The secretary stood at the door signaling in slow motion. She pretended to speak, mouthing a phrase. I guessed, silently mouthing back, "Other?" "No," she nodded. She purposely pointed at me. "You," I guessed. She shook her head, "Yes." Second word, two syllables. I guessed, "Brother, mother--" "My mother," I said out loud, disrupting the meeting. She nodded her head, "Yes." "Your mother is here," she said I walked into the hallway. My mother apologized for coming to my office. Her hands were busily searching through a plastic bag. "Leah," she said, "Do you have a few dollars? Geoff and I ran out of gas. The car stopped in the middle of the street." I was skeptical because nothing she says is true. "All I have," I said, "are two dollars." "That’s all?" She handed me the plastic bag. It held a pair of jeans. "This is for Porshai. I told her that I had a pair of jeans for her birthday." Unconsciously, I rushed her. I didn’t want any of my co-workers to see her. My mother is a representation of the old me and our family dysfunctions. She is the part of me that I keep hidden.