The sound of the alarm echoed throughout the room, and Bea found herself stirring. Not at the persistent ringing near her ear, but due to the sunlight streaming through the thin curtains. She slowly opened her eyes and watched dust particles dance in the pink light of the voile draped up at the window. She yawned and reached over the bedside table fumbling around at the buttons on her mobile phone. At last, a brief silence. She could hear the dustmen outside indicating the day and time of the week. "Monday," she groaned, rubbing her eyes, yawned again, and then pushed back the quilt.

After getting ready for work, she made herself a cup of tea. This was her daily routine, no breakfast just caffeine and nicotine keeping the world at bay that little bit longer. She mumbled into her cup, "What am I doing?"

Today was Brandon’s sister’s twenty-first birthday. Brandon was Bea’s ex of six months, and she had managed to avoid him due to becoming a semi-recluse. Not a condition that she actually minded, any escapism from him was heaven after the two years they spent together. She glanced at the clock, gulped down the remaining tea, and started to make her way down into the bookshop when the phone rang. She lifted the mobile to her ear, ‘Hi Liza.’

~ Excerpt from very first draft (manuscript)