It was winter and I was only four when my mother came to me. She explained everything to me. She said that it would hurt, but it was necessary. That this would help me to make a good match in the future. I remember that they soaked my feet. They prepared bandages, while I prepared myself. I screamed when they broke my toes. Each day they would rewrap bandages ever tighter and tighter. “The pain will get easier” mother explained. “You will have no work to do around the house, so just focus on your Golden Lotus. This is the price of beauty.”
A heavy price.
Years later I sit displaying my lotus feet to the court of the Emperor. They are small enough to fit into the tiny shoe presented to me. I smile.