He turned off the lights in the room and lay on the sofa. Pointless to go after her when she did not want him, and it did not matter now, because he had seen. Too late for her hand to conceal the bruise below her right eye that spread across the top of her cheek, black fading to inflamed red at its edges, swelling under her lower lid, forcing the eye shut. He sighed aloud in resignation. It was inevitable, his duty was clear: he would have to get in his car now and drive to Cricklewood, lean on the doorbell until he had brought Tarpin from his bed, and have it out with him, right there beneath the coach lamp, and surprise his loathed opponent with an astonishing turn of speed and purpose. With eyes narrowing, he thought it through again, lingering on the detail of his right fist bursting through the cartilage of Tarpins nose, and then, with minor revisions, he reconsidered the scene through closed eyes, and did not stir until the following morning, when he was woken by the sound of the front door closing as she left for work.
Excerpted from Solar by Ian McEwan Copyright © 2010 by Ian McEwan. Excerpted by permission of Nan A. Talese, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher
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