She left for work hours ago, our flat is so quiet when it's just me. I never know what to do with myself. I usually suffer from panic attacks at just the thought of going outside so I spend a lot of time at home. Usually I sleep, it makes the time pass quicker. I drift off listening to the ticking of the clock. The reassuring beat bringing us ever closer to being reunited. She is my only contact with the outside world.
Sometimes I dream, vivid dreams of my life before her. They usually end as nightmares, with me trying to run from the man. The cruel fucker that abused me and my Sister when we were younger. He starved us, he beat the shit out of us, left us for days on end. I'm only alive because a neighbour made a call to the authorities to complain about the stench of my Sister's rotting body coming from his flat. When they found me they didn't think I would pull through, “She won't last a week!”
I didn't know why I was spared from death until I met her. I was such a mess and a big troublemaker, no-one had the patience for me. I was moved back and forth from homes, but I couldn't settle in, I just didn't trust anyone. I had awful anxiety around strangers. I was doomed to spend my life alone, or so I thought.
I believe it was love at first sight when we met. We were drawn to each other and all my anxiety melted away with her. We saw each other a few times before she brought me to her flat. I loved it, so warm, and homely....so safe. I never wanted to leave it, or her. She accepted me into her life and I swore that I would never lose her. I trusted her.
I was dozing on the sofa when a familiar sound made me stir. I went over to the window and looked out at the school children getting off the bus. I loved hearing the hiss of the bus, it meant she would be home any minute. I went into the kitchen to get a drink and rushed straight back to the window. My heart began to hammer in my chest as I saw her walking down the road. She looked up at the window smiling and gave me a little wave. I paced back and forth as I heard her come up the stairs, the key in the door. She came through the door and embraced me “Hello gorgeous, did you miss me?” Having her home again made me feel complete. “I'm so glad you're home!”
After dinner we snuggled up together on the sofa, her stroking my head as the movie played. I must have fallen asleep as she woke me gently when it was time for bed. She fell asleep with her arm around me. I watched her breathing softly, wishing that I could sleep as peacefully as her. I sighed with content, I never wanted this to change. But change was on his way.
Her alarm did not go off in the morning, that signalled the weekend. Two whole days, just me and her. After breakfast we went for a walk to the park, if it was too busy I would get anxious. But today was nice and quiet so we took our time and enjoyed the sunshine. She was in a really good mood, I could sense excitement in her. She didn't tell me why and I didn't ask. I was happy when she was happy, no matter the reason. When we got back to the flat her mobile rang and she took the call into the kitchen. I could barely hear her from the sofa but I could hear her laughing quietly. She had to go out she said, I watched her get ready and silently sulked as she kissed me goodbye. “Won't be long!” she said. I was alone again, waiting patiently for her return, listening to the radio to pass the time. I didn't care where she had gone, I just wanted her home again. My life was always on hold when we were apart.
When she put her key in the door I got up to greet her, my sulking forgotten now that she was home again. But something was wrong, I could tell the moment she walked through the door. She was different, I could smell him on her. She had been with a man, she reeked of his scent, his aftershave. I moved away distraught. She looked confused and asked me what was wrong. I avoided her gaze and went back to the sofa. When she spoke to me I ignored her and she tutted, telling me I was being silly. I was not. She was mine, no-one was going to take her from me. I would do anything to make sure of that. I went to lay down, I drifted into a restless sleep, I was being chased but this time I would not run. I would fight back.
When I woke I wandered through into the kitchen and yawned. “You talking to me now?” she asked looking over her shoulder at me. She was making dinner, it smelt incredible...steak, mushrooms, peppercorn sauce, chips the lot. My stomach rumbled, I hadn't eaten for hours. “Smells good!” I licked my lips and went over to see if there was anything going to appease my stomach until tea time. “Oh No you don't!...Out!” she laughed and chased me out of the kitchen with a tea towel. She had been watching TV and so I sat on the sofa to wait. Occasionally looking up to check on her progress.
I could hear her setting the table and I glanced through to the kitchen. Candles, napkins, flowers. My stomach growled ferociously with impatience. Suddenly a loud knock on the door made me jump. Who was that? I moved quickly to the door but she told me to go back to the sofa. I did as I was told and stared at the doorway, my insides twisting with nerves and anxiety. My hunger forgotten. Who was she allowing into our home? The only place I felt truly safe.
As she opened the door I heard it, a man's voice. She greeted him and he stepped into our home. My eyes were fixed on him as he kissed her on the cheek. I recognised his over powering aftershave, how could you mistake a cheap and nasty market reproduction like that? As she took his coat she looked over at me. “And this is her!” she said smiling, introducing us. He smiled and walked towards me slowly “I heard so much about you over coffee!”.
I began to tremble as he towered above me. I was frozen to the spot, he reminded me so much of the bad man. He extended his hand and spoke softly to put me at ease. “Aren't you going to say hello?” she asked. I could tell from the way she looked at him she was fond of him. I could sense a spark between them. I needed to act fast to save what we had. “Get away from me!” I growled threateningly. “Come on now, I won't bite?” he laughed, his hand still stretched out, inches from me. Bite? I thought, I can fucking bite, you bastard!
His mocking laughter made me angry, my lips curled back and I bared my teeth at him. He stood his ground but his laughter stopped. In a flash I lunged from the sofa and sank my teeth into his hand. They both reeled back in shock. “Get out!” I yelled, “Get out, Get Out!” He backed towards the door obviously alarmed by my outburst, his fear was so blatant. “No! What are you doing?” she yelled at me, trying to shield him as I advanced. “OUT!” I shouted, ignoring her. He grabbed his coat and obliged, I could hear him stumbling down the flat stairs. “I'm so sorry!” she called down after him. “Don't come back!” I added.
She closed the door slowly and rested her forehead against the panel as it clicked shut. I watched her, we were both silent for a moment. She sighed heavily and turned to look at me as sternly as she could. “That was the first proper date I've had for years and it was over in seconds!” I wagged my tail when she spoke and padded over to her. She smiled at me and shook her head as I offered her my paw. She could never stay mad at me for long. “Guess you're having steak for dinner then Paws!” she whispered ruffling my hair. My ears pricked up and I jumped up to lick her face. I had no idea what a date was but now he was gone it was just me and her again. Just the way I liked it. Paws pressed pause on life.
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