Love is worth the risk

Submitted into Contest #42 in response to: Write a story that ends with a character asking a question.... view prompt



There is one thing that many people have always told me and it was that love hurts. All of my friends sink into a deep depression when they have a break up and my parents used to tell me how hard it was to get over their first love and everyone after. I get that it can hurt to lose someone like that but what about the part where the relationship was happy, exciting, and blissful? Wasn't it worth it? I've never been in a relationship before so I wouldn't know if love is truly as painful as they say but I guess I'll find out one day.

"Hey, Beth" Stella was shouting at me from the living room downstairs but I could just barely hear her from my bedroom. "mom is on the phone and wants to know if you want anything from the store."

"I'm okay, I don't need anything but make sure that mom picks up Larry's pills!" Larry is our dog that my mom picked out for us when I was only a few years old. My dad thought it would be funny if we gave him a person name instead of buddy, or snowflake like a dog in a cheesy movie. Ever since we adopted Larry our house has been so much more fun from him getting his head stuck in the water pail on the front yard or lifting him on his hind legs to make it look like he's dancing but he doesn't really do much anymore. He turned twelve years old a couple of months ago and has been taking pills in his food for about a year but I know that Larry's a tough guy. he'll push through and be running through mom's garden in no time.

It was almost five-thirty and mom was still at the store but I couldn't wait any longer to eat and Last night's chicken and mashed potatoes was still in the fridge. I shut my bedroom door accidentally slamming a little too hard and stepped down the carpeted stairs. At the bottom of the stairs Stella was lacing up her brown leather boots.

"Where are you going?" She was always slipping out to see her "cool" new friends she made when she started university in September. I think they are a bad influence on her, she's never really around anymore and dyed her brown hair black a few weeks ago.


"Out where?"

"With Lucas and Adrienne. We're going to their friend from high school's party at her house."

"When will you be back?" I'd be lucky if it was before three in the morning.

"I don't know, sometime before you wake up tomorrow." As soon as she said that she walked out the front door, got into a white, beat up, minivan blaring terrible music and left. I wonder when she'll realize how dumb she is.

Walking on the smooth kitchen tile, I could practically smell the chicken from the silver fridge. My stomach was about to cave in if I didn't get food soon. As fast as I could, I put my day old dinner on a plate and set it in the microwave that needed so desperately to be replaced. As soon as I started it up it sounded like a bomb was going to go off.

While my meal was heating up I thought I'd take advantage of the spare moment to go back upstairs and grab a hoodie. The tile was especially cold on my feet and the air conditioner was probably going to be on all night. I usually wore a hoodie in the evenings but during the day that hoodie was used as a pillow for Larry's constant naps.

I walked back up the beige carpeted stairs and ran my hand along the dark brown stained railing. as soon as I reached the top out of the corner of my eye I saw Larry in front of my bedroom with my cherry red hoodie underneath him. He must have kept it all night and dragged it around with him all day.

"Larry, what are you doing?" I always talked to him in a high pitched voice just like people do when they talk to babies. "Can I have my sweater back, buddy?" His golden fur was always so soft. I loved laying against him and watching T.V. when I was little. Sometimes we would fall asleep together.

As I continued to stroke him I pulled my hoodie out from underneath his paws. When I held it up it was covered in his fur and almost changed the color of the fabric. I smiled and looked back down at him. I loved that furry animal so much. As I slipped the hoodie over my head I spit out some fur that got in my mouth. At least I wasn't going to be seeing anyone while I wore this thick layer of dog hair.

The annoying beep of the microwave went off about six times before I could get back downstairs to take out the plate. When I set it down on the island I could see the steam twirling off of the meat. Waiting since noon to eat had me starving but the crispy, spicy coated chicken fingers and buttery potatoes were worth the wait.

"Larry!" I looked down to see him sitting patiently beside my chair. He must be hungry. "I'll get you some food." I walked over to the cupboard where we keep his kibble, scooped up about half a cup of the pellets, and dropped it into his ceramic dish. I put the cup back into the bag and closed the cupboard. Sitting back down on the leather bar stool I noticed him still standing there. "Are you not hungry?" What did he want?

I continued to eat my dinner as Larry sat on the tile and watched me. When I finished he followed me over to the dishwasher then to the living room. He isn't usually this clingy. "Are you okay, Larry?" He whimpered quietly and rested his head on my jeans. He must want to be pet so I reached out and scratched the top of his head and rubbed the thin fur between his eyes. After about three minutes of petting him he got up and slowly walked away. "Where are you going?" He didn't look back or make a noise or anything. Curiously, I lifted myself from the couch and followed him. I walked far behind not wanting to startle him while he moved. He walked around the stairs over by the back door. His paws were tired and worn out. His tail was hardly moving. I stopped walking when I saw him settle himself on the hardwood, letting his head droop to the ground, and his paws curl underneath him. I stepped closer and closer but he didn't move.

"Larry?" My heart stared pounding and I could feel the sweat slowly accumulating on my palms. "Larry?" I rubbed the back of his neck but he was still. "Larry, you're kind of scaring me." My eyes welled up and my face stared burning. I shook him but there was no sign of consciousness. I crawled over to sit in front of his face and let his chin rest in my hand. Tears streamed down my face. "I love you Larry."

Later than night my parents came home to see me on the floor with Larry in my arms. They called Stella and, to my surprise, she raced home as fast as she could. No one said anything for hours that evening. We didn't stop crying until after the backyard funeral a few days later.

We got Larry cremated and my mom placed him on the grass in he center of the yard. Looking at my family dressed in black with tear stained faces was the worst image that I'll never be able to erase from my mind nor will I forget the heavy weight of the sadness. We were all so sad because someone we loved was gone but what about all of the years when he was here? This moment, right here, is why people say that love hurts and why people are so scared to love but what about all those times that Larry fell asleep on my bed, or when Stella and I made him dance with us, or when we took him with us on road trips or when he licked my cheek leaving it all slobbery. Those are the best memories I've ever made in my entire Sixteen years of life. Standing there, cold from the wind, my throat burning from trying to hold back tears, and staring at Larry's ashes I thought to myself. What is everyone so scared of?

May 20, 2020 00:09

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