I am now sitting in our empty apartment. Well, I guess empty isn’t really the right word. I mean, I am here, so is my best friend, no, empty isn’t right I guess.
Sorry, words aren’t my strong suit. I don’t think as clearly as you do. I am trying to though, trying to figure all of this out. We’ve been in here, like this, for what seems like eternity to me. Of course, time doesn’t work as well for me as it does for you, so try and bear with me.
I am going to have to make a very difficult decision very soon. I have been fighting it for what I think are six or seven days or so. Like I said, time is not easy for me to understand. I think my best friend is dead though. At first I thought he was just sleeping. Sometimes I would sleep in his room with him, unless he had company over.
I guess a little back story is in order though. My thoughts are really jumbled most of the time. I mean, I know how to take care of myself for the most part, but I often struggle to really put my thoughts in order.
My name is Chase. I came from a large family, but I always felt that my mother didn’t love me. At first, she always made sure that my siblings and I were fed and taken care of, but as time went on, I saw her less and less. Eventually she wouldn’t even acknowledge me.
That was around the time I met Ryan, my best friend. He came by and right away we just hit it off. His mother and father really liked me too. They invited me to their house, we had dinner together, and Ryan and I would play for hours and hours. Sometimes we would play sports outside; sometimes we would just hang out in his room. He loved video games. I could never quite get the knack of the games, the controller just seemed like it wasn’t designed for my hands, but that didn’t stop me from sitting next to Ryan and cheering him on as he played. His joy was my joy after all.
Before I knew it, we were spending all of our time together. I loved Ryan. I knew he was my best friend. One day, we were walking to school, when another boy, his name I never knew, approached Ryan. This boy looked like trouble. He began to talk very closely to Ryan, right in his face. At first I just stood back, watching this unfold. Then the boy pushed Ryan down.
Something in me just snapped. I lunged at the boy. Other people came running across the street. I was pulled off and restrained. They took me away and locked me up for a day. I am not sure what happened to me during that time, I simply remember being terrified. As I said though, I have always had difficulty with time, and it seemed an eternity. Then, like magic, I was back with Ryan and his family again. My own mother, I can barely remember her now, never even came by to see what happened.
I loved Ryan, and after that incident, I also knew it was my job to protect Ryan. He was a great kid, but weak. He needed me. I knew this, so did he. We were a team. Ryan and Chase. Best friends. I loved him.
A very long time passed, and Ryan and I both grew older. Ryan changed in many ways, becoming distant for a time. We didn’t hang out as much, and a lot of times, when I would invite him to play, he would push me away.
Eventually Ryan got old enough to move out of his parent’s house, and can you believe that he invited me to move into his new apartment with him? I was so overjoyed. I still loved him. I still wanted only to protect him. Now we could live together forever. I could never ask for anything more.
Then it happened. What I believe may have been six days ago, could be longer though. Ryan came home late. He had been with the bad smelling people. I could smell them on his clothes. He had also been drinking that bad tasting stuff again. He had made me drink some of it with him once. It tasted awful and made it hard for me to walk. I wanted to be angry at him for making me drink it with him, but I loved him after all. With love, forgiveness is just a natural thing.
This time though, Ryan smelled like he drank a lot of it. He was stumbling around. I ran over to him, I wanted to help him to his bed, but he pushed me away. He stumbled a bit further, and then he fell. His head struck the corner of the coffee table. I could see his blood. The smell was awful.
I ran over to him and tried to wake him back up. I cried. He didn’t move. I stood and watched over him all night.
The next day, he was still sleeping on the floor. At least the terrible smell was fading. I tried to wake him up again, but he wouldn’t move. He felt cold. I went and ate a bit of lunch and came back. He was still sleeping. It got dark again. I slept on the floor next to him, wanting to be right there when he finally woke up.
There is no food left in our apartment. At least, none that I can prepare. However, when I woke up today, next to Ryan’s still body, I thought I smelled something delicious for just a moment. It passed though.
I am not sure how long it’s been now. Like I keep saying, time has always confused me. I know the source of that delicious smell though. It’s Ryan. He smells amazing. All of his scents are pouring out. For just a moment today, I looked at his body, which I now understand is dead, and all I saw was food. Delicious food. I am so hungry too. Now I must make my choice. I have given up on any help coming. I guess no one loved Ryan as much as I do. No one has come to see where he has been.
I wish I could cry. My eyes don’t tear up though. I feel a sadness that is beyond description. Words were always hard for me; I just lived life as my gut told me. Ryan smells so delicious. I am so hungry. I suppose, in this way at least, we can always be together.
I give his face a few final licks. I whimper and whine a little, hoping that perhaps he just might wake up. I know that won’t happen though. He isn’t Ryan anymore, now he is just food.
I use my nose to nudge his shirt up from his soft stomach. That is where I will start. My collar jingles as I sit down on my haunches and prepare to take the first bite. I tell Ryan goodbye in the same way I always did when he would leave to go to school, him walking out to the bus, me sitting on the front porch, wagging my tail. I utter a soft bark.
I will always love you Ryan. I hope that when this is over, you’ll still think of me as a good dog.
Written by K. Banning Kellum
Published September 30th, 2014