Illustration: Maya E Shakur for FREDERICK & SOPHIE
Location: Right in the Middle of the Terrace
My name is Sophie, and I’m an only child. I’ve been in zero movies so far, but this will change when I’m President of Mars. For now, I live on Earth, in an apartment with three bedrooms and one half of a terrace in New York City. When I stand outside and look to the right, I see Frederick staring right at me. He is my real best friend and next-door neighbor. He has the other half of the terrace. Sometimes, we have a picnic right in the middle of it. That’s when my dog Waldorf Archibald joins us. We call him Wally. He looks like a gorilla, and he follows us everywhere.
I have a mom who is beige, a dad who is white, and I am brown. When Frederick and I met, he asked me why I didn’t look like my parents, and I said, “I am adopted. I have one mom and one dad who love me and take care of me every day, and I have one mom and one dad who could not take care of me and placed me for adoption. They live on an island in a very faraway country named Indonesia. I don’t know what they look like, and they don’t know me. They can be secret agents, or they can be frozen in time, or they can be trapped in a lamp.”
Frederick nodded and said, “This is all very mysterious.”
I do know all about the mom and dad I live with. Dad has a beard, a moustache, and a ponytail. Mom wears earrings and shoes that match her bag and red lipstick from Elizabeth Arden. Dad writes stories on Mr. Olivetti, a typewriter with an Italian accent. Mom is a boss in an office. She mostly answers the phone and says, “It’s not a good time right now.” She travels the world in search of 300% more revenue. Mom likes to mingle and entertain all over the place. Dad utterly lacks in the entertainment department. He mostly forgets where he is.
Frederick’s mom is from Paris. She’s an absolute fashion person. She calls Paris, ParEEH, and fashion, la mode. She is an editor-in-chief. That means that she makes a magazine and knows what she’s doing.
I also have a manny. His name is George. He looks like a normal grown-up, but he absolutely isn’t. George is a fairy. He can fly, blink himself to China or the 1800s, and make the piano play all by itself. His i-Wand 340 looks like a game controller with a screen right in the middle of it. It has Fairy GPS and a Book of Spells app. It can translate any animal language.
Frederick knows that George is a fairy-manny because Frederick can keep a secret. He once asked George to turn his mom’s poodle, Jean-Baptiste, into a chicken dinosaur. Jean-Baptiste asked George to turn Frederick into a pamplemousse.
If I would end up in 240 pieces, George would absolutely be able to put me back together. I’m just not sure if my head would be upside down and my knees would be inside out. Here’s the thing of it. George isn’t very good at magic. Yesterday, he wanted to make me pancakes for breakfast, but he made a mammoth appear instead. A giant poufy mammoth with a bow tie. George named him Mr. Tubby.
Here’s what Frederick and I like to do.
1. Make terrible faces.
2. Eat apfelstrudel with one slice of bacon and two scoops of ice cream for breakfast.
3. Stand on our toes for the longest amount of time.
4. Play tea-time with Wally and Lila Boubou. George says that he used to have afternoon teas with Lord Gugelhupfski and the crown prince of Brunei.
5. Lay on the ground and look at the ceiling with sunglasses on.
6. Play Huh, What’s in the Wardrobe , and talk with a French accent until the game is finished.
7. Hobnob with people in the elevator and ask how many movies they’ve been in.
8. Go camping on the terrace and count comets.
9. Discuss the truth of things.
10. Wear pajamas for dinner and pretend we’re spies.
11. Ride a unicorn. Or Mr. Tubby.
No matter what we’ll choose to do today, it will be absolutely splendid. Or as George likes to say, “It’s going to be GEORGE-ous!”
Frederick & Sophie