"Cody, listen. I was special too, once, to someone. I could just reach out and lay a fingertip on his arm while he was talking and he would instantly fall silent and get all confused. I had hopes; I was courted; I had the most beautiful wedding. I had three lovely pregnancies where every morning I woke up knowing something perfect would happen in nine months, eight months, seven......so it seemed I was full of light; it was light and plans that filled me. And then when you children were little, why, I was the center of your worlds! I was everything to you! It was Mother this and Mother that and Where's Mother? Where's she gone to? And the moment you came in from school, 'Mother? Are you home?' It's not fair, Cody. It's really not fair; now I'm old and I walk along unnoticed, just like anyone else. It strikes me as unjust, Cody. But don't tell the others I said so. "
"Pearl drifts through the other bedrooms, checking the other windows. In the smallest bedroom, a nursery, a little old lady in a hat approaches. It's Pearl, in the speckled mirror above a bureau. She leans closer and traces the lines around her eyes. Her age does not surprise her. She's grown used to it by now. You're old for so much longer than you're young, she thinks. Really, it hardly seems fair."