Late in the Day: A Novel by Tessa Hadley:
The next morning Isobel was nauseous from the drink. – I can’t bear to tell you what’s happened with my parents, she said to Blaise. They had actually sent each other this time, to make sure, the map coordinates for a Caffè Nero in the Haymarket. – I’ll never be able to convince you that up until now, my life’s been so straightforward. Almost too straightforward. I wish you’d known me in the past, just so that you’d believe me, how boring I used to be.
Blaise only smiled fondly; he had brought her as a present a leather-bound Victorian anthology of poetry – inevitably she lost it almost at once on the Tube. She asked if nothing awful ever happened to him. – I was in a helicopter last year in Pakistan, he offered helpfully. – And my ear protectors blew off in a backdraught. I was too embarrassed to say anything, you know, civil servant among all those military types. But I couldn’t hear properly afterwards for months.