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“I’m sorry,” I hear myself say “I can’t do it” I head for the kitchen door and out into the garden

“What?” Iris co her hands on her apron “Sweetie, what’s wrong?”

“I can’t do this!” I wheel round “I can’t just … just sit around patiently, waiting for yeast to get its act together”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s such a waste of time!” I clutch my head in frustration “It’s such a waste of time All of it!”

“What do you think we should be doing instead?” she asks with interest

“Soain, unable to keep still “So constructive”

I glance at Iris, but she doesn’t seem offended


Oh, God I feel an urge to scream It’s OK for her, with her hens and her apron and no wrecked career on the Internet

“You don’t understand anything,” I say, close to tears “I’m sorry, but you don’t Look … I’ll just leave”

“Don’t leave” Iris’s voice is surprisingly fir her two hands onblue eyes

“Samantha, you’ve had a trauma,” she says in kind, even tones “And it’s affected you very deeply—”

“I haven’t had a traurasp “I just … I can’t do this, Iris I can’t pretend to be this I’oddess” I look around the garden desperately, as though searching for clues “I don’t knoho I am anymore I have no bloody idea”

A single tear rolls downto cry in front of Iris

“I don’t knoho I aoal is … or where I’”

My energy’s gone and I sink down on the dry grass A few moments later Iris comes and squats down beside me