Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Love So Pure


I was just fourteen when I first laid eyes on her.

She moved to the neighbourhood a month after my birthday, and I was so distraught that I'd missed the opportunity of having her at my party by just a few weeks.
Even at fourteen I knew I'd fallen in love. I always wondered what the sensation would feel like when it finally did hit me. I hadn't figured that it would be one of such giddiness and unexplained butterflies.

I remember going to school the following Monday and telling my friends about her.
At first I felt uncomfortable telling them her name, and even though they laughed on hearing it, I knew deep down inside that they were secretly envious of my attachment to Jessie.
It wasn't long before she became one of the guys, coming along wherever we went.
Saturday mornings were spent at the soccer field, and she was like our mascot.
Sunday mornings were reserved for fishing trips on our bicycles, and I smiled inwardly whenever the guys would ask why Jessie didn't come along on the few occasions when she was otherwise occupied.

I once asked my mom if Jessie could move in with us, thinking it the most natural thing in the world.
As a fourteen year old, everything seems natural.
Of course mom said it wouldn't be right, and whilst I didn't understand at first, I didn't allow it to hinder my seeing her every single day.

It was three amazing and wonderful years later, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, that my mom came into my room and sat down at the foot of my bed. She started massaging my foot and I awoke from a lazy languid dream about oceans and seagulls.
At first I was confused about what she was saying, as it sounded like something out of a soppy movie. It almost sounded like the script to My Girl with MaCauley Culkin.
Except in her version the main character wasn't stung by bee's, but was hit by a car.
Then she mentioned the name.
Jessie.
Jessie had been hit by a car?
Jessie had been hit by a car!

The tears were streaming down my face long before the realisation had sunk in.
It's amazing how fast the brain can process. It almost felt like the reality was racing to catch up with the emotion.

I yanked my foot away from my mom and ran outside in the rain, competing with the weather to see who could drown the earth quickest.
I must have cried for over an hour before I realised the sun had set, and I was left to do my crying in the dark.
It took me two days before I could summon enough courage to visit Jessie's home again.
Opening that rickety old fence was the most difficult moment for me, because the squeal of the rusted metal gate was like a trigger for Jessie to come running to me, but not on this day.
Jessie would come running to me no more.

The vet said it was old age.
I still hear her bark when I close my eyes and think back on those three amazing years.
That sweet sound and her boundless energy will forever be young in my memories.

Happy tails Jessie.