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«Love Lies», Adele Parks

 

 

 

 

Love Lies

 

ADELE PARKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PENGUIN BOOKS

 

 

 

PENGUIN BOOKS

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3

 

(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)

Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia

 

(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)

Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi – 110 017, India

Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand

 

(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank,

 

Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

 

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

 

www.penguin.com

 

First published 2009

 

Copyright В© Adele Parks, 2009

 

The moral right of the author has been asserted

 

All rights reserved

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book

 

ISBN: 978-0-14-193122-7

 

 

 

Dedicated with much love to

Tracy Bradbery

A woman who thoroughly understands an

 

unsuitable crush

 

 

 

Prologue

Scott

�Do I smell, Mark?’

�No.’

�You’d tell me if I did, right?’

�I would.’

�Is my hairline receding?’

�No.’

�You’re sure I’m not going bald?’

�Yes.’

�Do you think I’ll lose my teeth?’

�Only if someone punches you.’

�My nan got gum disease.’

�We’ve got great dentists. Scott, you are coming down and this is just another one of your irrational worry sessions. We can waste a lot of time doing this, mate.’

�Mark, do you think I’ll end up broke? You know, blow it all.’

�No, we’ve sorted out your finances. You’re never going to suffer from poverty – other than poverty of spirit. No matter how many TVs you throw out of hotel windows.’

 

 

 

1. Fern

I have taken a bullet. I live an ordinary life. I’ve almost accepted it. Almost.

I ought to clarify I don’t always go around thinking big, profound thoughts like that. Quite a lot of the time I amuse my brain cells by thinking about which movie star is shagging which other movie star (and do they have better sex than us mere mortals), or whether I can get away with not washing my hair if I’m inventive enough with my up-do (thus securing an extra thirty minutes in bed in the morning). My idea of deep is wondering whether organic food is worth the huge price tag or whether it’s all just a ghastly marketing con. But today I am twenty-nine years, eleven months and three weeks old. I can no longer keep the big thoughts at bay.

Let me clarify, when I say ordinary, I mean normal, average, run of the mill, commonplace. Mundane. Clear?

I know, I know. I should be grateful. Ordinary has its up-side. I could be some human mutant with skin stretchy enough to be able to wrap my lower lip over the top of my head, or an Гјber-fertile woman prone to giving birth to sextuplets and now be a proud mother of thirty-six indistinguishable, media-loving brats or someone who really does train-spot. Then my life would be considerably worse than the one I am leading, but even knowing this is not as much comfort as it should be.

I live my ordinary life with Adam. My boyfriend of four years. I hesitate to refer to him as my partner because that would suggest some sort of equality or responsibility in the relationship and, frankly, both things are notably lacking. I organize the paying of all the bills (although he does cough up his share when prompted). I buy groceries, cook, clean, remember the birthdays of his family members, buy wedding gifts for our friends, arrange travel and accommodation if we ever do manage to grab a weekend away, I even put the pizza delivery people’s number on speed dial. Adam alphabetically arranges his CDs and vinyls in neat rows, all the way along our sitting-room shelves.

Yes, we do share a flat. A two-bedroom flat in Clapham. Not the posh bit of Clapham, sadly. The bit where the neighbours think old pee-stained mattresses and settees, spurting their cheap foam innards, are acceptable alternatives to rose bushes in the front garden. Despite sharing a flat, I also hesitate to refer to Adam as my live-in lover because that would suggest an element of passion and that’s notably lacking too, of late. Our relationship is more prose than poetry. It wasn’t always that way.


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