Why I Write

July 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Hello Ms. B. J. Taylor,
 
I guess you are the one who wrote the wonderful story “Bandit” from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, right? My heart was so touched and deeply moved for the most beautiful heart touching article I have ever read in my life. The story had a very positive impact on my life. It greatly warmed my heart and gently touched my soul. The writing style is very rich and the story is no doubt the heart of the book. The story has to be forwarded to the still married couples to learn how to find the balance while walking on the tightropes in their lives, and to the divorced couples to learn that true love is the only best way to reestablish their broken relationships. 
 
Best regards,
Hamza
Saudi Arabia

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WOWZA! Emails like this touch me in a profound way. The story is below. Thank you, Hamza, for loving what I wrote.

Warmly, B.J.

* * *

Chicken Soup for the Soul:

“Bandit”

By: B.J. Taylor

“Aren’t you going to kiss me goodnight?” I said with a lump in my throat. My husband twisted underneath the sheet and gave me a peck on the cheek. Then he turned his back to me.

“Goodnight,” he said without any emotion.

I lay there quietly, trying to escape the tension between us. We’d had a big fight, over nothing really, right after dinner. And now we were in bed without any resolution to it at all. I would have stayed up for hours discussing what was wrong. He didn’t want to talk about it.

This was a second marriage for both of us. Relationships are a lot of work, and this one surely didn’t come easy. You’d think we’d have learned how to make things work after the errors we committed the first time around. But lately, a nervous strain entered our conversations when we did talk to each other. I longed for the days when laughter filled the air and our eyes lit up with joy at the sight of each other.

 There was one thing in our lives that held us together like glue. Our cats. The newest addition, Bandit, got her name from the black and white outline of a mask on her furry little face. As a tiny, fluffy ball of a kitten, she fit in the palm of my hand. But she grew quickly, adjusting to life in the house with two other cats.

 “Come here and look at this,” my husband said one morning from the bathroom.

 “What?” I replied with a tinge of annoyance. I was busy making the bed.

 “Look at Bandit at the sink.”

 There was our slinky cat, perched on the edge of the porcelain with her neck craned all the way around.

 “She’s drinking right from the faucet while I shave,” my husband said. “Have you ever seen a cat do that?”

 “No, I haven’t.”

 We both stood there, side by side in the small bathroom, watching our cat drink her fill. A smile perched on my lips and almost made it to my mouth. I noticed how tall my husband was standing there beside me, and how thrilling it felt to be close to him. I wanted to reach out and hug him, but the tension of the past few days still lingered. I turned away to finish making the bed.

 Later that evening after work, my husband rested in his recliner watching television. Bandit jumped into his lap and then climbed to the top of the chair behind his head. The recliner was tilted way back, with the kitchen table about four feet away behind them. All of a sudden she sprang from the top of the chair.

 “Did you see that?” I couldn’t help but smile at the sight of this black and white flying acrobat cat, her four paws stretched out in all directions gliding through the air.

“No, but I felt her jump.”

“She took a giant leap and landed gracefully on the table.” I smiled at my husband, and he smiled back. The stress of the day didn’t dissipate in an instant. Problems were still there: issues with work and money and other things. But it felt nice to share a moment.

A few days later, after getting into bed and a goodnight kiss that was slightly more tender, my husband moved his feet under the covers to warm his toes against my soft, flannel pajamas. I felt a thump and a pounce and then biting nibbles.

“Ouch, is that you?” I cried out in surprise.

“No, look.”

Our little criminal found the movement of our feet enticing, like a game of cat and mouse. She nipped first one set of toes and then another, jumping back and forth between the two of us. I broke out in unbridled laughter.

 “You little nut,” I giggled as I pulled my feet up close to my chest.

 “Come here,” my husband said, “I’ll protect you.” He put his arms around me and held me close, but that didn’t stop Bandit from pursuing our limbs. By that time we were both laughing at the absurdity of the situation.

 “How are we going to keep her from biting us at night?” I asked with my face muffled into his T-shirt and the musky smell of lingering cologne filling my senses.

 “I don’t know. Let’s lie real still and hope she finds something else to amuse her.”

 I curled up even closer and felt the protectiveness of his arms around me. They felt strong, warm, comforting. I thought about that furry nut robbing us of our sleep, but then silently thanked her for bringing my husband and me together again.

 That little Bandit snuggled into our hearts like a burglar, but left more than she has ever taken. My husband and I had been working so hard on our marriage, dwelling on the serious side of so many issues, when Bandit woke us up to the fact that we could still laugh, we could still have fun, we could still smile and play. When I watch her sleeping peacefully, curled up in a tight ball, it’s easy to see her angelic side, but that devilish imp is right there too, just under the surface. Kind of like my husband and me. We have our good days, and then we have days when we struggle, but underneath all of that, we love each other with all our hearts. And that’s enough to keep us working on our marriage this second time around while taking moments for uninhibited laughter and joy.

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Entry filed under: Writing.

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