See you, Bravie

Reads: 542  | Likes: 4  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


A touching story about the true friendship of a homeless boy and a brave dog, about hope and perseverance

Submitted: August 27, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 27, 2018

A A A

A A A


See you, Bravie

 

I was left an orphan after my father’s death, all alone in this world. My mother had left dad a long time ago, and I hardly remember what she looked like, as I was too young at that time. I don’t have a sister or a brother: dad was the only close relative I had. He was struggling against the disease for a long time, trying to fight it, to live, cause he knew I was not mature enough to survive on my own. But the disease turned out to be stronger.

 

My dad was a strong man, unbelievably strong. I remember he was fired from his job, as he had become almost disabled because of the disease and was not able to work any longer. But he was trying to find another job even in that condition. He didn’t want to give up, he didn’t have the right to give up. And the last word before he left was a “sorry” drowning in his eyes filled with tears. Dad was apologizing for the things that were expecting me after his death, and for the fact that he was not going to be with me throughout that struggle.


It was April of 2009.

 

There was rain and wind. The weather seemed to be the reflection of my heart’s bitterness and sorrow. I thought I wouldn’t bear the loss of my father, wouldn’t be able to live without him: on that day life broke me down once and for all. I’m alone. I live in a city where I have no relatives.  Dad and I had moved to New York 3 years ago in search of a better life. Only our neighbour Bob was by my side while bidding final farewell to my father, but he was not from New York and was putting up his own fight. So I couldn’t rely on his care. We had been living in a small rented apartment. Can you guess what was expecting me - a 16 year-old teenager, who didn’t even have a job?  A week later I appeared on the street.
I was resentful. I was asking myself over and over - why? Why me? Wasn’t it enough that my mother had left us and I had grown up without her affection, while my friends were so happy with their mums? And I was looking at them and crying secretly at nights. Wasn’t it enough that my dad hadn’t have a permanent job and we had to move from town to town, from an apartment to another one?  All of that left a deep scar on me, and I didn’t have a childhood after all. Even now life won’t stop knocking me down. As if I had made an enormous sin and was being punished for what I had done. For 3 years living with the thought, that the dearest and the only person in the world - your father is going to leave you one day. It was unbearably hard. And now I’m on the street, standing in the rain and wind, alone, resentful and bitter. I had never understood those who commit suicide, but that was the only thing running through my mind, everything became so meaningless for me. I didn’t have strength to fight. But then I realized, that I didn’t have the right to do that to my father. He had continued to work for my sake even with his last breath, doing everything, so that I won’t starve. So do I have the right to let life subdue me? My father was looking at me from the above, wasn’t he? He is not gone, he is in my heart, he is with me and I do have to live! I don’t know what lies ahead of me, but I truly believe that everything in life happens for a reason. There is something ahead that awaits me. Therefore I should keep on living.


I found a convenient corner on the street and slept.

Woke up in the morning because of a dog that was licking my face. It was quite strange but I was smiling. I would never imagine that something could still make me happy or make me smile. The dog’s fur was light brown with black spots on his head and back. His eyes were so humane that it seemed he would speak to me at any moment. He wasn’t that big, but was muscular and strong. I suddenly noticed that his paw was injured, but he was cheerfully playing with me, quickly wagging his tail from side to side. I realized that the dog was stronger than me. He was also alone, didn’t have an owner, was living on the same street that I spent the night on: was injured but kept on being full of life.  Strangely enough, that was one of the biggest life lessons that I learnt from that dog. I would later name the pup “Bravie” for his strength and courage. I looked at him, smiled while he was staring at me with his curious eyes, as if asking what had happened to me. I grabbed his paw, ripped one of the clothes I had in my bag and started bandaging - telling my story in parallel to that. I swear, he felt and understood me. A heart is of greater value for understanding than the language. People understand your language, but is it enough for them to know your soul? On that day Bravie became my closest friend.

It’s only now that I understand I was able to continue my fight and have become the person I am today due to him and with his help.

I remember it was the second day that we went to the market together.  Pretending to check whether the meat was fresh or not, I “accidentally” dropped it.  Bravie took the meat with his teeth, and I gave him a hint to run. The seller didn’t know the dog was mine. I apologized for dropping it and pursued Bravie. I had a small gas stove there, that I had found in one of the trash bins of the street. I barbecued the meat, and we ate it together with Bravie, rolled up in a blanket.
I was petting my dog’s neck  and talking under my breath. “You’re a brave and loyal dog, Brave! We should fight. It won’t remain this way. We will find a way out.

I was trying to survive by stealing or asking for help from the passers-by for months. Yes, I was stealing. And I taught Bravie to understand and implement my instructions, and I was using them for fooling the seller in the market. I had no other choice. I had to live...

One day, when Bravie was sick and was sleeping, I tried to go to the market and procure something to eat alone. When the seller was busy with other customers, I reached my hand out to the basket of sausages on the corner of the table, grabbed one quickly and tried to escape, but bumped into a tall and broad-shouldered man, who gripped my shoulders wondering where I was going without paying. He passed me to the seller, who was going to beat me with his bulky arms.

“Let go of me, please!”- I was shouting at the top of my lungs, when suddenly Bravie came into view: he was rushing to help me. He reached me quickly and attacked the seller biting his right arm, with which he was holding me, and ripped his clothes off. The seller was screaming his head off in a rage. “Kill that dog, help, kill it!”

 

I escaped from his arms and ran away, but Bravie was still ripping him. I was shouting “Bravie, come here, Bravie!”, but he wasn’t listening to me, and when he already wanted to catch up with me, the same tall men stabbed him with a knife. Bavie fell on the ground motionless. Seeing that the man was going to stab Bravie for the second time, I ran back. I didn’t let him stab, but  I was caught and this time I was unable to run away. I was handed to the police. For 3 months I had to stay in juvenile detention. Those months were some of the hardest pages of my life, and the worst thing was that I didn’t know whether Bravie was alive or not. If I had lost him, nothing would have ever been able to bring me back to life. But I hoped and believed, that he was alive. I had a photo with Bravie, which was taken and given to me as a present by one of the photographers of New York. I was always keeping that photo with me, and every night for three months I was looking at it and praying for the day that I would see him again. Every night before my sleep I was whispering: “ See you, Bravie.”


I was set free and immediately rushed to the street of mine and Bravie. But he wasn’t there. “Bravie! Bravie! Where are you? Come here! I’m already back, where are you?”-I was calling hopelessly.
I thought he would respond, would run to me from the far and I would hug him again. But he wasn’t there, and I was crying from helplessness.
Couldn’t believe that I was left alone again, that life separated me again from the dearest thing. I spent that night in the street - in Bravie’s and my corner, hoping that he would come.

 


 

When I woke up in the morning and the dog wasn’t there, I made up my mind to leave the street, to go to hell. Maybe there’s  hope there, a hope to start a new life, a hope that this nightmare will finally go away. I started to run ceaselessly, out of my mind, until my eyes went black, I fainted and fell, being hit on the head heavily. I had injured my leg.
While I had been lying unconscious in New York Central Park, an old man had approached me and taken me home.
I few hours later I jumped up shouting “Bravie”.
There was a cold wet towel on my head. I didn’t remember falling down. Noticing the towel and feeling the severe pain of my head, I asked surprised. “What happened? Where am I?”
“Everything’s alright. You were running in the park. I noticed how you fell and rushed to help you. How are you? Where were you running to so fast?”- the strange old man calmed me down by answering peacefully.  
“I was running to find my dog. He is lost. I don’t know where he is. I have no one in this world except for Bravie.
I told him everything. When I described what Bravie looked like, he suddenly brightened up and said:

“I think I saw him a few days ago in the 8th avenue when I was walking home.
Hearing this I immediately asked him to take me to that street so that I could search for Bravie, but he insisted, “You’ve got to recover. Now you need  rest, my boy! Have a rest, and then we will search and find your Bravie. I promise.
The old man’s name was Ernest.


Days passed. I recovered and during that time got really close to grandpa Ernest and his granddaughter Linda. Linda’s parents had died in an accident when she was still 2 years old. Their car had crashed into a pillar. Linda had been on the backseat of the car and she fortunately survived. We fell in love with each other over time.


After recovering I was helping grandpa Ernest, who was working as a gardener in the same park that I fell and passed out. After work we were looking for Bravie on the 8th avenue and on the neighbouring streets, but the dog wasn’t there. We kept on looking for him everyday for 20 days, I was desperate and stopped but was praying to find him one day.
I was receiving money for working in the park, with which I bought clothes and it seemed that I was coming back to life, I started to feel like a human again, who had dignity, who people started to treat with respect.  

I saved some money and decided to make a surprise for Linda. I asked grandpa Ernest to let me invite Linda to a cafe.
I was happy on that day. We ate ice-cream, took a long stroll. But I still couldn’t feel completely happy, I was missing Bravie, was missing him badly. My heart and soul were with him. I kept hoping that he was alive, and that I would find him. I didn’t appear to be that strong to save my father, and now I couldn’t lose my closest friend.


A year passed, but I still kept on hoping and waiting.

 


 

It was on Monday, that I came back home from work tired. I turned on the TV and soon after the news showed Bravie.
He made an incredible courageous thing. A fire broke out in one of the buildings of the street that he was living in, and before the firemen would arrive, Bravie quickly ran inside hearing a child’s voice from there, went through the fire and led the child out of the building.
That’s incredible, isn’t it? Yes, but not for Bravie! I know my dog. He is very clever and feels everything very strongly. That’s how he broke me free from the seller.

I lost my head from happiness and was crying. I ran out of the house so quickly, that grandpa Ernest and Linda didn’t manage to understand what had happened.  I ran to the street, where the accident had happened, but it turned out that Bravie had been taken to the hospital with the other injured people. He had got burnt and passed out. I rushed to the hospital. He was going to be operated, as the fire injured his legs, and the tail was completely burnt.


The surgery went smooth. Doctors saved his life. He regained his consciousness the next day.When I was allowed to enter his room, he was lying weak with his eyes open.  I slowly opened the door, and when he noticed me, he started to bark to show that he recognized me, he tried to move but didn’t succeed. I ran and hugged him and started to pet and kiss his head.

Bravie was barking joyfully.
“I knew you were alive, Bravie, I knew that. I believed that I’d find you. My brave and smart friend, my Bravie!”


Soon Bravie became widely known all around the USA for his courageous deed. All the TV shows were speaking about him. Bravie and I were being invited to TV projects. I was telling the story of me and Bravie, which was shocking the whole US. Soon I wrote a book about it. It became a bestseller and stole the hearts of millions of people all over the world. Even a movie was shot about me and Bravie.
“We won, Bravie! Me and you. Now we also have the right to be happy”.

 




Bravie stayed with me for another 4 years. During this time I founded the “Bravie Hope” charity fund, through which Linda and I were helping thousands of dogs on the streets by feeding them, providing medical care and finding shelters.
Bravie passed away on the 15th of July, 2017, but he will forever stay in my heart, while the book and the movie devoted to him will keep his name in history for a long time as an instance of animal’s loyalty, courage and heroism.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


© Copyright 2018 Mikael Knight. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments: