By Sarah Montenegro
She sat by the aisle of the theater like she always did.
The trailers of other movies played before her. The actors seemed familiar, but she could not remember their names. Crossing her legs, she picked up the popcorn that was sitting in the next seat.
“Cool, you’re just in time to see the movie.”
She was disappointed to find out that she was not alone in the theater. She always picked the least liked film to enjoy it alone.
“Ah,” she muttered to acknowledge the man. She hoped that he would sit far away from her.
“It’s very interesting that they don’t have a playbill for movies,” the man said, sitting beside her, “Oh, popcorn,” he added, taking some from her.
She took a quick look at the man. He wore a white shirt and a black tie, with a vest to compliment it. His eyes were icy blue. She watched his lips as they closed, hearing the popcorn pop as he chewed.
“Why would there be a playbill? It’s not a play,” she finally answered.
“Hush, the movie is about to start.”
Her eyes were suddenly on the screen. Red, yellow, and blue balloons were tied to white stools. Children ran and played. A woman in a blue and white polka dot dress appeared carrying a birthday cake.
“Come along, kids! Let’s sing Sadie a happy birthday!” she called the children and put the pink cake on a round table. The children ran and sat in each chair.
A little girl in a lacy pink dress walked to the table. She had jet black hair and a round face. Her eyes were sparkling brown and yet they were lifeless. She sat at the center by her mother, eyeing every child on the table.
“I think I’ve seen this before,” she said under her breath.
“Shhh,” the man told her to keep quiet.
“Happy birthday to you,” the child’s mother began to sing and the children followed in their own wrong tunes.
“Happy birthday to you!”
“Happy birthday, dear Sadie! Happy birthday to you!”
“Thanks,” the little girl muttered. She did not make a wish when she blew the candle. She left the table and went back inside.
“That is one sad little girl,” the man remarked. “Poor little Sadie.”
She ignored the man.
They watched Sadie as she closed the door behind her. Gifts in pink wrappers laid on her bed. She opened them one by one, each of them were Kewpie dolls that resembled her.
She looked at them with disgust.
“I hate dolls,” she and Sadie declared. The man looked surprised.
“You’ve seen this movie before?” he asked, “Don’t spoil it,” he warned.
“Oh, sweetie,” her mother called as she opened her door, “Come and play with the children outside.”
“I am tired, Mama,” she replied, “Please help me take these toys away.”
Her mother obliged and tucked Sadie in bed. “I’ll be with you soon,” she assured her daughter.
Sadie fell asleep and the screen faded to black.
The little girl grew into a young woman. Her jet black hair became short and she grew taller. She and the man watched Sadie as she did her homework.
Sadie did not have a lot of friends and it seemed to them that she did not care. They watched her receive her degree on her graduation. Her parents cast their happy faces as they took pictures of her.
She moved out when she landed an office job. Sadie stayed overtime, believing that she was supposed to live that way.
“Man, this girl is wasting her life away,” the man lamented, “Poor little Sadie.”
She gazed at the man and shot him a dirty look, “Would you please shut up, there are other people watching the movie.”
They were alone in the theater, just like Sadie in her life.
Sadie sat alone in a bar. Her hand cupped a glass of bourbon, a cigarette rested between the fingers in the other. A man sat beside her, ordering a beer. He faced her while he waited for his drink.
“Someone stood you up?” he asked as he smiled.
Sadie took a glimpse. “No.”
“I don’t see why a beautiful woman like you is sitting alone in a bar,” he prodded, turning to the bartender and paying for his beer.
“Leave me alone,” she grunted.
“Tough little one you are,” he challenged her, “That’s probably why your colleagues at work don’t hang out with you.”
“How do you know that? You don’t know where I work.”
“William Allen,” he introduced himself.
She coughed as she took a sip of her drink. She had been blunt to the CEO of the company she works for.
“Are you all right?” he inquired, “It’s fine. I don’t like people who kiss ass. I like you.”
“Ahem, I’m sorry.” It was all that she managed to say. Sadie disregarded his last sentence.
“Why haven’t you asked about that promotion? You work day and night, and harder than your coworkers, yet you are still in the same entry level position that you applied for,” he remarked, sipping his beer.
“I don’t like change,” she mustered.
“That won’t pay the cost of living here as it gets higher.”
William laughed, “Alright then.”
“I don’t feel recognized and I hate asking for it,” she revealed. She called the bartender for another drink.
“Well, on this day and age, you have to,” William answered, “Change is everywhere and it is around you. You’ll have to adapt eventually.”
They talked all night at the bar. Sadie laughed for the first time in years. It was a strange feeling. She hated any kind of change and yet this one change felt good.
“Sadie Wilkerson,” she said, extending her hand.
“I know,” William replied, “It was nice meeting you.”
“Likewise,” she said.
“Take the day off tomorrow. You deserve it,” he advised, “I’ll see you on Thursday.”
“Thank you and have a good night,” she answered, then she turned and walked away.
The scene ended and another started in a garden. There were black calla lilies and white rose garlands around. People gathered and sat on the pews. A band played the Wedding March as Sadie and her parents walked down the aisle.
“For a moment, I thought this was a funeral,” the man noted. She thought the same thing as well.
“I am a different person because of you, William. I hate change and yet here I am, standing before you, offering you my life and devotion as your wife. Will you take me in as your own and spend a lifetime with me?” Sadie asked as she slid a ring to his finger.
“Yes, Sadie. I would love to,” William answered, putting the ring on her finger.
“I now pronounce you man and wife. William, you may kiss the bride.”
“Good lord, this is cheesy as hell,” she maundered.
“I have to agree with you,” the man seconded.
“Sadie was the man on the vows, Jesus,” she laughed at the movie.
“Ha,” the man muttered, “I see.”
The vows sounded familiar to her. She had probably seen the movie years ago. She felt her tears well up in her eyes. She shook her head to forget about them.
A pregnant Sadie entered the scene. William kissed her and the bump on her. They sat in their living room watching a TV show.
“William!” she screamed, grabbing her husband by the shoulder, “I think the baby’s coming!”
“Good God, Sadie!” Adrenaline rushed in his body and he carried her to the car.
William did not care about the police chasing him. He rushed Sadie to the hospital. He would deal with them after.
He waited by the delivery room and the doctor rushed out, looking for him.
William smiled at the doctor, “Are they alright?”
“The baby is fine, however—”
“However what?” he bellowed, “What happened to Sadie?”
“I need your consent to perform a hysterectomy on her. She bled out during the delivery. It won’t stop. It’s the only way to save her life.”
“Do whatever it takes to save her! It’s your job, goddammit!”
“Wow, some drama right there,” the man said. “Poor little Sadie.”
Sadie… She thought. Isn’t that my name?
“You’re finally realizing it now?” he asked, turning to her.
That’s why everything seemed so familiar.
“What the hell am I doing here?” she asked. The movie paused and she looked at herself. She was still wearing that bloody hospital gown.
“You’re in between life and death. Now, have you lived your life to your satisfaction, Sadie?” His question taunted her.
“I guess people never ever live their lives to their satisfaction.”
“Well, that’s why you are here.”
“I thought you get to decide whether I live or die.”
The man chuckled, “Me? No. My job here is to show you how you lived your life. The evaluation of that is entirely up to you.”
“I have lived and I was probably meant to die today.”
“You know, most people fight for their lives when they realize that they are watching it unfold on this screen.”
Sadie regarded the man’s answer, “All my life I have been miserable. Why should I go on?”
“Are you certain about that? Haven’t you heard your own laugh and your vows, Sadie Allen?”
Sadie stared at the man. William’s words rang in her ears.
Yes, Sadie, I would love to.
I love you very much, Sadie, and this kiddo right here in your belly.
Do whatever it takes to save her!
“Have you ever thought of living for William and your baby? How about your family?”
“Aren’t you supposed to talk me into dying?” she asked the man back.
“Fine. You’re done living, so why go on?”
“I know that I have been depressed for a long time and I never sought help for it. I thought I could carry it alone.”
“Go on,” encouraged the man.
“I didn’t want anybody to see it. I am not weak. When I met William, everything changed. Everything seemed brighter. It was strange for me and I didn’t like it, yet deep inside I yearn for it,” Sadie hesitated to talk more.
“Don’t you want to find out what happens next?”
“I am probably dead in the movie. That’s why I’m here, right?”
“I said you are in between life and death. You’re not long and gone yet.”
“Should I come with you?”
“Why are you asking me? That is your decision.”
“Well, I want to see my child grow and grow old with William.”
“Then I’m off to see another movie. Best of luck to you,” the man said as he stood. He walked down the aisle of the theater.
“Wait!” Sadie called him.
“What, changed your mind?” he asked, turning around.
“No. What is your name?”
“Oh, I have many names.”
“Well, then, give me your real name.”
“One little creeper you are,” the man laughed, “It’s Azrael. I hope we don’t meet anytime soon.”
“I hope so, too,” she whispered.
The movie screen went to black and the lights on the theater were turned off. Sadie went back to her seat and fell asleep.
She woke up finding William asleep by her side. The doctor in her room went in to check on her.
“Cool, you’re awake,” he said. He went on to check her vitals. “Your vitals are good. The nurse will be here soon with your baby,” he added. “My name is Azrael Saunders. I will be your doctor for tonight.”
Sarah is an NYC professional by day, a writer by night. She writes horror and tragic stories, and sometimes, about past lives. Recently, she tried dabbling into poetry. You can email her at email@example.com and you can check out her short stories at sorenlysander.wordpress.com.