My Candlelight Novel

My Candlelight Novel by Joanne Horniman

Book: My Candlelight Novel by Joanne Horniman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joanne Horniman
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specialise in it. The boy detached himself from the group he was with and came over to me. ‘You look lost,’ he said.
    â€˜I’m not,’ I told him briskly. ‘I’m just wondering where to find Lawson.’
    â€˜Oh, Lawson,’ he said, with a knowing smile. ‘He could be anywhere.’
    â€˜Then I think I’ll go and find him.’
    I went exploring. The party seemed to be taking place not just in one house, but in several. Their common yards had no fences, and all the surrounding houses were also lit up, their gardens festooned with lights. There seemed to be no one there that I knew, and I liked that. Going to a foreign country must be that way. You wonder what the customs will be like, and whom you will meet.
    A girl wearing pink cut-off slacks with a broad band of lace at the cuffs stopped and leaned into the pram, her breasts spilling out of a skimpy top. ‘Oh, how sweet.’
    Hetty opened her eyes in a drunken, drowsy way and then shut them again, as though against her will. ‘Oh,’ whispered the girl, with a finger to her lips. ‘I’d better not wake her. She is a girl, isn’t she?’ When I nodded, she smiled and said, ‘I thought so.’
    â€˜Do you know where Lawson is?’ I asked.
    â€˜Oh yeah…over in Becky’s room.’ She gestured.
    I went in the direction she’d indicated. At the back of the garden, under trees, was a timber shed with a broad front door standing open. It was lit up inside, and I could see Lawson and Becky Sharp reclining on a big bed that filled almost the entire room. The bed faced the door, and they were lying there not talking, each with their legs straight out and their ankles crossed.
    I wondered whether I ought to interrupt, but they were in full view of anyone who cared to pass by. But before I even got to the door, Becky Sharp noticed me and raised her hand in a gesture of recognition. She patted the bed beside her and smiled, indicating that I should join them.
    I parked Hetty at the foot of the bed. Tess went immediately to Lawson and put her paws up on the bed next to him. ‘Hey, Tess,’ he said, rubbing her ears vigorously. I perched next to Becky Sharp and, after a moment, lay back against the pillows. We all lay with our ankles crossed, staring out at the dark garden. Like people sitting looking at the sea, we seemed to have no essential need to talk to each other. Eventually Becky said, tilting her chin towards the pram, ‘She’s good isn’t she?’
    â€˜When she’s asleep,’ I replied. ‘Sometimes she has so much energy I can’t stand it. You have no idea . It’s getting worse as she gets older.’
    It was all so easy and companionable, as though I’d known them for years. I looked around Becky’s room. It was painted yellow with blue trims, clean-looking and pleasing. There was no decoration on the walls at all. But everywhere, on a desk, on a small dressing table and on whatever floor space there was, were untidy piles of CDs. On a shelf next to the bed, with the CDs, were a few books.
    Then someone arrived, wanting Lawson for something. Tess trotted out after him, and that left Becky and me sitting there together, staring out at the garden. The lights and music through the trees were enchanting, and I felt I could spend the whole evening there, just sitting and looking.
    â€˜I’m glad you came,’ she said. She took hold of my hand and held it lightly, turning it over and looking at it in a detached way. As I’d noticed the first time I met her, her hands were slim and pale, with long fingers. She was like a carving of something stripped down to its essence. I glanced across at her smooth cheek, but she didn’t look into my face, just kept examining my hand as if it was a thing of mild interest, a leaf, say, or a stone.
    I was happy, sitting there, with my hand in hers. Nothing else mattered. I felt that I was

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