for so long and we were a bit surprised that youd be up walking on the roof of a building in the wee small hours You used to be afraid of heightsI used to be engaged to a man who thought it was normal to calculate how many calories hed burned while he slept Jesus This is why youve been so nice to me You think I tried to kill myself Its just he was asking us all sortsWho was asking what The psychiatrist bloke They just want to make sure youre okay love We know things have been allwell you knowsincePsychiatrist Theyre putting you on the waiting list to see someone To talk you know And weve had a long chat with the doctors and youre coming home with us Just while you recover You cant stay by yourself in that flat of yours ItsYouve been in my flat Well we had to fetch your thingsThere is a long silence I think of them standing in my doorway my mothers hands tight on her bag as she surveys the unwashed bed linen the empty wine bottles lined up in a row on the mantelpiece the solitary half bar of Fruit and Nut in the fridge I picture them shaking their heads looking at each other Are you sure weve got the right place Bernard Right now you need to be with your family Just till youre back on your feetI want to say Ill be fine in my flat no matter what they think of it I want to do my job and come home and not think until my next shift I want to say I cant go back to Stortfold and be That Girl again The One Who I dont want to have to feel the weight of my mothers carefully disguised disapproval of my fathers cheerful determination thatits all okay everything is just fine as if saying it enough times will actually make it okay I dont want to pass Wills house every day to think about what I was part of the thing that will always be thereBut I dont say any of it Because suddenly Im tired and everything hurts and I just cant fight anyDad brings me home two weeks later in his work van There is only room for two in the front so Mum has stayed behind to prepare the house and as the motorway speeds by beneath us I find my stomach tightening nervouslyThe cheerful streets of my hometown feel foreign to me now I look at them with a distant analytical eye noting how small everything appears how tired how twee Even the castle looks smaller perched on top of the hill I realize this is how Will must have seen it when he first came home after his accident and push the thought away As we drive down our street I find myself sinking slightly in my seat I dont want to make polite conversation with neighbors to explain myself I dont want to be judged for what I didYou okay Dad turns as if he guesses something of whats going through my headFineGood girl He puts a hand briefly on my shoulderMum is already at the door as we pull up I suspect she has actually been standing by the window for the past half hour Dad puts one of my bags on the step and then comes back to help me out hoisting the other over his shoulderI place my cane carefully on the paving stones and I feel the twitching of curtains behind me as I make my way slowly up the path Look who it is I can hear them whispering What do you think shes done now Dad steers me forward watching my feet carefully as if they might suddenly shoot out and go somewhere they shouldnt Okay there he keeps saying Not too fast nowI can see Granddad hovering behind Mum in the hall wearing his checked shirt and his good blue jumper Nothing has changed The wallpaper is the same The hall carpet is the same the lines in the worn pile visible from where Mum must have vacuumed that morning I can see my old blue anorak hanging on the hook Eighteen months I feel as if I have been away for a decadeDont rush her Mum says her hands pressed together Youre going too fast BernardShes hardly flipping Mo Farah If she goes any slower well be moonwalkingWatch those steps Should you stand behind her Bernard coming up the steps You know in case she falls backward I know where the steps are I say through gritted teeth I only lived here for twenty six yearsWatch she doesnt catch herself on that lip there Bernard You dont want her to smash the other hip Oh God I think Is this what it was like for you Will Every single day And then my sister is in the doorway pushing past Mum Oh for Gods sake Mum Come on Hopalong Youre turning us into a freaking sideshowTreena wedges her arm under my armpit and turns briefly to glare at the neighbors her eyebrows raised as if to say reallyI can almost hear the swishing of curtains as they closeBunch of bloody rubberneckers Anyway hurry up I promised Thomas he could see your scars before I take him to youth club God how much weight have you lost Your boobs must look like two tangerines in a pair of socksIt is hard to laugh and walk at the same time Thomas runs to hug me so that I have to stop and put a hand out against the wall to keep my balance as we collide Did they really cut you open and put you back together he says His head comes up to my chest He is missing four front teeth Grandpa says they probably put you back together all the wrong way And God only knows how well tell the differenceBernard I was jokingLouisa Granddads voice is thick and hesitant He reaches forward unsteadily and hugs me and I hug him back He pulls away his old hands gripping my arms surprisingly tightly and frowns at me a mock angerI know Daddy I know But shes home now says MumYoure back in your old room says Dad Im afraid we redecorated with Transformers wallpaper for Thom You dont mind the odd Autobot and Predacon right I had worms in my bottom says Thomas Mum says Im not to talk about it outside the house Or put my fingers up myOh good Lord says MumWelcome home Lou says Dad and promptly drops my bag on my footLooking back for the first nine months after Wills death I was in a kind of daze I went straight to Paris and simply didnt go home giddy with freedom with the appetites that Will had stirred in me I got a job at a bar favored by expats where they didnt mind my terrible French and I grew better at it I rented a tiny attic room in the th above a Middle Eastern restaurant and I would lie awake at night and listen to the sound of the late drinkers and the early morning deliveries and every day I felt like I was living someone elses lifeThose early months it was as if I had lost a layer of skinI woke up laughing or crying I felt everythingintensely saw everything as if a filter had been removed I ate new foods walked strange streets spoke to people in a language that wasnt mineSometimes I felt haunted by him as if I were seeing it all through his eyes hearing his voice in my ear What do you think of that then ClarkI told you youd love this Eat it Try it Go on I felt lost without our daily routines It took weeks for my hands not to feel useless without daily contact with his body the soft shirt I would button the warm motionless hands I would wash gently the silky hair I could still feel between my fingers I missed his voice his abrupt hard earned laugh the feel of his lips against my fingers the way his eyelids would lower when he was about to drop off to sleep My mother still aghast at what I had been part of had told me that while she loved me she could not reconcile this Louisa with the daughter she had raised So with the loss of my family as well as the man I had loved every thread that had linked me to who I was had been abruptly cut I felt as if I had simply floated off untethered to some unknown universeSo I acted out a new life I made casual arms length friendships with other travelers young English students on gap years Americans retracing the steps of literary heroes certain that they would never return to the Midwest wealthy young bankers day trippers a constantly changing cast that drifted in and through and past escapees from other lives I smiled and I chatted and I worked and I told myself I was doing what he had wanted I had to take some comfort at least in that Didnt I Winter loosened its grip and the spring was beautiful Then almost overnight I woke up one morning and realized I had fallen out of love with the city Or at least I didnt feel Parisian enough to stay The stories of the expats began to sound wearyingly similar the Parisians started to seem unfriendly or at least I noticed several times a day the myriad ways in which I would never uite fit in The city compelling as it was felt like a glamorous couture dress I had bought in haste but that didnt uite fit me after all I handed in my notice and went traveling around EuropeNo two months had ever left me feelinginadeuate I was lonely almost all the time I hated not knowing where I was going to sleep each night was permanently anxious about train timetables and currency and had difficulty making friends when I didnt trust anyone I met And what could I say about myself anyway When people asked me I could give them only the most cursory details All the stuff that was important or interesting about me was what I couldnt share Without someone to talk to every sight I sawwhether it was the Trevi Fountain or a canal in Amsterdamfelt simply like a name on a list that I needed to check off I spent the last week on a beach in Greece that reminded me too much of a beach I had been on with Will only months before and finally after a week of sitting on the sand fending off bronzed men who all seemed to be called Dmitri and trying to tell myself I was actually having a good time I gave up and returned to Paris Mostly because that was the first time it had occurred to me that I had nowhere else to goFor two weeks I slept on the sofa of a girl Id worked with at the bar while I tried to figure out what to do next Recalling a conversation Id had with Will about careers I wrote to several colleges about fashion courses but I had no portfolio of work to show them and they rebuffed me politely The course I had originally won after Will died was awarded to someone else because I had failed to defer I could apply again next year the administrator said in the tones of someone who knew I wouldntI looked online at jobs websites and realized that despite everything I had been through I was still unualified for any of the kinds of jobs I might actually be interested in doing And then by chance just as I was wondering what to do next Michael Lawler Wills lawyer rang me and suggested it was time to do something with the money Will had left me It was the excuse to move that I needed He helped me negotiate a deal on a scarily overpriced two bedroom flat on the edge of the Suare Milea neighborhood I chose largely because I remembered Will once talking about the wine bar on the corner and it made me feel a bit closer to himand there was enough money left over with which to furnish it Then six weeks later I came back to England got a job at the Shamrock and Clover slept with a man called Phil whom I would never see again and waited to feel as if I had really started livingNine months on I was still waitingI didnt go out much that first week home I was sore and grew tired uickly so it was easy to lie in bed and doze wiped out by extrastrength painkillers and tell myself that letting my body recover was all that mattered In a weird way being back in our little family house suited me it was the first place I had managed to sleepthan four hours at a stretch since I had left it was small enough that I could always reach out for a wall to support myself Mum fed me Granddad kept me company Treena had gone back to college taking Thom with herand I watched a lot of daytime television marveling at its never ending advertisements for loan companies and stairlifts and its preoccupation with minor celebrities whom the better part of a year abroad had left me unable to recognize It was like being in a little cocoon one that admittedly had a whacking great elephant suatting in its cornerWe did not talk about anything that might upset this delicate euilibrium I would watch whatever celebrity news that daytime television served up and then say at supper Well what about that Shayna West then eh And Mum and Dad would leap on the topic gratefully remarking that she was a trollop or had nice hair or that she was no better than she should be We covered Bargains That Could Be Found in Your Attic I always wonder what that Victorian planter of your mothers would have been worth ugly old thing and Ideal Homes in the Country I wouldnt wash a dog in that bathroom I did not think beyond each mealtime beyond the.

After You: A Novel PDF/EPUB è After You:  PDF/EPUB ²

After You: A Novel PDF/EPUB è After You: PDF/EPUB ² Jojo Moyesest romancire et journaliste Elle a travaill la rdaction de lIndependent pendant dix ans avant de se consacrer lcriture Ses romans ont t salus unanimement par la critiue et lui ont dj valu de nombreuses rcompenses littraires Elle vit en Angleterre dans lEssex avec son mari et ses trois After You: PDF/EPUB ² enfants.

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