Welcome to another episode of "Break My Heart". Sorry, this one got a little long. Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales, Thanks for coming.
BREAK MY HEART
“Better get your ass up outta there before another car comes along.” But Rick knew there might not be another car down that lonesome road for some time.
“Come on. I’ve got some chicken,” he said, motioning toward the dog. The little creature pushed up on his little legs, walked a few feet, circled a few times, then peed a little lake on Rick’s grass. He returned to his spot and rested his chin on his paws, facing the direction his owner had gone, and didn’t budge.
“You can’t wait here. Didn’t you hear me?”
The dog ignored him.
“They’re not coming back for you! They’ve dumped you! Deserted you! They don’t want you!” He yelled. The pug glanced at him, then trained his gaze back on the road.
Tears clouded Rick’s eyes. “Stupid mutt. Okay. You’re determined to wait. What the fuck? Your funeral.” His voice low, his shoulders slumped, he turned and headed for the house. Once he reached the sagging front porch, he stopped and looked back. The dog hadn’t moved.
“I get it. Nobody’s coming back for me either, buddy,” he muttered to himself. After one last look at the pug, he opened the door and went inside.
Dinner was a rotisserie chicken, potato salad and cole slaw from the deli. He cut some white meat up and filled a small dish with it. Walking toward the road, he noticed the little canine hadn’t changed position. There was no growling as he approached. The pooch turned and sniffed. Rick put the bowl down in front of the little beast.
“I tried to tell you. They don’t want you. Honestly. I’m telling the truth. They’re not coming back. You’re homeless now. Just like me. Sort of. Except I have a house. You don’t have anything. I know. Not very nice of me to point that out. I just want you to get out of the road.”
The dog ate the chicken and wagged his tail for a moment. Then he resumed his vigil. He sneezed in Rick’s direction.
“You’re welcome.” Rick opened a bottle of water and filled the now-empty dish. The pug eyed him. As soon as Rick was a safe distance, the animal lapped up all the liquid. Rick shook his head.
The air had cooled when the sun went down. It was twilight and good weather for sleeping. He yawned, stretched his arms..
“Goodnight. Good luck not getting run over,” Rick said and headed back to the house.
He undressed and climbed into bed. There were two pillows, sheets, and a thin blanket on the double bed in the biggest bedroom at the top of the stairs. With no curtains, he could make friends with the moon while he stretched out in bed. A downward glance showed him the little dog was still faithful and hadn’t left. Rick closed his eyes and sleep came quickly.
When he rolled over at seven, the morning sun poked him in the eye. He washed up and headed for the kitchen. Soon the smell of brewing coffee filled the room. He stood by the window. He rubbed his eyes, not believing what he saw. That damn dog was still there.
Wearing nothing but jeans, Rick grabbed a bottle of water and the little bowl and strode out to the edge of his property. A blast from a huge horn startled him. He jumped a mile, then turned his head to see a gigantic truck barreling its way down the road.
“Must have gotten lost,” he muttered to himself. “Come on now, doggie. Time to get up.” But the animal didn’t move. He leaned over, yep the eyes were open, it was alive.
“Shoo! Come on. You’ve got to get outta here. A truck is coming! The fucking thing will flatten you like a pancake! Get up! Get up, you stupid animal!!”
As much as he hollered at the dog, nothing happened. He only had a split second to decide. Rick leaned over, scooped up the dog in his arms and fell backwards onto the grass on his butt. The little creature squirmed like a greased pig, challenging Rick to hold on to him. Dust and fumes covered them as the vehicle roared past missing them by no more than two feet, horn blasting.
“Shut the fuck up!” Rick hollered after the gleaming white behemoth.
The dog wiggled out of his grasp, moved a few steps away and sat, staring at Rick. Panting, tongue lolling, the pug faced the man.
“I just saved your life. You could be a little grateful!”
Then he poured water in the dish and shoved it closer. The dog lapped it up. Rick still sat on the lawn, knees up, elbows resting there, watching his little companion drink. Without warning, the dog ran over, jumped up and licked Rick’s face. The man fell back on the grass as the canine covered both sides of his face with saliva. He laughed, though it was weird to have the tongue coating the right side. No one had touched him there since the surgery. The left was all right, smooth and perfect as always.
The pug backed up, sat on his haunches, and barked. Rick pushed to his feet.