Sarah’s mind always goes back there. Decades have passed, but she still feels like the ugly outsider kid she was, with pimples, and dreams of being picked for the talent show, for the school play, and for being loved.
The doorbell rings. Kelly barks and runs to the door. It’s the god-peddlers again. Sarah knows they mean well, but she has lost her patience for their incessant efforts to save her. She turns off the light in the foyer, hoping they will go away.
It would be so easy to join them, to be told what to do, what to think and believe, but she isn’t built for ready-made answers. Sarah was built for questions, detours, and discoveries.
Sarah sits at the butcher-block table. Her fingers trace the cracks in the wood. She has the lemon oil in the cabinet that she was supposed to rub into the surface from time to time, but she never did it, not even once, and the cracks scold her. They shout at her of all the things she has neglected.
Sarah remembers the table before the cracks, when it still lived in Aunt Faye’s kitchen. She can still smell cinnamon challah if she closes her eyes. She can feel the dough under her braiding fingers. She can hear Uncle Mark yelling at the TV as he tries to make the picture stop spinning.
She misses those days. She wishes she could go back and make things right. She wishes she could whisper in her twelve-year-old ear, and offer guidance, warning and validation.
Sarah fell under a spell when she was twelve, and now, it is time to break free of it.
(This is part of a much longer piece still in progress. Can you relate to Sarah? I would love to hear from you in the comments. If you leave one, please check back. I always respond. Thanks...)