BRIDGET, OLD ENDINGS
Saying goodbye to my boyfriend Aidan for the ‘last’ time is not easy – for one reason of course, because it hurts knowing things are over between us and secondly because I know I’m going to see him again.
He is Godfather to my nephew – we’re going to run into one another. Him being bestfriends with my brother-in-law is going to be a factor as well, so seeing Aidan again is an inevitability. I just hope we’ll both be able to act like adults when those times come – if not for us, for our Godson Luke.
Little Luke will never know he is the catalyst for Aidan and I breaking up – but I’ll always be grateful to him for it. Aidan and I have had an amazing couple of months but the more time we spent together the more… attached Aidan became. It was clear to me he was into this relationship far more than I was, especially when he started dropping hints about starting a family of our own. I nearly peed my pants the first time he mentioned it and it has come up several times since. Aidan recently turned twenty-nine and apparently his biological clock is ticking – but mine isn’t. My sister and I turned twenty-one not that long ago and the last thing I’m thinking about is settling down and children. Sophia, my twin, is married with a child but they unexpectedly started early – no one is unhappy about little Luke, he simply came a couple years earlier than they planned.
Having Sophia living back in the same city as I is fantastic though – we see each other as often as we want and I get regular visits with little Luke. Hayes is an awesome Dad, super doting and when he’s home, he’s constantly holding the baby. He changes diapers, helps Soph with whatever she needs – he’s turned out to be the dream husband and father.
But I have no intention of following her example.
At least, not yet.
I love Sophia with all my heart – Hayes and little Luke too, and I do want children of my own – someday. For now I’m content with either living on my own for the first time in my life or simply dating, and anyone not onboard with that, well, I don’t have time for.
So… goodbye Aidan.
I only have a couple of weeks left of school so I should be focused on that anyways. I want to ace my finals so I get the best practical placement I can. In all honesty, I don’t care where I work – I’m just excited to finally be doing hands-on work with animals, which has always been my dream. I know there will be bad days but they will be outnumbered – I hope – by so many good ones that I can’t wait to get started. Growing up with shifters in my family and in a shifter community, I learned to not only respect nature but how to live with her in a healthy way. It is possible to do both and not destroy one another in the process and if helping animals is my small contribution to a better world – sign me up. I’ll happily do this ‘work’ for the rest of my days.
I just need to survive exams and the fallout of our breakup. I haven’t heard the last of Aidan – I’m not so naïve as to think that. But I won’t let his efforts distract me – I’ve made up my mind and I won’t change it back. We want different things and that isn’t going to change unless he’s willing to wait and I don’t see that happening.
And children aren’t even on my radar, right now.
BRIDGET, NEW BEGINNINGS
I’m fortunate enough to be assigned to a local clinic that specializes in exotics and contracts to numerous charity organizations. The diverse clientele allows me to work with creatures finned, feathered and furry and the experience is invaluable. Being the newest grunt, I get assigned to assist in the majority of the spay and neuter surgeries, as well as any other ‘typical’ appointments. Until I get more experience under my belt, it is going to mean a lot of evening and weekend shifts – but I’m loving every minute of it.
By the time the holidays roll around, I’m being trusted to work alongside the vet during our off-hours for emergency calls. Dogs eating chocolate and cats eating poinsettias arrive at our doors in alarming numbers in the weeks leading up to Christmas but on Christmas Eve proper, it is just the two of us and our overnight animal guests. No one has traipsed through our doors in hours leaving the vet to do paperwork and me re-cleaning the same things I cleaned hours before.
When the door chime goes off, it alerts us both because we’re bored beyond imagination but neither of us are prepared for the sight before us. The dog is clearly in distress and in need of medical attention and the man carrying him doesn’t look to be doing much better himself. There is a large scrape across his forehead, plus another cut that is bleeding heavily. His lip is broken – make that lips – top and bottom with blood dripping from there too. There is already bruising around his left eye – impact injury of some sort and his hands are scraped, torn and bloody. Because he’s holding a dog, I can’t see his torso but his pants are torn and he’s missing a shoe – he looks like death warmed over.
His behaviour doesn’t help – he is frantic, shouting for help – for someone to save his dog. The vet and I immediately approach him and guide him to a room, where he can lay the large dog down on the table. The German Shepherd is whining and trying to snap as the vet examines him so the owner moves to his head to secure him – for his safety and ours. I follow the vet’s directions, getting him equipment and tools as needed. After months of working together, we move fluidly – both knowing what needs to be done.
So we do it.