Book Beginnings – 6th August 2021

Book beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and it is a chance to share the first sentence or so of a book you’ve reading, about to read or recently read.

The book I’d like to share this week is ‘Did You Miss Me?’ By Sophia Money-Coutts. I am currently reading it and really enjoying it!

At precisely 6.10 a.m., as usual, my alarm went off. Phone! Where was the phone? My hand groped the bedside table as Gus reached for me under the duvet, mumbling something. ‘Huh?’ ‘TGI Friday,’ he clarified as his fingers ran up my stomach. I fell back on my pillow, alarm silenced, knowing what came next. Sex came next because that’s what Gus and I did before work on Friday mornings. Quick, efficient sex where we avoided one another’s sour breath by panting into the other’s shoulder. On Saturday mornings we went to the dry cleaners and collected croissants from the French bakery. On Sunday mornings we bought a Sunday Times from the newsagent, ate eggs on sourdough (Gus) and eggs and avocado (me) in the posh coffee shop opposite the French bakery before returning to the dry cleaners to pick up the clothes we’d dropped off the day before. But on Friday mornings, it was always sex. ‘Tees us up nicely for the weekend, Nell,’ Gus observed once, rolling off me with a little sigh of contentment, as if our love life was a Spotify playlist. And right on time this morning, his fingers progressed up my ribcage. ‘Good morning, Mr Nipple,’ he said, rolling my left nipple between his thumb and his forefinger like a child with a marble. After half a minute, he moved his hand to my right breast. ‘And Mrs Nipple,’ he added, before spending another thirty seconds there. I supposed it was precision timing like this that made Gus such a good cook. Satisfied that he’d paid due attention to both nipples, he dropped his hand to between my legs and burrowed around there with the same energy I’d seen him deploy on his sock drawer: concentrated and determined. ‘It’s all right,’ I whispered after another minute of frowning at the ceiling, wondering what shirt to roll into my rucksack for the office. I reached for his hand to pull it up again. The white one from Sandro. It wasn’t that I disliked sex with Gus. I enjoyed sex with Gus, especially at the beginning. He’d been the one who’d helped me discover why poets banged on about sex. But, eleven years into a relationship, there was the sort of sex that poets banged on about, and there was sort of sex you had on a Friday morning before work. This was going to be very much the latter.

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