Myrtle stirred out of bed. Sadie was outside, kicking the door. Another night where Sadie didn’t sleep, her dark little angel who became a demon during the night. The alarm clock flashed in Myrtle’s eyes. 12 AM. The power must have gone out. Judging by the dusky light, it was a cloudy 6 AM.
Myrtle threw on her robe and carried little 3 year old Sadie downstairs. “Sadie, what do you want for breakfast?”
“Banon.” Sadie curtly replied, then returned to chewing on her tattered yellow baby blanket which Myrtle just didn’t have the heart to take away.
Banon was how Sadie said banana. That wasn’t much of a surprise; it was all Sadie would eat. Myrtle peeled the banana, handing it to Sadie, who shoved the banana into her mouth. For a child who wouldn’t eat, Sadie certainly would inhale her food. Of course, she hadn’t eaten the night before, refusing the stew as it had onions, pork and was floating in “poopy” water.
Myrtle heard Mary stomping down the stairs. Myrtle open her mouth to remind her oldest daughter the boys were sleeping, but Mary spoke quicker. “SADIE! STAY OUT OF MY ROOM!” Mary screamed in tears.
Sadie didn’t react, instead was focused on peeling off the strings on her banana. “YOU BROKE MY FAVORITE DOLLIE! I HATE YOU!” Mary continued, now yelling right in Sadie’s face. Sadie calmly threw the banana strings at her sister.
Myrtle had enough. “Girls! Put on your cloths and go outside! I am done listening to this fighting, and your brothers are still asleep!”
Mary stomped her feet, but walked back up the stairs, Sadie following behind. Once upstairs, Mary’s face twisted as she whispered, “I’m going to go into your room and break your dolls.”
Sadie screamed, running into her room. “YOU CAN’T!” She taunted as she slammed the door in Mary’s face. A painful howl emerged from Sadie’s room, filling the quite farm with an eerie chill. Mary opened the door to find Sadie sobbing, blood dripping from her hand. Mary walked slowly towards Sadie, crunch…she lifted her foot to find Sadie’s thumbnail.
Myrtle ran up the stairs. “I didn’t do it mommy, promise!” Mary said.
“Mawy shlam door on thiger and huwt.” Sadie fussed. Mary slammed the door on Sadie’s finger. Myrtle reached around and smacked Mary. “You don’t treat your sister like that!”
Mary’s face crumbled, “Mommy, I didn’t. She slammed the door on her finger!”
Myrtle paused. Sadie had been lying recently. “I’m sorry, Mary. Please go to your room and get ready for the day.”
Myrtle bent down, her eyes level with Sadie’s dark, red eyes. “Sadie, we don’t lie. Liars don’t get presents. Let’s put a band aid on your booboo now.”
Sadie’s eyes were vacant until Myrtle pulled out the box of Band-Aids.
“SAW WARSTH!” Sadie bellowed gleefully. Star Wars was Sadie’s favorite. Sadie began to hum gleefully as Myrtle applied the bandage. The blood had stopped, but the skin was pink and raw. Myrtle shuddered as Sadie ran back to her room, slamming the door behind her. It was like Sadie couldn’t even remember the horrible pain she had just endured. How could a child so precocious be so forgetful?
Sadie’s eyes flew open. Her ear was about to fall off. This pain…it was only rational that her ear was going to fall off. Sadie whispered that it hurt, but all which came out of her mouth was a scream. Sadie watched as her hands flew to her ear, tugging, pulling…Sadie began to cry, but it wasn’t because of the pain. It was because Sadie realized she had no control over her body. Sadie realized she had no control over what came out of her mouth. She could only sit there and watch. And she was alone, four years old and all alone.
She knew this already though. Sadie knew this when the bigger boys on the preschool playground pinned her down and poured sand into her eyes because she had accidently broken the classroom ant farm. She knew this when one of the same boys smashed her in the face with his backpack because she mentioned how Barney was for babies.
Sadie knew she was different and there was nothing she could do about it.
Sadie proudly wore her Star Wars shirt to school. She was a kindergartener, and she was liked by all of the other girls. Her best friend sat next to her every day. Kelly Vong, Sadie’s best friend, Kelly and Sadie. Sadie was so proud of herself. She was able to tie her shoes all on her own, she didn’t wet the bed, and she could already read chapter books.
Sadie even rode the bus by herself. She got onto the bus, smiling at all of the big kids as she snuck towards the far back of the bus. Her Star Wars backpack clanked with Lego Lightsaber keychains. She straightened out her plaid skirt before sitting on the sticky vinyl seats. Sadie immediately began singing with the loud music. Sadie was happy, she was a big girl, and she was even sitting in the back of the bus where the big girls sat!
Mary, Luke, and Jared all looked at each other, flashing a look filled with both concern for Sadie and a bit of embarrassment for themselves. Why did they have to have a sister like her? Why couldn’t they just have a sister who was…normal? Or at the very least, why couldn’t they have had a sister who was quiet?
Luke slunk further into his seat. The kids already teased him because he was a little overweight, but since Sadie had started at Rockville Elementary, the kids made fun of him because he was the sibling of the crazy girl. He tried mumbling that she had ADHD, but the kids laughed. “George West has ADHD, and he doesn’t act like that.” They would retort.
George West was a small boy with just enough energy to always be buzzing around the classroom. It was true, he definitely had ADHD. Sadie clearly had ADHD as well, but she was so impulsive. Why was Sadie so impulsive? She always gave him a hug while at school, even though they never gave hugs at home. Luke closed his eyes. He already couldn’t wait for the day to be over.
Sadie Meyers, a girl in Luke’s grade, sat next to Sadie. “You can’t sit here, you stole my name!” Sadie blurted out.
Sadie Meyers rolled her eyes. “I was born first. And stop singing. You sound like a dying cow. Learn how to talk, retard.”
Sadie felt herself tearing up. She was trying to make a joke. Sadie looked out the window, noticing the big houses of Rockville. New houses were being built; people were already living in the frames. Sadie giggled to herself. People were living without a roof over their head, how silly. She started singing along with the music.
Sadie Meyers punched her in the arm. “Seriously? Shut up! You’re so annoying!”
Sadie didn’t react as Kelly was getting on the bus. “Kelly!” Sadie yelled excitedly as she stood up. Kelly looked at her once, her eyes rounded and cheeks flushed as she quickly sat in the front of the bus. The bus driver growled at Sadie and pointed down. Sadie paused for a moment. Oh, that was to sit. She immediately sat. Suddenly, the bus started ringing loudly. Sadie Meyers groaned loudly.
The bus driver pulled into the school, placed the bus into park and turned around. “Sadie, close your window.”
Sadie giggled, realizing her backpack had caught itself on the window alarm. She unwrapped her backpack, waiting to get off the bus. “Thank you, sir!” Sadie cheerfully remarked as she bounced off the bus.
The bus driver grumbled. There was little going for that Sadie Walsh child, much like the entire family. At least the rest of the family knew to be quiet. It was only the end of September and kids were already hitting the little Walsh child. Maybe they would teach her how to be normal.
Sadie’s favorite time of day was lunch. On Fridays, she got an ice cream for two quarters. Sometimes the nice lunch ladies would even give her an extra ice cream for free. Sadie had the looks of a neglected child as she never ate. It raised some concern at first; however the concerns were quickly vanquished when Sadie would repeatedly ask for peanut butter and jelly. It was clear she wouldn’t eat on her own choice.
Sadie sat down next to Kelly. Kelly scooted away from Sadie. “Why are you leaving, Kelly?” Sadie asked.
Kelly looked down into her soup. She really liked Sadie, but she didn’t like the kids laughing at her. They called her gay, explaining that meant she liked girls who dressed like boys. Kelly remembered hearing about the gays at her dad’s church. They would go to Hell. But Sadie wasn’t a bad girl, she wasn’t going to Hell. She didn’t dress like a boy; it was just her Star Wars shirt. Maybe if Kelly helped Sadie dress like a girl, no one would pick on her and Sadie wouldn’t even risk going to Hell.
“Because I can’t be seen with someone who dresses like a boy.” Kelly whispered.
Sadie’s eyes grew wider. “Who dresses like a boy?” Sadie pressed on.
“You do, Sadie.” Kelly remarked.
“You wear boy shirts. That’s a boy shirt. Star Wars is for boys.”
“So people think you want to be a boy.”
“That’s silly, I’m a girl. I have long hair and I’m wearing a skirt.”
“Well, yeah, but you wear Star Wars shirts and your backpack was made for…boys. Besides, some boys wear skirts when they play bagpipes.”
“Oh…but I like Star Wars.”
“You shouldn’t. Only boys can like Star Wars. And if you keep liking it, I won’t be able to be your friend anymore. Because that means you’re gay and you’ll go to Hell.”
Sadie’s sandwich seemed like mush. She couldn’t eat it anymore. She loved Star Wars, but she liked having Kelly as a friend. Did people really think she was a boy? Well, Sadie didn’t like Star Wars. She liked girl things, like Barbies and dollies. She wasn’t gay; she liked being a girl, even if she liked Star Wars. But maybe she would become gay if she continued liking Star Wars. Sadie didn’t know what Hell was; her parents didn’t go to church so she never would have known. Aunt Miranda brought her three older siblings to church for the Walsh parents, but Aunt Miranda had gotten into a car accident and died right before Sadie could have started going to church. Sadie hoped she would remember to ask Mary what Hell was. Mary was always talking about church. But Sadie didn’t want to be a boy. So that meant she couldn’t like Star Wars anymore.
When Sadie got home shortly after the whole conversation with Kelly happened, she ran into her room and lied on her bed. Sadie ripped off her shirt, ripping the collar in the process. She looked at the balled up shirt, wishing she hadn’t done ripped it, but she knew what she had to do next. Sadie balled up her little fists and began to scream while pounding at her bed which was covered in little rebel ships. “I…HATE…STAR…WARS!!!!”
Myrtle was working in her office when she heard Sadie screaming. Myrtle ran up the stairs, and sighed with relief. Sadie had finally gotten out of the Star Wars phase. It only took three years. That meant Myrtle could get rid of the Star Wars items that Sadie insisted on keeping. Myrtle’s two sons hated Star Wars, mostly due to Sadie constantly quoting and playing the movie. Myrtle pulled out an old pink comforter from the linen closet and handed it to Sadie.
Sadie ripped the old comforter off the bed, throwing it to the ground. Such typical behavior, it was a constant chase after Sadie to remind her to clean. Myrtle shook her head, balled up the blanket and began gathering all of the other Star Wars items before Sadie could throw them or break them. A perfect donation for the little thrift shop downtown.
Myrtle couldn’t help but think that she wished she could donate Sadie to the thrift shop, or better, exchange Sadie for a quieter, calmer, more attentive child.