Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Cat and Dog (09/04/14)
TITLE: What Might Have Been
By Leola Ogle
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Her name is Meredith. His name is Jack. I know them well. They are old now, but once they were young, full of dreams, and in love. They met in high school. They seemed perfect for each other – the ideal couple.
They laughed about the same things, enjoyed the same music, movies, and books. They had their differences. He loved the outdoors. She enjoyed being a homebody. But these differences weren’t important.
Everyone knew they would marry someday. Then conflict arose. You see, Meredith is a cat lover and Jack is a dog lover. Maybe that’s not a big deal, but it was to them. Jack wasn’t open to having anything to do with cats. Meredith couldn’t understand why anyone would be crazy about dogs.
At first they thought their love would survive, but their arguing escalated. “I won’t live in the same house with a cat,” Jack would shout. “Your dog could eat my cat in one gulp,” Meredith would fire back.
Many people have both cats and dogs for pets, so why couldn’t they compromise? They ended their romance and both eventually married someone else.
I’m Meredith’s granddaughter, Emma, a school teacher in search of Mr. Right. I might never have known Jack’s and Meredith’s story if not for Haven Care Home. Grandpa was there for rehabilitation therapy for a broken leg. I was the designated person to drive Grandma there for visits with Grandpa.
That’s when I met him – the most gorgeous brown eyes and captivating smile as he held the door open for us. “Ladies,” he said with a motion of his hand, then fell in step beside us. “My name’s Kyle. I’m here visiting Grams. And you lovely ladies?”
I mumbled something about visiting Grandpa and said my name. I felt flushed and tongue-tied while he continued talking. “I brought Gramps here to visit Grams, but left my phone in my car, so went back for it.” He grinned as if any person would, of course, go back for their phone.
We all made our way into the visiting area in the garden where Grandpa was sitting. Kyle walked over and kissed an elderly woman. She had an oxygen tank, but reached around the tubes to stroke his face. It was then I noticed Grandma hadn’t moved. She stood with eyes wide and staring at someone.
“Grandma, what’s wrong?” I followed her line of vision to a distinguished looking gentleman whom Kyle was conversing with.
“Jack,” Grandma whispered.
The man’s head snapped around despite the softness of her words. “Meredith,” he said, rising to his feet. He strode a few steps and took Grandma’s hands. “How are you, Meredith? It’s been how many years?”
Kyle and I just stared at each other. We both shrugged at the same time, then grinned. His Gramps let go of Grandma’s hands and went back to sit beside his wife. Grandma walked over to kiss Grandpa and sat next to him.
The whole incident faded away as Kyle and I started talking about anything and everything. We hardly noticed when nurses came to get Kyle’s Grams and my grandpa. We certainly didn’t notice when his Gramps and my grandma moved to sit together and became involved in their own conversation.
At some point within the next hour we heard both Gramps’ and Grandma’s versions of their story. I noticed the sadness in their eyes. I’m sure they were both thinking “what if?”
“Well, I’m definitely a dog lover,” Kyle chuckled when they concluded. “But I could live with a cat. I suppose you have a cat, Emma.”
“Uh, yeah. I’ve always had a cat as a pet.”
“Well, Gramps,” Kyle winked at me, “do you think I should ask Emma out? What if my dog doesn’t like her cat?”
“Stubborn childishness,” Gramps mumbled. “It was never about the cat and dog. It was about foolish pride, and bull-headedness. Think of all the friendships and relationships people miss because someone can’t see beyond petty differences.”
Wondering what might have been doesn’t matter now because it’s too late for Jack and Meredith. But I’m so happy fate brought Kyle into my life. We got married months later with all our grandparents in attendance. So the story does have a happy ending.
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