The Shallows by Holly Craig EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Author: Holly Craig
- Language: English
- Genre: Women Sleuths
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
Three Months Ago
You have to watch out when someone tells you they’re happy in their
marriage. Anyone who calls their husband lovely is lying. You have to
watch out for the ‘nevers’ and the ‘always’ people spill from their mouths.
They’re wanting to prove something to you, to themselves. That’s why I
didn’t believe my neighbour, Ariella, when she told me her and her
husband, Mateo, never fought, had always been in love. No one’s that
When they first moved in, from my bedroom window, I stood
watching my new neighbour for minutes. Her garden and life looked so
idyllic. The sun had a way of dappling itself over her skin, filtering light
over the lush grass and terrace, which screamed to invite me onto it. I
imagined sitting there, bouncing my legs and drinking rosé in ice-cold
glasses with French cheese and pickles. I imagined this woman telling me
how wonderful her life was without kids. She had a husband who kissed her
like they were newly dating. The house had been empty all year, the garden
neglected and bare. To have a neighbour would hopefully lead to having a
friend. I’ve never had many female friends – you can’t always trust them.
But I wanted her to smile at me like we were friends.
My new neighbour wore a floppy straw hat when she worked in the
garden. Bent over coriander, patting the soil, watering the earth like Mother
Nature, she prided herself on her herbs, I could tell. As soon as they moved
in, she knelt there on the grass, squeezing seedlings out of pots and making
room for them. I found myself ordering a trailer of new plants to surround
the pool. I don’t know why.
The neighbour and I waved at one another from our cars in the
driveway and I briefly said hello, catching her name. Ariella. The kind of
name I’d have wanted as a child.
Ariella. She appeared so perfect it was painful. Her princess name.
Her curved frame. The way she sipped her iced water.
But just like any perfect person who you admire from afar, you can’t
invite them into your own house, otherwise they’ll notice the imperfections
and the fragilities of your own life. We can’t have people comparing. It’s
best to shut them out until you find a crack, a tiny fault in them that levels
out the playing field. Then the invitation gets sent out. The olives are
poured into ceramic bowls and champagne into flutes. We’re equal, we’re
no better than each other. Now we can be friends.
I saw her crack; I saw her weeping into a tissue one morning when
Mateo left for work. Two hours later, I pulled out a gold sheet of paper.
The invitation was placed in their letterbox in a gold envelope with their
names scrawled in fine writing. Three times I attempted to write it and
couldn’t get the handwriting perfect enough, so I eventually made my
housekeeper, Georgia, do it while I dictated. ‘No, six o’clock, not seven.
Don’t bring a thing. We are so looking forward to having you. We’re, not
we are. It’s too formal, I don’t want her to think I’m like that.’
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