The girl bide him goodnight as he left, turning the light off and shutting the door behind him. Now she was free. She adjusted the covers first, attempting to a bit extra from under the dog asleep next to her in the big bed.
The queen sized bed had been her mother's, then her younger sister's, and now it was retired to the basement to be used as a guest bed. It was comfortable, sure, and very roomy. However the family dog had taken a great liking to the bed and claimed it as his own.
The large dog was actually his and followed him devotedly, almost everywhere he went. The girl was surprised that the dog would rest so peacefully down in the basement with her. Her sister had assured her earlier, but it was still a bit puzzling to her. He'd never paid much attention to her before, except for the occasional begging or demanding a scratch when no one else was around. It pained the girl, actually. She'd always loved animals, but she simply couldn't get this dog to give her the time of day half the time.
With a few inches of blanket secured, she reached for her cd player and firmly placed the headphones over her ears. Switching it on and adjusting the volume, she settled herself in the bed. Now. Now she was free.
Emotion she'd kept pent up all day seemed to erupt out of her. She'd had tear tracks on her cheeks when he left her, a sign of her slipping composure. Now, however, her eyes poured the salty drops, making earlier look like a mere sprinkle.
Why? Why did she have to be trapped here?! Why now, why always at the worst times? She doesn't want to be here to see this! In fact, they made jokes and banished her away from this place! She was more than happy to leave and they were more than happy to watch her go. So why is she back?
Sobs started then. She was quite skilled at crying silently, but she didn't want to anymore. She didn't want to have to keep up the tedious masks she was forced to wear throughout the long day. At an attempt to muffle the sounds she knew would come, the girl turned and buried half of her face in the coolness of her pillow. More tears came, dampening and then soaking the material, but she didn't care.
Eventually a sound struggled from her. A broken, soft whimper was clearly audible in the dark silence of the large basement. Why is she always alone? Forever alone?
At that moment, something unexpected happened. A movement that caught her attention. The dog, lying with his back facing her, raised his head. She'd thought he was asleep. The dog watched her as she rose from the pillow, taken unawares for a moment, and stared back at him, pausing in her lamenting. He gave her a mournful look and closed the few inches between them to give her a short nudge with his muzzle.
Utterly taken back by such a show of affection by this formerly indifferent animal, more tears rolled down the girl's cheeks. These, however, were warm with unspoken thanks and understanding. The dog watched her for another minute before turning to lie back down. In doing so, he pressed his back further along her side.
The girl, murmuring the dog's name over and over in gratitude, took this as consent and cried into the glossy black fur of his neck. She still had too much kept inside her to stop now, but it all eased sooner than she expected. Breathing thickly but all out of tears, she lie in the bed stroking the dog's fur for a long time after that. Her passionate thoughts and feelings all cried out for the night, she eventually fell asleep, her hand finally slowing and stopping. And through it all, the dog stayed still.
Ah. Not as articulate or as well written as I'd hoped, but I got it all out. I'm glad. Now, to bed. ;)