I stand in the door to the bedroom. My muscles feel too heavy to move. My eyes sting. My throat is parched. In the diffused glow of the early morning sun, I see their chests rising and falling in perfect rhythm. They lie facing each other, his arm flung carelessly across her. I don’t know how long I have been standing here. All I know is, my muscles feel too heavy to move. He sighs, stirs and turns to lie on his back. She moves closer to him, her eyes still close, and rests her head in the crook of his arm. What now blinds my eyes are not tears; it’s the love I have selfishly hoarded for him all my life, molten, bitter and helpless. I don’t know where I got the strength from, but I find myself running out of his room. I run along the corridor he has carried me down so many times in his arms. I run down the staircase we have come down together so many times during the years that have been the best in my life; no, not just the best, they have been my life…
And now, things are going to change. I have lost him to her. The very words feel like a blow to my stomach. I lie down on the floor of the living room, feeling weak, sick and… scared. I have known her for seven… no, eight… months now, right from the time she moved in with his best friend, Alex, one block from here. I have seen them walking down the road together every morning, while I sat snuggled to him in the balcony as he sipped coffee… black, bitter coffee, just the way he likes it… Alex would always wave at him and blow me a kiss as they jogged past us. Nice man.
I have never met her up close… at least, not before last night… but I have always been fascinated by her. Her lean, trim body, without an ounce of fat. Her dark, sultry looks. Her sensuous, silky strides. I had overheard them that day, him and Alex, from the kitchen. Alex was going out of town for work, and he couldn’t take her with him. Should I have smelt danger right then? Maybe.
Alex left last morning. I had heard him wishing Alex a safe journey over the phone the night before. Little did I know that in less than 24 hours, my world, safe, secured, and lovely, the only way I have ever known it, would come crashing down around me. I waited up for him in the living room as I always do, forcing to keep my eyes open, keeping my ears strained for the familiar and comforting sound of his car backing in the garage. He always goes to the pub after work on Fridays. I woke with a start as I heard his key turning in the lock… I must have had dozed off. My heart leaped with joy. I rushed to go into his arms. It was then that my world started to crumble. She walked in behind him. She glanced at me for a brief second before following him across the living room and up the stairs. His eyes were half closed, the smell of beer faint on his lips. I stood rooted to the floor of the living room, too shocked to cry. I heard the familiar cring of his bedsprings as he flopped down on the bed like he always did. I could bet he still had his shoes on. I didn’t go up to our bedroom that night… or should I say his, or theirs?
I can hear him trudging down the stairs in his flip-flops. I lie quietly, hoping to be invisible… or maybe, scared that I actually was, to him.
“There you are,” he coos. The next moment, he had scooped me up in his arms, and I have my face buried in the cozy, soft fabric of his robe. I grow stiff. Hot tears of anger threaten to burn my eyes. He doesn’t seem to notice. He is kissing me all over. It takes me every ounce of my willpower to keep myself from kissing him back.
“Somebody seems to be in a bad mood today,” he coos again. He lay me down on the couch and tickles my stomach, all the time giggling in my face. I wriggle with pleasure. I can feel the anger, the sadness the heartache beginning to heal, as a surge of love takes over my senses.
“Come, let’s get some breakfast. Alex’s cousin would come down to pick up Suzie in twenty minutes.”
As I lapped up my milk from my yellow bowl, with the now faded ‘Kitty’ scrawled across in blue ink by his little niece two summers back, I wished I were Suzie, so I could wag my tail to show how happy I was.