The sun beats down on me relentless as the water that surrounds me and although it’s tepid, I feel chilled through because I know the end is coming.
My body, bloated with water, dragged me with the tide, adrift in an endless ocean. Long ago, my ears had filled with the soothing caress of its mercy, blocking out most sounds so that any sense of time has left me. It could have been days since it happened, weeks or even months and I have long ago stopped hoping for rescue. Occasionally seagulls had swooped down to investigate me, but once they had established that I was not some new kind of exotic fish, I had been left to solitude once more. But I could still see the changes in light, distinguish night from day, so I know a long time has passed and I am resigned to the fact that I am just another statistic, another thing lost at sea.
You used to love me in this outfit, told me many times how much it suited me, but now it is sodden and faded, the salt leaving new patterns on the fabric.
I float face down amongst the other debris, the plastic bag sliding up against me, the light-bulb blinking in the midday sun and I can smell the decay, feel that I’m not the only forgotten or discarded memory of happier times. And then I see you. Your hair reminds me of hers and I see the same kindness in your eyes.
I allow the tide to pull me to the rocks, colliding with an empty plastic bottle and turning me over again and then I see him. He is smaller than ‘he’ was, but I cannot banish the memories and as his hand reaches out, I brace myself for the fear and loathing that is sure to follow. But his hand touches my body with a sure yet gentle hold and I am lifted from my place within the water. His mouth forms words I cannot hear and I wonder what this means. As her hands reach to close over me, I see the light of joy in her eyes and for the first time in so long, I begin to hope again.
He squeezes my long ears and the water gently drips from his fingers, releasing me from my silent world. She rubs my belly in rhythmic motion and more erupts from within, lightening me right down to my paws. She holds me by one strap of my outfit and off she walks with a spring in her step.