This is the story of Raymond and David. Told entirely from Raymond’s 3rd-person POV:
I love the way this introduces us to Raymond in such an engaging manner!
“Thank you, Mrs. Murphy.” Raymond grudgingly tore himself away from his report, trying to hide his annoyance at the voluble interruption. He was conscious of his pernickety reputation amongst his colleagues and aware that the door was wide open to accommodate the tea trolley, so he attempted a smile as he put down his fountain pen.
He took the cup and saucer from the motherly tea lady and tried not to wince at her disapproving tut when he chose only one plain biscuit from the proffered tin. Mrs. Murphy put her head on one side, and began persuasively, “Now, that won’t get you through the morning, Mr. Smith. As my Bert always says to me…
Ooh…another intriguing look at who Raymond is…or rather how others perceived him to be.
Standing on the flat roof, sheltered from the persistent drizzle by the overhang of the door frame, he had a few vital minutes of freedom before resuming his work. Little did his co-workers realise that his office persona was at least as dreary to him as it was to them. Although his seniors approved of his meticulous reliability, his juniors grumbled, calling him a “fussy old bird,” remarking their surprise that he was only in his mid-thirties. He was conscious of the comments about being “aged before his time.” Recently, saucy Miss Simmonds from the typists’ room, often scolded for her skirts being above the regulation length, had giggled, “As if a girl with any spirit would put up with that old misery guts!”
Ah, poor Raymond!
Despite his struggles with the confines of his current existence, compared to the narrow dreariness of his upbringing in Bromley, briefly punctuated by his army service at the end of the war, he had to admit it verged on the avant-garde.
“Do you drop into Charlie’s often?” David asked casually, as though he was referring to any ordinary social club.
“Not as a rule,” Raymond replied. “Maybe once a month or so. When the urge takes me.”
David smiled understandingly at this quip.
“What about you?” Raymond asked as if it was perfectly normal to grill a chap about the frequency of his visits to a place of assignation.
David is speaking. ❤️
“When I met you that evening, encumbered by my young cousin and his friends, I was at my wits’ end they would annoy the clientele. I saw you watching us and you seemed terribly disapproving.” He paused. “Then your expression changed, and you looked so understanding, so indulgent of those curious, eager boys that I couldn’t fail but to want to talk to you, to get to know you.”
✓ recent reads ✓ current reads ✓ re-reads ✓ want-to-reads
(all genres included)
About My #Treadmill / #AmReading Posts
I started out with this being a Sunday thing, but sometimes I’d rather not mash multiple books into a single post, so now, you never know when you might see one of these posts.
Rather than give a true “review,” which I’m not entirely comfortable doing as an author myself, I share snippets from books I’ve read and enjoyed, letting the authors’ words speak for themselves.
As you’ve possibly noticed, if you’ve been following along, I highlight snippets for reasons of my own which might veer from what is often seen. Sometimes my highlights have more to do with a paragraph simply impressing the heck out of me for its fabulous writerly technique, other times it has to do with the lovely way it gives subtle insight into the story/characters. Still other times simply because it made me laugh.
Anyway, I sometimes add a little commentary, but not always, which is not in any way, shape, or form, to be taken as unwritten commentary. Most likely it just means I’m short on time and/or context isn’t needed to understand what’s happening, and/or my brain doesn’t feel like putting out the effort in that particular moment.
Also, I’m going to try to spread the book love by tacking on covers of more books at the end of the post that I’ve either recently read, am currently reading, or want to read. Not seeing a full post with snippets for any of these books is not a commentary on anything other than how much time I have available in a day either to read or to create a post about what I’ve read. It might also mean I listened to the audiobook only or that it’s a reread that I’ve featured previously, or it’s not M/M so probably not a good fit for featuring on this blog.