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Normal People by Sally Rooney Read Online (FREE)

It’s something to do with capitalism, she said.

Yeah. Everything is, that’s the problem, isn’t it?

She nodded. He looked over at her, as if coming out of a dream.

Are you cold? he said. You look like you’re freezing.

She smiled, rubbed at her nose. He unzipped his black puffer jacket and put it over her shoulders. They were standing very close. She would have lain on the ground and let him walk over her body if he wanted, he knew that.

When I go out at the weekend or whatever, he said, I don’t go after other girls or anything.

Marianne smiled and said: No, I guess they come after you.

He grinned, he looked down at his shoes. You have a very funny idea of me, he said.

She closed her fingers around his school tie. It was the first time in her life she could say shocking things and use bad language, so she did it a lot. If I wanted you to fuck me here, she said, would you do it?

His expression didn’t change but his hands moved around under her jumper to show he was listening. After a few seconds he said: Yeah. If you wanted to, yeah. You’re always making me do such weird things.

What does that mean? she said. I can’t make you do anything.

Yeah, you can. Do you think there’s any other person I would do this type of thing with? Seriously, do you think anyone else could make me sneak around after school and all this?

What do you want me to do? Leave you alone?

He looked at her, seemingly taken aback by this turn in the discussion. Shaking his head, he said: If you did that …

She looked at him but he didn’t say anything else.

If I did that, what? she said.

I don’t know. You mean, if you just didn’t want to see each other anymore? I would feel surprised honestly, because you seem like you enjoy it.

And what if I met someone else who liked me more?

He laughed. She turned away crossly, pulling out of his grasp, wrapping her arms around her chest. He said hey, but she didn’t turn around. She was facing the disgusting mattress with the rust-coloured stains all over it. Gently he came up behind her and lifted her hair to kiss the back of her neck.

Sorry for laughing, he said. You’re making me insecure, talking about not wanting to hang out with me anymore. I thought you liked me.

She shut her eyes. I do like you, she said.

Well, if you met someone else you liked more, I’d be pissed off, okay? Since you ask about it. I wouldn’t be happy. Alright?

Your friend Eric called me flat-chested today in front of everyone.

Connell paused. She felt his breathing. I didn’t hear that, he said.

You were in the bathroom or somewhere. He said I looked like an ironing board.

Fuck’s sake, he’s such a prick. Is that why you’re in a bad mood?