by Ingrid Nelson
“Agnes, let’s pluck out your eyebrows and the hair on top of your forehead,” says Codre. I don’t say anything. She’s my maidservant, and my best friend, though it’s difficult to understand this relationship. Sometimes we’re awful to each other on purpose with an intensity neither of us acknowledges, though other times we act completely normal, like best friends, or like she’s my maidservant. We’re in my room, in the castle, with its heavy green velvet drapes and matching bed canopy. Codre and I do everything together, including using the bathroom. She helps me take care of my pet bird and my pet monkey. She’s been working for me since she was seven and now we are both fourteen. Every night we sleep in the same bed. She knows me better than anyone.