She looked out her window at the river. In a few hours they would tell her that it was actually a road, it had just rained a lot the previous day. The trees she identified as West Indian almond were actually cashew, and for the first time, the ocean lay closest to the west.
She lay down on her bed in front of the fan and spent 45 minutes thinking about taking him to the place where she was born. Then, she began to think about her fickle callousness in love, which made her upset, so she went downstairs.
Downstairs she smiled big. It tugged at her chest uncomfortably but she coaxed it up around her teeth to resemble something more genuine, which it became. She laughed and ate with a family that wasn’t hers, and casually swatted at the mosquitos when they did. Maybe she would get dengue and be sent home (to him). This didn’t feel like hoping for an illness. To him. Is that where she would go?
Never mind, she washed her body with the bucket and ladle. The slow movement of ritualistic rinsing let her mind be occupied with intention for awhile.
Maybe they would go to a French restaurant together, someday. Maybe she would wear something sophisticated to feel powerful, to pretend like she could hide from him what had already been shown. But he had seen everything, so she could hide nothing. Maybe it is better to be so far for so long; she would find things to hide so she would not feel so bare in his presence. The other option would be to find freedom in the nakedness, which she did not yet know how to do.