A Wilting Lilly

January 6, 2011
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It was mid-summer when Molly’s Labrador “Lilly” began to behave in a very peculiar way. She would sleep for hours on end and eat next to nothing. Lilly was a seemingly healthy seven-year old dog. Molly had received Lilly as a gift from her husband, John, on their first anniversary. John had fallen sick with leukemia just two weeks after their anniversary. John passed two weeks later. Molly, grief-stricken, and now widowed, tried to cling to what ties to John remained, Lilly.

Molly was an intern at County-View Hospital. She had just finished her five-year courses of college. She now had to intern for seven months. Due to all the money going toward Molly’s schooling, her bills were continually slipping her mind and becoming late and over due. Molly, being an intern, received no salary. When rent at her apartment was due, she began to scrounge what money she could find to pay it.

June was a hard month for Molly; work seemed to drag endlessly on and on. One evening after work She came home to her small one bedroom apartment. Usually, Lilly would race to the door to greet her with excitement, today was unusual. Molly came through the door very lethargically. Molly trudged toward her bed. She hit the mattress with a plop. Slowly, she took off her shoes and slid under the covers. She beckoned Lilly. Moments later Lilly appeared at Molly’s doorway. “Come on girl, let’s go to sleep,” Molly said with an unenthusiastic attitude. Lilly slowly walked over to Molly’s bedside. Lilly stared at Molly with some sort of glint in her eyes. This was unfamiliar to Molly. Molly patted the bed and Lilly leaped up on the bed, circled around and found her spot right next to her.

Molly awoke the next morning in the usual fashion. She slipped her slippers on and slowly glided to the kitchen to start her coffee pot. She poured the coffee in, added the hot water, and pressed the start button. She set off toward the shower. She turned the knob and began to undress. After stripping, she stepped in the shower and screeched with agony, as the scalding water poured over her sensitive skin. She turned the knob quickly toward the “C”. After her shower she set out to make the bed. She adjusted the pillows and reached for the comforter. As she drew back the covers, she was confused as to why Lilly was still lying in bed. She shook Lilly ever so gently.
“Lilly wake up and get down!” She said.
Lilly whimpered as though she was in a bad dream. Molly shook her a bit harder; no response from Lilly angered Molly.
“Stop being lazy! Get down now!” she yelled while shaking Lilly harder.
Lilly slowly crawled to the bedside and dropped to her feet. Lilly whimpered quite loudly again.
“What’s wrong Lilly, are you okay?” Molly said with inquisitive nature. She laid her hand on Lilly’s plush-like coat.
“It’s okay. Let’s just get some breakfast in you.” Molly whispered to Lilly while patting her head lightly.

Molly started to the kitchen and looked back into the bedroom and noticed Lilly straining to get up, but finally after gaining her footing, Lilly walked to the kitchen. Molly reached into the cabinet just above the refrigerator and pulled a can of “Home Mix Dog Food”. Lilly hated it, but Molly never took the time to notice. She popped the top, dumped the contents into Lilly’s bowl, and headed to the apartment door. She grabbed her blue Navy pea coat off the hanger and disappeared out the door to work.

Molly’s shift today would last from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. Her day started off slow, with just a couple of patients entering the triage area of the emergency room. It was around 7:00pm when something very strange happened. A woman had a black dog in her arms and was at the triage window.
“Please help me! Delilah was hit by a car,” the woman exclaimed.
“I’m sorry, but we only serve humans ma’am,” Molly tried to explain,
“But, I can direct you to the nearest veterinarian’s office,” Molly sympathetically said.
“Damn, you people don’t give two thoughts about anybody do you? This is my only friend!” the woman yelled to Molly.
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave ma’am. Especially with that attitude,” Molly snapped.
“Screw off,” the woman said while walking toward the door.

The rest of Molly’s day was boring and very hectic. She arrived home at 10:00pm due to her supervisor asking if she could stay to cover an hour of the night shift. Molly agreed, only because she needed every hour she could get. She started her regular routine. She came through the door and set for the bed. She got to the doorway and saw a miraculous sight-- a mattress. She was so exhausted from her work that her eyes where practically already asleep. She started toward the bed and tripped over something big, Lilly.
“Damn it Lilly! I told you, you have a bed for a reason,” she scolded.
Molly began to drag Lilly, with no success; she gave up soon and darted to the bed. Moments later she was fast asleep.

Molly awoke to the blaring sound of her high-pitched alarm clock. She reached over and slapped the snooze button so hard the nightstand made a loud thud. Less than ten minutes later she groggily sat up, slid into her slippers, and trudged to the kitchen. She was alarmed that Lilly was still in her doorway, like a lump of immovable flesh. She dropped to her knees beside Lilly and stroked her ears while weeping.
“Lilly! Lilly! Please answer me!” she said worried.

Molly’s mind was going a thousand miles a minute, she was thinking about John and their relationship and how Lilly was the only thing keeping Molly still alive. Molly sat next to Lilly and cried herself back to sleep. When she awoke, she noticed Lilly was as still as a cold-airy night. Molly held Lilly, as though trying to hold Lilly on Earth. Molly laid her ear on Lilly’s chest and listened to her heartbeat. Molly gasped out loud when she didn’t hear a heartbeat. She tried to adjust as though she was in the wrong place, but her attempts were futile. It just wasn’t there.
“Oh my god, no, no! This can’t happen like this, not now!” Molly sporadically yelled between gasps.

Molly attempted to gain her footing and, after failing a few times, she succeeded. She held her head down toward her feet. Her long, flowing, brown hair draped around her face. She strained to walk, as her knees were as weak as her heart. She pulled the drapery back from the apartment window and yanked up hard on the stubborn window. She stepped out onto the fire escape and looked down to the alley. From seven stories up the alley looked small. She slung her leg over the railing and tottered on the edge.
“I am coming John!” Molly said as she pushed off of the railing.

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