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Don't Forget Me by Lisa Nicholas

Read Online Don't Forget Me by Lisa Nicholas Mystery Book

Overview: Megan's dead
Adam's disappeared
Olivia has a plan
Time stopped for Olivia when Adam left, but now she's found him.
With Megan gone, and Adam lost in a tangled web of lies, Olivia is ready to take what's hers.
She has waited too long. She is watching now. And she knows that soon enough the truth will come out.
He won't forget her this time.

Read Online Don't Forget Me by Lisa Nicholas Book Chapter One Free. Find Hear Best Mystery Books And Novel For Reading And Download.
Don't Forget Me by Lisa Nicholas

 

Read Online Don't Forget Me by Lisa Nicholas Book Chapter One

 

Olivia

Megan’s dead, and Adam has run away.

Yesterday, I saw him for the first time in months. He has lost weight, but it suits him, I suppose. He’s also started wearing trendy clothes, which don’t. He blended in as he strutted through the streets of London; you’d never have known what he’d done. The lines on his face were cut no deeper than the last time I saw him. You’d guess he didn’t have a care in the world, if you didn’t know him. But I do know him, and even from across the street I could make out the scars on his hands, creeping up underneath the cuffs of his bright white shirt, as if trying to crawl away in shame.

I’ve been sitting for hours on a wooden bench decorated with pigeon shit, staring at the towering building across the freshly cut lawn that nobody walks on. His lights are on, but I didn’t need them to tell me he was home. I’d have seen him if he left the flat, exiting from the large glass doors, which swing open and closed beneath a stack of glistening windows. They stand tall, peppered with balconies home to steel-grey deckchairs that stay empty, their owners safely within their fortress, shutting out the noise of the cars beeping and growling. They give me a headache.

Today is Saturday and it’s not yet nine a.m. I don’t know what he does on Saturdays anymore. He used to spend them with me. Megan was always busy on a Saturday with her horses at the livery yard, so Adam and I would do something we both knew she’d hate. He used to joke she loved the four-legged beasts more than him. We’d travel by train to London, and spend hours slowly meandering through our favourite galleries. I loved our secret escapes from my dull village life in Yorkshire, and I loved our lunches in exquisite little restaurants with too many tables draped in white and packed close together, strangers’ elbows almost touching. The bustle of the city overwhelmed my senses and I had no idea how to find my way around, but he would hold my hand and wink at me, like he knew it all.

He doesn’t need to escape for the day to London anymore. He’s made it his home. Finally, he would probably say. He had always wanted to. He’d argued with Megan about it, and I pretended to be on his side, but I was glad she refused to leave Yorkshire because I couldn’t stand to be left behind. Until I started to wonder if perhaps it would be Adam and I who would go to London, leaving Megan behind instead. Life is full of surprises, and in the end, he left us both behind. I hadn’t factored that possible ending into my deliberations and calculations. I’ve missed him. Every day I have thought about him, and not once have I blamed him for what happened but I expect he blames himself. I blame Megan. She wanted to drive me away, but in the end, it was Adam who absconded. And now, I’m left alone.

I felt lost not knowing where he had gone. I went back to the old house every day for 221 days, and I’d watched autumn turn to winter turn to spring. The large front garden was overgrown now, but the sandstone walls of the house still drew the eye in, winking through the tiny windows that remained intact, covered in diamond-shaped lead, not a straight line to be found across the whole house. It was big, old, and wonky; we had loved it. I was sure that one day I’d find him there, looking for me as I looked for him. If nothing else, I thought he’d have to come back to commission and oversee the repairs, to salvage anything that might have escaped the lick of the flames, but he didn’t come back. Not once.

The seasons changed, but the house remained black and white, dilapidated, and sorry for itself. It was still standing, remarkably, though I hadn’t been back inside. I wondered if the expensive blue and white wallpaper in the hallway that Megan had spent months choosing and thousands paying for not so long ago had completely perished, or would a trained eye still make out the textured lines? I thought about the wide staircase that would greet us as we walked over black and white floor tiles and tried to imagine the walnut-wood bannisters adorned with hand-carved spindles no longer erect.

The fire had started in the living room, and travelled over at least two antique rugs to make it into the corridors that connected the many rooms. The snug, the utility room, the dining room. I wonder if it destroyed the kitchen — the heart of the home — or if the shiny marble-topped space withstood the attack of the flames. From outside you can see that the bedrooms didn’t fare well, at least the three at the front. Ragged material, once heavy, lined curtains, made to measure, blew gently through the broken windows whenever there was a breeze. Still, it was beautiful, and I didn’t believe it was lost forever.

I walked through winding lanes encased by fields full of sheep and cows to pass the house each day. I’d squint and blur my eyes to make its colours reappear. The blue door, the coral pink roses climbing the walls, and the sing-song voice that would great me as I walked up the once pretty pathway, scattered with wild flowers at the right time of year, or covered with snow.

‘Come on in darling, I’ve just put the kettle on!’

Megan had been my closest ally once. Like everyone else, I’d orbited her; she was my sun. Until I realised how little I meant, like Pluto, not even a proper planet. I wanted to be the fucking moon. Adam, over time, had embraced my quirks. We became very close, especially when Megan started to fall apart. He’d needed me then, just as I need him now.

I used to write funny notes for him. I’d hide them in his suit jacket pocket so that he’d smile as he reached for a pen to sign one of his tediously dull and incomprehensible work documents, or find it when he reached for loose change to give to a homeless person. I slid notes into his jean pockets too, reminding him that I was always thinking about him, even when times were tough. His warm winter coat had huge zip-up pockets stuffed with waterproof gloves. I’d roll up a note and insert it deep into the thumb. His gloves reminded me of how large his hands were, warm and comforting. I adored him; still do.

‘You’re incredible,’ he’d say, marvelling at our new-found connection, in the midst of their struggles. I was incredible for him. Everything I was, by then, it was all for him. But who wants to be incredible anyway? Beyond belief, lacking in credibility, seemingly impossible. Megan was the real deal for him from the very beginning, and I was a delusion he wanted to believe in. I think deep down he still wants to believe.

Once, feeling brave, I left a note in the jewellery box containing her anniversary gift before he popped it in his dinner suit jacket. She didn’t notice it, or me. She barely noticed him at all in the end, which was painfully unfair when I spent my days and nights noticing everything about him. I heard her tell a woman at book club that he was a tad nondescript. By then I knew how much I loved him, and felt fiercely protective towards him. I could have slam-dunked her pretty, heart-shaped face through the wine-laden glass coffee table. She wasn’t as nice as she used to be, her true bold colours starting to bleed through the pastel façade.

When Adam encouraged me to move away, I thought he meant well. He wanted me to take the opportunity, make a success of my artistic vocation. He believed in me, they both did. I believed them. Why wouldn’t I? They said I would fit in there, and that I looked beautiful. I’ve never felt beautiful but it’s nice to pretend for a moment, to forget my intimidating stature, and to believe in the vision of adoration and adulations that they painted with encouraging words. Still, their friends sneered at me. Bea, Elizabeth, and Antonia, Megan’s hateful book club friends, called me clingy, and said three might be becoming a crowd. Our relationship wasn’t normal, they’d say, when they thought I wasn’t listening. It wasn’t normal, whatever normal means, it was better.

That’s why I came back when things didn’t work out. I’d been away for months, unhappily pursuing my dreams on the advice of those I thought loved me the most. Turns out I was just in their way. I’d missed them both, the only two people who understood me. When I returned, success for me was still elusive, but to bask in theirs had always been enough. I’d been back less than a year when Megan died, and since then life has stalled. He doesn’t want my notes anymore, he’s made that perfectly clear. Yet I never stopped trusting that he’d come back for me, eventually, so I waited. And I waited, and I waited, and I waited. I would wait forever, for him.

Last Tuesday, something finally happened. As I sat and watched the old house, in my usual spot on the drystone wall across the lane, waiting for Adam to finally come home, the colours I had conjured faded and the voices I used to love to remember were silenced. The skinny man in the shiny ill-fitting suit stood back to admire his work. The sign he had knocked into the soil blocked my view and the rage stymied my imagination. Adam wasn’t coming back. He was a coward after all. A wimp, a deserter, a total bastard. It said offers welcome, quick sale preferred. I went to the estate agents, determined to find a forwarding address. I didn’t need to lie, or cheat, rummage or steal. Right there on the out tray for post, a clearly addressed letter to a Mr Adam Sykes. So much for all the grave promises of privacy policies and data protection. I took a note of his new address and headed straight to London. I arrived on Thursday.

His flat is in Canary Wharf and the rentals advertisement billboard just out of residents’ view on the corner tells passers-by that they probably couldn’t dream of affording one of these luxury penthouse apartments. The weekly rent was eye watering. I guess he sold Megan’s livery yard after all, though now I can see why he might need to sell the old wreck too, whatever it’s worth now. He has a river view punctuated with the 02 Arena, its yellow arms reaching to the sky from its bloated white belly. I could see his silhouette in the window. As I took it all in, I dared to believe he might be over the worst of his grief and his guilt. He was selling up, starting afresh. He was ready to move forward.

My heart had danced with joy but then I saw her. They didn’t emerge until ten o’clock on Saturday morning. It had been a long night. She was small, like a child. Even as a child I don’t recall having shoulders so narrow. Her ponytail was long and thick, and should have frizzed and fought its way out of order as mine always had, but of course her caramel highlights were shimmering in the morning sun as if she belonged in a shampoo advert. She was much younger than Megan, but he clearly has a type. Do these tiny birdlike women make him feel tall?

Until now, I’ve been unable to move on, I didn’t even know where he was. I couldn’t get closure, as some say, particularly idiots and Americans. Meanwhile, he, the supposedly tortured widower, is practically skipping from his fancy new apartment to his cool new office. Judging by Slutty-McSlut-Face hanging off his arm, it seems I was right about him being ready to forget the past.

I spent last Christmas alone, following the crescendo of the unravelling, discordant melody of my imperfect world. Imperfect, but the only world I had, and the only one I knew I’d ever have. I’ve been left alone too long, but I will not be forgotten. I want my life back. I spent last Christmas alone but it was the one before that I hate to think of the most. That’s when it all began. Megan ruined everything, but soon, Adam and I will be together again.

 

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