It’s Sunday but the sun isn’t even out. It’s cloudy anyway. Sadie pokes her eggs with a plastic 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.
“I pray every day–”
“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 pushes against the plate.
“Please, Sadie. Don’t do this. I love your friends and Dizzie has been a blessing, but all I have is you.”
The fork skids violently against the surface of the plate. The muscles in their jaws jump as they wince.
“Mother. Stop. I’m going to hang out with my friends and that’s that.”
“At least come back to church with me,” her mother pleads, hands folded like the virgin Mary.
“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 the eyes?”
“Well, not exactly. But he–”
“Then he doesn’t really know, does he? I’m sick of all this speculation and all this talk about what could be. What about right here? What about right now?”
“Sadie, please. Think about it? It’s what your father–”
Sadie’s chair screeches on the floor as she stands.
Her mother sighs. “I’m sorry, Sadie. Just… please help me understand what it is you want out of your life.”
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. “Right now the eggs are cold. And I want to go to my room and go to bed.”
When Sadie gets to her room, she slams the door behind her.