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A Whistle Day

I clutch the tiny silver whistle tightly in my hand. It’s all I have left of my childhood. I can remember the day my mother gave it to me, the way she folded my fingers around the cold metal.

“Take this with you, to remember us by,” her voice cracked a little, and I could see tears behind her smile. “Save it for a day when you feel very sad, or very happy. It’s days like those when you need music the most.”

She took a step back from me, looking me up and down. She tucked away a curl that had escaped from my braid. “You’re beautiful, Cara. Your match is a very lucky young man, and he will know it the moment he meets you.” She kissed my cheek; her lips were cold. “Live your new life and be happy, but do not forget.”

I haven’t seen my mother since that day, but I’ve never forgotten. It’s been five years, but I’ll never forget.

I hear the door open and a voice softly calls my name. I look up and smile at my match as he bends his tall frame to capture my lips in a kiss. “Is Jem asleep?”

“Mm-hmm,” I murmur, distracted by his strong hands rubbing my shoulders. Our eighteen-month-old son finally resigned himself to bed just half an hour earlier. I lean back and sigh contentedly as Finn gathers me close.

“Cara? Is today a whistle day?” I hear the concern in his voice. He knows I only play it when I'm very sad, or very happy.

“Oh, yes. I played it for Jem earlier when I learned the news.”

“What news?” I can tell from his voice that he is ready to comfort me, and my heart warms even more.

“This news,” I whisper as I slide his hands down to my stomach. I hear his breath catch when he realizes what I mean. “Today is definitely a whistle day.”

I wish my mother could be here to see how well I have taken her advice. I am so very happy, but I have never forgotten. The child growing within me will bear her name if it’s a girl. I will teach her, as I have already started to teach Jem, to remember. And to whistle.



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