“Sshh,” she whispered.
Behind her, he paused in the doorway and watched as she bent over her overnight bag whispering softly to it.
He stood there for a bit but eventually shuffled his feet causing the wooden floor boards to creek alerting her to his presence. She hurriedly shut her bag and stowed it away beside his dresser drawer then spun around.
Innocently, she plastered a smile on her face and went to sit on the bed. But, her attempts to draw his attention away failed as he curiously walked over to her things.
He bent down and picked up her bag. He was about to unzip it when she rushed over and took it from him.
With worried eyes, she looked up at him and shook her head hugging her bag close to her heart. He didn’t say anything and instead crawled into bed leaving her to put it back.
When she did, she unzipped it and peered into its contents shaking her head and mumbling under her breath, “No…not tonight, not yet.”
Deciding to give her some privacy and a little bit of trust, he flipped over on his back and shut his eyes. She soon joined him on the bed and shut the light signaling for him to roll over and hold her close.
But, when he did, he felt something small and soft within her arms.
He kissed the back of her neck and whispered softly into the night, “Whose your friend?”
Instantly, he felt her instinctively squeeze whatever it was that she held closer to her. She didn’t say anything and he didn’t push her.
In the morning though, she had flipped over and was resting her head upon his chest with an old stained worn out plush dog resting in her arms. He smiled and chuckled softly to himself before kissing her awake.
She had forgotten about the toy but was soon reminded when he lifted his hand and patted the dog on the head.
Blushing, she hid her face behind her old best friend. But, he gently picked the toy up in his hands and turned it to face her.
Then, softly, he brushed the tip of Snow’s nose along her cheek much like any other dog would.
Years later, as she left the same bedroom one morning with their hungry four year old mutt, he picked up Snow from a chair sitting just within reach. He remembered how she once couldn’t bare to sleep without her and always reminded him of how she always wanted a dog for her own. It was then that she came back into the room and saw her in his hands.
She smiled at her childhood toy and sat beside him on the bed. He instinctively turned Snow to face her and just as he had done the very first day, he brushed her nose along her cheek only this time it was to wipe the tears away.
© 2016 Jessica Santos