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by Fawn Leuth
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"Mama, where are we going?" Sarah asked her mother who was driving.
"Sarah, I have already told you. We are going away for a wile. You and I are
going to live in our own house"
"I know that but where mama? Is it gunna be far? Isn't papa going to miss us?
Do i have to go to a new school?"
"Sarah its late go get some sleep we can talk bout this in the morning okay?"
"yes mama."
Sarah placed her head against the window and closed her eyes. The two drove
for three more hours until they saw a hotel where they could stay for the night.
Sarah's mother checked in and then went back out to get Sarah. She woke her
up and made her walk up to the room. As soon as they got into their room they
locked the door and laid down to watch TV but instead they fell asleep right way.
In the morning Sarah woke up before her mother so she was sitting at the
widow in a big blue chair looking out the window. She was watching the sun rise
over the corn fields. Well, one corn field as far as her wondering eyes could see.
It was going to be a sunny day. Finally Sarah couldn't take it any more she had
to wake her mother up so she could taker her to go get something to eat. Sara
would go get something from the lobby but she new the rules, she wasn't to go
anywhere alone. Her mother always told her that anybody no mater how nice
they looked could want to take a pretty young girl like her. If she ever was to
wonder off she wouldn't be aloud to do any of the activities she was involved in.
"Mama, wake up I am hungry" she said as she shook her mother.
"what time is it Sarah?"
"I don't know i cant tell time with those clocks." As she said that her mother rolled over to look a the clock.
"It is only seven. Can you let mammy sleep for a little wile longer?"
"no i have been waiting since like, like a long time" a small tear ran down her
"okay lets go, but let me wash my face first okay." her mother sighed.
"Okay!!" Sarah Jumped up and tore the blanket off the bed.
Sarah jumped up and down until her mother was ready to go . Once she
was she grabbed her rabbit and skipped happily to the door.
"Sarah where are your shoes?"
"Ummm" she thought then bent down and picked them up "in my hand."
"put then on silly or we cant go anywhere."
"yes mama"
Sarah put on her shoes and they walked down stairs to the restaurant
that was attached to the main lobby. There was a long line at the door to get in.
And long lines and seven year old girls don't go to together very well. After an
hour and ten minuets of waiting they were next. As soon as the hostess was
walking back Sarah got so exited she started to bounce and squeak quietly to
her self "were next , let there be food"
"Good morning how many are in your party?" the hostess smiled at Sarah.
"Two" Sarah smiled back.
"would you like smoking or non?"
"umm" Sarah hesitated and then looked at her mom.
"Non please" Sarah's mom said.
"okay ladies right this way."
The hostess seated them by a big window. She handed Sarah a "big kid"
Menu. then walked back to her post at the front desk. It seemed to take for ever
for the waiter to get to their table. But Sarah didn't seem to mind she sat coloring
by number on the back page of her menu. Wile she was thinking bout what her
mother had said last night about talking bout why they left papa. She was just
going to ask when she was interrupted by a very tall and skinny black waiter.
Sarah had never seen a black person in her life so she stared at him like he had
nine heads or something. Her mom gently nudged her leg before the man
noticed. Sarah looked at her and her mother gave her a look like don't stare. so
she when back to coloring for a moment.
" Good morning ladies. Can I offer you something to drink wile you think
about what you would like to eat?" Said the waiter.
"I'll have a milk please" Sarah said with a grin
" I'll have coffee please."
" Okay, I'll go get those right away. My name is Sam if you need anything
before i get back. Just let anyone know and they will get me ." The waiter
walked back into the kitchen to get the drinks. The entire time Sarah spent
looking out the window thinking how she could ask her mother about why they
were living without papa anymore. As much as she thought about it she couldn't
come up with any way to do so. She didn't want to upset her mother. Then finally
the waiter came back with the drinks and to get their orders. Since Sarah didn't
really look at the menu so she just ordered pancakes with strawberries and
whipped cream. She knew she would like that because it was her favorite.
"Mama why aren't we living with papa any more?"
"I want you to know that mommy and daddy both love you very much
okay. And we didn't want to hurt you, but your father and I don't get along
anymore. Its not your fault and I never want to think that okay" Her mother
explained to her in a very low calm voice.
"Why mama why? Why did we have to move? I wanna go home!" Sarah
started to cry.
"Don't cry honey. Everything will workout for the best. I have a nice house
in Bakersfield Tennessee. You know that big corn maze that you seen on TV?
It's not to far from where we are going to live. We can go there if you would like."
"Okay!" Sarah said with a small smile, it was still evident that she was
uneasy about the whole situation. When the food came Sarah realized that she
wasn't hungry anymore. As soon as the waiter walked away she pushed her
plate to the center of the table. Her mother cut up the pancake into small pieces
to try to encourage her to eat. Sarah just sat and looked out of that window until
her mother had finished her meal and got Sarah's boxed up. She paid the bill
and they went back to their room to collect their belongings. Then they got in
the car for a long days drive to the new house. After about forty two minuets into
the drive Sarah was hungry so her mother handed back the pancakes and a
plastic fork.
"But mama i don't have anything to drink"
"Drink this dear " her mother handed her a bottle of apple juice. "Just try
not to spill anything okay?"
"Yes mama I'll try"
Sarah ate her breakfast peacefully. She drank most of the apple juice.
Once she had finished she took out her coloring book and colored for a good two
"mama haw much longer ?"
" about an hour and 45 minutes."
"I have to go potty"
" Okay I will pull over at the next place I see"
They drove for fifteen minuets when Sarah spotted a small gas station
called Bob-Joe G+C. They stopped there and used the restroom and got
snacks to take on the road. They were back on the road in about thirty minute.
Sarah ate her snack and then laid down in the back seat with her purple rabbit
and fell asleep. To her it seemed no more then five minuets when her mother
woke her up.
"Sarah we're here lets go see you new room. Then if you really want I will
will make you a tent in my closet. Up you go." She picked Sarah up and carried
her inside and that is where the two stayed for the rest of the night.
"Sarah wake up it's time to go"
"Sarah we are going to have a meeting with the school principle and
your teacher. I think her name is Ms Winter. She seems really nice. lets get you
"Fine can fuzzy come too?"
"Okay if that will get you out of bed."
Sarah got up and put on her favorite black jeans with a red short sleeve
polo shirt that had a small flower in the right sleeve with the letter "S" in the
middle of it. The school was only a five minuet drive from the end of their drive
" Good morning I am Mr. Beat the school principle here at Bakersfield
Elementary. What's your name? " he looked at Sarah.
"ummmmm.. Sarah my name is Sarah Jones." she said shyly.
"Nice to see you again Jen" he said to Sarah's mother. " Sarah are you
ready to go meet your class?"
" Yes sir"
"Okay then lets go. Your teachers name is Ms Winter. Do you have any
"No sir"
"okay here we are"
Mr. Beat knocked on the door and most of the class turned around to
look. Ms Winter came to the back and opened the door. Mr. Beat whispered
something to her but Sarah couldn't tell what it was.
"Hi Sarah I am Ms Winter your teacher. Are you ready to meet your
"Yes ms Winter."
"Okay come in." Sarah followed ms winter into the classroom. "class we
have a new student her name is Sarah. Can we give her a big welcome?"
"HI Sarah" the class said on the count of three.
" Hi" she replied softly.
After lunch the class played a lot of name games. Everyone played
exempt for one small black boy who stayed in the back corner of the room
staring out the window holding a purple dinosaur. After a wile curiosity got the
best of Sarah, she had to ask.
"What's his name?" she pointed at him
"His name is Billy." Ms Winter answered.
"He is a retard." said one Girl.
"Freak is more like it." Said another boy.
"Billy has special needs and doesn't talk to any one. He never has never
will. His parents have tried everything, but nothing seems to work for him.
Sometimes he comes over but not to often." Ms Winter informed Sarah.
At first everyone liked Sarah and was rely nice to her, but after a wile
things changed. After the first week it wasn't cool to be the new kid. Kids started
to make fun of her for it. out of the 42 kids in her grade she seemed to be the
only one that didn't have any friends. Not to much longer before she was
Deemed the "outcast" by her classmates. About three weeks later no one would
pay any attention to her. She felt like she was a fly on the wall just watching the
days go by. Her seat in the class was in the very last row right by the door.
One day she didn't feel like going outside for recess with the other kids.
Instead she stayed alone in side. About five minutes after the other kids went
out she noticed Billy sitting cross l leges with his dinosaur. Sarah walked over
and sat on the Floor next to him.
"Hi I'm Sarah" she said quietly. "what's your name?" Billy just sat there,
Sarah waited for a moment and then went on. " Its okay if you don't want to tell
me. Some times I don't like to tell either. I like you dinosaur. Dose it have a
name? oh right you don't want to talk. Well, if you ever do i am here to talk to.
You are a good listener. "
The bell rang and Sarah went back to her seat and took out a book and
opened it to a random page so people thought she was working. That day
Sarah walked home so she had time to thing about her talk to Billy.
"Sarah Faith Jones! Where have you been? I have been worried sick
about what had happened to you. Do you know what time it is?" her mother
"Sorry mama, I didn't mean to worry you."
"Sarah did something happen at school today?"
" What? Tell mammy and I'll fix it. Just tell me sweetie i wont be mad at
"I Talked to this kid for the longest time."
"Did this kid tell you to walk home?"
"No mama he didn't tell me to walk home."
"What is this boys name? i want to talk to him"
"Billy what?"
"I don't know and he doesn't talk."
"You just said you talked to him. Now why are you lying to me?"
"I talked to him mama i never said he talked back. all he does is sit in a
corner holding a purple dinosaur. Mama? Are you mad at me?"
"No honey i am not mad at you. You just had me really scared okay?
Promise to never do that again?"
"I promise mama"
"Okay lets go get something for dinner." She gave Sarah a hug and took
her by the hand "how does Mac and cheese sound?"
"Great!" Sarah smiled
Sarah when up to her room to play with her stuffed animals. Well, the few
that were unpacked. Her mother cooked her favorite with ht dogs. Sarah could
smell it from all from her room upstairs. She sat there for about five minuets with
her mouth watering. The smell was too good , she had to go down stairs and see
what else her mother was cooking.
"Sarah do you want to help mommy?"
"Okay!" she quickly agreed
"Okay you can set the table. Then wash your hands. The plates are on the
table already, but here are the forks and spoons. You can get two napkins right?"
"Yes mama"
Sarah sat the table. Then she sat down at the table waiting for further
instruction. She also waited for her mom to bring her the dinner.
"Watch out honey this is really hot!" Her mother warned her. Sarah
backed away from the table. Until the hot pot was safely back on the stove. "Be
careful, its really really hot. Do you want one or two hot dogs?"
Her mother took out three hot dogs. And cooked them for 42 seconds in
the microwave. She took them out and cut Sarah's into 21 little pieces.
After dinner they unpacked some boxes in Sarah's room. Finally she had
all her clothes out of boxes and in her closet. She even had purple sheets with
cheetahs on them on her bed now. She then meticulously placed and counted
each of The stuffed animals. She had exactly 42. Once she had put them all on
her bed she remembered The big doll house that was given to her by her father.
She bolted down the stairs and asked her mother where it was. Hr mother told
her that it was at the old house. By this time it was getting late and Sarah had to
go to bed because she had to go to school in the morning.
Sarah woke up before her mother and put her purple fuzzy rabbit into her
back pack to show to Billy when The other kids were outside.
“Sarah wake up dear”her mother knocked on her door.
“I am up mama” she replied and then grabbed her backpack and skipped
downstairs. She sat at The table with her hair brush waiting for her mother to
comb her hair. She did so and put it in two braids. One high on either side of her
head. Once her hair was done she ate breakfast and put on her shoes.
“Is it time to go yet?” she asked with excitement.
“No honey you still have 42 minuets before you have to leave. Why are
you so exited to go to school today, you normally don't want to go at all?”
“I don't know mama I just really want to see Billy again.” Sarah waked into
The living room to watch TV for a little wile. Her favorite episode of Clara and
The Pea was on. So she watched that until it was over. Then it was time for her
to leave to catch The bus for school. Sarah skipped down her long dirt driveway
to her bus stop. When she got to school she took her seat at The back of The
class. At recess once everyone else had left Sarah went and sat next to Billy.
“I would like to have you meet somebody. Her name is Fuzzy. She is The
bestest rabbit in The whole wide world. My Papa gave her to me for my last
birthday. She is my 42nd stuffed animal. My favorite numbers are 4 and 2. What
are yours? Well, it is almost time for The other kids to come in so I am going to
go sit back at my table now okay?
Billy looked at his dinosaur and then loosened his death grip on it. He out
stretched his arm toward Sarah as if he wanted her to take it from him. She did
so but just as she did that the class walked in.
“Ms Winter she took Billy's dinosaur!” a girl screamed.
“Sarah!” Ms winter stormed over ripping the toy from her hand. “come on
lets go. You are going to the principles office.”
“Why? What did I do wrong?” Ms Winter asked the teacher in room 42 to
watch her class wile she walked Sarah to the office. Once there Sarah was told
to sit down, so she did with out arguing. She chose to sit in big fluffy blue chair
wile Ms Winter talked with Mr. Beat.
“Sarah would you come in here please?”He said with a deep very stern
“Yes sir.”
“Can you tell me why you took Billy's dinosaur away from him?”
“I didn't take it! He handed it to me.”
“Sarah he is autistic, he doesn't communicate with anyone. He never has.
He never will. His family has tried everything to get him to even look at
somebody, he just wont. Nothing has even worked just slightly.” her teacher said
“I promises I didn't take it from him” she pleaded. Sarah started to cry
and sniffle. “ Watch tomorrow at recess. I'll show you. I didn't take it from him.
Why wont you believe me?”
“But I have to be outside with the other kids.”
“I'll watch them “ Mr. Beat chimed in.
Sarah went straight home that day and told her mother what had
happened at school. Her mother wasn't too pleased but Sarah didn't get into
trouble like she had thought she might. The rest of the night was uneventful.
They had dinner,watched TV and read a bed time story. It was the story of the
lost little snowflake. Wile her mother was reading she was thinking about how
she missed her father so much.
The next morning she went to school like every other day. She sat at the
back of the class and only kind of listened to her teacher. When everyone wet
outside for recess she stayed in her seat. After a few moments of silence she
wailed over and sat next to Billy.
“ How are you today? Guess what I got a new coloring book last night it
has a lot of dinosaurs in it. You wanna see?” Sarah placed the book in front of
him. “ That one looks like yours.” she pointed to one one the front cover. She sat
and just talked to him about different stuff until five minuets before the bell rang
when once again Billy extend his dinosaur to Sarah. She took it and said how
much she liked it. Eventually he tried to grab it back, but she was holding too
tightly, so he couldn't take it. She saw a small tear trickle down his cheek.
“do you want this back” she reached it toward him and he took it. “ thank
you for sharing your dinosaur with me. That was very nice of you.”
“Sarah come out here please” Mr. Beat said quietly when Sarah was
walking back to her seat. She waked out of the room and stood in the hall way
with Mr. Beat. “how did you get him to do that?”
“I don't know sir. I just talked to him.”
“Sarah can you give this to your mom for me?”
“ yes sir “ Sara went back into the room. All of the kids began to make
fun of her for talking to Billy.
At first it bothered Sarah but after weeks of putting up with it she stared
not to care any more. At her old school she was friends with everyone and when
someone didn't like her she would go to either the teacher or her mother and tell
them what was going on. This time for some reason it was different this time.
Something between her and Billy just clicked. He trusted her. She didn't see him
like everyone else did. They just saw him as a hopeless disabled kid that is mot
worth helping. Sarah saw him a a lost little boy who needed a friend.
That Afternoon when Sarah got home she gave the letter to her mother.
Her mother was very surprised to be receiving a letter from Mr. Beat. She
couldn't think of any reason why she would be receiving the letter from the
school. She couldn't come up wit any reason as to why Sarah might be getting
anything. She placed it on the counter to read later once Sarah had retired to her
room for the night. At dinner that night she told her mother what had happened.
“Can I call Papa?”
“ No honey not right now.”
“Sarah.” her mother looked at her sternly.
“Awwwwww fine.” Sarah went upstairs and drew a picture for Billy. She
worked on it for three hours. Then her mother came up and told her that it was
time for bed.
“Can you read me a story?”
“Okay what one?” Sarah walked over and took her favorite one off the
“Mama? Why cant we call papa? Does he even know there we are?”
“We can call your father some time. Just not right now okay?” She
ignored her second question and began to read.”
“Mama?” Sarah interrupted. “ why didn't you answer my question?”
“Sarah I don't know the answer. Its time for bed. Goodnight dear” she
kissed her on he head and walked out of the room. For the next hour she sat in
her room looking at an old photo album from her child hood.
The rest of school year was the same. Sarah took the bus to school and
sat at the back of the room. At recess she would stay inside and talk to Billy, they
would share their toys and company.
It was the last day before Easter break. The two did as they always did.
They sat by the window and shred their toys but, something was different. Billy
looked at her and smiled. Sarah liked that.
“Hi!” she smiled back “I like your eyes” Billy looked at her and smiled and
pointed at his eye. “do you like mine?” she asked he smiled again “thank you”
“Hi” Billy said as Sarah walked back to her seat. She froze and turned
“wah what did you say?” Sarah thought she was hearing things but she
wasn't Billy repeated himself.
“Good job Billy toy said your first word. You said hi”
Billy turned bright pink,smiled a little smile. He looked out the window
once again. He went back to being his quiet self just looking out of the window.
Sarah went back to her seat and waited for ms Winter to return. About two
minuet later she did.
“Ms Winter! Ms Winter! Billy said hi!!!!!”
“Now Sarah I thought we agreed that you wouldn't make up stories
“ I'm not!”
“Sarah...” ms winter gave her a firm look.
“But ms Winter you can even go up to him and ask him yourself.” she
didn't believe Sarah so she when up to Billy her self.
“Hi Billy, how are you?” Ms Winter said softly. Billy didn't respond,He just
kept looking out the window.
“Sarah, see he doesn't talk. If anything you just imagined it.”
“I didn't!!” Sarah wined “What, what about when we go to the cafe later to
watch the big kids. Can you watch then?”
“I'll talk to the other teachers and if someone will watch the class but I cant
“Okay then. That is fine with me.”
Later on that day all of the students went down to the cafe to watch a
theater performance put on by the fifth graders. Ms Winter walked the class
down and asked Mr. Beat to watch the class wile she went to deal with Sarah
and Billy. When Ms Winter returned to the room Sarah was sitting on the floor
next to him, she was talking to him. Ms winter slipped in and stood by the door.
“Hey Billy how are you? Have you thought of a name for your dinosaur
yet?” Sarah paused.
“Hi” Billy Said softly.
“Is his name Hi?”
“Hi” he said again.
“Sarah!” Sarah was startled to see ms winter standing there. She didn't
even hear her enter. “how did you get him to talk?”
“I didn't do or say anything really. All I did was talk to him like he was a
normal kid. I just never expected answers to my questions.”
As the year went on Billy and Sarah grew closer. Billy started to
communicate more and more. It just took a lot of Sarah repeating her self. By the
last day of second grade Billy was repeating whole sentences not just words to
Sarah. Sure, his speech was limited but it was progress. For the second grade
graduation Billy had been practicing something to say for his forty one
classmates. During the ceremony each clild had the opportunity to say
something if they wished. Last but not least it was Billy's turn. He began to cry
because he was scared. So Sarah walked over to him.
“Billy what is wrong?”Billy pointed to the people watching him. “oh Billy
don't worry about them. Just say it like we practiced. Its Just you and me okay.
Just tell me your line.”
“Good bye lower elementary” He said slowly.
“hello ..” Sarah prompted.
“Hello upper elementary” He finished with a big smile. The entire class
clapped for him and the parents stood up with excitement.
“Great job Billy” someone shouted.
The two remained good friends for the next few years. Billy began to
interact more with his teachers and fellow students in his class. But, everything
changed during the summer after fifth grade. Sarah's mother was killed in a car
accident so she moved back in with her father in Alpharidge. She never did see
Billy again. She didn't even get to say good bye. For a wile she sent him letters
but those eventually slowed to a card and a birthday card. Then there was
Billy died fifteen years ago from complications. He was only fifteen years
old. He was very quite boy until one little girl seemed to work a metrical in his life.
His 15 years were a good time for him and those around him. Filled with family,
life and friends and fun. By the time he died he had fulfilled all of his dreams.
“I miss him so much.” sighed Sarah.
“Mama why did you ever start talking to him.” her daughter asked.
“I don't know, but I guess something just told me to go and talk to him”
“like what?”
“I just don't know honey just something.”
“Like God.”
“ Maybe. Just maybe. Good night. I love you.”

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