Silently pad by the kitchen where the dog sleeps near the stove and my father reads the paper with his back to the door. Careful up the carpeted stairs, avoiding the two creaky spots until I reach my room.
I ball up my clothes, put them beneath a pile of towels and pull on my nightgown. I take the long one with sleeves that skitter down to my knuckles. I have just pulled the quilt over my shoulders when someone knocks.
“Come in,” I call.
“Oh, you’re awake,” my mother says, “I knocked before, but you were still sleeping.” She is holding the roses. “I cut these for you. I thought they would look so nice on your bureau the way they match the smaller roses in your wall paper. Look here, Missy.” She taps at tiny roses on the wall. “At these.”
“Yeah.” I slide further down into the quilt.
“Well, you don’t seem excited, but I guess that’s to be expected at your age.” She comes nearer to me on the bed. “Why are you wearing a winter nightgown on such a warm morning, Missy?”
“Cold last night,” I murmur. I want to say, I’m wearing it to hide my arms, Mom. I cut them for you.