Read an Extract from According to Yes by Dawn French

Read an Extract from According to Yes by Dawn French

Tested

Fifty-seven

Fifty-eight

Fifty-nine . . . F**k.

Yet again, Rosie Kitto’s belly was empty. No baby. Why did they bother to wait the full three minutes? As much as she knew anything, she knew there was no chance, but his darling desperate face persuaded her to see it through. Along with that second thin blue line on the pregnancy test, all trace of hope for a future with him failed to show up.

She feels strangely calm, accepting. She has surely surrendered to her future, whatever it might bring.

Funny how a moment so anticipated can be so fleeting and mundane in its failure. There was no mighty crash when the hope toppled, only a quiet whimper.

That hope deserved a bigger send off.

Once, it had been giant.

Landed

As if tightly choreographed by Pina Bausch, every puffy face in every serried row on the British Airways 747 is obediently upturned, staring at the seatbelt sign overhead. An elastic moment where a random group of strangers are united, some don’t even breathe so suspended are they. Bing bong. The familiar cue releases them from their airline aspic, and all at once the plane bursts into a chaotic scuffle of bodies racing to grab their belongings, rushing to be first to stand still in a queue to get off. Everyone is frazzled, perhaps it’s the lack of fresh air that makes people so grumpy. They all seem to have somewhere very very important to be. Somewhere that just can’t wait. So, come on, hurry up. Me first. Shuffle. Push. Jostle.

In 26A, Rosie is the only person who remains seated. She gazes calmly out of the window with her forehead tilted onto the glass. She has been sitting just like this for the best part of the journey, lost in thought. No, not lost. Found in thought. Thinking such a lot, working out how she feels about flying away from everything and everyone that she knows and starting an impetuous new adventure like this. She feels strangely calm, accepting. She has surely surrendered to her future, whatever it might bring. So why is she the only one still sitting, whilst the others have filed off the plane in an impatient orderly line, exiting past the very polite, well-rehearsed air stewardesses,

‘Thank you for flying British Airways.’

‘Thank you.’

‘Thank you for flying with us today.’

‘Thank you.’

‘Have a lovely day.’

‘Thank you.’

‘Goodbye.’

‘You’re welcome.’

‘Thank you for flying British Airways.’

‘Cheerio.’

‘Thank you.’

‘Thank you.’

‘Yes, thank you, yes, get off, yes, go away, sod off, goodbye.’

Why isn’t she moving?

You know that tiny fragment of time, just exactly before the point of no return? The golden moment where you might . . . could . . . just maybe COULD change your mind, and reverse it all? Take it all back, say no, don’t jump, be safe, go home. That moment? That’s where Rosie is. Part of her wants to remain on the plane and let it bounce her back home on its return journey with all the new crew that will come aboard, fresh faced, fresh make up, fresh hairdo, fresh smell. Spit spot. Bound for home. For home. For lovely familiar drizzly comfy old England. Where, even if she knows it’s wrong, at least she knows how to be. That’s where Rosie Kitto, thirty-eight, primary school teacher, is assuredly grown up, reliable and emotionally tuned in. This new Rosie Kitto seems to be running away like a seriously immature selfish twit. Very ungrown up.

Who is she?

Well, she is the person who, a couple of weeks ago, said no to all the even keel, and yes to grabbing life by the throat, yes to jumping off the edge, yes to what the hell’s it going to be like?, yes to being afraid. YES, YES, YES PLEASE!

That’s right.

So, get out of your seat, Rosie, this is New York . . . here goes . . . COME ON!!

‘Thank you for flying British Airways today, goodbye.’