The Weaker Sex - Read the Prologue
Today I want to share the prologue from The Weaker Sex. I actually can't believe I didn't share this already as I really thought I had, but instead I realised I shared the Author's Note from the book instead. Anyway, here is the prologue today, and here is where you can find the book available as an ebook for Kindle (it's free in Kindle Unlimited) and as a paperback too.
If you do want to go on and read the rest of Madam's story, I strongly recommend you check the trigger warnings at the beginning of the book.
That’s him. Isn’t it? Is that him?
I crane my neck to see his face, but a bus pulls up alongside the window and I see nothing but red. I glance ahead, past my driver’s ear. Noticing we’re stuck in traffic I lean forward, gripping the sides of the passenger seat in front of me.
‘Are you alright?’ asks Abigail, my driver.
‘I just…’ I pause, willing the traffic ahead and the bus beside us to move on, begging the other people walking along the side of the road to just melt away. ‘I thought I saw someone I knew.’
Abigail nods. ‘For a city of millions, London’s still a small world. I always end up seeing the exes I wish I didn’t.’
I sense that Abigail is looking at me in the rear-view mirror, wanting to share a small laugh or reassuring smile, but I don’t take my eyes off the side of the road. The bus starts to move but I know it’s too late. I don’t see the grey hair atop a long navy-blue coat again. I can’t see the woman with the plaid scarf who was walking just behind him.
They’ve all moved on.
I finally sit back and apologise to Abigail.
‘Nothing to apologise for, Madam. Are you okay?’ she asks and I meet her gaze this time.
‘I’m fine,’ I say, but I’m not. I haven’t been fine for years, and every day I feel more fear. Not fear of him - not anymore - but fear that my time is running out.
I’d forgotten what it was like to think I’d seen him. I’d forgotten how I could feel so much, so quickly. An immediate rush of cold freezing my breath, my body, my mind. And then a hot, engulfing heat that rises, like the flames of wildfire.
I’d forgotten how much seeing him could make me feel both lost and found. Lost because it made me remember the pain and helplessness. Found because I know exactly what I have to do to regain control. Found because I’m ready to do what has to be done.
Because I have to see a body, a dead body. Even if I have to make that happen myself.
Frances M. Thompson
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