Maya was ecstatic. She had smelled the most aromatic flower there was.
What was it, though? She was curious but she had no idea. She’d never been good with names. Ten seconds in, she was no longer concerned with this question.
The petrichor exuding from the wet grass quickly made her forget that.
She had wanted to spend all her day here but it had begun to rain. Large pearl-sized drops of water landed on her hair.
She was not a cat-person but it’s not a long stretch to say that she didn’t like getting drenched.
She suddenly forgot the flower and started spotting a shelter.
She looked all around her.
Long swaths of grass but no trees. The rain had begun to form puddles of muddy water in dips. She might not like drizzles but she had always taken a liking to playing in pools and puddles.
I could even say it was genetic!
She played as long as she could have cared. When one dried off, she found another. She didn’t leave the last remaining puddle until her hair got muddied with sludge.
It had been while since shower had stopped. The air around the hills was still profused with the brisk and nearly sweet scent of the raindrops. A fragrance which you would not find anywhere else.
She was on her back. She looked at the sky which was on the verge of sunset. Orange. Red. Colourful clouds with a tinge of red here and there.
She begun to spot little white spots in the orange sky. Suddenly, they became numerous. Thousands. Then, ten-thousands of little stars twinkling.
It was getting dark. She should have been going. But she didn’t want to.
Sleeping under the open sky with gentle flurrying breeze was very appealing to her than her small room. Here, her room was the world. No boundaries whatsoever.
No boundaries also meant no protection.
* * *
She was definitely convinced that she heard a hustle in foliage. But she could not see anything in sight. There was nothing in the hills that could have camouflaged anything. Or Anyone.
Still nothing. But she did notice goosebumps on her front limbs. If her heart was not letting her leave, her instincts did the work.
On the way home, she heard something again. But she couldn’t make out anything. In the concrete jungle settled with darkness, she could have never been totally certain. Her pace reduced.
She ambled making as little sound as possible. The way was murky. Gloomier than what the usual night felt like.
Was it a dog or a coyote? She could not decide what was more fearsome.
At this time, her 8-year old brain was muddled with the choice to keep her slow cautious pace or run with all she had.
It was not until another what seemed to be a bark this time, she made up her mind and scurried.
The barks became frequent.
And they became louder.
She had been running for 10 minutes with no break. The barks and howls were nowhere to be heard. A blip maybe. But she didn’t stop.
She could sense her breathing slowing down with every step though. Her legs were running but her mind was racing backwards. What led her here? But she couldn’t go back any. Her mind was blank.
* * *
A familiar light. At last.
She might not remember everything but she could never forget her home. The back-porch of her house had a tall lamp-shade which was visible from far away.
It was imprinted in her mind from seeing it every evening.
She quickly reached around to the main road and opened her small special door to enter. Now she was in the boundaries of her home. No fear of dogs or coyotes. Or rains.
The familiarity of her home made her feel safe. And forget everything else. The dread and the threat she faced on her way didn’t exist in her mind now.
Now her entire focus was on food. She hadn’t eaten anything since morning. She frantically searched for her favourites. It used to be on the same spot everyday. She found it but it was empty.
Gloominess fell upon her. She felt famished. She could see what she wanted in the kitchen but she was not tall enough to get things out of cupboards.
She heard a car stop at her house.
She knew who just came.
She ran back to the door. She wanted to open the door frantically but she couldn’t. She patiently waited for them to open the door.
When they entered, she followed them around the house asking for food. They understood her instantly for they had known her since they had rescued her. She gulped everything wagging her tail.
Everything she had experienced today resided in some back-alley of her mind.
She felt safe.
She was home.
Her humans were home.