Jake was snoring again. Slipping out of bed, I pulled tight my robe and walked down the narrow hallway into the kitchen. Silvery moonbeams invaded the room, quietly contending with dark and murky shadows. I poured myself a glass of water and tip toed across the linoleum into the den.
A gentle thud sounded. I knew it was Mabel dismounting from the sofa, forbidden turf for four legged creatures.
Barely visible in the midnight gloom, her black Labrador shape brushed past me, refuting her guilt and settling on the carpet. Taking a seat, I reached for the blanket and my hand came to rest on Mabel’s vacated post. The heat from her body had rendered a warm hollow in the cushion and for a moment, I kept my fingers there, enjoying the phantom of her presence.
I didn’t know yet that cancer was plundering her frame; a hasty, evil, silent marauder that was hungry and veiled and wraith-like. The malignancy would reap swiftly and without hesitation, taking with it a blood stained section of my grief-stricken soul.
Mabel was a shooting star that had blazed into our life…a wriggling, energetic, burst of vitality. Her journey would be short, but brilliant.
I settled into her lingering thermals on the corner of the sofa. The warmth dissipated in a few stark seconds, erasing any trace of her canine indiscretion.
I didn’t know yet.