I always shut Master’s study room door with shaking hands. Tossing aside my cleaning cloth, I open his book to the page containing colorful pictures of spiral galaxies swirling with dust and stars. For a few minutes, I am engrossed in reading, my servant duties forgotten, my senses oblivious to everything else.
Yesterday, I did not hear the door open, only felt the whack of Master’s stick striking my arm; but I’m back today, dusting the room, trying to resist the book’s gravitational pull. I study my tender bruises—bright pink and purple, like galaxies dotted with pinpricks of red stars.