The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran (Media Blitz)

Final Blog Tour 1[3]
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Eleanor Moran, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson.


When Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from college has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally really had turned her back, why is her little girl named after Olivia?

As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel their tangled history. But as Sally’s secrets start to spill out, Olivia’s left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.

Author Bio:

Eleanor Moran is the author of three previous novels: Stick or TwistMr Almost Right and Breakfast in Bed, which is currently being developed for television. Eleanor also works as a television drama executive and her TV credits includeRome, MI5, SpooksBeing Human and a biopic of Enid Blyton, Enid, starring Helena Bonham Carter. Eleanor grew up in North London, where she still lives.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @EleanorKMoran

Eleanor Moran’s Website:



Final Blog Tour 2[9]


The last time I saw you you were wearing a grown up black dress, the kind of thing we could never afford in college. We’d have had the high street version, wouldn’t we? Kidding ourselves it looked like the designer original. You’re a mother of two now, a wife, a million miles from your student incarnation. I shook when I spotted you across the party, the hurt flooding back. Why did we go from best friends – no, more than that, almost sisters – to enemies? I thought about the savage split obsessively for years, way more than I thought about some romantic break ups. When we talked, you nervously swilling back your glass of champagne, I knew how deeply you felt it too. A part of me wishes we could’ve told each other the truth, hugged it out, but it was too public. We would’ve cried, at least I would’ve done, mascara giving me panda eyes. I do miss you still, I hope you know that.

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“I know. I’m saving you from yourself.

He’s towering over me,  ruddy and  damp from  the  gym, smelling not  of sweat or of aftershave, but  of a smell  pecu- liar to him. He’s gingery-blond, with a boyish lankiness that suits  the  irrepressibility of his personality. He’s bendy and springy and  unstoppable, constantly in  motion, and  yes, before you ask, I’m more than a little bit in love with him.  I always have been, ever since he walked into my high school politics class,  his  timing impeccable: my parents were  in the middle of their gruesome separation and  I was ripe for distraction.

James  was an army  brat, the youngest of three boys, and the family had  recently been transported to Northwood, the boring north London suburb we lived in, which was domi- nated by the naval base. A life spent being uprooted from place after place could go two ways. For James, rather than making him  shy and  mistrustful, it had  given him  the  cast  iron  cer- tainty that he could walk into  any  situation and  charm his way to the very heart of it. It wasn’t oiliness or manipulation, it was pure self-belief combined with  an  innate knowledge that he was attractive.

It was that age and  stage  where boys  and  girls first peek over  the  barricades and  try  out  being “friends”—a funny old  version of friendship in  which you  can  snog  furiously at  a party one  night and  go back  to  being mates the  very next  day. Or at least  other people could do that. James  and I had  one  such night at school, an hour spent kissing  in the boys’ cloakroom during the  first-year Christmas prom—it was brief  and  clumsy and  awkward, and  yet I did  nothing but daydream about it for months, staring wistfully through my  clumsily applied eye  makeup and  playing “Wuthering Heights” on  a  loop,  while  he  remained utterly oblivious.

I hoped with every fiber of my being that he’d come back to me, that I’d be able to prove myself the second time around, but he’d already moved on, climbed back aboard the roman- tic merry-go-round and recast me as his long-lost sister. That’s not strictly true, there was one more time but now— now is not the time to think about it. Sally whispers across my consciousness but I push her away. Perhaps it’s the ferocity with which I suppress her that makes her continue to surge up, like those schlocky horror films where the hero tries more and more elaborate methods to destroy the invincible slasher.

James leans across me, digging the wooden spoon into the pan and taking a greedy mouthful.

“Perfect,” he says, grabbing a bottle of wine from the fridge and plunking down plates on the table.

“It needs another ten minutes,” I protest. “Yeah but you’ve got a date.”

It’s yet another soul-destroying Internet date born out of necessity—I’m thirty-five, and most of my contemporaries are coupled up, though not necessarily happily. Even so, I don’t think many of those discontented partners are looking to roll the dice again, and even if they were, I never envisioned being someone’s difficult second album. I want to be the answer to a question they’ve never been able to phrase, for me to feel the same way about them, rather than a compromise born out of a disappointment.

It’s not like I haven’t tried the compromise route. My last proper boyfriend was  a perfectly nice  man called  Marco whom I met  at  a Christmas party a few months after  my sister  Jules had  got married. I was secretly, silently panicking,  and  I managed to convince myself  that I’d alighted on my one  true  love, rather than admitting that it was the romantic equivalent of a game of pin the tail on the donkey, the  two of us flailing  around in the  dark,  desperate to believe we’d somehow found the  sweet  spot.

We moved in together far  too  quickly,   and   immediately started arguing about the  kind  of piffling,  trifling  things, like whether the  pepper should live on  the  table or in the  “condiment cupboard,” that made it clear  that when we had  to  make decisions about things that really  mattered, we  wouldn’t survive.

As I wept fat, salty tears of disappointment on James’s shoulder he came up with  the  brilliant suggestion we should live together and  here  we are,  eighteen months on. He’s an employment lawyer—unlike me, he easily earns enough to  live  alone—but I think that he  values  having someone to come home to just as much as I do.

By now he’s shoveling the curry into his mouth like he’s rescuing a very, very small  casualty who  is trapped under the rice.

“Let me have a look at him then.” “Who?”

I know perfectly well who. “I’ll get your laptop.”

As he  goes  off to  find  it,  I try  not  to  brood about the unfairness of the  fact that he doesn’t have  to submit him- self to this  kind  of indignity. Women just  seem to appear in his life, like fruit  flies around a mango, and, while  he’s not exactly a bastard, he’s not exactly not. Take last month’s victim  (Anita? Angela . . . something beginning with an A). I met her shaking the last of my granola into a bowl. When I futilely rattled the empty box she fashioned her mouth into a theatrical “oh!” and  promised to  replace it. She  was  as good as her word, leaving a replacement on my bed the very next  day with  a sweet, flowery  postcard saying  how  much she  was looking forward to getting to know  me  better. No time:  before I’d got  so much as halfway  through it James had  finished with  her,  spooked by the  seven individually wrapped presents she’d lovingly bestowed for his birthday.

“How  did  she  take  it?” I asked, knowing from  even  those brief fragments of contact how gutted she’d be. “It was like shooting a fawn,” he said, shoving his gym bag into a back- pack, and I thanked my lucky stars for how it had played out between us.



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