Page 19 - Scene Magazine 44-12 December 2018
P. 19

“Yes, I wrote him a letter,” Brian said. “Mom said I shouldn’t ask for things, just be satisfied with what he brings me.”
“Good plan.” Mary knew Brian’s mother, Tina. They had often talked when they met out by the mailbox or when Mary took her after-dinner stroll around the block. Tina seemed like a nice person but she was usually busy. “Are you going away for Christmas or having folks over?”
Brain wiped crumbs from the table and licked his fingers. “No, we’re staying home. Mom says she works all the time. She just wants a day off.”
After Brian left, Mary made a sand- wich for her dinner. With the salad, it should be sufficient. Before Dave died, she’d loved to cook and bake but now
it hardly seemed worth the effort. She planned to roast a chicken for Christmas dinner but hated the thought of cooking for one.
She had just turned the TV to a game show when she heard a knock at the door. Brian again. This time he held a small black and white kitten in his arms.
“What a pretty kitty,” Mary said. “Is she yours?”
Brian held the little animal out to her.
“I brought her for you. She’s your Christ- mas present,” Brian said. “I call her Millie.”
Mary took a step back and motioned for Brian to enter. “Well, now, I don’t know...” She paused. “Where did you get her?”
Brian stroked the kitten’s soft fur. “She came to our house last week. I gave her some tuna salad and she liked it, and some milk. But Mom says we can’t have a cat so I thought you’d like her.”
Mary took the kitten Brian held out to her. The kitten snuggled into the crook of Mary’s arm. She’d had many cats before and loved them all. Her last cat, Ginger, had died last year and she hadn’t thought of getting another. Too many worries with Dave’s illness and all.
Suddenly, it seemed like a good idea. “Well, thank you, Brian. I’d love to have Millie. She’ll be good company. Since you found her, perhaps we could share her. She’ll be half yours, half mine, okay?”
Brian nodded.
Such a good kid. Always willing to share. Then a thought came. “How about you and your mom coming here for Christmas dinner? I love to cook and I don’t have anyone to cook for except myself.”
Brian looked surprised. “I don’t know.” “Tell you what, I’ll give her a call, okay?” “Sure.” He gave the kitten a final pat.
“I’d better go. Bye, Millie. Bye, Mrs. Anderson.”
Mary sat down with Millie on her lap. It was a good feeling, having the warm little animal snuggling close. The cat began to purr and Mary stroked a spot behind her ears.
When she called Brian’s house, later that evening, Tina paused a moment after hearing Mary’s invitation. “That would be terrific. But it seems like a lot of work for you.”
“I don’t mind. I enjoy cooking and it will be wonderful to have company for Christmas dinner. I wasn’t looking forward to being alone.”
“Can I bring anything?”
“No, thanks, dear. Just hearty appe- tites. I have plenty of food on hand. I’ll plan on dinner at one. Does that sound all right?”
“Perfect. And thank you, Mary.”
Hanging up the phone, Mary picked up the kitten again and petted her. When a song came on TV about it “starting to look a lot like Christmas,” Mary grinned and nodded her head. Yes, it was.
First place
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