I was born in Chicago in 1985. When I was eight we moved here to the community because my dad was tired of raising three daughters in a big city. That same summer I was standing on the docks of the Mississippi river in Clat-Adams Park waiting for my dad to come and get me. He was boating in the river and promised he would let me ride with him. I had never been on a boat before.
I stood there waiting and watching him in the boat. He was going really fast and having a lot of fun. Another boat came racing out of the cove and slammed into him. I saw wood and water explode and my father died. This event affected me in ways I cannot describe. I've never gotten over it and it started the fall my mind has taken into darkness. I still have never been on a boat and probably never will.
My mother, a very loving and giving woman, was there for me and tried her best to make my world right, but things were beyond her reach.
Four years later she married the greatest man I have ever met. My step-father was completely at peace with himself. He never judged and always did what was right in his heart. If there is a better man alive I don't think I'll ever meet him. He said things to me that helped more than any meds ever could. I will always love and worship him for the person he is.
Last year my mother died of overian cancer. It broke my step-father. It took all the light out of his heart. Seeing that hurt me almost as much as my mother's death. Knowing that I didn't have the words to help him the way he helped me was a horrible thing. He never left her side for more than a few hours while she was dying and was there holding her hand when she died.
He left Quincy a few months later. I think he would have died if he hadn't left. He took my baby brother and stayed away for nearly six months before he returned in October of this year. He looked so old when he came back. He is still the loving and giving man he always was but his heart is broken and that will never change. I would die for him if I thought it would make him better. But I know nothing will.
Three years ago a girl told me she had a crush on me. Her name is Lorabelle Tempest Riley and she told me that she had never felt attracted to anyone before. Not any guy or girl. I was her first crush. Lora had a hard life growing up. Her dad left when she was three and her mom was a drunk. She grew up dirt-poor and pretty much raised herself. It made her into a very strong person. I feel so special knowing that I'm the first and only person she has ever been in love with.
I live in a Gardnerian community just outside of Quincy, Illinois. The community was founded just after the American civil war. The housse I live in is the one my dad grew up in. It's been in our family since my great-grandfather built it in the very early 1900s. It's called the McCullough House afer my family name; McCullough. Thats the name I was born with. Sara Jane McCullough.
My step-father's family has been here since the community was founded also and his family home, the Poe House, is right next door. I lived there for nearly ten years. My step-dad adopted me and my younger sister years ago, hence my new last name. Sara Jane Poe. I'm very proud of my name. I was proud of the McCullough name, too, but after my father died I didn't feel it was mine any more. I don't know if that's disrespectful but thats the way it is.
My grandmother lived in this house since she was born. She was very mean to us girls. I think she was mad at us because her son died. She died two years ago and the house sat empty for a year till Lora and I moved into it. My dead grandmother still lives here. Not as mean as before but still very much an old grouch. She complains about everything and I sit and listen because nobody else can. Or will.
By the time I was 15 I was slightly insane. I started doing some very self destructive things and things that were hurtful to other people. My neighbor's dog barked all night so I poisoned it. This action was the cause of me being put in Newman Clinic. The "ward for troubled teens." I was there for a week, escaped, went back, was classified as a manic depressant with slight schitzoid tendenacies. The meds usually take care of that, tho.
I have two horses, two cats, a tarantula, and over ten thousand comic books. My dad collected comic books and when he died they all went to me. Believe it or not, other than my step-dad, I mostly credit Spider-man with my sanity. Spider-man never faultered in his beliefs. Never gave in or gave up. I've read hundreds of Spider-man stories and the strength he has made me feel better about myself and the world. That might sound silly but thats how it is.
My two sisters live next door in the Poe House. Analie is 21 and Laura is 16. Analie was in college at Western Illinois University but when my mom died she decided to come home to help out with my little sister and baby brother. Thats the same reason Lora and I didn't go away to college when we graduated in June. We decided to put it off for a year. My step-dad bought us the Fifth Street Resale Shop before he left town so we would have a steady income coming in. Lora works there with Analie. They run the place together and it does pretty well.
Not that she needs to work because my step-dad also left us a huge bank account. So maybe I'm not crazy, just escentric. I don't know for sure.
Well, that's me. Sara Jane Poe. Nothing more.