In those early days of living together, Peter never touched Grace’s journal. It was hers to write in, a practice she started years ago. On their first morning of him waking up at her place, she’d laid the ground rules. This, she said, pointing to her black journal, is sacred. It is me. The inner me that isn’t ready to face the world. If you are to be here with me, then you must respect this journal. I will know if you touch it. If the pages get opened, even for a peek, I will know and this, she said, pointing to the space between them, will be over.
Months later, Peter was home alone. He’d called in sick simply because he couldn’t be arsed to face his work colleagues. Not after he and Grace had fought.
And there it was. Just sitting there on the kitchen bench, right next to where he normally sat for his coffee.
Grace had left it there on purpose. This was his test. He desperately wanted to know what she thought of their fight, or more to the point, how serious she was when she said she knew he wouldn’t be able to be there for her. That he was incapable of having a genuine conversation.
He brushed his fingers up to the spine of the journal. How would she know if he took a peek?