“You should’ve just popped in, Mathis,” Mrs. Kelly says opening the door. “You know we’re waiting for you. Come, come.”
“I never like to presume, Mrs. Kelly,” Mathis says entering the small home. “It’s nice to see you again.”
“Silly boy. How many times have I asked you to call me Martha? We’re in the parlor as always.” Mrs. Kelly pushes her way slowly across the front room.
“Mind if I asked what happened?” Mathis says nodding at her walker.
“Oh, I forgot to pick up my feet,” Mrs. Kelly says. “I’m fine.”
The two enter the parlor just as Mr. Kelly is slowly rolling in a cart with a silver coffee service. “Mathis,” he says taking a deep breath. “We’ve been looking forward to your visit this year even more than usual.”
“I always enjoy calling on you and Mrs. Kelly,” Mathis says.
“Where are you coming to us from this time?” Mrs. Kelly says.
“A young woman out East,” Mathis says. “Her first wish. Took her a while to get the hang of frivolous.”
“I remember our first,” Mr. Kelly says with a smile and reaches out and pats his wife’s hand.
The three sit and Mr. Kelly, breathing heavily, pours them each a cup of coffee. “Nice and strong just as you like it,” he says.
Mathis takes a sip then looks around the room. “Where’s little Lucy?”
“That’s … what we wanted to see about,” Mr. Kelly says. “We had to have her…we had to …”
“We lost her, Mathis,” Mrs. Kelly says, reaching down and lifting a small urn to her lap. “We were hoping that for our wish this year you could bring her back. Just for the hour. You wouldn’t need to to give her the ability to talk this time. We just want to see her again, rub her belly, scratch behind her ear.”
Mathis sips his coffee. “I’m so sorry about Lucy. But bringing her back…I’m afraid that wouldn’t be frivolous. I’d love to do it for you, but I can’t. You know I don’t make the rules.”
Mr. Kelly starts to say something then stands, walks to the window, looks out for a moment, then comes back and sits down again.
“We were afraid of that,” Mrs. Kelly says. “Maybe it’s for the best. It would’ve been awfully hard to lose her again.” She cradles the urn gently in her hands then sets it back on the floor.
“So,” Mathis says, “What else can I grant you?”
“Well, we talked about what it would be if not Lucy,” Mr. Kelly says. “And we…” He stops talking to catch his breath.
“We want to dance the night away like we did when we were young,” Mrs. Kelly says. “For the hour anyway.”
“That’s an excellent frivolous wish,” Mathis says and turns up his palms.
“Oh…I feel that,” Mrs. Kelly says. She stands, pushes away her walker and opens her arms to her husband.
“I do too,” Mr. Kelly says in a clear loud voice. He rises and embraces his wife, and the two begin twirling around the room.
“Enjoy your hour,” Mathis says. “I have to go.” He heads for the door.
“See you next year, Mathis,” he hears Mrs. Kelly say.
“Next year,” Mr. Kelly booms.
Mathis looks back and watches the Kellys, wondering if there’ll be a next year for them. He could peek ahead and find out, but prefers not to. Instead he turns his palms upward again. When he does the two rise off the floor and begin spinning in mid air.
” ‘s wonderful,” Mrs. Kelly cries out, laughing.
” ‘s marvelous,” Mr. Kelly sings.
Mathis realizes that probably went beyond frivolous. But, technically, they didn’t wish for it. Even if he doesn’t make the rules, he’s learned how to bend them over the centuries. He checks his watch. Time to pop down to the Caribbean. A piña colada will do just fine.
Banner Image: By Tomascastelazo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons