First scene of a YA novella concept
| Sadie waited patiently in the vestibule to the principal's office. It wasn't the first time this semester she had been there and at the rate things were going, it probably wouldn't be the last. |
A large flat screen tv occupied the wall across from her. It illuminated the dimly lit hallway lined with scratchy cloth covered chairs. She could faintly hear her father speaking to the principal through the cracked office door.
"You just have to understand. It's not easy being a single father," her father pleaded. "I'm doing everything I can but work-"
"Yes, yes," the principal growled. "We've heard it before. I get it, but we just simply aren't seeing improvement- the girl's head is always in the clouds. Her grades are suffering and she just doesn't seem to be getting along with the other kids her age."
"I know, I know," her father muttered. "She's just- different- I don't know what to tell you."
"Have you considered counseling?"
Sadie tried to listen, she really did, but the images of the seascape on the TV drew her in. The sharp white cliffs and crashing waves called to her. There was no sound emitting from the television but she could hear singing. Melodic, otherworldly singing.
She couldn't remember ever seeing the sea but she could smell the salty air. She could feel the cool breeze on her face and hear the lapping water on the shore. The sensation of cold sand on her skin. It was as if she had been transported from that scratchy chair to the seashore.
"Thank you, thank you," her father backed out of the principal's office with his head bobbing in gratitude. The principal within simply waved his hand for him to go as he tidied up the papers on his desk.
Her father turned around to see her staring at the oceanscape on the television and she could feel the air tense even before the yelling began.
"What is this? What are you watching!" He shouted. "Stop this. Stop that!" He growled as he fumbled to find the power button. "Stop this nonsense. You don't need this garbage. You have everything you need!" He found the off button and the magic before Sadie was gone.
This wasn't the first time her father had reacted this way. Several times a year she got brave enough to ask him if they could go on vacation. He always said yes, that is until she told him she wanted to go to the seashore. She'd tried tricking him before but it never seemed to work.
She didn't know why he disliked water so much, especially the sea. Perhaps he couldn't swim? But she doubted it. He'd told her stories of being a fisherman before she was born. Her best guess was something bad had happened that had frightened him so badly he took it out on her.
It seemed so unfair.
He could tell she looked sad and inhaled deeply before sitting down beside her and wrapping her up in his arms. He rocked her back and forth and buried his head in her hair.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I just love you so much."
She knew he did. But Sadie just felt empty. She felt hollow inside, like a piece of herself was missing. She'd felt that way for as long as she could remember. She tried to be normal, she really did, but she just felt numb.
"Are you crying?" She asked, perplexed. Her father straightened himself and rubbed the corner of his eye with the base of his palm.
"I'm fine," he said, clearing his throat. "Let's go."