It was a pleasure to go outside.
It was a reunion; though we have stayed together for over two years now, but to go outside was heaven.
But inside, it sure as hell wasn’t.
I slept, which I don’t understand how humans sometimes go without for a week and I ate, which was pretty mundane since there was no one left to tell me something about someone while I feasted. We used to sleep and eat together when I was a pup. I enjoyed pedigree as he devoured bread. But not anymore.
I was shifted. Not to a new room, just an obscure corner. A corner where things seemed more isolated, even if there was a window showing millions of people, above it.
Then at night, there were these sudden movements, devastation of kitchen utensils, scattered screams and then an inevitable cry; a sob. This was the second time I saw him weeping. The first was when I had broken my leg and was taken to the vet. But now he wept because of her. This came to me as a surprise because master would never get sad, rather he would help others to not feel sad. This mood of the master was unknown to me but sadly it wasn’t just a mood, it became a habit.
Conditions for a good night’s sleep required silence. So, I deliberately distracted myself by the brilliant colours of the sky because they seemed patient. The colours were different every time; a lazy yellow, a gloomy black, a moody red and a clear blue accompanied with snowy white. Similar to my master’s eccentric mood. He was red and irate for a second and then the very next, he gazed at me as tears rolled down his cheeks. He was trying to tell me something so much but his mouth had given up and his eyes were too watery to speak. I started barking, trying to tell him that I loved him. He either acted as if he couldn’t hear or could he actually not hear? I called out again, louder this time. He didn’t blink. In that moment I realised something I hoped I never would, the cheerful master that used to play with me and pet me was no more. He was right there, in front of me but his eyes saw something else, his lungs were filled with sorrow and his senses had given up on him. This wasn’t my master, this was a lost man who was wandering in an unknown land with no way to escape.
The trips to the park were rarely possible now, but when they were (marking that a fight had resulted in discontentment of both the parties), it was a pleasure to be outside. Outside, where the sky seemed abundant, where the colours were endless. I did not observe them because with master there was no need of deliberate distractions. I loved going out with him. Just him and I when she wasn’t there. He was not holding my strap tightly. I could have run away but that would just agitate him. My master was weaker now and smiled less.
I saw a ball lying. I thought that we could play with it so I ran towards it. I thought that he would follow but he didn’t. He kept walking in a straight line. Travelling to a destination unknown. A journey that led to nowhere. He was on the road now, completely unaware. I tried barking but he couldn’t hear. Luckily the car which was supposed to hit him, honked first, breaking his daydream. I threw myself in his arms, how dare he leave me for her? I was furious and he owed me an apology but seeing him in his state, unaware and confused, I decided to forgive him. He started being lost all the time. Even though he was there, he wasn’t. What I never understood was why he indulged in something that was a constant pain? And why was he excited when he brought her into his life if she gave him misery almost every day? Why did his relationship interfere with our daily talks, which I understood nothing of. What sometimes humans don’t understand is that I don’t speak what they speak. It’s easy to please them though, when there’s a frown I lick their face, a smile I lick their face, a cry I lick their face. I always lick their face and they always seem to enjoy it. But now that lick just agitated master. He would push me away, but he had never pushed me away before. I began to wonder if I was the problem or was it her?
My master has died. Physically he’s well and good, but in his mind he wanders to places that can’t carry his own weight. He’s trying to reach the heights that will break once he does, he lives in a world that creates and destroys itself on his demand. He lives in an unknown place and slowly he is losing his identity. It’s worse than death, he lives everyday to die.
Please bring my master back.
– Ananya Pareek and Sanjali Sharma, Amity International School, Noida1 Like