Perfect Life

Perfect Life

A Short Story by Kelly O’Hara

I live in a sweet, cozy 1920s bungalow on a pleasant street in a small town. Inside the living room of this house, I have a favorite chair I like to sit in while I read or write. The chair swivels around so I can look out the window during every season. Under the window is a radiator with a wooden cover where I stack my ever-increasing pile of favorite books. During the winter I can turn my chair to face the fireplace where I get lost in the dancing flames while I try to read or get inspired to write. When the spring arrives, I switch to face the open window to catch a feather soft breeze that gently blows my hair.

In this chair I am happy. I am a writer. I can be creative. I can tell stories about people and places I know or people and places I create. Here I can escape to other worlds through books that other people have written. The bubble I inhabit in this favorite spot of mine feels to me, at times, like the perfect life.

One day as I was writing the phone rang and jarred me from my quiet concentration. It was my son’s teacher calling to say my son was extremely upset and they couldn’t figure out why. My son is on the Spectrum and basically nonverbal. Although he’s on the Spectrum he is a very loving, affectionate and happy person. So, when he’s upset it’s usually cause for concern.

Did someone hurt him or his feelings? Did he not feel well? We tried to figure it out. I decided to go to the school, because to me, it sounded like he was not well. I closed my computer and grabbed my keys. When I arrived at school, I saw his tear-rimmed eyes.

He turned his face to me and said “again” which in his world means, “Hug me Mom.”

As I did, that melt-my-heart smile stretched across his face. He felt a little warm, so I said thank you to all his hardworking teachers, and told them I was going to take him home. He took my hand and we walked to the car. I was correct that he was coming down with something, but we were together now, and things were going to be alright.

When my son is not feeling well, he is a lot of work. To be honest he is a lot of work when he is feeling fine. (I say that with a smile.) So I put away my writing for now, knowing I won’t get back to my perfect life in my favorite chair for a while. But my son has taught me that there is no such thing as a perfect life, just perfect moments. He is a good teacher.


Kelly Brick O’Hara is a lifelong writer. While growing up she had the privilege of living in many states and towns across the country. She now resides in Glenside Pa. with her husband Joe and son Finnian. She enjoys our many parks, land preservation, and protecting the environment.