He’s reading my novel.
I wanted him to. I asked him to.
It’s freshly printed and neatly hole-punched. It sits like homework in its brand new folder. All the latest edits are in place.
The pages are crisp and clean and as-yet unscribbled on. I’m ridiculously aware of their slow slide, their rustle.
I can’t be in the same room as him. I’ll start watching his face – I might not be able to stop myself from asking.
And so I hover nearby, making coffee, And then more coffee. I pretend to think about the book I’m reading and the other writing I have planned. But –
He has been reading for almost two hours.
Eventually I go up to our bedroom. I rummage through the heaving shelves there and then lie on top of the covers and turn pages determinedly.
I try not to picture him doing exactly the same downstairs.