By Samantha Kennedy

 Thump, thump, thump, Sadie heard someone walking up the front steps. 

“Who could it be?” she thought.

Suddenly she felt very scared. She always worried that someone would break into her house. She ran over to the bedroom and hid behind the door. She could feel her legs shaking. 

  “It’s all in your head,” she told herself. 

She knew that the chances of it being a burglar were incredibly low but recently, it had been hard to reason with her anxiety. Then she remembered that her sister, Sarah was out at work. She didn’t think she would be home until later, but maybe she got off early. Her breakfast was half-eaten, and she had spilt some of it hours ago and left it on the floor. Sadie looked around. Earlier she had wanted a snack but couldn’t reach it. She tried to jump for it but ripped the bag and food spilt everywhere. Then she knocked over a few jars on the counter, making the mess worse. The house was a mess, if it was Sarah, she knew she would be in trouble. 

Sadie hated it when she made Sarah angry. Sadie couldn’t do much by herself, so Sarah cared for her. She made her meals and made sure she was getting out enough. Sadie knew how much Sarah loved her and how hard she tried to make Sadie’s life easier. She knew that Sarah would try to hide her anger, she would say it’s okay and help clean things up. Still, Sadie couldn’t help but feel like she was letting her down.   

 Click, the key turned in the lock. 

She ran out of the room. 

“It is Sarah!” she thought. 

She didn’t want Sarah to get mad at her but was overjoyed to no longer be home alone. Her day had been boring. More than normal. Sarah had been gone since 6 AM and Sadie had been lying around on the couch all day. She didn’t feel motivated to do anything. She knew she should have cleaned up her food or tidied up her things, but she felt empty and just didn’t want to. So she just lay around and took naps. It made the time pass faster until Sarah would come home. 

They lived next to a park and from her usual spot on the couch, she had seen her old friends in it. Sadie wished that she had more people she could spend time with, but it was hard to meet people. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarah wasn’t as comfortable having people in the house. They used to invite Sadie to the park, but Sarah doesn’t like them coming into the house anymore. Sadie couldn’t leave without help, so this meant she was locked inside all day. Sadie didn’t understand why she couldn’t just go on her own. She felt perfectly capable of taking care of herself, but Sarah insisted that someone went with her. 

Creek, the door swung open.

“Sadie, I’m home,” Sarah announced. 

Sadie shyly walked to the door. As soon as Sarah saw her, she could tell something was amiss. Sarah looked into the living room and saw the mess.

“Sadie!” she exclaimed, “look at the mess you’ve made, it’s going to take me hours to clean this up”.

 Sadie could see the disappointment on Sarah’s face. Then it morphed into something else, sympathy. 

“I’m sorry,” Sarah said, “this is my fault, I shouldn’t have left you alone for so long. Come on you silly dog, let’s go for a walk”.

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