At times when inspiration feels more like consternation, it’s good to know that resources such as prompts from The Daily Post are available.

Janet Wernick brushed a lock of hair from her face, sighed, then raised her right fist to face level, bringing it forwarded slowly until it connected with the door to her daughter’s room, tok. And again, a bit more forcefully, tok-tok.

A voice from behind the door muttered unintelligibly. Janet knew better than to ask whether she could come in — “Sandy?” The sound of a bed mattress squeaking under the slight weight of her daughter’s body. Then silence. “Sandy, I just need to know . . . that you’re OK.”

The mattress squeaked, then her daughter’s voice, saying she was fine.

“I know you’re upset.” Janet scratched her shoulder, covered in a thick sweater. “But this is what has to be done, there’s no other way. I’m your mother, Sandy, it’s my job to make these decisions.”

A grunt. The bed was just past the door, and it occurred to Janet that she was no more than five feet away from her daughter. She could take two steps, reach out her hand and touch her, were it not for the physical barrier of the door and the far more formidable emotional distance between them.

“I don’t expect you’ll forgive me, and that’s fine.” She saw a knot in the door’s grain, reached out and ran her fingers over its rough surface. “I’m reminded of something Ed — Mr. Nestor — told me once, about his own children. He said, the worst thing a parent can do, is try to be a friend to their kids. Because parents have difficult decisions to make for their children, ones they’d never make for their friends.”

The voice inside the room softly replied that she’d be OK. Janet nodded, then realized how dark it was in the hallway, felt an urge to turn on the overhead light; the closest switch, though, was several feet away, and Janet felt she needed to finish this conversation first.

“Sandy, please know . . . there will always be a bond between us. I won’t allow anything to come between us. Ever. And if I can’t be your friend — I’m always going to be your companion. For life, Sandy.”

A weak OK, followed by more mattress squeaks. Janet sensed further words would elicit the same response, so she spoke a brief word of excusal to the door, then walked swiftly towards the light switch, the hallway erupting in light a moment later.

2 thoughts on “Companion

  1. Pingback: Non-fiction Essay – “The Unconditional Love of a Pet” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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