What We Hear
©2010 Rebecca Rhielle
Sliding her key into the lock, Sadie was surprised to see the door swing in, open and clearly not secured. Cautiously she pushed it open further, trying to peek inside. Arnold had disappeared, embarrassed, somewhere between the nursing home and here, or she would have sent him ahead to scope out any danger.
A figure darted by the door, and her momentary panic dissolved as she recognized the bright colors and efficient stalk of the figure. Stepping into her entryway, she had to smile as she watched her partner in a flurry of activity.
“Oh, hi honey,” Gale said over her shoulder. “I didn’t hear you come in.”
“I imagine not,” Sadie laughed. “The door was wide open!”
Gale turned to look at her sheepishly “Oh, dear. I’m sorry, love. I must have forgotten.”
Sadie never could be truly upset with her partner of nine years, especially since she was well aware of Gale’s absent-minded artist’s ways.
“Is that your new piece?” she remarked, referring to the huge, blindingly blue sun-shaped object Gale was holding. Tilting her head slightly, Sadie tried to take in the sculpture. There were figures in various states of undress painted onto the outer ring in bright orange, and a bulbous mirror-type thing in the middle. She shook her head slightly. I never will understand art.
“Yes!” Gale beamed at her. “I call it “Passion of the Sun”. What do you think?”
After so many years together, Sadie had more than enough flubs under her belt to have been trained to the right answer. “I think it’s unique … and very thought provoking,” she answered.
“I knew you would get it!” Gale rewarded her with a kiss on the cheek. “Now run on upstairs and I’ll fix you some tea. Your first client of the day will be here in fifteen. Oh – and if you find the picture wire up there, bring it down, will you? I want to mount this in the entryway.”
She disappeared into the kitchen, leaving Sadie halfway up the stairs in resigned despair. The entryway? Of their house? Really?
Ah, well, Sadie told herself. It makes her happy. Learn to pick your battles, lady.
Then she was up the stairs and into her office, organizing things for her first client of the day. Checking her notes, she saw that it was Noreen Davis and groaned aloud.
The woman came in at least once a month, if not twice, trying to reach her daughter who had died in a car accident four years prior. And Sadie just couldn’t bring herself to tell Noreen that Markie was much happier in her afterlife than she was in this one.
The girl visited her often, and was honestly delighted with her status as a Spirit. She even had a job, helping the newly-deceased adjust to the Spirit Realm.
While on this plane, she had suffered from an overbearing mother who obsessed over clothes, her hair, her friends, her path in life … everything, really. Noreen was determined to live vicariously through her daughter, and it made Markie miserable. All she wanted was acceptance and love from her mother, neither of which she ever truly received, instead only garnering criticism and resentment.
Sadie took a deep breath as the doorbell rang, and went down to meet Mrs. Davis. Markie arrived about the same time, traveling with Sadie down the staircase.
“Well,” the teenager said, “let’s go let the old bat in.”
Chuckling, Sadie reached for the doorknob. “Okay, Markie. Here we go again!”