It soothes me. The sound of rain, pitter pattering against the pavement. The slight glimpse of a lightning flash, preparing your heart, to anticipate the hearty boom of thunder.
I used to be scared of it. But she was always there for me. Since I was young. She will take me in her arms, cradling me like a little baby. “Hush Hush. It’s ok. I am here. There’s nothing to worry.”
It’s weird though. How I couldn’t comprehend anything that came out of her lips. But I could feel the security she provided. The comfort that spread through like wildfire. Like an invisible barrier, shielding me from harm. Like light of heaven.
The storm is brewing like a witch’s cauldron today. I curled up more tightly in the make shift tent I found, under the bridge, deserted by some homeless man who probably found a cozier abode.
Reminiscence of my childhood is blurry. I can’t really remember much. I only know I was taken from my mother when young. Thrown into a filthy place where a man with the smell of stale cigarettes and cheap whiskey would constantly come to terrorize me and the others, young and petrified. Probably all taken from their mothers too.
And then I met her. She felt like the mother I never had. Or even, a lover from my past life? What do I even know about it? Somehow. It’s just a feeling.
She has the most beautiful smile you know? Always smiling. Well. Most of the time. Sometimes I know she would cry because Jake hits her. There was once I lost control and tried to defend her from his cruel, drunken blows. But I was still young and helpless. He threw me off with just one swipe from his tattooed, muscular arm. I recall banging into the kitchen door, wounded from the impact.
She would then plead for him to let me go. “He’s just a little boy. Let him go. Let him go please Jake.” From then on, when she looked at me with pleading eyes, eyes cried swollen, I knew I will only hurt her more if I tried to speak up. So I learnt to just hide in a corner, trying not to even make a whimper whenever he hits her again.
I miss her so much.
I drifted off to a slumber, before waking up by default. It’s the time of the day again. I raced to the tracks I knew too well, past the railroads, to the familiar house by the stream. I would have stayed on there if I could. But the place was taped up by some men in navy uniform.
I am waiting for her to come back. I think this is the 68th day since she’s gone. I know that she will! Because I love her so much. I am sure she will…..
Footsteps approached me. I maintained a defensive stance, eyeing whoever that was approaching me. It was a kind looking lady, accompanied by a rather handsome man. She held out some food in a paper bag. It was macdonald’s! The irresistible scent wafted so strongly through my nostrils. I tried to keep a stoic expression. But my stomach growled.
“Hey kiddo. It’s ok. I know you must be hungry. Please, take it.” Her hand was outstretched. I went forward to accept the food and devoured it ravenously. The pair sat together with me by the sidewalk.
“I am Jane, and this is my buddy Walter. We are here to help you okay?” She said gently, holding out her hand again, affectionately.
I started to cry. All that pain, all that longing. It came crashing down on me. Jane held me in her arms, just like how she would.
“Hey kiddo. I would like to bring you to see someone you will love to meet.” I nodded, and followed.
I got into their car, and Jane sat with me while Walter drove. I looked out of the window, my heart palpitating. Are they bringing me to see her?
We got out to a grassy place. The sweet scent of flowers delighted my senses as I followed them anxiously. We stopped in front of what appears to be a large stone.
Its her!!! That beautiful face. It’s a photo stuck onto the stone. I went forward to inspect the stone. A weird feeling washed over me. Somehow… I could sense her. I could feel that she’s around. But where???
I turned to look in bewilderment.
Jane knelt down, beside me. She cupped my face in her warm palms. And I saw a tear roll down her cheek. She’s crying.
“Kiddo… she didn’t leave you on purpose. You know that right? She’s an angel kiddo. She’s in heaven now because… Because heaven needs her help. And you are a good boy isn’t it? Surely you will allow her to help out?”
The words came to me in a blur. I could not really understand it. But I know the word “heaven”. She always told me that I came from there, and that one day we will be there together.
Can I follow her then?
“Look kiddo. She wants you to be strong. You gotta be strong for her okay? She wants someone to look after you. And one day when you are ready, she will be waiting for you.”
I glanced down, trying to register what Jane said. I looked at her beautiful photo once more… and I, I think I understood.
Weeks later, I was introduced to a new home. A kindly young man, probably not much older than she was, took me in.
“Hey boy! Wait here. Someone coming through the door any minute would be SO happy to have you.”
So I stood right in front of the door, slightly nervous. And waited.
I heard soft footsteps approaching. And the door swung open.
“SURPRISE!” The kindly man shouted happily. It was a woman, with a nice smell, and the same kind of dazzling smile that she used to have.
“Oh my god Gerald!!!! HE’S SO AMAZING. HE’S PERFECT!!!” She knelt down and reached out her hand.
“Bob, is that? Bobby?” My eyes grew wider at that familiar name. That’s right. That’s what she always called me!
The woman had tears in her eyes too. But she was still smiling. “Bobby, I promise to love you forever.
Coming… leaving… letting go. I will go to heaven and She’ll be there waiting. I’m sure.
With an excited yelp, I wagged my tail and jumped into her arms.
I love you too.