Story: A Day of Sarah (all chapters)

Authors: Beccy Harris

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Chapter 1


 A face peeked out from beneath the cellar doors, peering out into the storm that obscured the world beyond the farms flood lights.

"Do you see anyone?"

 "No, I don't." Technically, she was safer here than by her father who was near the bottom of the stairs leading back to the house, but she felt uneasy being away from him.

"Good, I want you to wrap up extra tight and run as fast as you can."

She turned tearful eyes to him. "Daddy-"

 "Do as I say, Sarah."

 Lightning flashed and illuminated his condition, tied up on the floor to an old tractor engine.

 Sarah was skinnier than normal and the rope was big, she had been able to wriggle free.

"Go get help."

This would be the last time she saw him, she knew it. But she couldn't rush back to hug him- those people could be back any moment.

"I love you." The loud whisper carried across the room. She pushed open the cellar doors and was gone.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary.

It was the curse of her nature, she was too different. She had brought this on their heads.

[End notes:

I think that many of us reach a point in our lives when everything we do seems random and disconnected. I guess this story is just an ode to my own discombobulation.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary or Mistress Mary is a nursery rhyme based on Mary, Queen of Scotts.


Chapter 2

Chapter One


"Yes, ma'am?"

"Get a coffeepot from the back, this one just broke."

Blood on her hands, shattered glass in the cuts.

Sarah was a common enough name, she was glad she could keep it.

She got the coffeepot and filled it with water.

"Sarah, your sponsor’s here."

"She's not my sponsor," Sarah responded automatically.

She handed the coffeepot off to the other waitress and went over to the booth where a woman in an inexpensive grey suit sat.

"Sarah, how are you today?"

Her hand was small and disappeared inside of Sarah's- she was a small woman.

"Kaci." It wasn't an answer, just what she said, and she said it with a nod and a small smile. "I missed you."

"No you didn't, but that's beside the point.

One of the waitresses came over with a coffee cup and a glass of water- the coffee was for Kaci.

"How are things? How's the move?"

"Good, most of my stuff is packed." She wiggled her toes in her shoes and clasped her hands around the water glass wet with condensation.

"Good, the timing's just right, isn't it?"

"Just right," Sarah repeated. "so, I guess I won't be your patient anymore."

The silence that followed was filled by a police siren.

"Sarah, you know we can't do that," Kaci said quietly.

"Why not? It's not an ethical issue anymore."

"Not on the surface, but the implication is there." Kaci stared into the steam rising from her eggshell colored mug. "I supposes that now that you are leaving, it's not too much of an ethical stretch to tell you that I've been in trouble before."

"For...a relationship?"

"No, but I'd rather not go into detail."

Sarah got the feeling that people were starting to try to listen in on the conversation. So she dropped the subject.

"Still, will you at least come to my going away party?"

"Yes." She said it rather quickly and lowered her eyes. "Yes, I will."

Sarah smiled. More alarms sounded outside and yellow lights flashed across their faces.

Quite, quite, contrary.

[End notes: I hope this 'story' makes some kind of sense so far. I'm just trying to make it as disconnected as Sarah feels without being...well, senseless.]

Chapter 3

 Chapter Two

She had grown up in a very close family, physical contact was a big part of that. Sarah had forgotten that before she met Mari.

Her father hadn’t been able to hold her like this after…

Better off dead. It was just an echo from the past with no real feeling behind it, so she felt no guilt when the words popped into her mind.

Mari was smooth, and soft, and warm. If she had been so inclined, Sarah might have fallen in love with her.

“Why do you let me stay like this?” Sarah asked, looking up into her best friend’s face from where she lay curled into her lap.

“Because you let me be this close,” Mari whispered, stroking her hair.

She hadn’t meant to, but becoming Mari’s friend was almost beyond her control.

Her eyes were like dark pools, wide and slightly narrow at the corners. Why did she seem to attract girls with such wide eyes?

“What are you thinking about?” Those wide eyes pierced her soul with their honest curiosity. People rarely asked her what she was thinking and meant it.

She took as much of this friendship as she could and let her heart ache with the weight of it, because it wouldn’t last- nothing ever did, especially something this good.

Sarah lost her phone a week ago and hadn’t spoken to Kaci since.

Mari had told her a secret. She tended to forget and let things slip, but she would hold Mari’s confidence as close to her heart as she would her memory in times to come.

She wondered if, already, she was idealizing this girl in her mind.

“I’m thinking about how glad I am we were assigned together. Luckiest thing to ever happen to me.”

Mari smiled. “Me, too. I love you, my Sarah.”

Mari knew Sarah was inclined to love her in a very different way, just like Sarah knew that Mari was her best friend and trusted her completely.

"I-" she hesitated, and snuggled more comfortably in her friend's lap.

[End notes: It's hard to know what this story looks like from the outside. I'm hoping that when I wake up tomorrow it actually makes sense, especially since I already have the next chapter in mind. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your lovely reviews. I can not express how grateful I am for your kind words and encouragement. Thank you for making me smile and motivating me to get these next chapters out faster.]

Chapter 4

Chapter Three 

There were two girls and one boy at the lunch table with Sarah, Mari was not among them.

Usually she would skip lab in the second half of her class, or Sarah would skip lab later on in the day so that they could eat together, but she was waiting in their dorm for a call from her brother.

Sarah was talking to the boy, Chris, about a band that they both liked.

Because of the light shining through the glass walls of the cafeteria, glaring off of every shiny surface, she laid across the table facing away from the light, forcing Chris to lean over to speak to her. The others were teasing them about it.

Her father had drained the little rubber pool and Sarah had lain in the mud puddle left behind. It was so warm and comfortable- her mother had been angry afterwards.

If her parents hadn’t been taken from her she would have died on that farm.

“Sarah, is that a friend of yours?” Jackie smiled suggestively. Everything she did was suggestive, even the way she didn’t quite look up from her text books was suggestive.

Sarah turned in her chair and squinted, then squinted harder as though she had mistaken the familiar outline of the person whose features were obscured by the afternoon sun.

She got up and walked toward the figure. “Kaci?”

“Hello, Sarah. Can we talk?”

“Sure.” She felt surprisingly under whelmed by Kaci’s reappearance. Ignoring the wolf whistle from Jackie, she followed her out of the cafeteria to a quiet part of the hall.

“It’s so good to see you again.” The shock was starting to wear off and she found that she was able to say this with real feeling.

But Kaci crossed her arms over her chest and frowned. “Three weeks. Three weeks without a word and all you have to say is ‘It’s good to see you again?’”

The words were delivered in a harsh whisper, but this did nothing to dampen their impact.

Sarah’s face fell. “I lost my phone.”

Kaci ran her hand through her hair, an exasperated look on her face. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I don’t have your cell memorized. And after what you said, I didn’t think that you would want me to call your office.”

“Just one call,” the shorter woman held up an index finger. “Just one to explain what happened.”

Her voice cracked on these last words and Sarah’s heart dropped. “Kaci?”

Kaci put a hand to her mouth, looking surprised for a moment before she pulled herself back together and lowered it back to her side. “I was afraid something might have happened.

Sarah’s eyes dropped. She knew she was a little off, but if she hadn’t broken yet, after all of this time…

“Well, I’m alright. I’m right here, see?” Sarah said gently, holding out her arms to offer herself up for inspection.

Kaci laughed, but it was a bit hollow.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have come. I just wanted to see if you were alright.” She took a deep breath. “Take care of yourself, okay?”

Sarah wanted to say something. Something important. But the lines were drawn and there was nothing else to say. ‘Sorry’ didn’t seem like it would help either of them at this point, so she just offered a weak smile.

“You, too.”

Suddenly bored with the old nursery rhyme, a new one came to mind and she said it under her breath.

We all fall down.

[End notes:

In case your wondering, my stories aren't usually this angsty. Is it angsty or is that just my imagination? In any case, it just seemed appropriate for this chapter. Hopefully the next one will go better for Sarah. I have an idea how it will go, but I'm not telling- yet. *winks*


Chapter 5

Chapter Four

She couldn’t sleep, laying in a stranger’s bed surrounded by a stranger’s darkness.

The phone rang and she couldn’t bring herself to answer it.

Mari had gone and taken their home with her.

A secret known to two is no secret.

Two people already knew long before she did.

But he was gone now, Mari wouldn’t have to be scared to go home- to stay. She wouldn’t have to be afraid to tell them.

The message alarm on her phone beeped, wouldn’t stop beeping, so she set it to vibrate and pushed it under her pillow.

Had they assumed that she would want to be alone when they moved her to this new room?

When she finally felt like eating again, there were no familiar faces left at their table. Whatever delicate bond they had formed had fallen apart.

It was her fault- she hadn’t really cared why they were there.

Jackie was in the drama club, Mari told her.

Kirsten was a journalism major, Chris told her.

Chris? He liked a band…

Sarah clutched her hands to her ears to block out the sounds of her own heartbeat, deafening in the silence, calling the stranger’s darkness to fill it.

It wasn’t her fault she couldn’t focus, couldn’t care.

Those people, they had no right to make her live alone because of the way she was. She would never intentionally hurt anyone.



Why had they put her in this room all alone?

She didn’t want to be alone anymore.

[End notes:

'A secret known to two is no secret.' Is an African Proverb. And again, I really appreciate your reviews- they motivate this story. Oh, and I just figured out how to respond to them, so look out for that.


Chapter 6

[Author's notes: Bit of a format change here. Regular letters will represent present events while italics will symbolize past events.]

It was easier to remember things now, and Sarah felt things deeper, too. Sometimes she felt like she had to hold a hand to her heart to keep it all in.


Even the bad things.

“Yes, daddy?”

“I just got a call from Mrs. Sutter. Did you…do something to Janie?”

Sarah blushed and lowered her head.

“Speak up, girl.”

She lifted her head in response to her father’s order and said, “I kissed her. Her momma caught us.”

Mr. Patterson’s eyes widened in surprise, then the corner of his lip twitched.


He turned his head away, but she still saw the way his shoulders shook.

“Well, her parents are coming over to talk to us. After that,” a snort of laughter escaped before he quickly suppressed it, “after that we’ll talk.”

Two girls stumbled out of the apartment with arms thrown over each other, obviously drunk.

“Hey, it’s Candy- and she brought Sarah.”

Candy was the nickname Sarah’s friend, Raidyn, had earned for heading up the club bake sales.

Sarah insinuated herself between the drunken pair and put her arms over their shoulders.

“So, how does it feel to be college graduates?”

There was a yell across the room and a drunken transgender girl with the school colors painted on her face shouted, “I gradu-dated!”

“I kind of feel cheated,” one of the girls, Saleema, said dryly, raising an eyebrow.

“Sarah looked back and winked at Raidyn, who had a crush on Saleema, nodding toward the older girl.

“Actually, I have two more years after this,” the other girl, Michelle, answered.

“Wow, don’t leave us anything to look forward to,” Sarah joked, “I’m going to find some fun people to hang out with.”

Saleema was the closest to Raidyn when Sarah took away her support and when she left Saleema was practically cuddling the blushing girl while Michelle leaned on the edge of a couch talking to herself.

She never would have believed that there were places like this back home.

“What’s all this?”

Sarah ran out of her room at the sound of her father’s raised voice and looked over the balcony at the top of the stairs.


“Is that her?” Two strange men looked up at her along with a third, familiar one- Mr. Sutter. They looked enough alike that she could tell the three were related.

“Yeah, that’s her,” Mr. Sutter answered.

“Daniel, what’s going on here?” Her father moved, at once blocking their entrance and their view of his daughter.

“We just want to talk to her,” there was an underlying meanness to his polite tone that made her skin crawl.

A flash of lightening blinded her for a moment, closely followed by a roar of thunder that sounded like the whole world falling down.

A pair of arms encircled Sarah’s waist and a chin rested on her shoulder. “I’m going to miss you, Princess.”

She patted one of the girl’s hands. “I’m going to miss you, too, crazy lady.”

They were all moving on, Sarah felt like she was moving on, too.

She had long since reconciled with her past, but now it was time to reconcile more recent events.

Sarah looked to a couple of women, one reclining on the sofa and the other perched on it’s arm looking down at her lovingly as they spoke.

[End notes:

We're coming to the end of the story, the way ideas are forming in my mind, it should take one or two more chapters to wrap it up. During that time if any of you feel there are any loose ends not being addressed, feel free to let me know. Once again, thank you for your support, and I hope you've enjoyed reading this story as much as I've enjoyed writing it.


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