Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.7 MB
It all started with one little lie . . .
Jane and Marnie have been inseparable since they were eleven years old. They have a lot in common. In their early twenties they both fell in love and married handsome young men.
But Jane never liked Marnie’s husband. He was always so loud and obnoxious, so much larger than life. Which is rather ironic now, of course.
Because if Jane had been honest – if she hadn’t lied – then perhaps her best friend’s husband might still be alive . . .
This is Jane’s opportunity to tell the truth, the question is:
Do you believe her?
‘And that’s how I won her heart,’ he said, smiling. He leant back in his chair, lifting his hands behind his head, expanding his chest. He was always so smug.
He looked at me, and then at the idiot sitting beside me, and then turned back again to me. He was waiting for us to respond. He wanted to see the smiles stretch across our faces, to feel our admiration, our awe.
I hated him. I hated him in an all-encompassing, burning, biblical way. I hated that he repeated this story every time I came to dinner, every Friday evening. It didn’t matter who I brought with me. It didn’t matter which degenerate I was dating at the time.
He always told them this story.
Because this story, you see, was his ultimate trophy. For a man like Charles – successful, wealthy, charming – a beautiful, bright, sparkling woman like Marnie was the final medal in his collection. And because he was fuelled by the respect and admiration of others, and perhaps because he received neither from me, he wrenched them instead from his other guests.
What I wanted to say in response, and what I never said, was that Marnie’s heart was never his to win. A heart, if we’re being honest, which I finally am, can never be won. It can only be given, only received. You cannot persuade, entice, change, still, steal, steel, take a heart. And you certainly cannot win a heart.
‘Cream?’ Marnie asked.
She was standing beside the dining table holding a white ceramic jug. Her hair was pinned neatly at the top of her neck, loose curls around her cheeks, and her necklace was twisted, the clasp beside the pendant, hanging together against her breastbone.
I shook my head. ‘No, thanks,’ I said.
‘Not you,’ she replied, and she smiled. ‘I know not you.’
I want to tell you something now, before we begin. Marnie Gregory is the most impressive, inspiring, astonishing woman I know. She has been my best friend for more than eighteen years – our relationship is legally an adult; able to drink, marry, gamble – ever since we met at secondary school.
It was our first day and we were queuing in a long, thin corridor, a line of eleven-year-olds worming their way towards a table at the other end of the hall. There were groups huddled at intervals, like mice in a snake, bulging from the orderly, single-file line.
I was anxious, aware that I knew no one, psychologically preparing myself for being alone and lonely for the best part of a decade. I stared at those groups and tried to convince myself that I didn’t want to be part of one anyway.