The three of us hid when we saw her, but she came right in and made herself at home. We heard the squeak of the springs when she settled into Father’s chair.

“Well, this was sure a good idea,” Mother whispered. “Now what?”

Father put his hand over Mother’s mouth to quiet her, and we heard the springs decompressing, and then the sounds of the rockers on Mother’s chair rocking against the floor.

Mother pulled Father’s hand off her mouth and whispered, “We can’t just stay under here forever!” Father pinched her.

We heard her high-heeled shoes tip-tapping around the living room. Father pushed Mother and me out from under the bed. He mouthed, “Quiet,” and the three of us snuck out the back door and hid behind the snowball bush.

“What are we going to do now, Mr. Brilliant?” Mother said. There was a dust bunny in her hair. I tried to take it out, but she slapped my hand away. “Stop that!” she said.

Father said, "If you’d both shut up a minute so I could think — "

“Next thing we know she’ll be eating all our food,” Mother said.

“Come on,” Father said.

We squeezed along the space between the hedge and the fence, and out to the street. We got into the car, and Father started it up.

“It’s because she’s such an attractive person, she has this sense of entitlement,” Father said. He was heading toward the freeway.

“It’s because she’s an only child, she’s a spoiled brat,” Mother said, and flipped open the vanity mirror to look at me in the back seat.

“Where are we going?” I said.

“We’ll stay in a motel tonight and go home tomorrow,” Father said.

Father called our house in the morning, and she picked up the phone. He hung up without saying a word.

The next morning when Father called she asked, “Who is this?”

Father took a deep breath.

“Who is this!” she said.

Father exhaled, and hung up.

The third morning she said, “I don’t know who you are, or why you’re calling, but they’re not here. No one’s here. Now you have to stop bothering me.”