A Walk in Fall
The freshly fallen, colourful leaves are crunching under my feet while I walk the small path between the trees, holding the synthetic leather leash rolled up in my right hand,
letting my gaze wander about the almost bare treetops.
A light, cool breeze blows through the branches and makes then rustle und crack, my hair flies into my face, I push it back, a basically pointless venture.
I love this first, especially in fall, at this time, as dusk already falls, drenching everything in a warm, orange light...
in days like these, I can't imagine anything that's more beautiful than strolling here.
A loud bark cuts the silence.
I'm turning my head, look around, seeking, then make a loudly whistle.
,,Pearl! Come here!"
For a moment, there's nothing except for the noice of the wind, then I heart the patter of paws on the leave-covered ground.
Twigs arrears cracking and breaking, and then Pearl pushs out of the bushes, pants, shakes herself briefly and comes towards me, waggling her tail. Pokes me expectantly, tilting her head.
Smiling, I kneel down before her, take my hand into my jacket pocket and bring out one of the tiny, allegedly mint-tasting treats she's loving so much, holding it out to her.
While she is chewing, I stroke about her fur, and she cuddles up to me. It almost seems like she would be smiling, too. Pokes me again, but I just raise my hands.
,,I'm sorry, chubby! There's nothing here for you anymore!"
Her eyes look like she'd like to cry, and I have to laught. ,,Don't look like that! That's all I've got!"
Then, I remain silent. Tick her between her ears, savour the complete silence.
Art can't imagine anything better than sitting here, together with Pearl, the friend I know as long as I can remember.
She's like a best friend for me, the only one I can talk to when I feel bad. The only one who listens.
I have no idea what I should do without her...
We're sitting there for minutes, almost motionless, Pearl's fur tousled from the wind, just as my hair, when the dog suddenly raises her head, strains her ears and starts to growl.
Slowly I lower my hand. Look her questioningly, prepare for calming her down, but now she jumps on her feet.
Barks, and before I'm even able to react and grab her collar, she leaps forward and runs off. Into the undergrowth, wildly yelping like she were sitting on a spring.
I follow her with my eyes, thunderstruck, then I leap up.
I am aware that there's just a slim chance to catch up with her, but I ignore that fact, rush after her, after the barking, but after a few metres I stick at some twigs with jacket and hair,
losing precious time.
I have to catch up with Pearl. I just know it. If I won't make this... I don't want to finish that thought.
The first is big. And people who getting lost in here are not a rarity. I need to catch up with Pearl...
My lungs start burning and my ribs are in pain, but I keep running, following the barks... and finally... finally it seems to come closer.
,,Pearl!", I'm screaming, but it's more a pant than a cry. Probably she can't even hear me...
And then, the barking falls silent.
My heart stops for a moment.
No... No that can't be...
Try to calm down. It's a good thing that she's quiet now, yeah, really... but I can't convince myself that it's true. A bad feeling grows inside me...
Slowly, the trees begin to thin out. The scrub recedes. The light turns brighter.
I stop, panting. Look at the glade in front of me; a glade covered colourful patterned leaves. Struggle for breath, have to cough.
No trace of Pearl. She's not here.
Slowly, with a blurred look I walk on, my arms crossed if I'd be cold.
Cross the glade and stall in front of a small pile of stones in the midst, immediate under the old oak with the furrowed, carving-covered trunk.
Examine the small, dark, nowadays weathered wooden cross at it's roots. The black words, written with water- proof felt-tip.
R. I. P. Pearl.
Just a few letters, but I realize how tears stream down my face. Wipe them away. Have to swallow.
For all intents I knew that this would happened. Eben though I hoped that this time, out would be different... like I always do.
,,Give it up.", I mutter, while turn away, go back, with my head down. ,,Just stop to hold up hope..."
And I won't stop hoping. Hoping for her staying with me someday.