Emma is fucking a writer. Well, she thinks she’s fucking someone who writes from time to time, but him? He assures her she’s fucking a writer.
And then he gets published, and even she has to admit she’s fucking a writer. It maybe wouldn’t bother her so much if she didn’t also write, but she does, and she’s disciplined. For two years, she’s been getting up at 6 every morning, weekends included, to write, and she knows her novel still isn’t quite good enough to submit. Perhaps she’ll send out the next draft – the ninth draft. He on the other hand, wrote a whole book in what seemed to Emma like a series of afternoons in the pub. She didn’t even realise he’d proofread it before he sent it off.
When the book comes out, she takes solace in the fact she knows he’ll at least say nice stuff about her in the acknowledgements. But his mum is there, his sisters, his nieces, even his fucking cat is there. But Emma is not.
‘Read it, honey’ he tells her, when she confronts him, ‘maybe there’s a surprise for you inside.’
So she reads. Fifty pages, a hundred pages, two hundred pages. Still no Emma.
‘I wouldn’t lie to you,’ he says. ‘Keep going.’
She’s on page 356 before she discovers her surprise. He’s waited right to the end to show her how much she means to him.
On page 356, the hero proposes to his girlfriend with a ring hidden in a cake.
Emma is the name of the waitress who carries it.