Her mother is standing on the table again. Her mother’s shiny high-heeled shoes are reflected in the table’s surface. The table’s surface is reflected in her mother’s shiny high-heeled shoes.
The table is set for a large dinner party. Her mother’s colleagues will be coming as they do every year to be entertained. Just next to her mother’s left foot is a crystal cruet set. Just next to her mother’s right foot is a sculptural glass vase filled with orchids.
Two years ago, before the party, she snuck into the living room to take an orchid for her rabbit. The rabbit had died the day before and she thought she could take one white orchid from the bouquets. She eased the door open so quietly that her mother, standing on the table, did not notice. She was poised, feet shoulder-width apart, between a vase of orchids and a salad bowl. She could see tension in her stance. Her knees were locked, as if she were standing on a high bridge. She pulled the door closed and ran outside to her rabbit’s grave and climbed a tree, to be high up. That was before she was a teenager.
She sees her standing on the table again. She waits to see what she will do; whether she will move. Crystal glitters around her feet.