Shekhu’s Best Friend

by Shreeparna Chatterjee

At 8:30 am, my human carries a strange bag with a bunch of papers, long chew toys, and my favourite treats. Somehow, even though she carries the Bad Bag in her hands, her shoulders are always hunched over, and no matter how much I lick her face or wag my tail to show her love, she’s always got salty water coming out of her eyes.

I know she’s not happy when the salty water comes out because she always holds my face for so much longer when that happens. It’s okay, I will keep licking away the salty water and show her the tricks that always make her laugh.

Human hasn’t left home in a few weeks. She stays in bed and cuddles with me a lot. We don’t go out as much as we used to and even when we do, we don’t go towards the grey ground where I would meet my other friends. She holds our friendship band but every time I tug at it, she lets me go and doesn’t tug back. Does she not think we’re best friends anymore?

She doesn’t eat much now. She stays with her favourite book a lot more, the one that lights up every time it opens. I keep my head next to her lap every time she opens that book because she always feels tired and needs to lean on my back. I don’t mind it at all. I just don’t understand why she opens that book so often if it makes her so tired.

She talks very angrily to others, whenever they come home or talk to her on the small grey slab she holds to her ears all the time. I’m the only one she smiles around. We do the arms and legs flailing to different sounds and then suddenly she starts leaking salt water again. I don’t know how to make it stop or make it so that it’s less salt water from her eyes.

I feel… Sad. Maybe that’s what human feels too?

My human and I have been walking for some time now. She looks tired and her eyes leak salty water more often. I feel tired too, we walk a lot more than I want to. But I still wag my tail for her because it makes her happy. I know it’s different from a house because in the house we had my favourite food and toys. I just have the toys now, and sometimes we eat bread together. But I know she’s trying. So I wag my tail extra hard whenever we eat together.

No matter what, I won’t let her leak out too much salty water. I wish I could tell her that she’s my favourite human in the whole world.

Maybe, that’ll be enough for us in this life.

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