Read Angels Online

Authors: Marian Keyes

Tags: #Fiction

Angels

BOOK: Angels
7.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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angels

a novel

marian

keyes

For Tony

Contents

E-book Extra:

The Seven Deadlies: A Previously Unpublished Story

427

Prologue

1

Chapter One

I’d always lived a fairly blameless life.

3

Chapter Two

We didn't exchange a word…

15

Chapter Three

Maintenance-level Dysfunctional.

24

Chapter Four

I was Dreading the First Night…

35

Chapter Five

Emily is my best friend.

51

Chapter Six

We were spending an alarming amount…

60

Chapter Seven

I awoke in darkness…

73

Chapter Eight

Late afternoon Emily picked me…

83

Chapter Nine

The following morning dawned…

92

Chapter Ten

The next day was a Saturday…

103

Chapter Eleven

Slowly I shifted the sole…

116

Chapter Twelve

The news about Garv had…

127

Chapter Thirteen

The phone woke me.

132

Chapter Fourteen

That afternoon there were…

139

Chapter Fifteen

A mild crisis had arisen.

146

Chapter Sixteen

When the real rabbits…

154

Chapter Seventeen

Scene: sunny day. White clapboard house,…

159

Chapter Eighteen

An Impromptu party was…

167

Chapter Nineteen

It must have been…

180

Chapter Twenty

There was something…

191

Chapter Twenty-One

As the crisis in Santa Monica…

197

Chapter Twenty-Two

The freeman was new,…

206

Chapter Twenty-Three

In his jeep I faced…

213

Chapter Twenty-Four

The Sunlit house was…

218

Chapter Twenty-Five

About three years ago,…

227

Chapter Twenty-Six

On Sunday evening Lara…

238

Chapter Twenty-Seven

I awoke to find a woman…

246

Chapter Twenty-Eight

The night's sleep wrought…

257

Chapter Twenty-Nine

I Clung Grimly to sleep…

266

Chapter Thirty

The next morning, in the time…

276

Chapter Thirty-One

Larry Savage proceeded to…

289

Chapter Thirty-Two

When you have a miscarriage,…

296

Chapter Thirty-Three

The opened the front door.

302

Chapter Thirty-Four

I found myself certainly…

311

Chapter Thirty-Five

After the second miscarriage,…

317

Chapter Thirty-Six

The arrivals area of…

324

Chapter Thirty-Seven

“So what does today hold?”

335

Chapter Thirty-Eight

The premiere of Doves…

341

Chapter Thirty-Nine

On Thursday evening mum,…

348

Chapter Forty

The holiday that was suppossed…

355

Chapter Forty-One

On Friday Dad went to…

359

Chapter Forty-Two

I called him in the morning,…

368

Chapter Forty-Three

A nervy excitement hummed…

378

Chapter Forty-Four

I drove from the Mondrian…

389

Chapter Forty-Five

Conchita was due to come…

395

Chapter Forty-Six

I was looking forward to…

402

Chapter Forty-Seven

This time Shay was waiting…

409

Chapter Forty-Eight

I drove fast, but all the…

415

Epilogue

A week later Larry Savage…

424

Acknowledgments

454

About the Author

455

Enthusiastic Acclaim for Marian Keyes and
Angels

456

By Marian Keyes

458

Cover

Credits

459

Copyright

460

About the Publisher

461

PROLOGUE


Shortly we will be landing at Los Angeles International Airport.

Please ensure that your seat is in the upright position, that you
weigh less than a hundred pounds, and that you have excellent
teeth
.”

CHAPTER ONE

I'D ALWAYS LIVED
a fairly blameless life. Up until the day I left my husband and then ran away to Hollywood, I'd hardly ever put a foot wrong. Not one that many people knew about, anyway. So when, out of the blue, everything just disintegrated like wet paper, I couldn't shake a wormy suspicion that this was long overdue. All that clean living simply isn't natural.

Of course, I didn't just wake up one morning and skip the country, leaving my poor sleepy fool of a husband wondering what that envelope on his pillow was. I'm making it sound much more dramatic than it actually was, which is strange because I never used to have a penchant for dramatics. Or a penchant for words like

“penchant,” for that matter.

But ever since the business with the rabbits, and possibly even before that, things with Garv had been uncomfortable and weird.

Then we'd suffered a couple of what we'd chosen to call “setbacks.”

But instead of making our marriage stronger—as always seemed to happen to the other luckier setback souls who popped up in my mother's women's magazines—our particular brand of setbacks performed exactly as advertised. They set us back. They wedged themselves between Garv and me and alienated us from each other.

Though he never said anything, I knew Garv blamed me.

And that was okay, because I blamed me too.

*

*

*

4 / MARIAN KEYES

His name is actually Paul Garvan, but when I first got to know him we were both teenagers and nobody called anybody by their proper names. “Micko” and “Macker” and “Toolser” and “You big shithead” were some of the things our peers were known as. He was Garv, it's all I've ever known him as, and I only call him Paul when I'm extremely pissed off at him. Likewise, my name is Margaret but he calls me Maggie except when I borrow his car and scrape the side against the pillar in the multistory parking garage.

(Something that occurs more regularly than you might think.) I was twenty-four and he was twenty-five when we got married.

He'd been my first boyfriend, as my poor mother never tires of telling people. She reckons it demonstrates what a nice girl I was, who never did any of that nasty sleeping-around business. (The only one of her five daughters who didn't, who could blame her for parading my suspected virtue?) But what she conveniently omits to mention when she's making her proud boast is that Garv might have been my first boyfriend but he wasn't my only one.

However.

We'd been married for nine years and it would be hard to say exactly when I'd started to fantasize about it ending. Not, let me tell you, because I wanted it to be over. But because I thought that if I imagined the worst possible scenario, it would somehow be insurance against its actually happening. However, instead of ensuring against it, it conjured the whole bloody thing into existence.

Which just goes to show.

The end came with surprising suddenness. One minute my marriage was a going concern—even if I was doing strange stuff, like drinking my contact lenses—the next minute it was entirely finito.

Which caught me badly off guard, as I'd always thought there was a regulation period of crockery-throwing and name-calling before the white flag could be waved. But everything caved in without a single cross word being exchanged, and I simply wasn't prepared for it.

ANGELS / 5

God knows, I
should
have been. A few nights previously, I'd woken in the darkness for a good worry. Something I often did, usually fretting about work and money. You know,
the usual
.

Having too much of one and not enough of the other. But recently—probably longer than recently, actually—I'd been worrying about me and Garv instead. Would things ever get better? Were they better already and I just wasn't seeing it?

Most nights I didn't come to any conclusions and lapsed back into an unreassured sleep. But this time I was afflicted with sudden, unwelcome X-ray vision. I could see straight through the padding of the daily routine, the private language and the shared past, right into the heart of me and Garv, into all that had happened over the last while. Everything was stripped away and I had a horrible, too-clear thought:
We're in big trouble here
.

It literally made me cold. All the little hairs on my skin lifted and a chill settled somewhere between my ribs. Terrified, I tried to cheer myself up by having a little fret about the amount of work I'd have to do the following day, but no dice. So then I reminded myself that my parents were getting older and that I'd be the one who'd have to take care of them, and tried to scare myself with that instead.

After a while I went back to sleep, scratched my right arm raw, ground my teeth with gusto, awoke to the familiar sensation of a mouth coated with bits of grit, and carried on as usual.

I was to remember that
We're in big trouble here
when it transpired that we actually were.

On the evening in question, we were supposed to be going out for dinner with Elaine and Liam, friends of Garv. And who knows, if Liam's new flat-screen television hadn't fallen off the wall and onto his foot, breaking his big toe in the process, so that I'd gone out instead of going home, maybe Garv and I would never have split up?

The irony is, I was
praying
that Elaine and Liam would cancel.

The chances were good—the last three times we 6 / MARIAN KEYES

were supposed to meet, it hadn't happened. The first time Garv and I had bowed out because we were getting our new kitchen table delivered. (No, of course it didn't come.) The next time, Elaine—who's some bigwig in pensions—had to drive to Sligo to lay off a load of people. (“The new Jag arrived just in time!”) Then, the last time, I'd managed to come up with some spurious excuse that Garv had agreed with all too readily. This time it was their call.

Not that I didn't like them. Well, actually I didn't. Like I said, she's a bigwig in pensions and he's a stockbroker. They're good-looking, earn
tons
of money, and are unkind to waiters. They're the sort of people who always seem to be getting new cars and going on vacation.

Most of Garv's mates were lovely, but Liam was a glaring exception: the problem was that Garv was one of those types who went around seeing the good in people—most people, anyway. This is a great quality in theory, and I'd no objection to his seeing the good in people I liked myself, but it was a bit of a pain when he persisted with the ones I didn't. He and Liam had been friends since junior high school in the days when Liam had been a lot nicer and, even though Garv had tried very hard for my sake, he'd been unable to shake his residual affection for him.

BOOK: Angels
7.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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