One More Chance by Natalie Brunwick

One More Chance by Natalie Brunwick

Author:Natalie Brunwick [Brunwick, Natalie]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Natalie Brunwick
Published: 2020-02-03T23:00:00+00:00

Chapter Twelve

After forcing down some kibble (which is just as disgusting as the day before), I join Alex on the sofa for some much-needed cuddles and relaxation. Problem is, no matter how close I am, no matter how much I lean into her, I can’t relax. The longer she sits there, curled up on the sofa with a mug in her hands and a vacant expression on her face, the more I fear I’ve lost her.

Her mind is a world away, too far away for me to reach just by nosing her hand or by licking her face.

After watching her flick through an endless list of channels on the television screen, I hop down and nose the photo album we’d looked through a few nights before. It’s just one album out of many but the only one she has within reach.

At first, she shushes me and gently nudges me away from the book. However, once I teethe at the corner of the album, she leans over and places it in her lap. I might not have been able to get her to make the connection on our walk, but maybe I can get her to realize my intent now that we’re home.

She’s in a safe space, a place we’ve shared for close to six months. If I can’t get through to her now, I probably never will. So, as Alex cradles the album in her hands as though it might break, I take up the cushion beside hers and wait. She places her mostly empty mug of tea on the coffee table, then turns to the very first page, smiling as she does.

She doesn’t say anything, and to be honest, she doesn’t have to. I can hear her every thought, every word as she traces my figure with her fingertips. Her hand is shaking, her eyes shining with fresh tears as she turns the page again.

I watch silently and stay as still as I can, patiently waiting for her to turn to one of the places we’d visited earlier. It takes longer than expected. Every photo she turns to, she stops. Her lips waver. I’m pretty sure she’s fighting all of her tears back. But as soon as she turns to the photo of the tree with golden leaves which we took on adoption day, I paw at her hand and let out a whimper of my own.

She sniffs, offers me a sympathetic smile, then leans her head against mine before finally drying her eyes on her sleeve. I want to hold her so badly that my chest aches. She’s breaking right in front of me and the only thing I can do is lick her and hope she knows that everything will be okay.

I wasn’t sure of it before, but I am now. Because you’re strong, I want to say, repeating something I wish she could’ve heard earlier in the day. She’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. No matter how terrible things might seem, no matter how much she hurts, I know she’ll pull through.


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