Fiction Sad Friendship

Every sunrise and every sunset, I was met with the cracking road accompanied by the gasoline of thousands of vehicles stained on its path. I had one of those vehicles. I wouldn’t be surprised if some drool from man’s best companion was there, too. 

I brought Blue back home with me on that roundabout. My first adult decision after renting an apartment was to satisfy my childhood dream of owning a dog. She was a rottweiler I found at a nearby shelter and was only a few years old with her ribs poking out of her sides. Despite the breed being known as very lovable and loyal, the owner of the place said no one was willing to take her in. Therefore, they would soon have to put her down. I knew my purpose right then and there was to scoop her up and take her to my home where endless cuddles and treats would be served. 

When I viewed her kennel, her head slowly lifted and barely showed any interest. However, her eyes stayed on mine, showing the faintest spark of hope that that day would be the last day in the square kennel with anything but spacious room. Her ears perked up when the gate opened, and I knelt down beside her. I allowed her to sniff the blue collar I had bought earlier that morning before slipping it around her neck. 

Within no time, Blue was sitting in the passenger’s seat of my car. I rolled down the window to see if she wanted to stick her head out and enjoy the gusts of freedom. Unfortunately, she turned away from it. 

We drove around the roundabout for the first time together that evening. I introduced her to the house, her new bed as well as mine, just in case she got lonely on the floor. I fed her the best meal she’s probably had in ages. She left no crumbs. We sat on the bench outside my apartment until the sun vanished past the horizon. After we had gone inside, Blue plopped on her new bed, and I stroked her soft head until I heard soft snoring. 

Weeks passed until I finally saw Blue’s tail wag with excitement. Her goofy personality started to reveal itself as our friendship strengthened each day. Her stomach was fuller, and she became more energized. We would go to the park a few times a week, and she quickly befriended a Great Dane named Scooter. 

One day, on the way back home from the park, I, once again, rolled down the window like I always do. With immense contentment, Blue finally stuck her head out the window just as we were driving through the roundabout. I smiled to myself as her ears flopped in the wind.

Kids from around the block would play with Blue as their parents and I watched from a short distance. She was great with the little ones. They were so smitten by her. Blue helped me make new friends more often than not, and I’ll always be grateful for that. 

Eventually, she would jump up in bed next to me and lick my face to no end. I knew she was growing comfortable with me, and I was glad she was adjusting to her new home. She would sometimes lay quietly while I read, but most of the time, she’d try to distract me with licks and her toys. 

Years went on, and unfortunately, Scooter passed away. Blue was too disheartened to find any other playmates at the park. His owner and I shared the memories we watched our dogs make together. Her name was Anna.  She seemed quite like me; introverted, always occupied with a book in her hands, and had a fondness for dogs. We became good friends after that.

Anna and I would hang out at my place sharing book experiences we’ve had over a cup of coffee, and soon we began developing our own stories. Blue was very involved with our process. She tried to help by dropping toys in front of our laptops and gnawing her bone next to our ears. 

            Blue, Anna, and I drove around the roundabout on our way to get our first book published. We drove the roundabout to go to book signings, radio stations, and bookstores together, all three of us. Blue didn’t mind sitting in the back seat. She still enjoyed the breeze from the window. 

            As time passed, Anna received an opportunity to go write for a publishing company in another state. I offered to take her to the airport. After packing my car with Anna’s belongings, the three of us somberly drove around the roundabout before saying our final goodbyes. 

            I was always the first to know of Anna’s new projects, and we would keep in touch on Facetime calls, where Blue would practically fill up the screen and leave slobber all over my keyboard. I kept a shelf available for all of Anna’s new books, the row starting with our very own we wrote together many years ago. I continued to write for the publishing company that had signed Anna and me from the very start. 

            Blue was starting to get old. Our trips to the park lessened, and she was too weak to jump on the bed to accompany me at night. I knew it was almost time. Anna coordinated a last Facetime call with the three of us together. I scheduled an appointment with a vet. I brought Blue’s favorite red, squishy toy with us while I carried her to the passenger’s seat of my car. She slightly leaned her head out the window and began to pant while I drove out of my driveway. As we neared the roundabout, I was hit with the realization that Blue wouldn’t be coming back with me. That was our last ride together. That was her last trip. 

            I began to cry. With one hand on the wheel, I reached over with my other and stroked Blue’s head. She licked my hand before trying to hand me her red toy. She had brought so much joy in my life; experienced so many memories with me. Blue encouraged me to explore my passion of writing with my new founded friend. If it wasn’t for Blue, I wouldn’t have had the experience of writing with Anna or watched Blue play with the kids on the block with parents telling me how good of a dog she was. Blue impacted many lives around her, and she changed my life in ways I could’ve never imagined. 

            That drive was the hardest trip I was ever going to make. Blue had been there for the most important moments in my life. Throughout her time being with me, I hope she knew that I’ve done everything I could for her to live a happy life with all the toys and love anyone could possibly supply her with. 

            Blue leaned over and licked my cheek to wipe away my tears. I couldn’t help but continue sobbing and tell her how much I loved her. I’m sure she knew. I’m sure she knew what was happening. I let her kiss my face the rest of the way there. 

            I returned to the roundabout alone that night. Only the sound of crickets filled the lonely air while the passenger’s window remained open. Going through the front door with nothing but memories and picture frames was going to be dreadfully painful. 

            I looked down at my hands. Blue’s light blue collar shifted between my fingers. I ran my thumb across the letters imprinted into the scratched nametag. After a moment, I slipped the fabric around the rearview mirror of my car. That way, we would never drive without each other again. 

July 22, 2022 01:23

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