Welcome! Thanks for your interest and curiosity. Below you’ll find one of my favourite scenes from SOPHIE’S TURN and, a little further down, another one from SOPHIE’S RUN. I hope you like what you see here… let me know, don’t be shy. Happy reading!
“What the hell is going on here?” I hissed, trying to prevent others from hearing our exchange.
“Oh, Sophie, Dan’s turned up. Isn’t it amazing?” she beamed at me.
“I can see that,” I kept hissing, “But what is he doing here?”
Rachel was quite drunk herself and looked at me with those bleary eyes that usually meant she was up to no good. “Sophie,” she declared solemnly and rather loudly, “you have broken the man’s heart. He has come to reclaim you.” She wobbled unsteadily and I gripped her arm. Usually one to hold her liquor, party-girl Rachel had clearly gone too far tonight.
“Shh!” I admonished. “Will you keep your voice down? What are you talking about?”
“Dan is completely besotted with you, and he said he couldn’t bear the thought of you getting engaged to Tim so he had to…hic…come and check him out…hic!” Oh God, she had the hiccups. She would have to spend the night in the guest room. Once Rachel got the hiccups, she was beyond salvation. I gave her twenty minutes before she collapsed. I had to extract critical information fast.
“Why did you introduce him to Tim?” I continued my interrogation. “Couldn’t you have sent him away?”
“Oh no, Sophie. I couldn’t turn this lovely, heartbroken man away.” She looked at me with big, innocent, and totally unfocused eyes. “In fact, we were just looking for you. You seemed to have… hic… hic… hic…disapp-hic-eared.”
“What did you say to Tim about who Dan was?” I needed to know.
“That he was Dan, of course. Your boy-hic-friend from Tuscq!” She dropped this bombshell completely nonchalantly.
“You what?” I squeaked. “Please tell me you’re joking.”
“No, I’m s-hic-erious! Ti-hic-im thought it was very funny. Hic.”
I wrung my hands and barely prevented myself from tearing at my hair. If Tim had thought it was funny, he must have thought Rachel was being facetious or winding him up. He had seen her drunk before — the experience hadn’t done anything to endear her to him in any way —so it was likely that he hadn’t paid the slightest bit of heed to the truth she was spouting. But I had to move, and fast.
“You,” I said to Rachel, grabbing her by the shoulders and steering her toward the stairs. “You have had enough to drink. You are going to bed.”
“I hic-am?” Rachel asked, surprised.
“Indeed,” I confirmed grimly and marched her up the stairs. “Right, here you are. Guest room. Bed. Now.” I propelled her forward and she flopped on the bed like a rag doll.
“Very ti-hic-hic-red,” she mumbled before passing out.
I, on the other hand, had sobered up dramatically and had only one thought left: damage limitation. I blundered back downstairs, racing quite unladylike in my high heels, and skidded to a halt in the lounge. There they were, companionably sitting in front of the stereo, playing DJ.
I clattered across the floor, grabbing a bottle of champers and three glasses off a table as I went. Tim looked up, and then sprang to his feet.
“And here she is,” he announced to Dan with no small measure of proprietary pride. “Doesn’t she look gorgeous?”
Dan rose to his feet, somewhat unsteadily, and looked me up and down. A sad smile played on his face for just the briefest of moments.
“She looks stunning, indeed. Congratulations to you both.” He walked over to me and planted a chaste kiss on my cheek. “Well done,” he said softly, and Tim beamed gratefully, completely unaware that the comment was aimed solely at me. In fact, he seemed completely besotted by Dan’s manly, famous presence.
“Dan here and I were just discussing rock music,” he informed me as though Dan were his new best friend.
I shuddered for a moment. God forbid.
“Dan has some very interesting views about the movement, you know?”
I winced and smiled a secret apologetic smile at Dan, but he was too drunk to notice anything patronizing in Tim’s comment. I had to separate the two before things got out of hand. Luckily, one of our other guests absolved me of thinking up more ruses by descending on Tim and whisking him away to the kitchen.
Dan and I regarded each other in silence.
“You do look beautiful,” Dan repeated, suddenly sounding a whole lot more sober.
I wanted to cry. “What are you doing here?” I whispered, not trusting my voice.
“I don’t really know,” he acknowledged. “I just felt…lonely. At a loose end. I had to see you and convince myself that…well, that it really is too late. You know?”
I was simultaneously touched and petrified. “I thought we’d agreed…,” I started, but Dan interrupted immediately.
Abruptly, he handed me four dresses. The magical blue one wasn’t among them. “Try these on,” he commanded. Fingering one of the dresses lightly, I sighed heavily. They looked divine. And expensive.
I stepped back, my arms folded across my chest. “I don’t think I can afford these.”
Dan rolled his eyes as though to say, “Not that old chestnut again.” Grabbing a random dress off the rack, he disappeared in a cubicle and pulled the curtain shut behind him. This got the personal shopper’s attention. She jumped up from her chair and walked over to me swiftly, eyes swiveling between me and the cubicle. She cleared her throat, uncertain how to handle this.
“Did he…did he go in there?” she confirmed unnecessarily.
“It looks that way,” I offered, trying not to laugh at her disconcerted expression.
“He’s not—is he trying the dress on?”
“Err, yes.” I breathed. “Why, is that a problem?”
Meanwhile, Dan had run into trouble in the changing room.
“I need some shoes,” he shouted woefully. “Could you get me some shoes to match? Size ten please, for me, and size six for the lady as well. Please?”
Confronted with a direct request, the personal shopper sprang into action. “Schuhe…” she murmured. “Size forty-four and size thirty-nine…. Hmm…” She bustled off.
Finally erupting into laughter, I bounced into Dan’s cubicle. I was going to ask him what he was doing, but the words stuck in my mouth. There he was, in a bright orange, low-cut, floor-length dress with a big bow at the front. He had filled in the missing curves using his socks, and he hadn’t managed to do up the zip. He looked disturbingly attractive in ladies’ fashion.
“Will you do me up?” Dan turned his back to me and tugged experimentally at the fastening. I swatted his hands away and closed the zip to halfway up Dan’s back.
“It won’t go any further,” I informed him dryly. “By the way, did you know your dress is called GaGa?” My eyes had caught on the flashy black-on-orange label sown inside the back.
“I didn’t, but it makes sense. It’s a wild dress.” He gave a little twirl. “What do you think?”
“I think you’re nuts,” I snorted. “You be sure not to ruin this dress or else we’ll have to buy it.”
“Never fear,” he grinned wickedly. “It would look much better on you, though.”
I shook my head. “I don’t do orange. Not if you paid me.”
A discreet cough disturbed our whispered conversation.
“Excuse me, sir? Madam? I’ve got your shoes…”
“Great,” Dan enthused and stepped out of the cabin. “Let’s have them.” He took a pair of orange flats out of the assistant’s hands and regarded them critically.
“I was hoping for heels,” he announced with a straight face, and I almost peed in my pants with laughter.
The assistant was now in professional mode. “I can’t offer you heels in this style in your size,” she announced, “but I do think we have some silver-colored shoes that would work with the dress. The heels are—” She looked attentively at Dan. “The heels are probably about six centimeter stilettos. Would you like to try them?”
“Why, yes!” Dan enthused. “I most certainly would.”
The personal shopper went off to fetch the silver stilettos, and Dan grinned his wicked boy smile at me.
“Do you reckon she’ll let us take a picture?” he wondered out loud.
“Hm…possibly, why?” I wondered back.
“It’d be cool to stick up on our website, don’t you think?”
I regarded him critically. He was most probably joking, but with Dan you never did know.
“Yeah. But perhaps you ought to tuck those socks in more carefully,” I suggested, tugging playfully at a black-and-pink striped heel that was protruding from his chest area. “It does rather kill the look.”
He peered down his front appraisingly. “D’you reckon?” he asked. “I think it has something, this unexpected flash of black sock.”
“Well, it does rather go with your hairy chest,” I conceded. “If you’re serious about the dress, you might consider shaving.”
“I thought you liked my chest hair?” Dan mock sulked.
“Yes, but it doesn’t work with a dress. It’s just wrong.”
“That’s sexist,” Dan declared, then changed the subject abruptly. “Here, try this.” He handed me the divine-looking blue silk creation. “It’s perfect for you.”
I gave in.