• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 11
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Sasha moved out of her house and into the greenhouse. I know what you’re doing, said her husband, you’re so transparent. He wasn’t even trying to be funny.

Her new home was not a greenhouse in the Victorian sense—a glorious wreck leaning against a warm granite wall decorated with the tracery of vines. It did not smell of lemons and tomato leaves.

No, this was the garden centre variety. Build it yourself in five hundred easy steps with an online video for the amateurs. It did not quite fit together, its right angles were ever so slightly wrong. The door fell off its runners with every westerly that blew across the lawn and was held closed with a brick. It was an architectural rendering of their marriage.

Sasha used a tissue from her sleeve to dust down the folding metal chair squeezed into the corner. When the greenhouse was just an idea, she had planned sitting on floral cushions, drinking coffee with a friend, out of the weather but still in the garden. But it hadn’t turned out like the picture. It housed the lawnmower and grass seed. Chicken wire. Bamboo canes. Pots from plants that were planted and died and pots from plants that were almost alive. Rusty tools and widowed gloves, the dregs of a compost bag, a plastic trug with a missing handle and an allium seed head she couldn’t throw out.

She wasn’t the only beating heart in the place. Each corner was home to a tented village created by generations of spiders and whatever was buzzing around her head would soon be invited to tea.

Using the same tissue she wiped a spot on the potting bench to put down her bag and her book. She felt foolish now. And what would she do when she needed to pee?



All this over a shrunken jumper. She had accused him of doing it on purpose. I don’t know if you’re out to prove that you can’t do laundry, she had yelled, or if you feel I should be able to fit into a size four! Of course neither was true. She knew that now. He just hadn’t read the instructions.