HER STORY...by b. Malin
NOT EVERYTHING IS BLACK OR WHITE...
God, I feel ugly today...I see little lines between the bridge of my nose. They've probably been there for quite a while. But today, they seem so prominent. I stare at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and it stares back at me. It suddenly looks like a stranger's face to me... "I don't recognize it" I say aloud, even though I know I am alone. Alone except for the dog, that big hairy mound of fur, who gives a contented grunt at my feet. I look down at him and study his beautiful black and brown coat... He is a long haired Belgium Shepard...and I am a woman with a mission.
"Oh what do you know"? I say to him, my voice sounding strained. HIs head comes up from the floor and his soft brown eyes meet mine as if to say, "ok, I'm sorry, what can I do to help"? I get down on my knees and hug his head close to my breasts, which hurt and feel swollen. I remove my left hand from the dog's head and gently feel each breast as my mind mentally ticks off the date. It is the twentieth of the month. If I'm to get my period, it should come by the twenty-seventh I think silently as I release the dog, and we both stand up together...I want to have another child...Maybe a daughter... Oh who am I kidding...of course a daughter. I have two sons. But each month my period comes, and I cry silently after everyone is sleeping...Except for the dog, who seems to know and understand...As I sit by the fire, and he licks my salty tears. As I feel my biological clock loudly ticking away.
Somedays he really gets on my nerves for he follows me about the house, and we never seem to be more than a few feet apart...Truth be told, half the time I'm tripping over him...but I think he secretly loves it...and maybe I do too. But when the weather is good, I put him out on his chain near his dog house. He will actually sulk for about an hour (I've timed him) with his back to the house, for he knows that I can see him from numerous windows. When he thinks that he's punished me enough, he will turn around and bask his strong furry body in the warmth of the sun... He looks like the picture of contentment...and it always makes me smile.
I imagine he's thinking ahead to when his "brother" my younger son, will come home from school and free him. They will play ball together, and after a snack, the dog has water, and a dog biscuit...his brother milk and cookies...They will take a walk. Sometimes I go along, and we walk down to the duck pond...Or into the woods along the path. Just the three of us, heads held high, with the leader of man running on head...so eager to lead the way...or protect us. We're convinced the dog thinks he is one of us, and we don't question it...not for one moment.