A Fantasy Love Scene

A Fantasy Love Scene

Nick Hornby

Grasp of dialogue and chemistry between characters, Nick Hornby is understood for each his books (Excessive Constancy, A few Boy, A Lengthy Manner Down, and many others.) and his screenplays (An Schooling, Brooklyn, Wild, State of the Union). His new e-book, Simply Like You, is an sudden trendy love story a couple of practically divorced lady who goes off her script when she meets a person from the technology after hers. It’s intelligent, entertaining, humorous, and keenly noticed.

We liked it.

Within the meantime: a sneak peek at Simply Like You. On this scene, forty-two-year-old Lucy is returning after a cocktail party fail to her two sons (Dylan and Al) and twenty-two-year-old babysitter Joseph. Lucy has simply satisfied a reluctant Uber driver to remove her to-be-ex-husband, who’d began a combat with Joseph. At this level, Lucy and Joseph haven’t had intercourse (but).

From Chapter 2 of Simply Like You

“You’re early,” stated Dylan. “You stated Joseph could be placing us to mattress.”

“Yeah, properly. I’d completed my important course and I didn’t just like the look of the pudding so I got here house.”

This was the type of logic they understood. It was onerous to think about that they’d behave another approach, even once they have been forty and going to their very own dinner events. They might hover by the door and say, in a single unbroken phrase, “ThanksverymuchfordinnerI’vefinishednow


“Take your headphones off.”

“I’ve solely bought one ear in. What did you say?”

“I stated, I’d completed my important course and I didn’t just like the look of the pudding so I got here house.”

“What was the pudding?”

“Why is Mum house?” stated Al.

“She didn’t just like the look of the pudding.”


“Take your headphones off.”

“They’re off.”

They weren’t off.


“What was the pudding?”

“She gained’t inform me.”

“Fruit, most likely.”

“Simply fruit?”

“In all probability.”

“Not a lot of a pudding.”

“Der, that’s why she got here house, penis-head.”

“Will you please cease saying that?”


“Anyway, you may keep up a bit longer. I’m having a cup of tea with Joseph.”


Lucy felt that the newest “what?” marked the tip of the dialog, so she went by means of to the kitchen. She didn’t desire a cup of tea, although. She needed a drink, however she felt awkward about it. For those who wanted a drink as a result of your drunk ex had come spherical and bought right into a shoving match with a babysitter, was that post-facto enabling of some type? Or inappropriate dependency? Alcoholism by proxy? She imagined that there could be assist teams for all of those situations, in the event you seemed on-line. Islington Put up-Facto Enablers most likely met each Thursday within the basement of St. Luke’s church.

“Wouldn’t it appear actually inappropriate if I had a glass of wine?”

“Properly,” stated Joseph. “I suppose it relies upon whether or not you’re an alcoholic who will wish to combat me whenever you’ve knocked it again.”


“Fantastic by me, then. Folks drink.”

“Do you?”


“Would you want one?”

“You don’t have any beer, do you?”

“I believe the Indian might need given me a free one with the final takeaway.”

She rummaged round behind the fridge and located it, a bottle of Kingfisher. He drank it straight from the bottle, the primary half in a short time.

“I’m so sorry,” stated Lucy when she’d poured her glass of wine.

“It’s tremendous.”

“Properly. It isn’t. I didn’t warn you it’d occur, and also you weren’t anticipating it.”

“Has it occurred earlier than? I imply, to different babysitters?”

“No. Plus, it didn’t cross my thoughts. I suppose in my protection it might have been like warning you a couple of, a housebreaking. Or a lightning bolt.”

Joseph spent longer than he ought to have carried out questioning what was incorrect with this comparability. He knew about burglars and lightning bolts, and had assessed the dangers accordingly. He didn’t know that Lucy had an alcoholic ex-husband who would possibly flip up at any second. He was a bit greater than a lightning bolt. He was extra like a loaded gun, or a forgotten knife in a pocket.

“It’s not your fault.” It was a tiny bit her fault, by the loaded-gun calculation.

“I do know. However I’m so embarrassed. It’s like one thing out of…EastEnders.”

“Perhaps that’s why individuals like EastEnders.”

“I suppose so. However I’m the Head of English at a secondary faculty. I’m speculated to have an orderly life.”

“Is that what you truthfully suppose?”

“Sure. After all. Half the children have gotten drunk fathers turning up and inflicting a scene. I can’t be part of all that.”

Lucy would have favored to say that she noticed the hazard as quickly as she’d uttered the phrase, nevertheless it wouldn’t be true. Joseph was on it earlier than she’d had an opportunity to reel it in.

“What’s ‘all that’?”

“Drunk dad and mom turning up and inflicting a scene.”

“Properly, you already are part of ‘all that.’ ”

“Sure, however not…”

She stopped. She noticed it now.

“Your drunk husband is totally different from their drunk fathers?”

“I see what you imply.”

“Do you?”

“Sure. My mess is similar as anybody’s mess. There’s no such factor as Head of English Division mess.”

“Yeah,” stated Joseph. “Right here’s the factor. The second you’re associated to someone else, you’re in hassle.”

“We’re all associated to another person, from the second we’re born.”

He nodded.

“That’s what I’m saying.”

He was faster than her. Or somewhat, she thought she may get away with not being her quickest self, as a result of she was older than him, however she couldn’t. She may most likely beat him in a quiz about Jane Austen, however that was about it.

“Is there chaos in your loved ones?”

Joseph knew that this was most likely the time to supply her one thing in alternate, however he didn’t really feel like exposing his circle of relatives, his wayward cousins and his bad-apple uncle, simply to make Lucy really feel higher.

“There’s chaos in everybody’s household.”

He completed his bottle of beer.

“I’m going to move off.”

He felt flat. There had been a fantasy that concerned him staying the night time and sneaking out within the morning earlier than the boys wakened—a fairly concerned fantasy that he’d been finessing whereas watching the soccer with Al and Dylan, earlier than Paul had arrived. The fantasy hadn’t survived the occasions of the night, although. If he have been ever going to sleep with Lucy, there must be some type of severe plan in place, with each attainable transfer and countermove thought out upfront. He wasn’t superb at chess, and it wasn’t a very horny recreation anyway. All that considering killed the vibe.

“Oh. OK.”

Did she really feel flat too? If she did, that was as shut as he was going to get to any type of sexual spark. And mutual flatness wasn’t the identical as mutual attraction.

Excerpted from Simply Like You by Nick Hornby. Copyright © 2020 by Nick Hornby. Excerpted by permission of Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random Home LLC, New York. All rights reserved. No a part of this excerpt could also be reproduced or reprinted with out permission in writing from the writer.

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