Wednesday, April 2, 2014

THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU Blog Tour



Summary:
When Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from college has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally really had turned her back, why is her little girl named after Olivia?

As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel their tangled history. But as Sally’s secrets start to spill out, Olivia’s left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.
 
Book Except
 
308 Eleanor Moran
 
 
When I think about it now, I realize that she always did
make sure she had backup, even while she tried to keep my
options to an absolute minimum. I remember bursting back
through the door one This Life night, my stint in the library
longer than I had intended. “It’s starting!” I shouted, running
into the living room, only to fi nd Lola, stockinged feet neatly
tucked underneath her, sitting on the sofa.
“Hello, Livvy,” she said, giving me a brief, polite smile
devoid of any warmth.
“Oh . . . hi! Lovely to see you.”
I walked toward her, hoping she’d let me hug her, but she
might as well have been wreathed in barbed wire.
“We’ve got a house guest!” said Sally, sailing back in, a
bowl of Pringles in her hand, not a trace of discomfort. I don’t
know what she said to her, I never asked, but she somehow
managed to lure her back into the fold. But now the fold was
only big enough for two. They would hug and shriek and
go for drinks, and occasionally I would go along, but it was
abundantly clear who was making the bed sag in the middle
now. Lola would tolerate me, but no more than that, and
to go out with her on my own and lay it on the table would
somehow have felt like going behind Sally’s back. Neither of
us would have dared do that.
It wasn’t just Lola. It sometimes felt like she got crushes
on people, girls as much as boys, and she’d suddenly want to
see them all the time. She might invite me along, but it was
always in a way that told me she was doing me a favor rather
than relishing the idea of my company. After the fi rst couple
of times I learned not to be jealous. These people were like
fi refl ies, their tenure brief, the friendship burning out before
it gained any real momentum. And then it would be me and
her again, almost as if I’d imagined it.
 
 
THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU 309
 
 
That apartment left me broke. The rent was sky high, and that
was before you took into account how much it cost to survive
the cold of a Yorkshire winter. We’d divided up the bills when
we fi rst moved in, putting a few in each of our names, but
Sally would leave hers until they were red and angry, fi nal
demands and threats of court action. I’d beg her to pay them,
and she’d laugh.
“They’re messing with us. They won’t do anything. I’ll pay
it next week.”
She was right, of course, but I didn’t like the menace of it,
the sense that we were in trouble. It gave me a feeling of living
in the last days of a dying empire, like we were squatting in
Buckingham Palace.
I dated a bit that year, but it was halfhearted. The real romantic
punctuation came from my time with James. His visits got
more frequent as the year rolled on, and any remaining awkwardness
trickled away. It was still a pose on my part, but like
I said, I was craven.
It wasn’t just me who was excited when a visit was imminent.
“I love James,” Sally would say, and I would try and be
pleased that my two favorite people liked each other so much.
It seemed petty to not be happy about it, but I couldn’t help
but resent the way she’d never give us any time alone. I knew
that if I asked there’d be all manner of trouble, and even the
act of asking seemed to contradict my breezy assurances that
we were no more than friends.
She hardly ever invited Shaun on our nights out with
James, even though it seemed obvious to make it a foursome.
Instead we’d be a sharp- cornered little trio, jumping on a
virtual trampoline, competing to see how high the fun could
 
 
310 Eleanor Moran
 
 
take us. One time we somehow ended up in a house club,
full of bare- chested ravers sweating all over us and blowing
whistles in our faces. It was the last place I wanted to
be. Sally disappeared off somewhere, and after an hour me
and James started to get worried. I fi nally tracked her down
in a corner by the loos, snogging someone I could barely see,
beyond knowing for absolute certain that he wasn’t Shaun.
I waited until I started to feel like a Peeping Tom, then gave
up. When she got back I managed to make myself heard over
the bass line.
“What were you doing?”
She looked at me, blank- faced, and then danced a little
bit harder. Once we got home, I tried again. We were in the
kitchen alone, waiting for James to sort out the music.
“Who was that guy?” I said, trying to stop myself from
sounding disapproving. I didn’t think Shaun was the love of
her life, but nor did I think he deserved her cheating on him.
He’d wanted to come out with us, but she’d claimed it was a
girl’s night. She’d told us conspiratorially, said how much she
was looking forward to us being the three musketeers, and I’d
swallowed my irritation at the way she acted like she’d been
there from the beginning.
“What guy?”
“The one you were snogging.”
“I dunno what you’re talking about,” she said, pouring
boiling water into our mugs, her eyes refusing to meet mine.
“You so do!” I said, trying to keep it light.
“Why are you saying that?” she said, blue eyes fl ashing ice.
“I saw you.”
“Shut up, Livvy,” she hissed, spotting James coming
back into the room. “Hello, You,” she said, honeyed. “Cup
 
 
THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU 311
 
 
of tea, or shall we go for one last cheeky vodka? You know it
makes sense.”
It wasn’t really working. I’d always longed for me and Sally
to be more like sisters than friends, which just goes to show,
you should be careful what you wish for. Sally saved her worst
behavior for her family, and I think that, once we’d moved in
together, that was what I’d become in her eyes. Living with
her made me anxious, the whole atmosphere dictated by the
violent seesaw of her moods, and my grades were suffering as
a result. I’d got a part- time waitressing job to help fund my
rent, which made it even harder to focus. I started to wonder
if my rackety fi nances might provide me with the life raft
I needed. Perhaps I could plead poverty, move back into a
shared house, and keep the good bits of my friendship with
Sally and slough away the bad.
“That sounds like a fantastic idea,” said Mom, when I told
her, her relief palpable. “You’re only a student once in your
life, so you should jolly well be one.”
It was nice to feel that my family was there too, that not
everything was dictated by my relationship with Sally, each
experience taken back and pored over in the lab of our
friendship.
I put off mentioning it for a couple of weeks, rehearsing it
again and again in my head. In the end I broached it on one
of our sofa supper nights, hoping that the chilled domesticity
would soften the blow. As soon as she grasped what I was saying
she burst into hysterical sobs.
“You’re my best friend,” she said, burying her face in the
cushions. “Why wouldn’t you want to live with me?”
 
 
312 Eleanor Moran
 
 
“It was only an idea!” I said, helpless in the face of her
grief. “I just thought, we’ve only got a year left. It might be fun
to share again.”
“If it’s about money I’ll pay more! It is about the money,
isn’t it?”
I paused, trying to muster up enough courage to tell her
that it was about more than that. That I couldn’t give her everything.
That if I did there would be nothing left for me.
“Forget it. Forget I said anything. It’ll be fi ne.”
 
 
 

Author Bio:
Eleanor Moran is the author of three previous novels: Stick or TwistMr Almost Right and Breakfast in Bed, which is currently being developed for television. Eleanor also works as a television drama executive and her TV credits includeRome, MI5, SpooksBeing Human and a biopic of Enid Blyton, Enid, starring Helena Bonham Carter. Eleanor grew up in North London, where she still lives.
 
Social Media Links:
Twitter: @EleanorKMoran
Eleanor Moran’s Website: http://www.eleanormoran.co.uk/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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