In response to this weeks weekly writing challenge – posted here
A crash of thunder shocked me back to life and I slowly lifted my head off the ground, fighting the weight of my cold wet hair. Oh no not again! Where am I this time?? I thought. Why is it that a blazing row always happens to fall the same night as a full moon? Does my change in mood go hand in hand with my physical transformation? I should have checked the bloody calendar before speaking my mind and storming out into an equally stormy night.
Legs trembling beneath me i struggled to my feet, shaking the excess water from my coat in some last ditch attempt to dry myself before embarking on the journey home. The cool, damp ground squelched as i padded home, soothing my bare, aching feet; my mind wandering with every step…how long had I been gone for? How far had I travelled…? How will I get back into the house…if i ever find it that is.
Instinct told me to go left…I trusted it to lead me home and I was right to do so; I recognised the area, my heart began racing with excitement and before I knew it my legs were doing the same. Pounding the ground hard and fast, determined not to waste any more time away from him tonight; desperate to get home to him and reconcile.
Panting heavily i reached the door to our home ‘Baby!?’ I yelled, my voice low and gruff….’baby its me open up…you there?’ I cried out but no one came, crumpling I curled into a ball on the doorstep and whimpered. ‘Bethy?‘ he called, swinging the door open and peering out into the darkness around me. I saw his face, streaked with the pain from our heated words earlier that night and I witnessed the glimmer of hope in finding me back home vanish. I could see the twinge of pain and disappointment hit him in his gut as he hung his head; eyes closed. My heart ached and I reached towards him, desperate to comfort him and tell him we would be OK. His eyes opened, wider still when he saw me at his feet.
Bending down he cautiously offered his hand, ‘Hey girl’ he soothed; ‘What are you doing out here?’ I placed my chin in his hand, letting him know it was ok, I wouldn’t harm him. Nuzzling my cheek against the warmth of his palm I closed my eyes, drinking in the moment, happy to be back home. He sat with me on the doorstep, me leaning into his thighs and him stroking my hair. For a long while we stayed silent, just thinking, just existing together. I wanted to tell him how sorry I was for the words I said, for leaving on such bad terms… I wanted to explain that I couldn’t stay with someone who wasn’t prepared to let me in…to love me. To tell him that I needed to be loved, I deserved to be loved…but that regardless of his feelings for me I would always love him, wherever I ended up.
‘I messed up girl’ he said softly, twiddling the lengths of hair and stroking the side of my neck ‘she’s gone because I messed up…I AM messed up; I have hurt her, she thinks I don’t love her…I told her I didn’t know if I COULD love her…if I could ever love anyone…ever feel anything…’ he dropped his head into his hands. ‘I don’t deserve her…I’m a monster…I don’t deserve to live….’
‘Don’t you dare say that!’ I growled, moving to my feet and baring my teeth. I backed away, my blood pumping, pulse racing ‘Don’t you DARE!’ I barked. ‘Its true’ he said, ignoring my sudden rage ‘She deserves so much more than what I can give her, I’ve fucked everything up my whole life…I’m nothing…I’m worthless…what’s the point…?’
‘NO!’ I lunged at him, digging into the sleeve of his sweater. ‘Whoaaa’ he jumped up, tearing the sleeve in the process. ‘Ok Ok I’ll stop…I’m sorry…jeez! Beth would have done exactly the same if she heard me talking like that’ he smiled to himself at the thought. ‘But come on’ he continued, returning to his seat ‘how could I NOT love her? She completes me, she brings out the best in me…she’s the only one that makes me happy…as happy as I CAN be anyway. I cant imagine being without her, I don’t WANT to be without her.’ I sat down beside him once more, willing him to keep going; he did ‘I mean I miss her the minute she’s out of my arms; my gut hurts when we are apart…that has to be love…doesn’t it?’
He sighed and shook his head, gripping me harder in an effort to pacify himself as I leaned closer into him to do the same. ‘I’m just shit with this stuff, I wish I could just say how I feel…tell her my thoughts…tell her everything…But I’ve never let anyone in before…I don’t know HOW to. I’m scared she would reject me if I told her everything, I’m scared I would lose the love she has for me…so I do the only thing I know how and push HER away to protect myself; to avoid having to hear her confirm my fears. But…she’s worth it, I want to let HER in…I’m trying…’ his voice cracked ‘but its too late; she’s gone.’
Stunned I watched the tears fall down his cheeks, tearing down the mask he was so used to hiding behind, he’s genuine…he’s…crying! I stood up still looking at him, my feet padding on the ground in enthusiasm, the sound of my nails scratching as i moved. My backside wiggled uncontrollably swinging my heavy blonde tail from side to side as my heart leapt in my chest. I gently placed my paws on his folded arms and brushed the tip of my cold, wet nose against his temple. He lifted his head and looked at me, his green eyes red rimmed. ‘Sorry girl, i didn’t mean to bring you down, I’ve learnt a hard lesson tonight…’
I couldn’t help it, I dragged my tongue across his cheek; ‘Eewwww!’ he laughed ‘What was THAT for??’ My way of telling you its ok, I thought. ‘I’ll be back’ I barked at him and with that I sprinted back to where I had transformed into the faithful golden Labrador that my husband had just bared his soul to; Preparing to change back to my true form and return to listen to him tell me all over again.
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