Monday, 19 May 2014

...of inhibition

As always, Florence was adept at concealing her feelings from her family. It required no effort - she simply left the room, whenever it was possible to do so undemonstratively, and later was glad she had said nothing bitter or wounding to her parents or sister; otherwise she would be awake all night with her guilt. She constantly reminded herself how much she loved her family, trapping herself more effectively into silence. She knew very well that people fell out, even stormily, and then made up. But she did not know how to start - she simply did not have the trick of it, the row that cleared the air, and could never quite believe that hard words could be unsaid or forgotten. Best to keep things simple. She could only blame herself then, when she felt like a character in a newspaper cartoon, with steam coming from her ears.

[On Chesil Beach, McEwan, I.]

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