The Games That Play Us (Based On A True Story)
The sun, as usual, unmercifully battered its glory on the evening landscape as I watered my bone-dry garden aimlessly. This morning, the garden looked fresh and anew but the sun’s hardheaded job was evident; it never took a day-off from its mundane routine. I displayed my waterworks to an imaginary audience with great fervor when suddenly, I heard a distant squeak followed by a careless laughter of little children. I stopped my performance; no audience applauded me .I followed the sound of the noise to find a group of kids circumventing something that fed their enthusiasm and gayety. I grabbed hold of the nearest kid by his collar and tugged him away lightly to see what was that they were encircling. A slightly-droopy eared, four-legged bundle of puppy fun was zipping around back and forth like a bug caught in an empty bottle. A Labrador, I thought, but it was just a stray. I picked it up guardedly and shooed the kids away. The kids knew better than that; their game of jab-jab was over. The puppy recoiled and tucked itself inside my arms and made it its home. From that moment, it was not just a stray; it was my puppy dog.
Thus, began a newfound companionship imbedded with love, care and happiness. I placed the puppy in a disheveled, sorry excuse for a kennel made out of cardboard. The puppy didn’t mind my architectural expedition and gladly took it for lease. It didn’t take a long time to bond with my new friend as the puppy needed somebody to hold to and I needed somebody to care for. Every morning, as I left for school, it would promptly appear to quiver between my legs and bid me farewell. When I got home from school, the puppy would naively dance beside me from the bus-stop till my house like it didn’t have any burden at all to carry in this world – a life that I envied , a life that I desired, a life that all desired. Even though the puppy was jubilant and gleeful for most of the time, it seemed like it never knew what it was to be sad. But I was wrong. One day, it sat in front of its kennel pressing itself to the earth. Pushing back its ear and furrowing its brow, it gave me the look; the sad please-momma-can-I-have-it look – ah! It simply mellowed me and I could just melt with that gaze. Little did I know that my adventures with my pet were going to be short-lived.
“You can’t have it here”
Those were my father’s last and final words that didn’t leave much space for thought to the dilemma whether to have the puppy or not. My buts and ifs would have proved more effective if I had an impregnable voice. My meager voice– which I had to use it with my dad or else I can be rest assured that I would be thrown out along with the puppy – - fell on deaf ears. He asked me to get the puppy and sit inside the car; he said no more. On the way to nowhere, he mentioned that he was going to a far-off desolate area–he didn’t want to risk the puppy following us– where I should drop the puppy. I was staring at my puppy throughout the ride. It neatly curled on my arms. Innocence couldn’t be defined more aptly.
Finally, we reached the godforsaken place. I got off the car and let my puppy go; it leapt into its fate. My ears turned numb for no sound befell the plain. Silence was cut-short by my puppy’s cheerful yelps. It playfully danced and whipped its tail expecting me to play with it in this vast playground speckled with peril. I never felt so sad and it never felt so happy. After a generous amount of time, my dad grimaced at me. I knew that look. I, quickly, patted the puppy and raced my hand over its face and its back. When will I ever get to do that again? I walked back wordlessly for my breaths were truncated by brief wails. I turned back and saw my puppy sitting unruffled, lulled by the hush. We are not playing a game of hide-and-seek; I tried to commune with it telepathically. This is my goodbye, old friend.
Like a lightning bolt, it struck to me that the puppy knew that this was coming. No wonder, it acted unusually wistful the other day. As the car’s engines rattled, I managed to catch the last few remaining glances of my puppy from the back seat. I saw a beautiful, cuddlesome fur ball of delight making a dash for my car, and then a diminutive shadow and finally a poignant whimper while a tear unwillingly rolled into oblivion.