Alone in the woods, away from the crowd, I was all alone building my own cabin.
This seclusion was a chosen one, for the Afgan war had not only given me battle scars but also made me bitter, too bitter to be social once again. I had forgotten how to smile, how to live again! My cheery old self had long bid adieu.
Never worrying about the rumour dissemination going on behind my back, I lived my life, one tough day at a time. Half of the town believed me to be a psychopath and a probable serial killer left at the large, but I couldn’t care less.
As per my daily routine, I was cutting logs in my small workstation when I suddenly heard a whining sound. Normal ears would never have caught on that sound. But, mine were so trained that I could pick up even the drop sound of a pin in my sleep.
I went out and found an abandoned dog, who looked like he might not live to see another day, was struck under a heavy log. I pulled out the log and carried the skinny animal into the shelter. I tended to his wounds, fed him and got back to my work. ‘Why am I even caring? Am I getting attached already?’, I thought.
‘No. I couldn’t leave him dying alone in the woods. It’s just humanity’, I had reasoned myself. But, I couldn’t stop myself from checking up on him from time to time, till he could stand on his legs four days later.
When he looked better, I took him out and let him go. That day, I couldn’t concentrate much on the job at hand and almost hit my hand twice with the hammer. I went to check on him after lunch in the shelter only to be invited by an empty bed instead of a pair of hopeful eyes. Nodding my head, I went back to work thinking what had happened to me.
As I finished my dinner and set out for a walk, I saw him waiting for me outside my workplace. He took in my approaching form, let out a small howl and wagged his tail while circling my legs. Until I saw him, I hadn’t realized how I had come to caring for him in just four days. As he put his front legs on me trying to grab my attention, I let out a sigh and a small smile escaped my lips.
I no longer felt lonely. I had someone to care for and who would love me unconditionally. I had thought my heart had shrunk to a level that it had lost the capacity to love someone, but this dog had succeeded to take some bitterness off me with his loyalty. I patted his head and passed on some warmth from one abandoned soul to another!
Shrink, Small, Half
FOWC with Fandango: Disseminate