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Authors: Alex Coleman

The Bright Side

BOOK: The Bright Side
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This
novel
is
entirely
a
work
of
fiction.
The
names,
characters
and
incidents
portrayed
in
it
are
the
work
of
the
author’s
imagination.
Any
resemblance
to
actual
persons,
living
or
dead,
events
or
localities
is
entirely
coincidental.

 

Published
2009

by
Poolbeg
Press
Ltd

123
Grange
Hill,
Baldoyle

Dublin
13,
Ireland

E-mail:
[email protected]

www.poolbeg.com

 

© Alex Coleman 2008

 

Copyright
for
typesetting,
layout,
design

© Poolbeg Press Ltd

 

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

1
3
5
7
9
10
8
6
4
2

 

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

 

ISBN 978-1-84223-343-6

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photography
,
recording, o
r
any informatio
n
storag
e
or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold or otherwise circulated without the publisher ’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition, including this condition, being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

 

www.poolbeg.com

Note on the Author

 

 

Alex Coleman is married and lives in Dublin with the mandatory pair of writer's cats, who have asked not to be named
.

Acknowledgements

 

 

I
would
like
to
express
my
gratitude
to
my
agent,
Faith O’Grady,
for
all
the
work
she
has
done
on
my
behalf
and
for being
so
consistently,
almost
supernaturally
good-humoured. I’d
also
like
to
say
thank
you
to
Paula
Campbell
and
all
the staff
at
Poolbeg
for
their
support.
Thanks
are
due
to
Gaye Shortland
too
for
making
sure
that
the
editing
process
was both
painless
and
useful
.

Finally,
much
love
to
my
family
and
friends
whose
guidance and
encouragement
have
been
absolutely
vital
.

Alex
Coleman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To
my
best
friend,
Sinéad

 

CHAPTER
1

 

 

 

 

 

It
was
a
Friday
the
13th,
the
day
I
caught
Gerry
having
sex with
our
next-door
neighbour.
Not
that
I
ever
thought
the
two
things
were
connected.
I’d
always
hated
all
that superstitious
malarkey.
A
broken
mirror
didn’t
mean
seven years
bad
luck
in
my
book

it
meant
a
trip
to
the
mirror shop.
Still,
there
was
no
denying
that
I’d
been
having
a
really brutal
13th,
even
before
I
caught
the
pair
of
them
puffing and
panting
over
the
back
of
my
good
sofa
like
a
couple
of knackered
greyhounds.
I
slept
in,
for
a
start,
and
that
always got
on
my
nerves
(no
matter
how
often
it
happened). Skipping
breakfast
didn’t
bother
me
so
much,
but
I
really resented
having
to
rush
my
shower.
A
rushed
shower,
in
my opinion,
was
worse
than
none
at
all.
You
got
all
the
hassle
of
getting
wet
but
none
of
the
benefits.
It
wasn’t
much
different
to
getting
caught
in
the
rain.
And
this
was
a
real
in-and-out
job:
the
first
drops
of
water
had
barely
hit
the
floor
before
I
was
back
in
the
bedroom,
swearing
under
my
breath
and
rooting
through
my
underwear
drawer.
Gerry
was
gently
snuffling
in
his
sleep,
as
usual
(he
was
very
rarely
out
of
bed
before
me, even
when
I
wasn’t
up
on
time).
When
we
first
got
married,
I
found
his
snuffling
seriously
cute.
He
used
to
say
that
I’d
soon
change
my
tune
about
that
one.
But
he
was
wrong.
It
always
stayed
cute
to
me,
even
after
twenty-one
years
.

My day didn’t improve a whole pile when I finally made it across to First Premier in Santry. When I’d started working there, about three years previously, I’d foolishly pointed out to my manager, Jenny, that “first” and “premier” meant the same thing. She’d fixed me with one of her non-smile smiles and said, “Do you really think we don’t know that here at First Premier?” I discovered later that Jenny elbowed the phrase “here at First Premier” into approximately 50 per cent of her conversations. My job title was “Data Entry Operative”. I liked the “Operative” part. It made me sound like a glamorous spy. It was the “Data Entry” bit I had trouble with, both as a title and, sadly, as an everyday activity. That morning, as I came through the door of our humongous open-plan office, afraid to look at my watch but knowing it was getting on for ten, I just knew that Jenny was lying in wait for me like a badly permed leopard. Sure enough, I wasn’t even halfway to my desk – my work-station, rather – before she pounced
.

BOOK: The Bright Side
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