Playing Drafts (3)

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.