‘’Good morning Eleni.’’
Ash had made breakfast and it smelled amazing. She sniffed the air and smiled, it reminded her of mornings with her mom when she was little.
’’This smells delicious. I didn’t know you could cook.’’
She sat down. He brought her a plate and told her,
’’There is a lot you don’t know about me.’’
She nodded and looked down at the plate. She could his words hanging in the air.
’’I would like for us to get to know each other’’, she added ‘’we are living together after all.’’
He sat down beside her and nodded. He didn’t want her to see just how happy it made him to learn more about her.
‘’What would you like to know Eleni?’’
She took a bite from what seemed to be an apple pancake and smiled. This tastes like heaven.
‘’Where did you learn to cook so good? I can barely boil an egg!’’
She laughed out loud and he joined in with her.
‘’You remember my aunt Angela? She is a great teacher.’’
She smiled again, thinking of his aunt. He had a great aunt and uncle from what she had seen back at the restaurant. He seemed to hold them in very high regard as well, so he was probably very close to them. She took another bite and put her fork down.
’’I think we need to get out of the house. We can do something both of us would enjoy and get to know each other?’’
He nodded and got back to eating his food. They settled on walking along the country roads in the little town. There were many ruins along the way, something Eleni loved to explore, and Ash just loved the fresh air.
’’This was a good idea.’’
Eleni smiled and spotted another ruined wall next to the road.
’’This house was where my best friend Adonis lived. His family left awhile back, and it was broken into sadly.’’
He touched the ruined wall and sighed.
‘’You have deep roots in this town.’’
Eleni looked at him and continued searching the walls for anything interesting.
’’You can go inside if you want, it belongs to nature now.’’
She stepped slowly past some rubble and into what was once the kitchen. The beautiful stone oven was still visible under the fallen down wall and there was a lovely wood table that had cracked in two from the pressure of some fallen bricks. She smiled, touched as much as she could and backed out of the room.
‘’It’s as though you can still smell the food cooking. It was a beautiful home.’’
He nodded, waited for her to come back to the road and continued walking beside her. They walked a few feet until a bark echoed in the air. Eleni turned around and came face to snout with an emaciated black mutt barking at her. She would have been scared, where it not for the dog’s wagging tail and sad face. She held out her arms to protect herself when the mutt jumped up on her, but she didn’t try to push it away. Ash could tell that she didn’t quite know how to react. He stepped closer and pulled the dog down slowly. He petted it and tried to send it on its way. Eleni just looked at the lost and fragile creature and took immense pity on it. It was strange, but she felt that she could understand the pain that the animal was going through, she didn’t want to see it go.
‘’I want to bring her home.’’
During the mutt’s jump, she had seen protruding nipples, as well as many apparent ribs. Ash didn’t have anything against it, it seemed like she had seen something in the dog that he hadn’t. He had gotten used to seeing sickly thin mutts roaming around the streets, he didn’t think much of it until he saw her reaction to it.
They turned back and walked to their house, the dog following them the entire way back.
I was terrified, my legs shook under me, I couldn’t for the life of me concentrate on what was going on. The only light in this dark moment was my human’s eyes looking right into mine, reassuring me that all was going to be okay. It relaxed me a bit, but the noise was deafening, oh the noise. I hated every minute I was in that cold and lonely room, being examined by someone I didn’t know and trust. I hated it. I jumped off of the table and ran into my human’s legs, hoping she would understand that I felt safe with her and wanted no one else. She bent down, held me tightly against her and told the scary person that it was enough for today. I thought to myself that I had had enough for a lifetime. I didn’t want to come back to this place, especially if it was going to be like this every time. No way was I coming back here, no way.
The last week had been so stressful for Eleni. She had finally gotten Kat to see the vet, it had gone about how Ash had said it would. It had been a disaster. The poor mutt didn’t react well to the visit and she had had to cut it short. They would have to go back soon, so Kat could get her shots and tests to make sure she was alright. Eleni had never connected with an animal as she had with Kat. As soon as those eyes had locked with hers, she had been a goner.
“A dog named Kat?” the vet had asked her.
She had named her Katarina after a character she liked in a movie and she had found it funny when she had realized that her dog was named Kat. Kat seemed to like her name too, she already listened well enough when Eleni used it. Ash was not as close with the mutt as she was but Eleni knew he would come around.
“How could he not?” she said, as she scratched the dog’s ears.
Kat curled upon her lap while Eleni turned on the television.
Ash made it home later than usual. He found Eleni and Kat sleeping on the couch, almost like a mother and her child. He laughed at the sight and went on about his evening as usual.
He however tried not to make too much noise, but Kat woke up and eyed him as though he was an intruder trying to hurt his master. Ash walked over and patted her head softly.
“Just me, old girl.”
Kat put her head back down and went back to sleep. He walked to the bathroom, turned on the shower and closed the door.