Since You've Been Gone
By Lisa Dyer
Genre: Contemporary Romance
until the day Abigail dumped Hal, after he left for university, back in 1983. Hal was so devastated that he went home less and less until, in the end, he didn't go home at all. And he never got over her, even after he married the wealthy Julienne. Their marriage was doomed from the start; it was just a case of who caved in first.
Abigail had a secret; one she had kept from Hal, and it had defined her life for fifteen years. She was glad he never came back to learn it. That was all about to change.
Hal was on his way home. Nothing would ever be the same again...
In the beginning...
…there was Hal and Abigail and they should have lived happily ever after…
everything in their story shouted that to the world.
Hal’s mother knew it. Their friends had no doubt about it. Hal and Abigail were the perfect pair. Having grown up together from infancy, there were no secrets, no hidden agendas; just love. All that was missing were the church bells and the first flat with the second-hand furniture and the gas fire that didn’t work, and even that would be okay because they’d cuddle up in bed to keep warm until summer.
Then Hal blew it all wide open by getting a conditional offer to study at Cambridge – in the Department of Veterinarian Medicine.
To be honest, it was a total shock to everyone, but most of all to Abigail. She had supported his idea to apply, but had secretly thought that he would be out of his depth and have second thoughts. He didn’t.
It was all he thought about and planned for. He locked himself away in his bedroom to study, and suddenly two people, who had been inseparable from the first moment they had met, were wrenched apart. Hal’s mother, Diana clucked about nothing else; anybody would think he was marrying into
royalty. Anyone foolish enough to ask, ‘How’s the family, Di?’ soon found themselves wishing they’d kept their mouths shut.
Hal and Abigail limped through the spring, and dragged themselves into the summer. His hard work paid off and he attained the required grades then received positive confirmation that, come the autumn, he would be going up to Cambridge. There was one last night, camped down at the Bay, Hal on
his guitar and the old crowd avoiding talking about what was happening, as if by doing so it may go away. And that was it. The beginning of the end of Hal Bartlett and Abigail Markham.
Except, for Abigail it was the start of something new, something so big, so life changing – and its
outcome would resonate down the years…
Born and raised in the town of Dover in Kent, Lisa chose to make the protagonist of her debut novel a fictional contemporary and set Dover as Hal's home town. She weaves into the story of Hal's homecoming her own memories of the town she left in 2000. Since You've Been Gone was adapted from a feature script of the same name which was nominated to go into competition in the 2011 BAFTA/Rocliffe New Writers Forum.
Aside from writing, Lisa enjoys history, museums, historic houses and punk music.