Xu’s room was a mess. Steve thought his was bad, with jewels and bones and spellbooks everywhere, but at least in his room you could see the floor. Everywhere in her bedroom, there were pieces of paper, old fast food boxes, apple cores, magazines, and polaroids. There was some genuinely nice art on her walls, but the complete mess everywhere else distracted from it.
Steve hadn’t been joking. There was a circle of thick candles on the floor, and a table had been placed in the middle, with expensive cloth on top. Elisabeth was impressed. She’d been in professional productions with far worse sets than this.
Rosa stared at her renters, and her renters stared back at her. They were all gathered in the living room of her house, sitting on the ancient sofa, looking very annoyed at being there. Xu probably wanted to be outside taking pictures of traffic lights and dogs, and Elisabeth had been loudly rehearsing Macbeth in her bedroom when Rosa called them all down. She didn’t want to know what Steve had been doing, but he looked the same as always, like a naughty child.
Behind the letters, there were pictures of people laughing. They looked young and happy. Their faces were soft. They didn’t have any grey hairs. Their teeth were perfectly white.
Silna hated them. She felt sick from hating them so much. As she walked to work, she kept thinking about those laughing faces. She carried the hate on her back, and it got bigger and bigger.