When Tomorrow Starts Without You
I kept the phone.
‘What happened?’ Mom asked.
‘He is… dead.’
I still remember the first time you stepped into our house, tail wagging fiercely and a big smile on your face. I look back and I would have never imagined in a million years that one day you would leave us, all of us…. Forever.
I was small when you came and we grew up together. From learning to walk to catching things, we did everything together.
You learned to bark. Whenever the door was opened, you ran as if there was no tomorrow. Seeing the people you love, you barked. And honestly, it was a bit irritating then. But I wish I could hear that one more time, just one more time.
We were walking through the road excitedly. You wanted to run but when Grandpa didn’t let, you sulked. We tried to cheer you up but to no avail. You were grown up even to fret.
You couldn’t make friends even if the others were just babies. Yeah, I still couldn’t figure that out. I see the others jumping around but you were too shy like a bride going to get married. But however, we loved you and still do.
I am sorry for all the kinds of torture my ‘brother’ did to you. How could you remain calm even after he opened your mouth and put his hand inside it? He rode on you like you were a horse. We were kids back then and didn’t know how you felt, but now that we are grown up, I regret it. I am sorry.
Do you remember when Grandma fell and injured her leg? No one was at home that time. You tried to call someone, anyone, but no one could hear you. So, you acted upon yourself. You held her hand and dragged her to the bed. We were so grateful.
We shifted. You wandered around, looking at the new house with those big, doe eyes of yours.
Your permanent place was beside the couch. Even now whenever I enter the house, my eyes always travel there first, hoping to see you there. But now it is empty and no one can fill that place except for you. I still recall how cutely you would be sleeping there, all curled up.
We all became even more closer as time passed. You were now a part of the family. Vacations to family photos, you were never left out.
From being an emotional support to lighting up several moments, you were always there for us. If we just sat in front of you with a sad face, you would always try to cheer us up. Scratching our leg with your paw, you tried to distract us from our sadness. You cried when we did and laughed when we did. How could I ever explain what you meant to us?
Our house was filled with happiness because of you. You were so precious to us and we didn’t ever want to lose you. You were a friend, a brother and a son. And honestly, if you were a person, then, I don’t think I would ever want human friends anymore. You were the best!
Time elapsed. We all became busy. Grandpa and Grandma aged. Aunt and Uncle became busy with their work and I was busy with school. I chanced upon every moment to visit you but that wasn’t enough.
Slowly, you grew up and aged too.
You became sick and we were worried for you. No medicine would work. For the past one month, it was hard for us to see you like that. You were suffering. Our once lively and joyful friend was now not able to move. We gave up hope. Everyone started getting ready for your departure. Although we knew you would soon leave us all and pretended to be strong, it was very painful.
It was 9th January, 12:54 PM when I arrived at your house, just one day before Grandpa’s birthday. You did not run to the door when we rang the bell. You were lying down at your usual spot, looking at us with your almost-teary eyes. I couldn’t bear to look at you like that.
Finally, it was Grandpa’s birthday and it was celebrated with great pomp. Everyone was present. All our near and dear ones and we enjoyed it thoroughly.
It was 9:10 PM that day when we had to leave. ‘I hope this is our last meet.’ And we left.
I couldn’t believe when you were there with us that evening and then, you were gone the very next evening.
I had no idea that evening would be the last time I would see you. Had I known, I would have stayed a little longer, caressing you and loving you a bit more.
Taking a trip down memory lane, it feels just yesterday when you were there with us. We have walked together for many days but never long enough.
The sparkle in your eyes, your innocent face, your melodious bark, your everything will be missed. The space beside the couch will always remain unchanged. I want to feel your breath when the wind blows by me, and I’ll recall the times you loved us when the moon is bright.
I wish I could see you one more time, walking through the door happily, but I know that is impossible. I will hear your voice no more. I know you can feel our tears and I know you don’t want us to cry. We can’t help it; I am sorry because we can’t understand why someone so precious to us had to die. You never said you are leaving. You never said goodbye. You were gone before we knew it.
I just want to say… ‘Thank you’. Thank you for making us feel loved all this time. You lightened us up in our darkest hours. You brightened up our days in a way no one else could. When it was too hard to look back and we were afraid to look ahead, we looked beside and you were always right there. And also, sorry if we ever neglected you or made you feel sad.
I don’t know where you are going or where you have been but I know one thing for sure. We will meet one day again, my good friend and I’ll wait for you to guide us on that endless path.
When tomorrow starts without you, everything would have changed. The moment your heart stopped, ours changed forever.
Some may no longer remember you now that you are gone. But we will never forget the happy memories you gave us, no matter how long. You will always be loved and remembered. A million tears would not bring you back I know. No verse, no tears can ever say how much we miss you, today and every day.
WE LOVE YOU MISHY!
TAKE CARE UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!