Your first love you'll love and remember forever. Who was She?
| He sat heavily down on the bench and sighed, his age seemed suddenly to have caught up with him. He watched as a dog chase three ducks down into the pond, it's owner panting some yards behind. A chill wind made the leaves rustle and he was happy he had decided to take the wool-coat instead of the trench-coat. Inhaling the cool air deeply he suddenly smelled something familiar and a set of memories were triggered.
He had been young, recently graduated and she had been even younger, recently moved away from her family. They had immediately fallen for each other. One look into her large brown eyes and he was in love. Even though his friends had wondered if he really could take care of her, he had asked her to move in with him and she had more than happily agreed. That way he didn't need to eat alone anymore, he didn't need to feel alone in the evenings and he always had a warm body at his side in bed.
She never complained if he got home too late, she just greeted him welcome home again as if he had been away for a month, never asking where he had been and what he had done. She didn't mind if he brought his friends home for a game of poker some saturday evening, she just sat silently on a chair at his side watching them play. Sometimes she even gave him advice, when he was unsure which card to play he'd ask her and when he played the cards she had chosen he almost never lost. She was his lucky-charm. And he was so lucky she had come into his life. He remembered the sunday morning walks they used to go for in the park, where she had rejoiced in the green grass and the blue sky and chased butterflies across the lawn, her golden-brown hair billowing in the wind.
One time she was so into the chasing she didn't watch her steps and she fell into the pond. He had laughed at her and helped her up on dry land. She had been furious with him and disappeared when he had turned his back. He had spent an hour in the park calling her name but she didn't respond and he had to give up, hoping she would come back by herself. At dinnertime an elderly lady and her border-collie showed up with her in tow. The lady explained her collie had disappeared too and obviously they had found each other and spent the day together. When it was time to go home she had been lost and had followed the collie home to the lady and the lady had helped her get home. She had never been happier to get home. When he told her how worried he had been she had tilted her head slightly, as she used to do when he talked to her, and looked at him with her big brown eyes. And his heart was overwhelmed with happiness when she had laid down at his side on the couch, her head in his lap, when he was watching television later that evening.
For her birthday he had bought her a nice green scarf to match her golden-brown curls, and she had fancied it a lot, but she had been more interested in the new shoes his friends had bought her, probably as mockery, but she didn't care. She had loved her small red leather shoes with the black bows. Everywhere she went the red shoes went too, she wouldn't go anywhere without them. And if he forgot to bring them she made him go back to get them. Then one day one of the shoes was lost. They searched his whole apartment, the basement and the stairwell, but nowhere was the shoe to be found. And soon after that all the trouble began.
She stopped running after the butterflies in the park and she didn't eat as much as she usually did. Her food was some days left untouched on her plate. She slept for very long periods of time and soon their daily walks in the park were reduced to twice and sometimes only once a week. After visiting a doctor they were told she had cancer, and there were not much they could do. They decided she was to be operated, but after the operation she felt even worse. She couldn't walk, she could barely stand. And even eating required too much an effort of her. He tried feeding her, but she would have none of that. If she was so sick she couldn't eat by herself, she seemed to tell him through her sad brown eyes – though she never said it flat out, she wouldn't want to live and why would he want her to linger when it obviously was her time to go?
He was brought back from his reveries to the park-bench by the dog that had chased the ducks earlier. The dog dropped something mouldy at his feet, then took off running. When he picked the piece up he discovered something red under all the mould and dirt, and as he scraped it off he discovered the black bow. It was her shoe! It was the shoe they had been searching for days and weeks on end. The shoe was finally back! He hugged the dirty shoe to his chest as tears started falling. As a tear rolled down his cheek he remembered her last day on earth.
She had been too tired that morning to eat and he couldn't even get her to drink some water. She had wanted her shoes, but only gotten one. Lovingly chewing the red shoe she had fallen asleep with her head resting on it. When he had brought her dinner she had given him a sad look and licked his hand one last time before she had pushed her nose into the shoe and fallen asleep for the final time. And she had silently left him alone. Forever.