The Girl I Used to Be by Mary Torjussen
English | 2018 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.2 MB
The acclaimed author of Gone Without a Trace delivers another twisting novel of psychological suspense in which a woman is backed against a wall–with nothing left to lose…
The morning after real estate agent Gemma Brogan has dinner with a prospective client, she’s furious at herself for drinking so much. But there will be more to regret than a nasty hangover.
She starts receiving mementos from that night: A photo of a hallway kiss. A video of her complaining about her husband. And worse…much worse. The problem is she doesn’t remember any of it.
As the blackmailing and menace ramp up, Gemma fears for her already shaky marriage. The paranoia, the feeling that her life is spiraling out of control, will take her back to another night–years ago–that changed everything. And Gemma will realize just how far the shadows from her past can reach…
And I remember Alex and his friends, all of them bound for Oxford and Cambridge, trying to hide their elation behind cool exteriors. They were fooling no one. They’d seen themselves as separate from the rest of us—they knew they were different—and now they were proven to be right. Or that was how I saw it then. I didn’t even know him; I’d only spoken to him once, but that was the impression he and his friends gave.
Lauren and I were standing behind their group that morning in the queue for the exam results and overheard his friend Theo ask, “The party’s on, then?”
Alex nodded. “Spread the word around. People from here only. No one else.”
I’d nudged Lauren and she’d giggled; we’d been looking forward to it for months and had everything planned, right down to the nail varnish we’d wear on our toes.
The local press was there in full force that morning, prearranged by the school, and there were photos taken of us all, grouped into sets, our expressions happy and free. Our teachers stood with us, their faces so tanned and relaxed I could hardly recognize them. The relief among all of us was palpable.
Alex’s house was in the middle of the countryside, ten miles out of town. We’d guessed it would be bigger, more expensive, but the scale of it surprised us. It was a detached house set in pristine landscaped gardens on the edge of a village. There were no near neighbors; their garden was surrounded by fields, beyond which we caught glimpses of the river.
He and Theo were standing at the front door when we arrived, making sure that they knew us all. There’d been stories in the news that summer about parties where crowds had gate-crashed and the police had had to be called; it was obvious from the way he checked everyone as they walked up the driveway that he was on guard for that.
“Hi,” he said. “Come on in!”
Behind Alex was Jack Howard, one of his friends, who was taking photos of everyone as they went into the house. We’d known for a long time that he’d had a crush on Lauren and, when he saw us, he blushed and busied himself with his camera. She slung her arms around Tom and me and we posed there on the doorstep, giddy and excited at the thought of the night ahead. After Tom went through the front door she turned and blew a kiss at Jack and turned to wink at me.
Whenever I think of Lauren, I think of us giggling. Just about anything could make us laugh. When Alex greeted us we giggled and nudged each other and went through the large hallway into the kitchen at the back of the house. It was full of food and alcohol. People had gone overboard and brought spirits and crates of beer and armfuls of wine bottles. I heard Jack say that Alex’s parents were away on holiday; they’d agreed that if he got top grades—which meant he’d be accepted by Oxford—and if he paid for a deep clean afterward, he could have a party there to celebrate. They would be back a few days later and didn’t want to see a sign there’d even been a party. That was a bit optimistic, I thought.