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  • Writer's pictureLaurel Rafferty

Her Beloved Ball

Updated: 2 days ago

Laurel Rafferty


I wake.

 

With swollen eyes I watch in horror as her ball rolls around the laminate floor, it stops suddenly. Unnaturally still, as if it hadn’t been rolling at all. I notice how worn it looks, reminding me of how sharp her little teeth were.


I was dreaming of her; we were playing ball in the garden. She had loved her ball.

 

My heartbeat slows but I’m covered in a cold sweat.

 

I take deep breaths and try to rationalise. I must have kicked the ball when I woke up, but how is that possible? My feet were on the sofa, her ball - I’m sure was in her toybox.

 

Trembling, I walk over to it, pick it up and place back in her toybox.

 

More tears fall as I spy her empty pet bed and remember her beautiful face.

 

A smile crosses my face as I think of how her little paw would guard her beloved ball, even as she slept.

 

Grief does terrible things to the mind. That must explain it, I’m exhausted, I’ve cried for days with little sleep.

 

I trudge to bed.

 

I wake sweating. My hair is plastered to my scalp. Eyes sore and gritty with exhaustion as I scan the darkness around me, I know something unnatural has woken me from my wretched slumber.


I hear a familiar sound, looking down I see the shadow of her ball rolling around the floor, it hits the skirting board then rolls back towards the bed again.

 

Then stops dead. Poised.

 

My heart aches.


I realise what she wants.

 

With a shaking hand, I pick up the ball and place it gently on the bed beside me.


At last, a soft thump on the duvet as she lands beside me.

 

Her ball between us once again, one paw guarding it.


We lay together now.

 

Finally, she can sleep.


Her Beloved Ball

Copyright © 2024, Laurel Rafferty.

All rights reserved.

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