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  • Sanvari Malik

Saying goodbye.

We lost Jonty aka Billi today.

He got the name because of his ears. They were straight up like they had their own spine. I thought he looked like a serious gang member and so I reflexively called out Jonty, the other day, and the name stuck.

I am not going to talk about what happened and what could have.

What I want to talk about is the way it was.

Against the green grass, stomach donning the ribs as if it were some skinny jeans. Awake and alarmed more than any time in the day, you addressed him 'beta'. *It is weird how I end up calling the puppies this. Well, to maintain a sane and practical image of me, I would say dogs have the IQ of a 3 year old human child. Of course then, they are kids but in another visible parallel world maybe. And no, girls are not born with empathy and a nurturing and caring aspect which is in the genes. I can address a whole ted talk on that.*

You saw the glucose loose its opacity from a bold white. It was the rare time you touched the injection with a serious frown like a doctor on a mission. But you carefully pick out the syringe, still afraid to touch the needle part of the unit. A ragged up curtain, hurried steps in and out and out and in. Your hands are gentle and strong, holding a life so lifeless. Afraid he could hurt from the gravity pulling down the last bit his loose body could offer, you held him gently but gripped him strong so he won't fall. Your throat working on a sweet voice, the one that made him wag his tail even with his conscious dipped in deep sleep.

No tail wagged, no eyes blinked, no paw ran away from the syringe.

All I can not forget, all this while, is how his eyes looked up to follow the approaching footsteps. Maa came in with his favourite drink. Hopeful, looking for pattern in the responses; the before and after-s. I still don't know how or why he made that effort, the only effort, to show the life that we saw you breathing. Did he like maa? Did he smell his favourite food? Did the approaching footsteps made him hopeful, happy or scared? Did similar human steps made him suffer and brought him here?

My palms never had the sensitivity to scan the heartbeats, little or big. But my wandering fingertips, still pause from typing and feel the last, scattered breaths he took; how he stretched his whole body, how he took his last irregular long breaths, again laying in the green, cold grass. How he made his last sound before our eyes widened to look for the lost movements of his breathing.

*I wonder where the breath got lost. For I can still trace the negatives of it in my hands. But it is negative of touch. There is no photograph; as such. Is there a picture of life? I don't know for now. It is sad and I just saw a being lose its breath. Where does it wander off, though? I am glad I could be there though. I could talk and I could soothe. Unlike the time when I lost you!*

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