Yours and [Male Name]’s relationship had always been a roller coaster of emotions, one that people would deem unhealthy with how quickly it’d shoot up one minute, only to crash and burn the next. One week you two could be snuggled up against one another, cooing out gentle words of love as you lazily watch whatever would be on Tv that day. Then the next you’d be at each other’s throats, you curled up in bed a sobbing mess and [Male Name] sneering out words that had people questioning his love for you. It was moments like those were you’d find yourself in a depressed state, sprawled out on your bed, blankly staring up at the ceiling until the loneliness finally ate away at you and forced you to be the adult in the relationship. Forced you to call the seething male with pleads of forgiveness and quiet apologies just so he’d come back around.
This week was no different as you found yourself curled up in bed, sobbing as you clutched your chest. Another fight, about what, you don’t know. It always confused you how quick his temper was, how easy he found it to find something to throw a tantrum over and blame you. Starting a small flame and quickly pouring fuel over it until he had you a broken mess that didn’t know what to do. Recently you’ve tried your best to hold out on being the first to apologize, knowing it wasn’t right to always let him slip by without an apology of his own.
Your friends all wondered what you saw in him, not understanding why you chose to stick around. Even you didn’t know the answer, you didn’t know if it was because you were stuck in a time when you remembered how kind and gentle he was at the beginning of the relationship or how your fear of being alone was stronger than your need to be happy. It was sick in away, the comfort his presence brought you.
You barely lifted your head, quick to stifle your sobbing as you looked towards your open bedroom door and out into the darken hallway. Listening how the sound of someone knocking on your apartment door seemed to bounce off the walls of your silent home. Your mind was throbbing with millions of thoughts, wondering if it was him, wondering if he had come back and finally decided to pick up the slack and apologize first this time.Knock! Knock!
“[Your Name], open up, please” those thoughts were quick to disappear the minute you heard [Female Friend]’s soft voice flutter through the door followed by more knocking. Sluggishly you slid off the bed, dragging your sock clad feet across the floorboards of your home before stopping at the front door, blankly staring down its wooden surface. “[Your Name]?” [Female Friend] quietly mumured on the other side, gently knocking on the door once more.
“What do you want? Leave me be to wallow in my own misery” your voice sounded horse from the violent sobs that had ripped through your throat since the fight had broken out and up until now.
“No” was the only response you got, and the knocking continued, now growing in volume. “I’ll keep knocking until your neighbors are forced to call the landlord” she firmly told you as you continued to blankly stare at the door. Wondering how she even knew about the fight, then again, [Female Friend] seemed to have eyes everywhere. She knew everyone and everything about this small little community you lived in, it was the one thing about her that always disturbed you. After a minute or two passed, you finally heaved a sigh, arm sluggishly lifting and barely putting any effort in both unlocking and opening the wooden door.
The minute it opened just a sliver of a crack, you stumbled backwards as [Female Friend] came strutting in. Her face twisted up in a strange mixture of anger and worry as she slammed the door shut behind her. Quick to advance towards you and throw both her arms around your shoulders, you didn’t fight against her as she pressed your face into her bosom and started to rank her fingers through your hair. Cooing out words in a tone that was anything but comforting. She sounded like she was suppressing her anger, trying her best not to break out screaming and cursing the name of the man she hated with her whole being.
“It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay” she seemed to calmly repeat, slowly leading the two of you to the couch before sitting you both down. Her eyes narrowed as she glared at one of the pictures that hung up on your wall of both you and [Male Name]. A picture of back when the relationship was still new and you both were still getting use to the idea of dating. A time when the fighting was at a minimum and there was no guilt tripping or blaming involved when one did break out.
“How’d you find out? It’s only been…I don’t fucking know, maybe three hours since the fight broke out” you mumbled after a long period of silence. Eyes now stinging as you tiredly let them flutter shut, taking slow and calming breathes. Wishing that this pain in your chest would just go away.
“That doesn’t matter” was the only response you got, [Female Friend] continuing to lightly drag her fingers through your hair as she leaned back into the couch. “[Your Name], you need-”
“Don’t say it” you suddenly interrupted, lips twitching downwards as you felt a lump in your throat. Already knowing what she was about to say. “You say it every time and the answers always the same, so please, just don’t say it.”
“But, this isn’t healthy! You need to cut him from your life, this is getting ridiculous!” [Female Friend] huffed, you could hear her heartbeat with how hard she was pressing your head against her chest. Trying her damnedest to comfort you. “Why do you keep going back? Do you like the pain he causes you?” her eyebrows were now knitted together in worry as the questions started to flow from her mouth like a flood.
“I already told you, I don’t want to be lonely” you mumbled, snuggling closer. Wishing to hear more of that beautiful melody that you called your friend’s heartbeat. It was strange how much that sound brought comfort to you. You soon feel how her chest puffs out as she sucks in a large amount of air before heaving a loud sigh.
“I know” she mumbled back as it grew quiet once more. It wasn’t long before you soon found yourself starting to doze off, only to flinch as your friend suddenly straightened her posture, a gasp slipping pass her lips as she looked like she just had a brilliant idea. “A pet!” she suddenly exclaimed as you pulled away from her, now disturbed by her sudden mood change.
“A pet?” you echoed, raising an eyebrow as you watched her happily nod her head up and down.
“That’s right! You said you don’t want to be lonely, then get a pet so you can dump that fucker’s ass” [Female Friend] widely smiled, her chest suddenly puffed out and swelling with pride at her sudden thought. “Maybe a cat-no! You should get a dog; their hyperactive personalities are sure to pick up your mood!” you couldn’t stop your lips from twitching upwards when you spotted how pleased she looked with herself. Giving a breathless laugh before closing your eyes in thought.
“I’ll think about it” you breathed out after a moment of silence.
Your eyes blankly stared at each animal you passed by as the employee led you through the backroom of the shelter. Each one looking cute and cuddly in your eyes, it made you frown remembering how poor you were and how limited your choices were. In the back of your mind you couldn’t help but think how you would adopt every animal in this shelter if you just had the money and resources. But, at last, you had to be careful with your choice. Keeping in mind how small your apartment was and how you needed enough money to keep both you and your new companion alive and well.
“See any you like?” the employee—Jaden written on his name tag—asked as he peered back at you. Motioning with a hand at all the cages. You didn’t answer right away, continuing to stare at the animals that in return stared back with wide glossy eyes that almost made your already aching heart hurt even more. Fuck, this was why you tried to avoid places like this, knowing you’d wind up broke on an impulse to give all these adorable creatures a good home with lots of love and care. Just as you started to open your mouth, ready to just pick and get the immense amount of guilt you were bound to feel for only picking one of these precious dogs out of all of the others out of the way. You stopped, ears twitching at the sudden sound of growling coming from somewhere else in the shelter.
Jaden raised an eyebrow, quick to follow you the minute your feet started to move on their own, mind curious to find the animal that was growling while the rest were whimpering. “Hey, ma’am, you can’t go back there” the young man piped up, eyes widening when he noted you were entering a more secluded area of the shelter. You came to a stop the minute you stepped through an open doorway, spotting more cages that lined the wall, the animals in them barely looking your way as they tiredly laid sleeping in their confined spaces. They all looked rugged and less than desirable, some looked like they had been caught up in fights and others looked like they had their beauty snatched away from years of being out on the streets on their own. The growling was louder this time, sounding more like the animal that was kicking up a fuss was enraged in this “prison” of theirs.
“Ma’am, you really shouldn’t be back here” Jaden nervously said, eyes shifting from you to the open doorway, as if frightened his boss would come bursting through. Ready to chew him out for allowing you to enter a room that was normally cut off from people. You had an inkling this was where the animals that were put on “death row” would normally be placed. Away from the public eye and separated from the other animals as they awaited to be put down for acting up in violent ways or not being able to get adopted after a certain period of time. You only ignored the young man, feet lightly moving forward before finally stopping in front of the cage that held the culprit of the growls you were hearing.
He was quite large, bigger than any of the other dogs that inhabited this shelter. His appearance was quite rugged, with dark fur that was coated in dirt and matted down in certain places with dried mud. You winced at the sight of the large scar that ran over his left eye and you could barely make out the scar that seemed to run down from his left shoulder and all the way down to his right hip. Beauty was not on this dog’s side you noted, eyes watching how his lips drew back and started to snarl at the sight of you, fur standing up on end. “Those are some sharp teeth” you whistled upon the sight of the pearly whites, noting how easy it would be for the animal to rip you to shreds if you got close enough to him.
“Yeah, almost ripped the feeder’s arm off on the first day we got him” Jaden mumbled, walking up beside you. You only hummed, not really listening to what the man had to say, too distracted examining the animal before you. The longer you stared the more you started to feel a strange tugging sensation in your chest, one that was just barely there and would have been easy to brush off as nothing more than your heart still aching over [Male Name], who still hadn’t contacted you since the fight.
“Is he part wolf?” you suddenly asked, head tilting to the side as you took a step closer to the catch, causing the animal’s growling to grow in volume. His body now crouching low as if he were preparing to pounce. This didn’t seem to frighten you as you lifted a hand and pressed it against the cold surface of the chain link fence that served as the door to his cage.
“He could have some wolf in him, he sure eats like one” Jaden rubbed the back of his neck as he awkwardly shuffled around in place. Still nervously throwing glances back at the open doorway. “He only accepts raw meat, nothing else” he muttered as you hummed in response.
“I’m guessing he’s back here because…” you didn’t have to finish that sentence, the man already nodding his head as he already knew what you were about to say. It grew silent after that with only the animal's growling filling the air. “I’ll take him.”
“W-what?” Jaden gave you a baffled look, not quite understanding what he just heard as he watched you pull your gaze away from the animal and looked him right in the eyes. You didn’t know why, but it felt like there was a small voice whispering in the back of your head, begging you to adopt the animal and save him from his fate. You had no doubt that the man in front of you must have thought you were crazy, wanting to adopt an animal that basically looked ready to pounce you and sink his teeth in your neck. “I-I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.”
“I said, I’ll take him” you calmly repeated, lips twitching upwards into a gentle smile as you looked back towards the burly animal. Watching how his growls started to slowly die down, ears still flat against his skull and body still crouched low as he curiously watched you with his one good eye. Now that you looked at it, you noted how it’s color was like an emerald with specks of gold splatted along in it. It was such a pretty color, nothing like [Male Name]’s boring eye color. Jaden stared at you, owlishly blinking his eyes as he tried to think of a million reasons why you should turn around and pick one of the friendlier animals up front. But, the longer he stared at you and saw the gentle look in your [Eye Color] eyes, he finally just heaved a sigh.
“I guess, we can work something out” he muttered, watching how your eyes lit up with a kind of happiness that even you didn’t understand.
You watched as the man shakily reached out a hand to the snarling animal. Leash clenched in his other hand as he thickly swallowed. Frighten by the thought of losing his hand. “Come on big guy, I’m just going to put this leash on-ah!” Jaden screamed, jumping away from the animal’s snapping jaw. Face pale as he tightly clutched the leash close to his chest and violently shook.
Gaze switching between the violent animal and you multiple times as a look of regret soon crossed his features. You felt a mixture of amusement and pity for the man, noting how his feet subconsciously backed away from the growling animal despite still needing to put the leash around him. “May I?” you asked, prying the leash from the employee’s hand and dropping to your knees in front of the animal, barely flinching as the dog snarled at you. Once again showing off his pearly whites.
“Ma’am, I h-have this under control, no n-need to-” you held a hand up, motioning for the man to be silent as you maintain eye contact with the canine. Knowing you couldn’t show any fear or weakness to the animal, it needed to understand that you were now its owner and it wasn’t going to scare you away. Again, you felt a slight tug at your chest, but chose to ignore it once again.
“Hey there, buddy, no need to be frightened” you smiled, ignoring the look Jaden gave you, the man questioning if you knew the different between being frighten and being vicious. “I’m not going to hurt you, see” you lifted one hand out to the animal, letting it just hover there in midair. He continued to growl, mouth slightly open as if he was ready to snatch up the hand you held out and sink his teeth in its tender flesh, but suddenly stopped as he took a small whiff of the air. As the growling started to die out once more, the animal leaned forward and started to sniff your hand all around. As if suddenly entranced by your scent.
“What?” Jaden blinked his eyes, taken aback as this canine that was intimidating just moments ago suddenly calmed down. The snarl he once wore now disappearing and replaced with a sudden happy expression, ears perked up and tongue lulling out of his mouth as if just the smell of you was enough to calm him. Even you were confused for a few moments, not understanding the animal's sudden change in attitude. But, before you could really dwell on what had happened your eyes widen at the sharp tug on your chest, heart suddenly twisting in agonizing pain as your body jerked forward. Arms quick to wrap around the animal in front of you as not to face plant the concrete ground.
What was that? It felt like someone had just tightly wrapped something around your heart and harshly tugged on it until it felt like the organ was going to burst. But, just as quickly as the pain had come, it ended the minute your fingers were entangled in the dog’s fur and your face was pressed against his chest. Making it look like you were giving him a hug. Jaden was even confused by your sudden movements, only to brush it off as you being excited that your new pet had been quick to adjust to you. You barely paid the young man any mind as he started to speak, giving you slight praise for being able to get the animal to trust you so quickly and wanted to know your technique despite watching you just hold out your hand.
You were confused, pulling away from the animal to rest a hand on your chest. Was this something you should be concern about? Did you need to see a doctor? You didn’t get to continue mentally questioning yourself when you felt a tongue suddenly lick up the side of your face, causing you to tense and shiver at the wet feeling of the dog’s saliva on your cheek. Jaden grew quiet at the sight before smiling as he gave a breathless chuckle. No longer feeling the need to worry for your safety. Still, he couldn’t help but wonder what you did to change the animal’s mood so quickly.