She Wolf

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story (monologue - I will probably introduce some dialogue at a later date)

An old lady looks back at her life in a nursing home.

Submitted: August 15, 2013

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Submitted: August 15, 2013

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A near lifetime ago time was infinite, now it is the rarest of precious commodities. Ironically the loudest sound in decaying room where I see out my last days is the grating tick tock of the repetitive clock high up on the magnolia wall of the nursing home’s claustrophobic day room, or deaths waiting room as I like to call it.  Tick, tock, a constant reminder of my time gone by, only interrupted by the rasping half breaths of my decaying co-inhabitants, not friends, it’s too late in our lives to expend our final energies on cultivating friendships that will inevitably be short lived.

 

 I use this time in the fading afternoon sunshine to reflect upon my time, compiling, sorting, filtering my lifetime’s experiences; removing the clutter, ignoring the irrelevant, erasing the bad and only focusing on the happiest of times. A final clear out before departure, bringing order to my own self so that I leave in the comfort that I enjoyed what I enjoyed one last time.  It passes the time that tick tocks by so slowly and lonely in the waiting room.

 

I already knew complete unconditional uninhibited love, being the love for my parents.  So it didn’t surprise me to experience it again on the day that I replaced my doting Father as my best friend for a new best friend that never questioned me or challenged me and endlessly held me in a regard infinitely higher than I justified.  It is one of my earliest recallable memories, the wonderful spring time day my Father came home to the Manor from his City Office work with a small jet black Alsatian puppy, absolutely beyond perfect in the eyes or an energetic four and a half year old girl.  It was love at first sight; it must have been a mutual love at first sight as Princess Penelope Pixie Pie immediately jumped up and attempted to lick every one of my immature features from my face, chin, lips, nose, eyes, ears, everything.  And so began a love affair that lasted a dreamlike childhood.  Indeed it was a masterstroke by my Father as Pepi gave him room to breathe from the suffocating attentions of an energy sapping daughter who cried desperate attention seeking tears  when he left the Manor for his pressurized work in the rushed morning, who tantrumed with overtired excitement at his return in the short evenings and never let him out of her sight at the weekends.

 

Now the tables were turned, I was the one with a permanent fixated shadow, a shadow with magnificently painted toe nails like no other dog in the park and more often than not with matching ribbons, bows and hair clips in a rainbow of colour. The season was immaterial, we played together in rain, sunshine, wind or snow, she chased me and I chased her back. Often collapsing to the dirt of the floor at the end of the day, exhausted in a bundle of limbs that my Father had to untangle when the evening drew to a close and my bedtime beckoned.  Of course my bed linen resembled a dog basket as we were inseparable even at night times, the grime from our wild days accompanying us at night in a gritty mess between the daily pressed sheets that distressed my prim Mother no end.

 

Pepi installed in me a fearless sense of adventure; we urged each other on into quite ridiculous and desperate escapades quite unbecoming of two young girls, thick in the dark woods, lost in bright farmland, soaked in sparkling streams, plastered in cloying mud to the extent that our girlhood finery was spoilt, lost or torn.  Together we thrashed, crashed and trashed our way through an idyllic English countryside playground where we knew no inhibitions or confinement.  We never slowed down, we never held back and with Pepi I always felt cheering  safety, I hope reassurance was mutual, if it wasn’t she never let on.  Our joint appetite for adventure nurtured a stone hardiness that distanced me from other girls in the village and made the local boys wary if not intimidated by the girl who could run further and faster than them, throw longer and higher than them and was ever accompanied by the black she-wolf.  I remember feeling like a demi-goddess, a mythical being, all powerful – the Girl with the Black Wolf; we felt immortal, indestructible.

 

Of course as the dramatic winters and pleasing summers passed by my physicality strengthened and at first so did hers but eventually she started to fall a pace behind then two.One day the inevitable came to pass and I returned to the comforting arms of my aged Father, who still held me as tightly as before but differently because I wasn’t four and half anymore and eminently squeezable but a strong sixteen, no longer a child and at an unfortunate time of life to be without my finest best friend. Without any friends.

 

I could never bring myself to replace Pepi, not with another animal at least.  I never came close to replicating that bottomless depth of unconditional friendship and infinite love, maybe she raised my expectations unsustainably from an informative age such that no one, certainly not any man ever came close to achieving. Maybe that explains my three failed marriages and the numerous affairs as I sought, thought I found and then ultimately left disappointed.  Neither was I able to feel or share an unconditional love with my own offspring, it was never, is never mutual with them.  Instead like malignant parasites they sought to drain me of energy, kindness, compassion and more recently money for their own end.  Their demands were unconditional, their love and mine absent. 

 

The truth is that Pepi never really left me, I wouldn’t let her.  My black she-wolf was always with me,  urging me on to achieve more and ever standing guard as I travelled, studied, acquired, controlled and stripped. Asset stripped companies and men alike.  Black Wolf Private Equity was an audacious beast; it knew no boundaries, respected no convention and was the corporate reincarnation of my uninhibited childhood.  Together we competed, held our own and won out in a testosterone world of strutting peacocks and fat cats that were no match for the wit and wiles of a she-wolf.  The game was different but we played the way we always had: by our own rules.

 

Tick tock.  The clatter of worn out cutlery and chipped china heralds the arrival of the daily piss weak bilge water that the nursing home passes off as tea.  However it is the routine highlight of another uneventful afternoon that I can tick off.  Princess Penelope Pixie Pie has been revisited and remembered, she can be fondly consigned to my good past whilst I am stuck in my testing present with wasted limbs waiting to join her and chase, jump, roll and tumble with afresh with youth again. At least that is what I tell myself will happen to make the waiting half-bearable.


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