Extract from Peas

A short story that focuses on how the relationship changes between two sisters, ELLA and GRACE, after a sexual incident occurs between Ella and Grace’s boyfriend, DAMIEN.


Ella looked up. It was Grace’s boyfriend, Damien. The room seemed to be spinning around his head, but she could just about make out his dark bearded face and toothy grin.

‘Where’s Grace?’

‘She’s been looking for you and I said I’d help find you! Come on let’s – ’

‘I need a minute, just give me a minute.’

He came and sat down next to her. His t-shirt was stuck to him and Ella could see droplets of sweat dripping down into his curly chest hair. The sight made Ella’s throat close up.

‘Do you wanna go… do you want somewhere a bit quieter?’ he asked her, his eyes bloodshot and wide.

Ella’s hands clung on to the edge of the sofa.

‘Come on, let’s go through here, I think you need a bit of air.’

She couldn’t remember later if it’d been her or him to suggest going into a bedroom. But she knew that she hadn’t suggested the door locking behind them. She knew she hadn’t been the one to suggest his hand on her thigh or his jeans around his ankles. One minute he was tucking her into the bed and quietly telling her to get some rest, and the next minute her knickers were digging into the sides of her calves as he tried to pull her legs further apart. He was on top of her with his hot breath in her ear, and then he wasn’t. She wasn’t sure if she’d been asleep. She sat up and saw there was sick on the polyester carpet and didn’t know if it was hers.

There were cheers from outside the room. It was 2011 now. She remembered lying there thinking how absurd it was that people celebrated the New Year. It was just time passing, nobody had done anything worth celebrating. They’d all just managed to exist for long enough to write a different number down when they wrote the date. She looked around the unknown bedroom and was pretty sure he’d left. She lay back on the bed and closed her eyes.