SAYING GOODBYE • by Angel Sharum

Colby’s light snores brought tears to Meredith’s eyes. They were one of many things she was going to miss. Listening to music waft softly around the room, she retreated to happier days.

“Happy Birthday, Darling,” Charles whispered as he handed her the furry mass of energy.

“Oh, he’s beautiful!”

“He’s a handful, hold him tight.”

“He’s just perfect,” Meredith gushed as the puppy wiggled his way into the crook of her arm. “Look, Charles, he likes me. He’s settled right down.”

The crackling of the fire when the last log fell into the flames brought Meredith back. Colby raised his head, making sure she was ok. Once satisfied all was well, he rested his nose back on his front paws, waiting.

“Come here, boy,” Meredith whispered.

Getting to his feet was no longer easy for Colby, Meredith knew, but he never refused her. Arthritic legs carried him slowly across the floor, and he settled his head in her lap. The tears finally spilled over while she rubbed his head.

Colby snuggled his nose into Meredith’s side, trying to get as close as possible. Although it was difficult, she knelt on the floor at his side. Licking her face in gratitude, Colby lay across her lap.

Meredith sat holding Colby for a while. Listening to his shallow breathing when he fell asleep, and petting him to assure him of her presence. How many times have I done this? She wondered, stroking his silky fur.

“Oh, how I’m going to miss you, boy,” she cried.

Colby licked the tears streaming down her face. When that didn’t help, he started nuzzling his head under her chin and whimpering.

Knowing she was causing him distress, Meredith quickly dried her tears and offered, “It’s okay, boy, I’m all right.”

Getting to her feet, Meredith walked to the kitchen in search of Colby’s treats. Following along slowly, Colby sat patiently, waiting. Hands cramping and hurting, she nevertheless continued until getting the box open.

“Here you go, boy.”

Colby gobbled the treat in two bites. Laughing, Meredith tossed him another. Before her laughter could turn to tears again, she made her way back to the rocker.

Sighing heavily, she watched while Colby hobbled across the floor. Lying down on her feet, he went fast to sleep.

A knock at the door woke them both a few hours later. Composing herself the best she could, Meredith answered the door. The sight of Jacob almost undid her. Managing to calm down, she called Colby over.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go, Mom?”

“I’m sure, son,” she replied, kneeling to give Colby a hug. “We’ve said our goodbyes.”

Angel Sharum is a Georgia Peach ripening in Alabama. Putting what friends and family called a vivid and sometimes twisted imagination to use, she began writing poetry and short fiction. Writing short stories allows her to take readers on journeys of imagination that linger beyond “The End”, and poetry offers a way for her to shake up people’s emotions and make them think. According to Angel, if she accomplishes these goals a truly special connection is found between her and her readers.

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