He knew it was the drink, but at that moment he didn't want Greta. At that moment he wanted Sophie, and his daughter, and his old life back. He wanted that more than anything in the world. If they were a family again, he wouldn't be lonely. He wouldn't be alone in a crowd any more. He wanted his old life. The life where he believed in happily ever after. The one where he was respected and envied.
His rambling desires were interrupted by a heavy sigh from Sophie.
'Can I go now? Some of us have to be up early in the morning, and not to dash down a ski run, cutting the first snow, but to feed Cheerios to an unwilling two-year-old.'
d.a.m.n, Sophie mentally kicked herself. There, she'd done it again. The reprimand was loud and clear Sophie's life was lonely and damaged because of Lloyd's selfish actions. The truth was Sophie was doing OK now, better than OK. She had long since left behind her the endless nights of reprisals, revenge plots and recriminations. She was sometimes genuinely happy. It wasn't always easy. Juggling a career and a small child on her own was complicated, but her daughter was such a source of undisputed, exquisite joy that the complications were nothing more than inconvenient. Her work was also a great source of pride and, not to put too fine a point on it, income.
For the first time in a long time, Sophie felt in control of her life and destiny, and she liked that feeling. So why was it that she found her treacherous tongue could not resist waging a pointless battle with her ex-husband? It was clear that the war had already been fought, the casualties counted and the dead buried. Why couldn't her treacherous tongue follow the instructions of her infinitely more sensible brain and behave with composure and serenity? Sophie wondered if she was over Lloyd. The loneliness had gone away, but her anger reared its ugly head at so many unexpected turns. She was angry with him when other women her friends, for example announced their second pregnancy or when she b.u.mped into him and Greta in the high street, strolling along hand in hand, and smiling as though they hadn't wreaked as much damage as an earthquake measuring seven on the Richter scale. She was angry when he announced he was taking a week's skiing holiday.
'What was your New Year wish?' asked Lloyd.
Right at that moment, Sophie wished she had the courage simply to hang up on him, but she didn't. Even now she was pathetically grateful for his attention. Habit, she supposed. Because she had been deprived of it for the past couple of years, she naturally hankered afte
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