[Excerpt] : The Coming Bad Days

Bernstein, Sarah (2021) [Excerpt] : The Coming Bad Days. Granta.

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I left the man with whom I had been living one morning in late summer after opening the wardrobe and seeing the tidy line of his shirt collars, white and blue, white and blue. I felt sick. I began to see my life rolling out in front of me and it looked like the street on which we then lived, with the blue and green and white houses and the red and yellow doors. And I could discern in the distance the seasons rolling in, and the apples falling in the orchard, and the windows freezing shut, and the blue smell of spring, and the children in the wading pool in the baked summer light. And I knew that underneath it all were these hard and secret things. Prior to this moment, which proved in fact to be a decisive one in the course of my life, I had been afraid of being alone. The notion that I was free in theory but also in practice to do whatever I liked with my life was terrifying; it was nothing short of a nightmare.