• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 06
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Watch as she dazzles the world, juggling the silver hoops of success, love, motherhood. It is a feat to keep just one aloft, but she spins all three with a showgirl's smile. She grins, apologetic, when her alarm interrupts a meeting. 'Pump time,' she says, and the office laughs with her. They cannot argue with her sky-high KPIs, her willingness to overtime.

But at home, her son won't take the nipple, won't stop screaming, reaches for his exhausted father who takes him with a sigh. Dinner, then, will be her responsibility for the night, but with her mind on the baby, the clients, the weight of it all, she burns the salmon. A treat, in a household on a single salary, which she has now ruined.

And those shining hoops she has kept spinning day by day, fall in a pile around her feet. Her last magic trick of the night: she bends to lift one, only to find it linked to those around it, a chain. One loop is locked around her ankle. Though she pulls and pulls, she cannot find the other end.