Every now and then a train rattled by on the tracks above us. I wanted to tell him how from the train I always looked down onto these marshes. I wanted to let him know that somewhere nearby there was a reservoir. I wanted to describe how when light hit the water it glistened with a bluish shimmer, but when there was no sun it screamed grey somewhere from its dark, cavernous bottom. I wanted him to know that sometimes I imagined myself sitting with my feet dangling over the edge.

– Roseena Hussain, Novel in progress

Her eyes were closed, her face tilted towards the midday sun; the three beauty spots on her neck had already grown sharp from its rays. I must have been drunk because I wanted to tell her I loved her. I stopped myself for fear of sounding disingenuous; I always recoiled when people said it after a drink. Instead I leant back in my chair and tried to feel everything in that exact moment: the way the light felt, the way the dark swam underneath everything, and the way our history sat between us on that table.

– Roseena Hussain, Novel in progress

I pulled up the blind, and the sun poured through the window covering the bed in a soft, glassy light. I pushed the duvet off, feeling the sun’s warmth rush over my skin. Apart from a few scattered clouds, the sky was blue and empty. The day looked inviting, but something in me felt far away. I felt like I’d stayed awake all night even though I had definitely slept.

– Roseena Hussain, Novel in progress