Rainy Season

The maids are leaving the compound on their scooters. Maizie and Jill watch from the tennis court. The red clay is still hot, and when Jill closes her eyes the white fault lines linger behind her eyelids. Jill lobs a ball, and Maizie misses.

“There’s Neepa!” yells Maizie. Their maid’s nightly transformation—from a self-effacing shadow who sweeps the floors with a handleless broom to a glittering sexpot with flying hair and jeans so tight they might have been lipsticked on—thrills Maizie.

The guards roll back the gate and the maids shoot out. The maids’ laughter is high and bright when they perch sidesaddle behind their boyfriends and grip the seats as the scooters go over the speed bumps, catching air, fishtailing a little before regaining traction on the uneven street outside. The guards wave to the maids; the guards never salute them. Jill and Maizie stand there silently until the gate clangs closed.

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