It’s Sunday but the sun isn’t even out. It’s cloudy anyway. Sadie pokes her eggs with a Little Mermaid fork.
“Why aren’t you eating your eggs?” Her mother inquires. “You always like them scrambled.”
“When you were a little girl you used to love–”
“I’m not a little girl anymore.” Sadie glares at her mother. She keeps glancing at the seat to her right, the one her father used to occupy when he was alive. It’s a nervous habit. “I’m just not hungry.”
Her mother doesn’t say anything. She continues eating.
“It’s cold, anyway…”
Metal crashes on the uneven table. The noise makes Sadie jump. Her mother clutches her head. Sadie hates when she does that. She hates that her mother acts like she’s this constant headache. She’s so dramatic.
“Here we go again.” Sadie rolls her eyes.
“How about this, then! I work every day for you and I have been working to put this food on your plate! And the least you can do is when we have these rare moments where I’m not at the hospital and you’re not locked in your room or hanging out with your friends, then we can have some mother-daughter time together! Is that so much to ask?”
“So,” Sadie cringes, stirring her eggs. “It finally comes out.” She stabs the fluffy morsel. “You don’t like who I hang out with. You don’t like Dizzie.” Her fork scrapes the plate.
“Please, Sadie. Don’t do this.”
“Do what? You pretty much out and said it!”
“No, I did not.” Sadie’s mother puts out her hands and talks calmly, like she thinks Jesus would do. “I just think that you need to try to branch out and make more friends. Are you sure you don’t want to go to church with me? There are kids your age…”
“You don’t want me to have more friends. You want me to have better friends! We’ve been over this a million times, Mom! I. Don’t. Want. To go. To church. Period!”
“Sadie, I’m glad you worship at home. Believe me, ever since you set up that shrine in your room, I’ve thanked God every day. I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to go to church. Pastor Thomason knows more than anyone I know about God. He can give you a new perspective.”
“Has he met God? Has he shook His hand? Has he stared Him in His eyes?”
“Well, not exactly. But he–”
“I don’t think he knows God any better than you or I, Mom. You’re wrong about that. And I want you to stop talking to me about Dizzie. She’s my only friend and with the way that I am, I’m lucky that even she wants to be friends with me.” Sadie’s chair screeches on the floor as she stands.
“You don’t mean that. Please. Just sit down and eat with me.”
Sadie leans over, takes the fork and pops the fluffy piece of egg into her mouth. She straightens herself out and stands there, chewing and then swallowing. “The eggs are cold!”
When Sadie gets to her room, she slams the door behind her.