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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
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Submitted: February 11, 2019

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Submitted: February 11, 2019



Liz studied her reflection in the mirror and sighed heavily. Christmas had taken its annual toll... whilst her bank account had free-fallen into debit, her body had matured into a substantial credit. A surplus of soft, rolls had accumulated around her middle, as if in anticipation of a famine. She eyed the bathroom scales that seem to be mocking her, but could not face the truth, and instead, pulled a baggy sweater over her head in an attempt to hide the consequence of her over indulgence.

Every New Year she made the same resolution, to eat more healthily and to actually use the gym for which she paid a significant monthly subscription.

Do you think I'm fat?” she asked.

Luke looked up from his phone, irritation etched on his face. “Sorry, what did you say?”

Be honest, do you think I'm fat?”

His eyes travelled over her body. “A bit.”

What's that supposed to mean... yes or no?”

Well, you're a lot fatter than you used to be, so I guess the answer's yes.”

Liz's face burned with anger. “Thanks a bunch, you really know how to make a girl feel good about herself.”

Luke rolled his eyes. “But you asked me for an honest opinion, so I gave it. Look Liz, I think you look great, its not me who has a problem with it, but its obvious you do... so do something about it.”

Liz stropped off in huff, determined to get herself in shape.

The next morning, instead of taking the lift, she took the four flights of stairs up to the office. She flopped down at her computer, shocked at how out of breath she had become.

What's wrong with you this morning,” her colleague, Becky, asked.

I'm fat and unfit, so I'm going on a diet and exercise programme. I've decided to go to the gym after work.”

That's what you said last year but, if I remember, it lasted about two weeks. You know what you need... a dog. Forget the gym and do what I did, rescue a dog. My Alfie not only keeps me fit but gives me so much love, he's an absolute joy. Really, I'm not joking. Having Alfie is the best thing I ever did.”

Liz instantly thought of her childhood home, filled with two, excitable spaniels, their expressive, beautiful faces, their doleful eyes, silky ears and the cuddles on the sofa. When she had left home to move in with Luke, it had struck her just how soul-less the place was.

I'd love a dog, but its Luke, he's just not a dog lover. He tolerated my parents dogs but, sadly, I know he wouldn't want a dog of his own. I guess I have to respect that, besides it wouldn't be fair to leave a dog while we're out at work all day.”

Becky railed. That's just an excuse. Kate, my dog walker, takes Alfie out for me while I'm at work, but I make sure I walk him every evening after work, and at week-ends, its what keeps us all fit. I guarantee a brisk daily walk and a healthy diet would soon shift those extra pounds and, with a dog, its a duty. When they fasten you with those bright, expectant eyes and their eager waggy tails, you just have to reach for that lead and do it, even if it's pouring with rain. I suppose I'm lucky, my Dave is as smitten with Alfie as much as I am.”

During her lunch hour, Liz couldn't resist the temptation to search the web for puppies. “Beck, just look at these, aren't they adorable?”

They are, and people will be queueing up to buy them. If you're serious about getting a dog, why don't you do the decent thing, and rescue one. There are so many abandoned dogs that deserve a loving home.”

I guess you're right, but I'd have to convince Luke first.”

That night, she broached the subject with Luke, who flatly refused to even consider having a dog... until she showed him a photo of one year old Kora, a cute little wire haired cross with one ear pricked and the other bent, her dark eyes shining with love and hope. There was something so incredibly endearing about her... a gentleness, a yearning.

Please Luke, let's go and see her, she's pleading with us.”

He pushed back his dark hair from his forehead, and sighed. “Liz, you know my thoughts on having dog, and if I agreed, she would have to be your responsibility. I'm not like you, I don't have that connection, never have and never will.”

I promise you she'll be my dog. I'll feed her, walk her, look after her and love her, all you'll have to do is accept her.


Kora worked her canine magic and, despite his reservations, Luke slowly but surely surrendered to her charms... her unconditional love, those lop-sided ears, her dark, shining eyes, the way she curled up on his lap and the joy of that steadfast, effervescent greeting.

Liz smiled. “I thought she was supposed to be my dog, I hardly get a look in these days.”

I never thought I'd say it Liz, but she's special.”

Yeah, she's brought us so much joy, and Becky was right, who needs the gym when you've got a dog to exercise. All my clothes are now loose, but not for long.”

What? You mean...”

Yep, I was sick so did a test.”

Luke's features softened. “First Kora, and now another addition to love, I'm so lucky.”

What about me?”

Liz, you know I love you... always.”

Kora raised her head and pricked up her lop-sided ears. “Luke, I swear she's smiling.”

© Copyright 2019 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.

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