An Offering

Sometimes she stands with her tray before me and I pretend to consider my options, like any other good guest. I look down at her, at the sheen of her raven hair, pulled tight and smooth into a bun that sits low against the creamy skin of her neck. I watch to see how long she’ll wait in servitude to me. How long she’ll stand motionless, her arms lifted a bit to keep the tray at the height of my chest.

“Your hair smells nice.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“How long have you been working here, now?

Her brown eyes meet mine. “Just over a year.”

“We’ve never spoken before.”

“No sir, we haven’t.”

“Why is that?”

She hesitates. “I’m not sure, sir.”

“Did you think perhaps I didn’t notice you?”

“Perhaps, sir.”

“Ah, but I did. I noticed everything about you from the first time you walked through the doors from that kitchen with a shiny, silver tray in your hands.”

I pluck an offering off the shivering tray in her hands and devour it.

“Do you know something else I noticed?”

“What’s that, sir?”

“Your hair smells different when you sleep,” I whisper in her ear before walking away.

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