How it Starts: A Novel in Pages

Each day I write a page of a novel and publish it. The whole novel from the start can be found here.

The Breakfast Bar, p,43


Fred stood by the record player flicking through the old vinyls that were normally concealed in a draw in the wall. He was holding an oversized glass of wine, swirling it around and tapping his foot to the jazz he had just put on. I didn’t know why I had invited him back to the house, with its huge, breath-taking views of the ocean. I stood with my back to the breakfast bar, watching him. Jasper stood next to me. It was misty and hazy outside. There was a, like, light fog over the oceans and the pines. I’d turned the overhead light on and all the white surfaces were glinting with excitement.

“This is a great record.” Fred picked up an album and showed it to me. I didn’t know it.

“How long are you down for?”

“I just drove down for the day.” He put the record back and drank some wine.

“You followed me. Sorry, but I felt I had to say it.”

“My mother said you’d left to take a job in Bournemouth. Great dog, by the way.”

“You’re trying to find Jessica.”

Fred drank some more wine and looked at me. He fit into the house. He had the right kinds of clothes on that made it looked like he belonged here.

“There were a few things I wanted to talk to her about. I went to the flat in Bow but the girls’ living there said you moved out.”

I picked up my wine from the breakfast bar. I hurt to think of someone else living in our flat. Fred walked over to me and put his wine down on the breakfast bar.

“Why don’t you just call her?”

“Don’t you think I’ve tried. You know how cold she can be.”

“You were spying on us.”

“Oh, come on, of course I wasn’t spying on you. You stole a brooch from my mother’s house.”

“That had a microphone on it?”

“Yes, that you stole. You can’t accuse me of spying. I never had any intention of spying on you.”

“Why are you here now?”

That’s when he leant in and kissed me. Jasper started barking.

“Come on boy.” I took Jasper by the collar and led him into the bedroom. When I came back Fred was standing in the middle of the house still holding his wine.

“So, shall I go?”

“Why did you come?”

“I’ll admit I was hoping you might be able to put me in touch with Jessica.”

“I can’t do that, she has a boyfriend now anyway, and I think you should go.”