L O V E

dilara earle

We had a dog.

We did not steal him, not really, instead he followed her home one night and we all loved him. I had woken up in the morning, the heat already aching in the house, to see him sleeping on the mattress with Émilie and so then it was. His eyes were an astonishing human green colour and round like a child's. He was ours. Out on the hot streets he needed no lead, just a call of his name or a slap on the leg would beckon him: Love! Love!

He trailed after Émilie's footfalls everyplace she went. He was really hers; he went to her first when we came back home and her smile lit up her eyes. Sometimes, I would walk past their bedroom door, lying ajar and there they would be, curled into one another. One night a couple came to stay. It was dark by that time. They took him for a walk and they lost him and he was gone, just like that, just as fast as we had him. We looked and looked and looked and we stayed up to tell Émilie when she came in from work. She cried all of the next day and the house fell into mourning. His name still hung there: Love!

Our lives went on and although we looked out from the balcony, squinting for a white coat and a little limp, he never came back. Who knows who loves him now, whom he follows but he'll always be ours, to us. We had a dog.

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