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The Girl in the Mirror - Rose Carlyle 11111 by Rose Carlyle

The Girl in the Mirror - Rose Carlyle 11111 by Rose Carlyle

Author:Rose Carlyle [Carlyle, Rose]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: 2020-10-13T00:00:00+00:00


12

The Washing Machine

Of course I know who I am. I haven’t forgotten. I can’t forget. But I can’t let myself think it, not for one moment, not with these relatives circling and Adam, Adam, Adam everywhere.

I know who I am because, although Adam’s family is kind, I want, need, to get away from them. Summer would have slept at La Belle Romance, surrounded by Romains, each of them her newest, dearest friend. She would have slept with Tarquin curled up in her arms.

I know who I am because I didn’t call Annabeth or Ben myself. Summer would have faced up to them. Isn’t this how she snared Adam, because she didn’t shy away from his grief?

I know who I am because, as Adam spoons me in the warm night, his sleepy, trusting left hand snakes across my torso and nestles against my right breast, and I watch the right side of my chest pulse with each beat of my wayward, loveless, twisted heart.

I’m Iris, the spiky purple flower, not the sweet round rose. I’m the irises in your eyes, the twin rings of aqua around the two black pupils, the windows to my own missing soul.

I wake in the darkness, jolted into sweaty awareness not by a nightmare but by the stark truth of my waking life, piercing my sleep like a hot blade. Bathsheba rocks in the breeze, and I imagine I’m still at sea. I’ll make landfall today and tell Adam the truth. Of course he’ll help me. He’ll deal with the police and call his cousin, Dr. Romain. And I won’t have to refuse to be examined. I’ll let the doctor check me over.

How can I carry on like this? I’m bound to slip up. If only I could get back to Wakefield. Summer’s closet holds files of her whole life. I wouldn’t make mistakes with those to guide me. I’d read every page. adam’s favorite meals. The Millennial Kama Sutra.

If only I hadn’t covered myself with that apple perfume. Or was it the sarong or the wedding rings that I was already wearing when Adam swept me into his arms? But I could have explained those away. If only he hadn’t spoken so lovingly, held me so warmly, smelled so very good.

It went back further, though. Dropping my own ugly green ring overboard along with the notes I wrote, the plans for how this could work. If only I hadn’t, out of pure love for Summer, cut open my upper thigh to the groin. Then I couldn’t have done this no matter how much I longed to. Without the scar I would have had to tell the truth.

Adam would never marry his dead wife’s twin, but maybe there would have been a man, among the many Romains or the other men of the Seychelles, or somewhere in the world, who might one day have loved Iris Carmichael.

No. Right now, she would be lying here alone, the unloved bearer of the worst possible news. Or perhaps, without Adam’s intercession, she would be in prison already.



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