"What if I grow up to be nobody?" the child asked her.
The following morning at dawn there were noises outside the kitchen window, down on the street. She distracted herself involuntarily by looking out to see what the commotion was. There was no commotion. She didn't see anything particularly different compared to the usual carousel of cars and taxis silently floating past, the sidewalk congested with avatars like cholesterol looping through a consistent simulator of chatting mothers with strollers, hurried businessmen, ambling elderly, dogs. It is the only program that plays on her screen, the window. She turned away from the view and found herself in the oven.
"What if you grow up to be somebody?" she had replied to the child. "Then what do I do?"
"You do whatever you can until you can no longer."
At this point the child was asleep. She did not think he needed to hear her words, for he would only be frightened with more questions. It was better this way, to leave him to find out on his own. She withdrew from his limp arms and laid him down flat on his bed. On her way out of his room she unplugged his nightlight.
When they questioned him later, the child mentioned something about a doll being worn out and broken. His name was not taken down for proceedings.
That year on Thanksgiving, the bird was roasted at a relative's house.