Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Things seemed strange after the procedure and Caleb felt a little out of sorts. The people he knew looked at him with concerned looks; they called him with concerned voices. They cared cause they knew her and they knew his love for her like they did their own spouses. He understood what had happened and that it was his choice in the end but he didn’t truly feel anything; he didn’t feel the gravity yet. He supposed it was easier to move on now that he could not see, hear, touch, or smell her.
What he really wanted was to get up, walk away; forget about the whole thing; clear his head. But social convention told him otherwise. There would be less confusion and hassle if he atoned for his state of mind; like a forced catharsis. He knew that if he simply got up and walked away, they would only have cause for more concern and press further. He felt pity but mostly guilt.
Later on at home his head would pound after repeating the story so many times that he questioned the validity of it in the first place.
He would look into the mirror and notice that his face had grown older. His shoulders felt lighter but his eyes felt heavier as did his heart. Knowing that his choice was the right thing for the both of them was not the hard part. The hard part was accepting the sobering truth that time is passing, and that everything in life would live and die: dreams, plans, moments, memories, friendships, hatred, misunderstandings and love. He was grateful for all that they had, but knew that their future now would bring only a suffering that no longer yielded a profit and the end of the day.
He’d found Maxi nearly 8 years earlier, brought her home and cared for her. He fought hard to understand her and she in turn, braved her fears to accept him and his home he’d made for her. Over the years they became friends and ultimately grew to love each other. But Maxi grew old fast; seven short years for his one. In her 7th year with him, she developed cancer. Despite Caleb’s best efforts to save her, he could only prolong her death with band-aid pills solutions, which in reality merely slowed the time but could not stop it.
A slave to her own blind loyalty; Maxi would still run for the tennis ball he’d throw in the park despite the crippling pain she was in. It wouldn’t be long before he realized that no matter how sick Maxi would become, that she would run beside him until the day she collapses at his feet.
He simply could not live with himself if it ended that way and he knew what he had to do.
Now, Maxi’s memory was all around him in pictures, the empty bowl by the back door and her pink collar the vet had given him afterward. He looked into the mirror and cried harder than he could remember for a long him.