Emma's WalkJennifer McMurrain / Romance & Love
By Jennifer McMurrain
©2012 by Jennifer McMurrain
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The following is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are fictitious or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, to factual events or to businesses is coincidental and unintentional.
The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author.
Published by LilyBear House, LLC
Interior Design: Jennifer McMurrain
Cover Design: Brandy Walker, Sister Sparrow Graphic Designs
To the soul mates in the world. Especially mine, Mike
Emma walked down the cobblestone path toward the old wooden bench, Sophie, her Pekingese, right on her heels. With every step came a small grimace; the arthritis in her knees was getting worse. Finally reaching the bench, she took a deep breath and slowly sat. Sophie settled at her feet in a ball of white fluff.
“Well, Miss Sophie, we made it another day. Soon we won’t be able to make it to our bench anymore.”
She closed her eyes and listened as she rested on the bench. The wind rushed through the multi-colored leaves and Emma smiled as she bowed her head, accepting their noise as applause for making the journey one more day.
Mom, it’s okay.
Emma's eyes shot open. “Miss Sophie, did you hear that? It sounded like Dana, but it can’t possibly be her. She’s in Denver.”
Sophie wagged her tail and jumped onto the bench, placing herself in the middle of Emma’s lap.
“Oh, sweetie,” she said, giggling as she pat the dog on the head. “You haven’t jumped like that in two years. The fresh air is good for you, isn’t it?”
The dog licked her hand and then cocked her head to the right. She stared off, brown eyes locked on something in the distance. Leaping off Emma’s lap, she raced down a dark trail, barking.
“Sophie, come back!” Emma yelled.
Rising slowly, she left the bench and trudged to the trail head. “Sooophie,” she called.
Following the yapping dog, she continued through the forest until she reached a small clearing. There, she saw Sophie barking ferociously at a green balloon wrapped tightly around a tree branch.
“Oh, you silly little girl, it’s just a balloon,” Emma said, walking toward her pet. “How did you even see it from over there?”
As she got closer, she noticed there was something inside. She carefully untied the plastic bubble.
“It looks like a piece of paper. What do you say we pop it and see what it is?”
Sophie barked in approval.
Emma looked around for a sharp stick. “You’d think in a forest, we could find a twig to pop this thing. I guess I’m just gonna have to sit on it,” she said, with a grin.
She hurried to a wood log at the edge of the meadow. Placing the emerald oval under her bottom, she began to bounce up and down. The balloon proved to be stronger than it looked, and the longer Emma bounced, the more she laughed. Finally, the balloon burst, sending her to the ground with a thud. Sophie ran up and licked her face.
Still laughing, Emma cuddled her dog. Soon her sides began to ache and her face grew sore from her giggle fit.
I love you, Mom.
“I heard it again,” Emma said to the dog. “It really sounded like Dana. I must be getting old and senile.”
She smiled and took in a deep breath, then turned to retrieve the paper from the balloon. On opening the folded sheet, her smile faded. “Sophie, it’s addressed to me. And it’s from Jack.”
She looked at her little dog. “But that can’t be. He’s been gone for…” She shook her head. “For a long time.”
Staring at the letter, the old woman fought back tears. It had been seven years since her beloved Jack had lost his battle with cancer. Sophie settled in her lap as she started to read out loud:
My Dearest Emie,
I know this letter is a surprise. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to hold each other. I know the struggle has been harder on you, time moves slower there than here. But know every minute, whether it be in Heaven or on Earth, seems like an eternity without you. My heaven is not fully complete until you are by my side. I can’t wait for you to see how beautiful it is here, though everything pales in comparison to you, dear Emie, even Heaven. We’ll be together soon, love. Until then, think of me, for I will be thinking of you.
Love you forever,
The letter slipped from Emma’s fingers as tears spilled over her cheeks. She looked to the sky, searching for Heaven, for God, for her beloved Jack. The wind rushed through the meadow, blowing the grey hair away from her wet face.
Bye, Grammy. I’ll miss you.
“Sophie, that was little Katie. I know it was.” She squeezed Sophie. “I don’t know what’s going on.”
As Emma sat against the log, she noticed a white light coming down the path towards the meadow. Sophie wagged her tail at the approaching beam. The light came closer, and Emma noticed there was a figure within it. She squinted her eyes and tried to focus on the person.
“Oh, my God, Sophie, it’s Jack.”
Jack walked up to Emma, smiling. “Hello beautiful.”
“Yes, it’s me, love.” He squatted so he could look into her eyes.
“What’s going on, Jack? I don’t understand.”
“Well, there’s been an accident. You and Sophie were hit by a car on your way to the park. Dana and Katie got here in time to say good-bye and now it’s time to go. Come, love, I’ve missed you and now we can be together again.”
Emma took Jack’s hands and he helped her to her feet. He placed his arm around her waist. She smiled as Sophie danced between their feet. Together, the reunited family walked into the light and an eternity of love.
If you enjoyed Emma's Walk
please check out this excerpt from Winter Song
Available in both paperback and e-book at Amazon.com in the Summer of 2013