Goodbye Mr Chips by Dorothy Snelson

'Throw it in the lake’ he shouted peevishly. ‘Just chuck the bloody thing overboard and let’s get back to dry land.’ 

A bit of a crass thing to say, in view of the occasion, but I could see his point. The wind was whipping up and the boat was rocking ominously. I had imagined a little ceremony. A bit of a eulogy, before the final, heartfelt goodbyes. I tipped the ashes over the side, half expecting the wind to blow them right back in my face. We rowed back to the side of the lake in silence, beaching the boat, and walking to the car park in single file. 

He had never been an empathetic partner. It was just his way I‘d told myself; forthright and to the point. This was something different though. It was Mr. Chips we were talking about, my constant companion for the last twelve years. He’d been part of my life, long before Max came on the scene. An excitable , floppy , silky haired, King Charles spaniel, with a penchant for chips, hence the name. He’d loved his walks around this little lake , which was why, when he had to be put down, I wanted this to be his final resting place. Max had been sanguine about his demise. 

‘All those ruddy chips you kept feeding him, didn’t help. Ended up bloody obese didn’t he?’ 

As we neared the car park my resentment festered. Mr. Chips was gone, and Max was unmoved. 

‘He’s dead . Get over it . You can always get another ’ he’d said. 

His hunched shoulders ahead of me, seemed to mirror his unbending nature. 

I’d had enough. My goodbye to Mr Chips would herald a new beginning. Watch out Max the chips are down. 

Published in Issue #23

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