Emily by Jilly Cooper

By Jilly Cooper

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He nearly tripped over the ugly American girl who was now snoring on the floor. �She ought to be moved,’ he said fussily. �She’s quite happy,’ said Rory Balniel. ‘I expect she needs sleep. ’ �She’s giving people a bad impression of the party,’ said the Australian. �Not nearly so much as when she’s awake,’ said Rory Balniel. He was trying to balance a glass on one of his fingers. His eyes had gone out of focus. He looked like a Siamese cat. The glass crashed to the floor. Split Ends and Tiffany howled with laughter.

I don’t just pick up men at parties and leap into bed with them on the first night. At least, not recently,’ I wailed. ’ Slowly he clambered out of bed and started to get dressed. I was shot through with misery, but I tried to make a joke of the situation. �Don’t think it hasn’t been marvellous, because it hasn’t,’ I said with a deliberate sniff. He laughed, and when he had dressed and cut himself shaving on Nina’s pink plastic razor, he came back into the bedroom and said, ‘Don’t forget me, will you?

Stop the taxi, I wanted to scream. Let me out, take me to Liverpool Street, I’ve got to catch a fast train back to East Anglia, back to Cedric and sanity. You’ll pay for this later, Emily. You’ll be sorry; yes, you will! No one could have guessed from the ecstatic, passionate, writhing form in Rory’s arms that any sort of moral battle was raging inside me. I’ll say goodbye to him firmly at the door, I told myself. Then when we got to the door I thought: I’ll just give him a very quick drink to be sociable and then out he goes.

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