Sadie, had once been known as the Queen of Elephant and Castle. That area in south London which she had lived all her life. In fact, if truth be told, Sadie had never really got around to going anywhere else. This place was the sun and the moon and the stars to her.
It is where she had grown up, watched bombs dropping on her street, and where she believed she would die.
Her routine was always the same. She watched a little of the morning TV until the rude man came on, who shouted at people. Then she would just ‘tut’ and switch the blooming thing off.
She would dust a little, then when she was satisfied by what she had done, she’d dress smartly and head into the streets around her home, to buy fresh vegetables and fruit.
In the afternoon, she would have a little nap, then a read, then watch the evening News on TV.
Once the Soaps had finished, she’d whistle a little tune and make her way upstairs.
And that was Sadie’s days, and months and years. After her Albert had died, she’d cried, tried drinking but found she didn’t take to it, and finally found salvation in repetition.
Then one morning, Sadie came down stairs to find a little girl messing the room up.
“Whatcha doing here?” Asked Sadie.
“Just waiting,” said the girl.
“On you,” the little girl replied.
Every morning, the little girl was there and she had always made a mess. Then a month or so later, the little girl was joined by her family.
“Why do they all have to be here,” asked Sadie.
And all of them replied, “We’re waiting for you.”
Sadie now found that she dusted and dusted, and because of the mess this little family were making, she was always cleaning up. So much so, that she never got out of the house any more. Each day was just a collection of mornings.
No one came to call on Sadie as she’d never really made any friends after she married Albert. Yet there was a sort of family in her house now, even if they were messy.
She’d make them cups of tea even ‘though she found they never touched the cups or ate the cake she made for them. She would just ‘tut’ and clean up. One day, she told herself, she would make it out of the house and buy food.
That was the way the neighbours found Sadie, the Queen of Elephant and Castle, when she hadn’t been seen for weeks. She was lying dead beside a table laid for guests that were only in her head.
bobby stevenson 2015