Our other sister, jealous and confused, barged in at that moment, as I was looking for my shoes to leave. She threw something small and metallic at Phillip, and I watched the smile fade from his face as he slumped over. The two sisters began furiously arguing. We burst out of the attic room into the hall, where the other man still was sitting forlorn, my sister having left him flagrantly for Phillip. The jealous sister flung something at him as well. I was surrounded by death. I thought the girl in the pond must have died as well, with no one helping her to get out. I followed the mad one down the long and uneven stairs, with only thin metal lathes sunk into the concrete walls for handled. The jealous sister was moving slowly, tearing at the lathes, stripping them from the walls into pieces, all the while arguing viciously with my grieving sister. She flung a metal piece at the other sister’s heart. It struck, and the grieving sister lifted her right hand to reveal a paper bag covering the gun she was apparently holding. She shot the jealous one in the head, and turned the gun on herself. I begged her not to do it, that we could take her to a hospital. She pushed the gun up right underneath her right eye. I looked away toward the stairs as she fired.
I continued down the stairs, into the main body of the house which was now even larger, and opulent. A gilt mansion. As I stepped onto the bottom floor, I found myself dressed in a black dress with my hair swept back. There were servants moving along the hallways with trays, admonishing me for dancing. I didn’t mind the admonishments, because they were my servants, and they made me feel cared for. The floors were marble and the long halls filled with rooms in which people bustled and mingled. I played and capered, dancing to the different strains of music that came out of each room. I came upon a hallway of choristers, singing mournfully. I took a tray of oranges from a servant and tossed an orange at them. It popped one on the head, and he sank. I continued, with some help from someone standing on the other end of the line of singers doing the same thing until they were all sitting on the floor rubbing their heads. A matronly housemaid began scolding me sharply for not taking the even seriously, and handed me a confection made of slices of kiwi and banana to keep me quiet. I took a bite, and realized I wasn’t hungry and didn’t want to eat the extra food. I walked to a far corner of the hall where I knew a bathroom stood, to find a trashcan. As I walked, I thought of the opulence and the entertainment and my lucid mind said to me “These represent the gifts coming to you.” I found the trashcan and threw away the tart, admiring the jade furnishings of the very modern looking bathroom. There were jade tiles outlining the sinks, and a jade grate in the floor, with a teeny jade radiator at an angle to the sink. I looked at myself in the mirror. My face moved and changed, and I remembered I was dreaming. I look too much like myself, I thought. Too fat. So I monkeyed around at the front of the mirror, trying to make myself appear more slim. The dress I was wearing was full and black brocade, with bronze threads running through it. I let my hair down from its bindings. I stepped out of the bathroom to see a bandaged Phillip walking in a group of friends. We greeted each other warmly, and I danced with a lighter heart back down the hall toward the music.
I woke up to an email from the benefactor who created the endowment that is sending me to school. He sent me a picture of Oolong the rabbit with a pancake on its head. No, I am not kidding, and no, I wasn’t still dreaming.