Reading Jacinta

Excerpt from  CHAPTER NINE  –  a section of my novel completed in first draft form.


She laid down the lithograph, the freedom of calligraphy by Raoul Dufy and reached for the flyer given to them yesterday advertising two nights for the price of one at the Alhambra Palace. She placed it beneath her foot in an attempt to stem the trickle of blood which had made a small mark on the floor.

It was evident that neither Sunny nor Bobby were to be trusted. Although she had expected it, nevertheless she really couldn’t believe Sunny. Only the other day when they’d talked – Sunny had denied she liked Bobby in that way.  It was a joke.

The blood had stopped flowing, but there was a loose fold of skin hanging. She went through to the bathroom, pulled open a small white drawer and found a first aid kit. She stuck on a plaster, then screwed up the paper and threw it in to the waste paper basket.

She sat down on the gaudy sofa. She’d have to make a plan. But There was no lighting in the place; they hadn’t yet opened the shutters. She tried to move them but they seemed stuck. She put on the electric overhead light, realising as she did so that the apartment was in fact quite filthy in places, down behind the table, the sills, and the corners. The darkness she had previously mistaken for shadow now showed itself to be grime. And the grime was stuck fast to the shutter, so much so that in fact Jacinta couldn’t get them to budge. There she was shuttered in, in darkness. Even yesterday’s surprise and delight at the light of the room had been deceptive. The lemon lampshade whose light had cast a glow about the room had contrasted in a romantic way with the darkness and the ebony table. Then the darkness didn’t matter. Nothing mattered when you  were in love.

That illusion was created by her thinking that somehow everything was beautiful, and calm and fine,  and it had been  till Bobby started withdrawing his affections at the Casa Julio trattoria. Was she to blame  for his going, his deceit?  All because she’d chosen to see through rose tinted spectacles?

She went to the bathroom. She looked at herself in the bathroom mirror. She didn’t think that’s what she had been doing. She’d been authentic. He was the liar. She observed her face, pale, her eyes resembled almonds, oval, squinted now, red raw round the rims.   The crisp, calico curtains tied tidily back at the sides that before had seemed quaint and befitting in their orderliness now seemed drab and dirty, crumpled looking, and she noticed the fraying edges and the slightly grubby colour of the pale blue ribbon that held them together. perhaps  she had made herself too available, but she couldn’t help herself she did really like him and —yes, she thought, — that he loved her too.

But what hurt most was he hadn’t accompanied her to Spain to find her father, that much was clear.




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