Which he doesn’t respect.
I found myself choking up a bit, which was ridiculous as I’d only been away for two months, but I hadn’t been like that girl Jules in my class who’d gone away to university miles away, then worked in America and traveled all over the place. That wasn’t me at all, never had been.I looked at Kidinsborough with a funny air through the car windows. Another pawn shop had opened. Another little café had closed down. The people seemed to walk so slowly. I wondered, almost abstractly, if I was turning into a snob, but it wasn’t that. If you believed the papers (which I didn’t really understand anyway), the UK was doing well, while France was pretty much running on fumes, but you really wouldn’t see it to set up a street in Kidinsborough against the rue de Rivoli.
On the other hand, that was hardly fair. I was sure there were plenty of grim former industrial towns in France, cluttering up the border with rusting railway tracks and thundering lorries. I watched a woman shouting at her pram. She was wearing two tank tops, both grubby, neither of which reached all the way over the rolls of fat down to her leggings. She was pushing a buggy loaded with huge thin plastic bags through which the family bags of chips were clearly visible.I winced. I was turning into a snob.Anna! Have you turned into a total and utter snob?
It was Cath on the phone. I was so pleased to hear from her.Yes! I screamed back. I can’t help it! I don’t know what to do. I’m kind of horrible now.
Everyone in France is horrible, she said with all the authority of someone who’d been told off by a ferry operative on a school trip to France in 1995.
Everyone knows that. They eat dogs and stuff.Don’t ever be jealous of her. I’m not interested, and that will never change.
He stood in front of me, watching my every breath, waiting for my reply that never came. Instead, I focused on the other part of his statement—one that was equally surprising.Since when do you compromise, anyway? I laughed.
I’ve done so on rare occasion, he replied, searching me. Do you have anything in particular you’d like to compromise on?My brows pulled in. Like what? You leaving me alone and me not kneeing you in the balls the next time you try to touch me?