People sometimes ask me if I find it difficult to write a book. The answer is no. The writing itself is easily done, you just sit down, open the laptop and jot down the words as they come. Writing a good book is an entirely different question, and yes, I find it very difficult to re-read my own writing without hammering my head against the wall in despair.
Another thing I discovered as being very difficult is the lack of interaction. I got so used to the constant stream of communication that comes with writing a blog – I almost took it for granted! You think about something, you write it down, you hit publish and then the fun bit begins: comments are trickling in. Now, I just sit at home and write and write and write and… nothing.
So. I decided to share a tiny bit of the book (i.e. its very first draft) with you. You are more than welcome to cringe with me, to tell me you like it or to – please gently – tell me I’d rather consider returning to my day job in finance.
All was blue. The tiles at the bottom of the pool, the airbed floating over me and the sky on the other side of the surface. The water around me absorbed the laughter and the chitter-chatter at the edge of the pool. I was drenched in tranquillity, drowning out my own noisy thoughts. I took another stroke and came up next to the float. Léon’s skin was hot and sticky from the early afternoon sun. He opened one eye and sleepily smiled at me. Under the eyes of his friends, I propped my forearms onto the mattress and leant in to kiss him.
‘Wanna go for a nap?’ He whispered.
‘Let me get dry first.’ I dived back under the surface and watched the sunbeams turn the tiles into turquoises before I finally pushed myself up and climbed out of the water.
To one side of the pool, a few stepping stones led to the partly canopied veranda of the five-bedroom villa. To the other side, an old plane tree covered parts of the lawn in shade. The lawn stretched out for about 20 metres before it suddenly dropped, giving way to a gorgeous view across the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. After 12 hours driving, I had been standing there the night before, silently taking in the beauty of it all. The swaying lights of the boats on the dark blue sea, the stars in the sky above and the warm breeze that had caressed my skin.
‘I am going to visit León and I don’t think that we’ll stop at holding hands.’ I had called Christopher from the car.
‘I can’t believe that you do that to me.’ He had sounded furious.
‘You did that to me in the first place.’
‘So this is all about revenge?’
‘I am not going to Saint-Tropez to pay you back. I want you to listen to me. It’s over Christopher. It’s over and I want you to leave me alone. Stop sending messages. Stop calling me!’
‘He’s been there all the time, hasn’t he?’
‘You just don’t get it, right? This has nothing to do with Léon.’ I yelled down the phone. ‘Why can’t you take no for an answer?’
‘Because we are married!’ He had yelled back.
I just hung up on him.