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The Guest List by Lucy Foley Read Online (FREE)

I know I won’t be able to go to sleep, though, especially not while all the blokes are still playing their game outside my room. So I stand against the wall outside for a bit and try to slow down the thoughts racing round my head.

‘Hello there.’

I nearly jump out of my skin. ‘What the fuck—’

It’s the best man, Johnno. I don’t like him. I saw how he looked at me earlier. And he’s drunk – I can tell that, and I’m pretty drunk. In the light spilling from the dining room I can see him give a big grin, more of a leer. ‘Fancy a puff?’ He holds out a big joint, sickly smell of weed. I can see it’s wet on the end where it’s been in his mouth.

‘No thanks,’ I say.

‘Very well-behaved.’

I make to go inside, but as I reach for the door he catches my arm, his hand tight about it. ‘You know, we should have a dance tomorrow, you and I. Best man and the bridesmaid.’

I shake my head.

He steps nearer, pulls me closer to him. He’s so much bigger than me. But he wouldn’t do anything right here, would he? Not with everyone upstairs?

‘You should think about it,’ he says. ‘Might surprise you. An older man.’

‘Get the fuck off me,’ I hiss. I think of my razor blade, upstairs. I wish I had it with me, just so I knew it was there.

I yank my arm out of his grip as I fumble with the door, my fingers not working properly. I feel him watching me the whole time.

 

JOHNNO
The Best Man
I’m back up in my room, having finished my joint. I managed to pick up the grass in Dublin when I arrived, hanging around Temple Bar with all the tourists. Not sure it’s as strong as the stuff I get from my usual guy but hopefully it will help me sleep. I need a bit of help tonight.

Here on the island it’s like we’re back there, at Trevellyan’s. Maybe it’s to do with the land. The cliffs, the sea. All I can hear is the sound of the waves outside the windows, slamming into the rocks below. I remember the dorm room: the rows of beds and the bars outside the windows. To keep us safe or to keep us in – maybe a bit of both. And the sound of the waves there, too, rushing up the beach. Shush, shush, shush. Reminding me to keep the secret.

I haven’t thought about it, not properly, for years. I can’t. Some things you’ve got to put behind you. But it’s like being here is forcing me to look right at it. And when I do I can’t fucking breathe properly.

I lie in bed. I’ve drunk enough to pass out, and then the weed on top. But I feel like something’s crawling all over my skin, a million cockroaches in the bed with me. They’re here to stop me getting any rest. I want to scratch at myself, tear into my skin if I have to, to make it stop. And I’m afraid that if I do sleep I’ll have dreams like I did last night. I haven’t had them for as long as I can remember … years and years. It’s the company. It’s this place.