Shine it on my heart, so you could see the truth
That this love I have inside, is everything it seems
But for now I find, it's only in my dreams
Saturday morning, Florham Park, New Jersey, mid May, 2014 (not Naboo)…
Two girls sat on the old two-seat glider on the cement patio. Mika strummed the Martin guitar and sang the old Clapton tine she and her dad had been working on while Sandy halfheartedly sketched the outfit she was going to wear at the Con; incentive having gone out the window since her break-up with Tiffany. No more a Naboo Queen and Bodyguard pair since she was now officially single; teenage angst combining with ‘the’ other thing that left her filled depressed and fearful..
The view of the school was barely obscured behind the sparse row of trees that bordered the yard. It left Sandy feeling only half-safe, since anyone could still step over the small ditch that paralleled the trees. Mika laid her Martin across the resin table next to the glider and turned to Sandy.
“You think Tiff would ‘ve cared?” Mika asked with a half-smile. Sandy shook her head only slightly; her half frown a mirror image of Mika’s face. She put the bookmark in her paperback and laid it in the glider; ‘Uninvited,’ ironically.
“Maybe? No? Oh, fuck…I don’t know?” She wiped some left-over sleep from under her right eye and looked away. Mika touched her best friend’s arms; a gesture meant for solace that evoked a sad gasp instead.
“But even if she wouldn’t care, everybody she hangs out with… they’d care…oh fuck, Mika. I wish we never moved here.” She winced in embarrassment, but Mika smiled.
“If it meant you’d always be okay? So would I, Sands... so would I.” She pulled the girl into a hug; only wanting to comfort but Sandy turned around and their lips met.
After a few moments, they pulled apart; the faces etched with equal portions of shame and bliss. Sandy jumped off the glider but her escape was foiled when she tripped over a crack in the old patio; sending her sprawling. She looked up into pleading eyes; feeling confused over what those eyes hoped for. Mika nodded but spoke.
“If you…. I’m sorry and I’ll just go home. Fuck Sands… I’m so sorry.” Mika began to tear up; her hands already raised to protect her own retreat, Sandy stood up and pushed Mika’s arms aside; embracing the girl tentatively. Both girls nodded as if their expression spoke in harmony,
If I could be queen, even for a day
I'd take you as my queen, I'd have it no other way
And our love will rule, in this kingdom we have made
Till then I'd be a fool, wishin' for the day
Ridgedale Middle School, the following Tuesday…(still not Naboo)
Three girls stood side-by-side in the in the wide hallway. They mostly ignored the kids passing by, but stepped in front of Sandy; blocking the way.
“What the fuck, Sands?” Tiffany’s face was a sad mixture of grief and rage. She pushed Sandy up against the locker catty-corner to their classroom. Her two friends stepped close; their own expressions betrayed unspoken threats. Tiffany turned and shook her head. She started to walk away, but turned to face Sandy once again.
“I….. you should have told me…. You should have told me!!!” she shouted before running down the hall. Sandy waved weakly as tears spilled off her cheek onto the tiles below. Mika rubbed her arm, but Sandy pulled away. She pointed to a hastily drawn poster over her locker.
“Sandy Richmond is a boy!”
Sandy shook her head. Whatever had happily begun with Tiffany had already ended; first on peaceable if frenemy terms. But now, both were betrayed by a cruel fate. Mika went to grab Sandy’s arm, but the girl shook it off. Two moves since she was twelve; each ending in disaster as truth trumped beauty and wisdom and hope. Sandy’s expression mirrored her silence; hopeless, helpless and now loveless once again. Teens might have tons of crushes, as someone once said, and boyfriends and girlfriends might always seem temporary. But for Sandy Richmond, only a father and a mother might ever love her.
“No….. Sandy?” Mika pled. Sandy opened her arms wide as if to plead as well, but not on her own behalf.
“No bullying and hate in the Richmond Middle Homeschool…. And Daddy’s job…. Well, he’s in Stuttgart, so I guess I can try out my German….. “ her voice trailed off to a murmur, and Mika went to hold her; fuck them all, she thought. Sandy pushed her away as she literally pried Mika’s hands from her arms.
“Guten Tag… Ich heiss Sandra Richmond. Ich hasse mich!”
Mika knew enough that she shook her head at Sandy’s self-hatred. Sandy nodded as both girls wept; drawing the attention of the kids still walking in the hall. Some laughed and some were silent and no one …. at least no one at that single moment in time… gave a fuck about the pain being played out like a bad episode of True Blood. Sandy bit her lip and finished.
“Ja. Ich Hasse mich. Und???? Ich wünschte Ich wäre tot!” To punctuate it, she smiled even as the tears continued to cascade.
“Oh… sorry….. I forgot….. What was I thinking? Yes. I hate myself! I fucking hate myself. And I wish I was dead.” She went to walk away, but Mika grabbed her once again. Sandy pushed her away and ran down the hall and out the exit. Mika stood in the hallway; shaking. She found herself alone as most of the kids had gone to class, leaving a few stragglers. Two boys on one side and another in the alcove of the classroom door laughed. She spun around and shook her head.
“Funny, huh? Go fuck yourself!” She wiped the tears from her face and walked slowly down the hall. Whatever Sandy said, it was out of hurt and not out of determination. And despite the refusal, everything in Mika knew Sandy needed her…wanted her help. She felt a smile cross her face. She would do whatever she could to see that Sandy Richmond would somehow know love…if only Mika could change the world…..
That I can change the world
I would be the sunlight in your universe
You will think my love was really something good
Baby, if I could, change the world
Nexr - For Our People (Revised)
Change the World
Words and Music by
Tommy Sims, Gordon Kennedy, and Wayne Kirkpatrick
As Performed by
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