The scars were too deep, the memories too much to handle. My entire life, caged with nowhere to go, no one to trust. My only reprieve was to lash out, at anyone who approached my shaken, skeletal form. No matter the person—whether with honorable intentions, or disgraceful ones—I did not believe a soothing word they said.
How could I? When all of my life, they had proven me wrong. Proven to me never to allow myself to submit to their horrid ways. And yet…I did. How could I have let myself?—when I had vowed to the spiritual beings of the oblivion that I would never, that I could never, so many years ago. One day, in my minute living quarters, she came, her face shining through the iron bars, and she peered at me. Her eyes were an immense grey, her hair long and black. Smiling, teeth missing in the front, she unhooked the clasp and reached her arms toward my shivering body.
I should have attacked. Teeth bared and claws raised, I was armed, ready to bestow my rage upon this girl who had picked me up with such bravery. My instincts told me to do so, urging me to go to a dark, lonely place. Lonely, but alive. They whispered. But I hesitated. Why?
“No, no, little girl,” The Owner said, scooping me up into his arms, and disposing of me back into my cell. “That puppy’s not nice.”
“You’re wrong,” She muttered back. “I would like to have him.” She handed him green paper, looking up at his aghast face.
He looked toward who I had presumed to be her mother. She tried to persuade her daughter to choose another, but for some odd reason, she was enamored by me. I was released of my imprisonment, and brought to an alien setting: home.
The first few years were extraordinarily difficult. Extreme distrust emitted from her parents like radioactive material from a nuclear power plant. They doubted my abilities to contain my anger, to keep it in check. They absorbed every word the Owner said, drinking it down as if it promised them eternal life. I distrusted them with perhaps a bit more vigor. I frequently snapped at the little girl, in a constant debate of whether or not to have confidence in her. And I frequently was admonished by her parents as a result. Only, she never yelled, never slapped me. Once the tears had been wiped away, she would smile and hug me as if I was the answer to all of her woes. Except it was the exact opposite—she was the answer to all of mine.
We were alone when he entered—years later—a small, black metallic object clutched within his hand. He sulked from room to room until he found us. She shrieked, her eyes widened, as I growled at the hostile intruder. He pointed the machine at her, yelling angry, incomprehensible words.
I needed to help her, defend her, just as she did me. Snarling, I lunged at the stranger, determined—willing to reach any level to secure her safety. He lifted the mechanism, startled by my movement as I plunged toward him. A crack shattered the silence, and I found myself on the ground, bleeding from my chest.
“Rowling!” She screamed, as my attacker fled from the scene. I whimpered, for I knew this time, I would not be so easily saved.
I did not fight when I was placed upon the examination table, nor did I fight when the doctor injected a sharp object into my now grayed paw. I had proven them wrong, I had proven them all wrong. All of those people who claimed me to be within the claws of mental instability; said that I could not rise from its grasp. But I had, I had. I saved her, I saved her from that rabid being; sacrificed myself for her survival. Perhaps it was true, perhaps, I was insane. However, my insanity wasn’t fueled by hatred or traumatizing events, my insanity was fueled by love, and a need to protect her no matter the repercussions.
I sniffed at the awkward contraption now strapped on to my leg, as it pumped foreign liquid into my body. I gave up in my attempt to figure out what it was or what it was doing to me. So tired, so tired, I could just fall asleep…
I struggled to keep my head up, as it lolled from side to side. Looking up, I saw her face, her eyes brimmed with unshed tears, her face full of grief, sorrow, regret, and an endless love that would never depart from her soul, no matter our years apart. She smiled, a small smile, nothing more. That was all I needed as I succumbed into the darkness, my eyes closing for the last time, my head resting where it belonged—in my master’s arms.