Josephine demonstrates how to fold napkins for her daughter’s engagement dinner. “Do them like origami swans,” she says, holding up the one she constructed, gesturing for the maid to try again. “Often,” says Josephine, “it’s the most insignificant details that count.”

With blunt fumbling fingers, Casimira struggles to bend the stiff white linen to her will, setting her mouth in a tight smile because this job pays the rent. But her thoughts travel an hour away by bus to where her own daughter waits anxiously in the dimming schoolyard, clutching her homework as she tries to make herself small.

Linda Saldaña is an escaped tech writer now pursuing truth in fiction in and about the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, her work has appeared in Every Day Fiction, The Absurdist Magazine, The Ocotillo Review, and MacQueen’s Quinterly.