Papa’s last wail was the last sound I heard in the home. The twelve years old Tanya, little Joy and Mummy cry but silently and secretly. Being a dog, I can’t cry but I miss him too. Sometimes I bark at night to make Mummy feel safe. She feels warmth when I bark. She has told me that many times while putting food in my bowl. I don’t feel like eating, however, I eat. I have often seen her telling little Joy, “See, if you don’t eat, Bunny will also keep himself hungry.” And this trick of hers works every time. She is a strong lady. She eats but when everyone has eaten.
When Papa was there, I used to sleep a lot but now I don’t feel like sleeping anymore. I have the responsibility to keep my family safe.
I haven’t seen my colourful ball since last week. The children don’t go out to play. They keep themselves around Mummy when she is home. Now, Mummy drives the van to orchard every day. “Work can’t wait,” she says. I feel bad for her. Earlier, she used to do household chores and get ready before Papa would return. Now, she does all the household chores as well as drives every day to orchard too. She never gets ready now.
I know the sound of our van. It’s different from any other van in the world. When he would cross the bridge, I could smell him and would run towards the gate. And the children would follow me. This would happen every day.
The home has forgotten to smile. We all appear lost. The rose bush has lost almost all the leaves. I think Tanya doesn’t water it regularly. She sometimes shouts and gets irritated quickly. She has deleted her WhatsApp and now she seldom clicks selfies with me. I try watering the rose bush in my own way. You know? But it’s not enough, I think.
Now also I come to know when the van crosses the bridge but I don’t feel like running towards the gate. I think nobody will run towards the gate behind me. Tanya is always busy in looking after little Joy. Joy has become very quiet and lazy these days. He doesn’t tell Mummy to bring toys, balloons, chocolates or anything. I think, he won’t run after me to gate for he doesn’t have anything to collect now. He doesn’t drink his milk too. I have seen him throwing away his milk in my bowl. He thinks I don’t know because I am a dog but I know. It’s our little secret and I will keep it.
Today, early in the morning, Grandma arrived. Mummy cried a lot after seeing her and slept for hours after that. Grandma prepared breakfast while Mummy got ready for orchard. I felt good for Mummy. Grandma took children out to play when Mummy went to orchard. Tanya watered the rose bush. The branches were dancing with breeze now. Under Grandma’s vigilant eyes, Joy finished his milk. As the van crossed the bridge, I ran towards the gate and the kids followed me.
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