Anyone who’s ever crawled out from under a rock and bumped into another human being knows that relationships are not always easy.
And neither is this one.
For all the wonderful dates and breathless sex and conversations that continue for hours and days and months, there are pockets of loneliness, frustration, and sometimes wanting more…
“Why do you need a dog?” he asked, and it was a fair question.
But she shook her head silently, knowing he could not see her from the other end of the line, even as she cradled the phone close, closer.
“You don’t really need a dog,” he continued anyway. “A dog is a lot of work, and you’d have to be sure there was someone to take care of him, you know…”
Yes, I know, she thought quietly. For the one day a week that we are together, for the bare twenty-four hours you can spare for me each week. And often it was much less, many fewer hours than even that.
She breathed deeply, heard him do the same.
It was the first time she had even begun to imagine the end, the end of them, together.
I need a dog because some day once a week will not be enough, and even now I recognize that. I need a dog for when I am sobbing that I ran away, let you go, or simply stopped calling–however it works out, in the end it is all the same, just over and done with. And I will need a friend who will not judge me, who will lick my tears away with warm doggy breath and reassure me that everything will be alright.
Instead, she said aloud, “I know. I know that now is terrible timing” but it’s not like we’re planning on a joint household, ever “but right now it feels like something is missing”.
A pause, then a half-hearted attempt at conciliation. “Yes, I know, it’s a terrible time to adopt a dog” she repeated.
After a few more minutes of chit-chat, he said, “So, I’ll see you tomorrow? I’ll probably be free in the late afternoon.”
In her head she imagined the long drive, the anticipation and excitement of seeing him, the indescribable delight of his fingers, his wit, his tongue, and his company, mentally calculating the hours they would have together.
Not much–not many.
But perhaps, enough.
“Yes, I’ll see you then,” a tiny gasp and a soft “I miss you.”
“Me, too. Goodnight.”
The line went dead.
Outside the rain continued to fall, leaking like tears down the cool glass window as she stared outside into the darkness.
After a moment, she swiped the screen on her phone and resumed browsing floppy ears, wagging tails, and wide smiles.
Two weeks later, the local shelter had one more empty kennel. Her name is Daisy, and she sleeps on my bed whenever she thinks she can get away with it.
Because sometimes a girl just needs a dog.
**Photo Credit: http://goo.gl/jZ39YC**