I heard a loud thud a minute ago, the kind you would expect when a short, plump woman falls on uncarpeted, ceramic floor. It was followed by the sound of breaking glass. I would go check, but I am reading a book.

Problem is, if I go outside and my mother is still alive, she will ask me to help her up, and I feel like, exhausting my back muscles to carry a hefty object, regardless of kinship, would be most unwise. Especially since I never learned how to lift with my knees.

Then there’s the fact that the protagonist’s mother, in the book I’m reading, just died, and I really want to be there for her.

But then again the sight of a toppled over old woman would be worth at least a chortle. I suppose it can wait. It’s not like she’s going anywhere—she hasn’t made any audible movements so far—she’s always been rather sluggish, if you ask me.

Plus, earlier, I gave her the impression that I was studying. I don’t think she would want to keep me away from my textbooks, just because she died. Death is an unremitting reality, thus there’s no pressing need to check on her right now.

Even if I play Concerned, Loving Daughter and leave my room, I just moisturized my hands, so I can’t check her pulse. I doubt her soul would appreciate watching her apathetic daughter nudge her with her big toe, asking if she’s dead yet.

Besides, I can’t find my slippers and I am sure as hell not going to walk around barefoot. The floor is too cold, she must know that by now.

Three chapters later

Suppose I do find my slippers and go check on her. Her beautiful, emblazoned cane will be there. I’ve always wanted to carry it, but she was selfish and refused to let it go, claiming she “can’t” walk without it. Naturally, I’ll be compelled to pry Nancy (that’s her name) out of her clutches, which would require kneeling next to my decomposing mother.

Also, my knees could touch the floor, and I can’t live with that possibility. While that may seem absurd to many, there is a valid theory behind it, since any number of insects could have crawled over the floor, technically when you touch it; you are, by extension, caressing an unaccounted for number of bugs.

It’s a lovely day; let’s not ruin it with indirect contact with ants and cockroaches.

Two chapters later

For reasons unclear, my probably late mother has always questioned my “soundness” and accused me of being too cynical, which is why I’ve decided to ruminate the lighter possibility of her surviving the fall.

I still see no good reason to leave my room. She will just probably need a solid, horizontal surface to lie on to rest. Last I checked, she was on one. And if she is injured, she knows that being the obscenely melodramatic humanitarian that I am; I will be forced to euthanize her with a truncheon immediately.

Actually, if she’s alive and needs help, it would explain her silence. She knows that when asked for assistance with anything, by anyone; I throw blind fits of rage and start kicking compulsively while wailing “YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!” at whoever asked. Also, her possible injury will make it harder for her to crawl behind furniture to shield herself from the flying sharp objects, which I systematically hurl in all directions.

Meanwhile, the thought of her funeral service has invaded my mind, and now I am more giddy than the time I was offered a sample hotdog at the mall. The reason for this is my belief that “one mother’s pain is her daughter’s gain.” My gain will hopefully come in the form of a wildly successful book.

I’ve spent many nights envisioning the excruciating, forlorn death of a family member that would result in months of inspiring solitude, which I will invest in writing a book that will make Oprah shout “Hallelujah!” and appeal to middle class American women who buy books that make Oprah shout “Hallelujah!”

I dedicated most of my afternoons, as a child and a teenager, to just glaring at my family, waiting for them to make one mistake, which with a little help from me, could end their lives. I would stand behind doors and curtains poised, hoping for one little stumble that I could follow with a subtle, but forceful-enough, shove towards an open window.

I even went through the trouble of purchasing a bed of nails online and strategically placed it on the sidewalk underneath our balcony. Just in case someone, namely my mother, mysteriously fell off her bed at night and onto the pavement.

Ten chapters and nine pages later

I hope the rummaging outside is just the Angel of Death coming to collect Mom’s spirit, it’s either that or he’s tramping around in high heels for some reason.

Ooh, I wonder how big my inheritance will be. Whatever it is, I’ll kill my sisters and triple it. I just hope the will I burned (which went on for three and a half pages about how I shouldn’t be allowed a dime) was the only copy she made.

It probably was. My mother was not exactly scrupulous. She never kept track of her papers… or her pills.

I have the fat yellow pills to thank for today. Isn’t it amazing what small things, like say, the pills and I, can do? I often told her that, but she would merely guffaw at me and make a sharp retort aimed at my self worth. Perhaps now she will realize that being two lousy centimeters taller didn’t give her the right to call me Nudget (That’s a cross between Midget and Nour.)

Well, Mother, Nour could have never bamboozled you into a paralyzing drug overdose, and she would have never rubbed warm butter on your shoe soles to facilitate your slippery murder. But Nudget could, would, and did.

Just as I am about to arrest my psychopathic line of thoughts and leave my room (to pee), I hear the unmistakable meow of a cat. I am baffled because we don’t own pets, but then quickly brush off my suspicions and assume it is here to scavenge my mother.

I trust felines have big appetites, so I will continue reading my book and hope cat isn’t a messy eater. I’ll probably be stuck here a while, but it could be worse. That cat could abandon me, leaving me no other means to dispose of my mom’s corpse but to eat her myself.