The Dog had already turned into an excuse for both to still be together. They didn’t want the puppie to be a “dog of 2 owners” who lived under the same roof. The difficulty in making such a decision was practically the same as parents who have kids and are facing a divorce: the children end up as being an excuse, remorse, attachment, memories of something that was meant to last forever and now is… over. Then they went back to the “why?” phase of any childhood. Why had it ended? Why had she become boring? Why wasn’t him funny anymore? Why is the TV the only voice carrier in the house? Why do I spend more time in the office now than I did before? Why have I started to spend more on things I don’t really want? Why does it bother me the way he eats? Why do I feel upset if she remains silent? Questions that came, but never went. Questions that just danced right before their eyes as little imaginary leprechauns that would stick out their tongues as if making of fun them for not being able to find the answers. Then came a time when they wouldn’t even think about any questions anymore.
It was right then that the Dog understood what it was like to feel something much stronger than instinct. He felt guilt. Once felt, one cannot undo this feeling, nor act as if nothing were going on. Since that day, the small animal would go around with his ears in standing position, his tail would swing as slowly as an old fan in a very hot summer’s day, his eyes would always be suspicious and sad, but he still remained loyal to both his owners. He would even feel dizzy from the little ridiculous power battle that they would set over the dog: one would offer him delicious food while the other offered him hours of endless caress on his belly. Amidst such confusion, the Dog would spin around himself in the middle of the living room strongly strongly hoping a third person would suddenly appear and settle the impasse.
One day, the couple decided to sit down and talk things over. Face to face. Eye to eye. They wanted it be somewhere with less memories and “pressures” of their own home, a place without details of the both of them hanging everywhere, without walls that would whisper their stories and histories from one room to the other and without a floor that kept the heat from so many slow-dance steps and hurried, hot sex.
Nor were they looking for a place without any strings. Without any reference. Without anything. Therefore they chose to go to the cafè where their first date had taken place. Back then she had arrived first and chose to sit with her back to the lateral entrance so as to leave the lad with full view of the waiters coming in and out and be able to make his mannly manners and order for them. She sat there today as well. He arrived a little later then and now. On the first date, alone. Now, with the Dog. Both males positioned themselves facing the female.
They chose the same scenario almost as a tentative to rescue a feeling already gone. They searched for sweet memories to help cope with such a painful moment. It would feel very indifferent and even cold to end a beautiful relationship in a place that lacked… lacked everything. And “indifferent” was a characteristic that did not reflect them at all. Quite on the contrary: even when falling (and feeling) apart, they remained close together tied by an invisible bow. There was such a warm complicity that would bring them to the dining table every evening so they would eat together and talk about their highs and lows of the day. They knew the gigantic arms that would hold them down on the bed every morning and would only let them get up after one had wished the other a “good morning”. They could still lively smell the fresh breath of the voice that would whisper them tips that one was anxious on the other side of the town and needed the other’s attention and care. Their guts would only calm down from the wonderful news of the day when these were told and shared under the roof of 23, Dawn Street. Upon recalling such memories, they realised they had mistaken boredom for feeling, better yet, the end of it.
Silently, they smiled at one another for feeling so stupid and this was to become their latest complice moment. They understood that the smallest amount of memories that they wished to gather upon sitting on that cafè was, in fact, the necessary amount to remind them of how great they were together. Without much ado or nuisance due to the years spent together, they kept their smiles and just leaned their bodies forward allowing their lips to touch. It wasn’t much of a kiss, but rather a shy “hello” or even an apology.
The Dog understood that instinct petrifies when in such a joyful state.
The eyes shut where the perfect hidding place for shame.
The smile was a banner with the saying “welcome back”.
What was meant to be the last turned out to be the first kiss.