"At times I think my coffee and tea addictions truly drive my artistic energy. It’s a small sacrifice for the greater good."

Writing prompt: death

Posted: 1/13/10 | Written by Jeannie | Labels: , , ,

Her head lies on my lap, my eyes watering realizing that these might be the last moments I will ever spend with her. I stroke her hair as her chest staggers and fights for breath. “Why did you have to do that? Why?” Tears start to flow freely now, it’s uncontrollable. The fleeting thoughts of hope wander in and out of my mind as her eyes close. ‘Maybe she is just resting,’ I think, trying desperately to fool myself that this is not happening. Exhaling her final breath, her chest stops moving. “No, NO, no, no, no, no, no!” I lift her body to me. Her short hair scratches my cheek as they soak up my tears. “You can’t do this to me. I need you,” my voice quivers as the words drop from my lips. “You’ve been with me for so long. I don’t know how I can do this without you.”

A hand rest on my shoulder, it is heavy with remorse. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean – I mean I didn’t see her.” It is a man’s voice: soft and respectful. I sniffle as my arms wrap around her neck, this is my only friend. She had been with me for so long that time has faded into just a spinning reel of memories. Joyful memories filled with laughter and long days; memories of perfect sunsets growing up under the large oak tree in the front yard. Some days she would be my pillow, and other days I would be hers.

Cheeks pink: mad bumps dot my face as I turn up to the man— which in my eyes is a murder. “You didn’t see her? That’s all you have to say?” My eyes burn with anger they don’t look at him, but they burrow through him like the sun through the atmosphere: unrelenting. I turn to her once more stroking her head like a lover.

“I’m sorry; I don’t know what else I can say. I’m just so, so sorry.” His voice drops. His head drops. There is nothing he can say that will make the situation any better and he knows that.

My breath quickens heart heavy and full of grief but I know these things happen. I just didn’t think it would happen to her. Turning to the man, the accidental murderer I tell him, “It was my fault, I should have held her leash tighter. She’s never darted into traffic before. I thought she would be fine. We are still new to the city. I, I, thought,” my eyes close as I stand up. Letting my lifelong friend, my companion, my Labrador lay motionless on the pavement. She didn’t look hurt; there was no blood, no mangled body, just the breathless form that was my dog. “I thought as long as she was with me, she would be okay.”

© 2010 Jeannie Hart