Car 2

Mrs Eva Simmonds

Outward appearance

Middle-aged woman, small, pinched, hairy chinned, a face pulled into itself. Her clothes are brown and beige, clean. Clunky shoes. Chews on her lower lip, arms folded.

Inside information

Eva married her cousin, who is Professor of Jurisprudence at UCL. Everything she has done since has been done equally blindly. What she was blind to was her husband's ugliness. His eyes bulge, his tiny nose is hooked, his chin juts out to meet it, his teeth splay like clumsy feet, he has to suck in spit all the time. He works with his books, mostly at home. He insists Eva stay with him and forbids her to work.

Eva asks questions of herself vaguely, as if about someone else: did she marry him out of pity? Did such supreme ugliness carry a kind of sexual jolt?

Eva once was very pretty. She is dimly aware that somehow, over the years, she has become ugly too.

What she is doing or thinking

In her own way, Eva has rebelled. She is going to the Royal Festival Hall to buy two concert tickets, not for David, of course, who never goes to such things, but for herself and her daughter Harriet.

Three days ago, on Sunday, Eva looked out of their apartment window and saw David and Harriet walking. Harriet slouched until she was almost hunchbacked, wearing boy's clothes, unironed and grubby. David followed her with little pestering steps, eyes glaring at her face. Harriet is fifteen.

Eva is vague about this point too, but something in her said: not Harriet; not her too.

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