Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used "tender loving care".
I tried to ignore the scratching sound and, instead, turned back toward the window. I needed to make a decision, no matter which one, but there had to be something, anything, for me to keep on with an existence that tore me apart.
I couldn't think of anything. Not one single thing.
The scratching became louder. A burglar? Well, good luck, nothing to get here.
A loud, high-pitched yowl raised the hairs on every possible body part and I jumped hard. My heart thundered as I leaned against the cool window pane. More scratching sounds came forth, sometimes combined with sniffles and howls.
An animal in trouble? I should have a look. If only because that's what Shane would have done. He'd forever kept on about us getting a dog or a cat; he really didn't mind which as long as I agreed. I fought him on that topic.
What for? It would be an obligation. It was the only thing Shane and I argued about. Argued as in yelled about. It had always ended with Shane crying angry tears and me feeling like shit.
I just didn't get it. We both worked long hours, how would that have been fair to an animal? But Shane always insisted that where there's a will there's a way. Five days prior to his death, I’d caved. I'd agreed on going to a shelter and at least have a look around. Shane had kissed me silly. His lips had always been so soft yet firm, a combination that drove me crazy, and which he knew and took advantage of.
My stomach churned at the thought of his kisses, the way he'd always smiled after a kiss, with an expression of adoration and love. He'd literally kissed my breath away.
Hot tears shot into my eyes and my lips trembled. He'd always been so tender, so caring, so... he'd been everything I ever wanted.
A sob tore from my throat and I wrapped my arms around myself. I began rocking back and forth, something I'd started doing after Shane's death, in those minutes when I believed I'd fly apart any second.
An ear-piercing howl echoed from my front door. I jumped again, but this time I hurried toward the door, knocking against furniture. After hitting my knee badly on a chair I didn't remember placing in the middle of the room, I groped for the light switch. I squinted my eyes against the sudden brightness and made it to the door without further accidents.
I cautiously opened the door. As soon as it was ajar, a paw pushed into the crack. I opened the door further and something dark-furred whizzed past me, barking and skidding on the floor until its paws reached the carpeted area in the living room.
“Hey!” I called out.
A bark, clear and ringing, answered me. I stared out of my door to see if someone was searching for their dog, but when everything remained quiet, I closed the door and followed the sounds back to the living room.
When I reached it, I stopped with a gasp. On the sofa, on the throw I'd been wrapped up in a while ago, sat a German Shepherd puppy with ears as big as bats. It gazed at me and, with its tongue lolling out, it seemed to laugh.
I blinked. The puppy didn't wear a collar, leash, or whatever else dogs usually wore to identify them. It got up on all fours when I didn't move an inch. It barked again, then stamped its forepaws on the throw. Obviously, the puppy expected me to come over.
Despite my non-existent knowledge about dogs, I walked over and sat at the other end of the sofa. The puppy tilted its head sideways, as if it was wondering about something, then barked and lumbered over to me. All of a sudden, I had a puppy curled up on my lap. It nudged one of my hands until I rested it on top of it.
My fingers sunk deep into the fluffy fur. For the first time in months, I felt my lips twitch into a smile.