Updated: Feb 3
By Jillian McWhirter:
Flapper Press publishes short fiction from writers from around the globe. This week we feature the work of Jillian McWhirter.
When my husband, Richard, passed away, I was alone—really alone—for the first time in years. We never had children, not that we didn’t want to, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us. We were still very happy living together in our small and unique home filled with Richard’s artwork and my pottery. We laughed so often, and sometimes we’d argue, but those times were few and far between. Oh, I had friends, hobbies, I loved cooking, and I even went back to the gym and started working out, but I felt a deep emptiness. I missed having a companion, and the stillness in our home was becoming too much to bare.
Then one day Sam walked into my life. He was still young, and I worried I wouldn’t be able to stay up with him physically. But he always stayed by my side, even when I tried to tell him to go away. He would look at me with those eyes, and I would melt. I guess he loved me unconditionally. We actually met in the park one rainy afternoon. He seemed lost, lost in a big city. He didn’t have anyone at all, not even a home to go to. I guess a part of me took pity on him. I knew my friends would think I was crazy, but I wanted someone by my side.
Days turned in weeks, weeks turned into months ,and before you knew it, it was almost a year that Sam and I had been living under the same roof in harmony. It was awkward at first. Sam would sit on one end of the couch, I on the other. We would watch the latest series or a funny movie. And when I cooked dinner, Sam always watched me and waited patiently. He loved food as much as I loved to cook it. And no matter how it tasted, he always ate his dinner. Then, as time went by, he moved closer to me on the couch, and I was okay with that, but he still had his own space where he slept at night.
Then one day, Sam was gone. Just gone. I had no clue where he went, and my heart was broken again. The house was too quiet again. I was alone again. How could Sam do this to me, I wondered. I called my friend to cry, and she said, “I warned you not to get attached.” I knew she was right, but I kept looking for Sam. I even posted flyers. Was I nuts? I thought maybe I was. How could I care so much in such a short time? But I knew my husband would want me to find Sam. I knew Richard understood that I needed a companion since he was no longer with me.
Rain fell softly from the sky one evening as I sat outside and watched the moon peek out from behind the clouds. I sat there most nights and drank my tea, a habit Richard and I used to do every night, so I guess it was a habit I didn’t want to break. And it brought me comfort since Sam was gone. I sipped my tea and looked out. Then I thought I saw something coming up my walkway. I stood up to get a better look and I saw him. I saw Sam. Tears fell down my cheeks. Sam came back! And as Sam walked closer to me, I could see he wasn’t alone. Following Sam were two little puppies. Playing and jumping on each other, but staying close to Sam. I sat down on the front porch. Sam came up to me and licked my face. I put my arms around him so tight. “Don’t you ever leave me again,” I told Sam. We were together again, but where did the puppies come from? At that point, I looked up to the sky and saw the most beautiful rainbow, and I knew it was Richard bringing me the comfort I needed. “I guess I’m finally a grandmother,” I told Richard, and our home certainly won’t be quiet anymore.
Raised in Mississippi, Jillian McWhirter moved to Paris and New York to pursue modeling before moving to Los Angeles to start her film and television career. She has written numerous feature film scripts and has published over thirty educational books that are used by health and safety organizations all over the United States.
Read Elizabeth Gracen's interview with Jillian McWhirter here.
If you are interested in submitting your poetry or short fiction to Flapper Press, please contact us here!