A Sunny Day
Be the Person you needed as a Child
Sunny saw the house before she even knew it was the house. She fell in love with the dark gray shutters, the muted worn down black detailing, the chipping light blue paint. The house screamed age beyond measure. She loved it as she passed it on the bus, and when she got off at the next stop and allowed Google to direct her to her destination, it was that house that held her families darkest, longest kept secret.
They were racist back in the old country.
They were racist AND bigots in this country.
All together, they were rather well rounded assholes.
If anyone had the right to hate on her family, it was Sunny. Before her birth, intersex was just a topic on the news. When her Mother had gotten pregnant, they supported her. When she moved away and joined a commune after Sunny’s birth, they sent money every year. When they moved back and her Mother went to school for office work, they again supported them. Though it all, Sunny was the first boy, and beloved little prince.
When Sunny turned six and didn’t want to be a boy anymore, to them Sunny was dead.
They only came around eleven years later when a threatening note on their front door reminded them of an age old curse that befalls the eldest Male of their family every generation. They would be struck down, left with scars and and a broken heart, until true love was shown for the son of the family they abused and hurt in the past. They only cared because, if Sunny was no longer a boy it would befall the eldest of Sunny’s cousins, a rough and tough footballer named Bradly. Sunny had never met him, but decided that she would show love. Even if she would never meet him.
She would be the change she wanted in her family.
Sunny did the research. Her family was full of straight up assholes going back father then any of them wanted to admit. She was pretty sure they had ties to Nazis, but none of them would admit it. She didn’t care in the end. She had it with their hate ruining her life. Generation after generation, the way they avoided the curse was to run till someone called “The dark son” found them and inflicted the curse upon them. Sunny wasn’t going to wait. She was going to find the Dark Son herself.
A lot of research and birthday money had lead Sunny three counties over in the suburbs of a city she would have never thought to visit. In front of a house she secretly was falling in love with the longer she looked at it. Normally, Sunny would be dressed in all black, like Wednesday Adams with a shoe string budget. She instead had dressed in a white shirt, and a matching blue set of pants and dress coat. The coat had quarter sleeves, and she had the cuffs rolled up.
She didn’t even put on a face, she came dressed as masculine as she could. She would be the boy that her family wanted her to be. That her cousin needed her to be. That future generations needed her to be to break the spell. She stood by the mail box staring at the house, her heart threatening to burst out of her back in order to escape the on-coming embarrassing conversation.
“Are you lost?” A voice came from beside her. Sunny jumped but put on her best smile at the stranger with the full paper bags.
“I don’t think so? This is the address but, I’m sorry, do you need help?”
“If you tell who you are — wait, did you just ask to help me?” The accent was hard to pin down, but by Sunny’s guess it was ether German or Russian. Sunny only had movies to go by, and knew better then to think they portrayed these accents rightly.
“Yes, I asked it you need help.”
“I would love some. These bags are heavy, and I need to get them up two sets of stairs.”
They exchanged looks as Sunny took one bag, then wrapped an arm around the second.
“Lead the way.”
“If you insist. Who are you here to visit?”
“Schaechter, Gabriella Schaechter to be exact.”
“Oh, and why is that?” He asked as he unlocked the front door.
“I’m here to say I’m sorry.”
“What in hell’s name did you do to Gaba?” He asked, giving Sunny a critical eye.
“My family did something bad in the old country. I’m here to apologize for them being a bunch of hateful turds.” The gentleman let out a laugh as he looked her up and down.
“What’s your family name?”
“Well, I’m a Chazan. I want to say I’m sorry.”
“How old are you?”
“You’ve got a year. The note only got placed –“
“Three weeks, four days, and six hours ago. Yes sir, I know. I found Miss Schaechter while doing research. I am hoping she can help me find the man I need to speak with.”
“All right then, follow me. She’s upstairs.”
The apartment smelled like cat fur and old grandma soap. Lilacs and vodka. Sunny remembered her Grandmother’s bathroom in her bedroom smelling the same. She put the bags on the table, and when the gentleman motioned to a chair, Sunny hung her coat from it. She was still standing when heated words in a foreign language were exchanged in the next room.
“She’s getting dressed.” The gentleman stated as he crossed the room to the bags.
“Would you like some help? I can hand you things.” Sunny babbled, trying to keep herself from picking at her fingers.
“That’s all right. You seem very nervous. Would you like something to eat?”
“I am nervous. Oh, I couldn’t eat now, but thank you for the hospitality.”
“You’re the eldest son?”
“What do you mean “sort of” ?!”
“I’m intersex. Technically, I’m both male AND female. I don’t identify as ether.”
“You’re a hermafro –“ The gentleman stopped when Sunny cringed.
“My apologies. In-ter-sex, is it?”
“The Son-that-is-a-Daughter.” A woman’s raspy voice explained.
The house dress was bright and flora, but something about her demeanor was dark and sad. She bent forward like she carried a chip on her shoulder, and her gray hair was in a head wrap. She had house slippers that looked like the most tired bunnies Sunny had ever seen. The worn out tennis balls on her cane brought dust bunnies along with her. She eyed Sunny before saying some more comments in a foreign language.
“Gaba, english. Don’t be rude.”
“Their whole family is rude!”
“She’s right, you know.”
They both stopped and looked at Sunny.
“Your family is rude?” Gaba questioned.
“And bigots, and hateful. They don’t like anything they can’t control, so they hate me too.”
“Ah, you come to break spell for hateful family?”
“I came to break a spell so it doesn’t hurt a cousin I have never met. That I probably won’t ever meet.”
The silence afterwards painfully stretched out. Finally the gentleman sighed loudly, and continued to put the shopping away as Gaba pulled out a chair. She took a heavy seat and scratched between the curlers under her head wrap. When the gentleman put a tube of tennis balls on the table, Gaba groaned. Sunny smiled for a moment.
“Would you like me to replace your tennis balls?”
“Why? You think that makes up for things?”
“No, I just figured I could do something while you tell me how to make up for things. Keep my hands busy, if you don’t mind.”
“I don’t mind at all.” The gentleman said, taking a box cutter from the top of the fridge and handing it to Sunny.
“They were asking me” Gaba snapped as she handed her cane to Sunny.
Gaba watched as Sunny replaced the tennis balls, and the gentleman leaned on the counter with a smile. After Sunny was done Gaba stood up and leaned on it. She gave a small smile without thinking, but made herself frown when she saw Sunny smiling.
“What you do if I don’t take off curse?”
“I don’t know, look for a spell or something to protect Bradly?”
“You protect family that don’t protect you? You helped my Jacob, then helped me. Without being asked. You too good for them.”
“Thanks?” Sunny squeaked.
“I tell you what, you are free. You have my blessing. Tell family if they want this Bradly free, you must bring him here to meet us and get the curse off of him. Then you free of curse. This Bradly, he should know you. You are good seed. Shalom, yeled”
Gaba walked back from where she had come from, while Sunny stood clinging to her chair.
“You helped, and this way, we help you. You want to meet Bradly, right?”
“Well yes but — “
“No butts. This whole thing started because your Great Great Great Grandmother was mean to mine. She refused to help her in her greatest time of need. You helped. More then you know.”
Sunny went home not completely sure what she would be doing tomorrow, but she did know one thing. She could officially knock “Being the Prince in a Fairy Tale” off her list.