Gil's favorite game was hide and seek. We would play it for hours in his huge house that always smelled of PineSol and Old English furniture polish. His house was so big, I never could find him. And I was always distracted by the china bowls of chocolates in every room. Give me a hint, I'd say, my mouth full of bonbons, and Gil would promise to hide in a bathroom next time. But there were so many bathrooms, and some were the size of living rooms. Every one of them had a vanity with a peach-colored marble top and a wooden cabinet full of monogrammed towels. And some of the bathrooms were for the servants. We don't go in those, Gil said, his arms on his hips, giving me the stink eye.
But where are the servants? I asked. I didn't see them. Or hear them. But one day Gil's mama rang a bell for them. And there they were, servants, like a tide rising up from the shadows. Yes'm, Miz Violet. Yes'm.
Then the servants receded again, vanishing like smoke into the shadows and hallways and basement rooms.