"Sadie, how did it go? Ms. Mary give you a hard time? If she did, I sure hope you were nice. We need this job, and you can be so rude and unsociable." I listened to her blabber on about my lack of social skills and waited until she finished before I spoke. "I got the job for the summer if I want it." Jessica sighed dramatically in relief.
"Wonderful, I real y need to rest these next few months. The baby is taking so much from me. You just don't understand how hard it is to be pregnant." I wanted to remind her I'd tried to keep her from getting pregnant by sacrificing food money to buy her some stupid condoms, which didn't help at all! However, I nodded and walked inside with her.
"I'm starving, Sadie. Is there anything you can fix up real fast? I am eating for two these days." I'd already planned what we would eat for dinner before I got home. I knew Mom was helpless in the kitchen. I somehow survived the first eight years of my life on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Somewhere around the time I turned eight, I realized my mother needed help, and I began growing up quicker than normal children. The more I offered to take on, the more she gave me. By the time I'd turned eleven, I did it all.
With the noodles boiling and the meat sauce simmering, I went to my room. I slipped out of my work clothes and into a pair of cut off thrift store jeans, which happen to be the core of my wardrobe, and a tee shirt. My wardrobe was simple.
The pan in the kitchen with the noodles in it whistled letting me know the food needed to be checked. Jessica wasn't going to get up and check things out anytime soon. I hurried back into the small kitchen, took out a spaghetti noodle on a fork, and slung it at the wall behind the stove. It stuck. It was ready.
"Real y, Sadie, why you toss noodles on the wall is beyond me. Where did you get such an insane idea?"
I flipped my gaze up and over at Jessica. She kicked back on the faded pastel couch, which came with the apartment, in my bikini.
"I saw it on the television once when I was younger. It has stuck with me ever since. Besides it works." "It's disgusting is what it is," Jessica mumbled from her spot on the couch.
She couldn't boil water if she wanted to, but I decided to bite my tongue and finish with dinner. "It's ready, Mom," I said as I scooped a pile of spaghetti onto a plate, knowing she would ask me to bring her one.
"Bring me a plate, will ya, honey." I smirked. I was a step ahead of her. She rarely got up these days unless she absolutely had to. I slipped a fork and spoon onto the plate and took it to her. She didn't even sit up. Instead, she placed it on the shelf of a belly she'd developed and ate. I placed a glass of sweet iced tea down beside her and went back to fix my own. I'd worked up an appetite today. I needed food.
I didn't have to be searched, and I was even given a card to show at the gate when I arrived from here on out. Things went much smoother. Fran even smiled at me once. After lunch, Ms. Mary sent me to the third floor, which housed most of the bedrooms. It was easy to forget whose house I cleaned. I had no friends to tell about the job. Not thinking about the fact I stood in the rooms where the hottest teen star in the world would be sleeping al summer wasn't real y so big of a deal. I stepped into his bedroom and spun around. This wasn't a typical teenage boy's room. It seemed so comfortable it struck me as odd.
One wal displayed bats and bal s signed with different signatures while some just looked wel used. Jerseys he must have worn during childhood hung on the wal s proudly. I could easily picture the little boy I'd seen in the pictures yesterday wearing these and playing city bal just like an ordinary kid. I went for a closer inspection and found pictures under each one of the teams he'd played on. In the earliest ones, I struggled to figure out which little boy was the now famous rock star. After he appeared to be ten or eleven, I identified him easily. The jerseys and pictures were in year order from about kindergarten until age thirteen, and then they stopped. It would have been about a year or so before I remembered hearing his name the first time on the radio. He seemed to lead a normal life up until the time a record label discovered him.
The wall space above his bed set the room apart from an ordinary teenage boy's room. Guitars of every shape, size, and color hung on the wal s.
Many were autographed; some sparkled with newness. One appeared to have real gold on it, which wouldn't be surprising at al if it did. I got on my toes and examined it more closely. It said Fender on it. I continued examining the signatures on the more expensive guitars. I ran my finger over the name Jon Bon Jovi and smiled. Apparently, even rock stars have idols. In the center of them al hung a smal , worn guitar. The fact it hung in the center of this col ection made it obvious this must have been the first and most loved.
I peeked back at the door to make sure no one stood outside, and then went to stand under the smal guitar I imagined had started it al . I wasn't a crazy fan but seeing something responsible for spurring a dream seemed almost holy in a way.
My cleaning cart sat untouched in the doorway, and I knew I needed to get busy. I didn't want to learn new, personal things about him. I wanted him to stay shal ow and untouchable in my eyes. Knowing he once was a cute, little boy with dark brown curls and a smile that would one day cause a frenzy made him seem more real and not so godlike. I needed to keep my interest in him to a minimum. I quickly went about the room dusting and sweeping, and then I mopped the expensive hardwoods. I decided I'd better get through with this room quickly before I came across anything else that'd have me picturing him as the little boy in the photos. I focused my thoughts on my future and blocked out al thoughts of Jax Stone. "Sadie, are you finished yet? The family has arrived, and we need to exit to the servant's quarters," Fran said from the doorway. I placed my cleaning supplies back on the cart and headed toward the door where a very nervous Fran stood.