tell me. I know from the sinking feeling in my stomach, the dizzying sensation that knocks all the air out of me and presses me down into the bed.
‘What’s this? Can you tell me that?’
Her hand is so thin, the sinews and veins wind their way over the bones, and her nails are so sharp, they bore into the blank sheet of paper that is crumpled between her fingers.
‘Answer then, damn you. I’ve no more patience left. Answer!’
To underline that she means business, she grabs one shoulder of my nightdress, shoves me hard against the wall. ‘For a while things were quite all right,’ I answer weakly, rubbing the back of my neck with my hand.
‘All right? They’re bloody well not all right. It’s all pure obstinacy on your part.’
‘You don’t understand. For a while I wanted to leave, but then you refused to talk about it.’
‘What’s all this bullshit? I only want a straight answer: was this you?’ She holds the ball of paper up in front of me once more.