She was moving on without him and he was resentful about it. Perhaps “resentful” was a bit strong of a word for what he was feeling, maybe “jealous” described it better. It felt like resentment to her though and her reflexive guilt had kicked in in response. She could not help but move on with her life and she thought she had properly conveyed that to him with months of preparation leading up to this moment. But perhaps he never took the time to actually listen to her and perhaps he never paid attention to the silent progress she was making. Either way, he seemed baffled by this development of change and jealous that he had been left behind. And the feeling was mutual. She was baffled by the fact that he had not seen this coming and the lack of support that she was receiving from someone she considered to be her best friend. And although she had always been able to count on him as an understanding shoulder to lean on, this time it felt like that shoulder was slowly sliding out from beneath her. That shoulder that she had to learn to lean on in the first place now felt like it was pushing back against her and cursing her for her change in dependence. She was now leading the way once again as his younger sister and the one who always accidentally out-shined him, and the resentment of their youth reemerged to place a sour taste in each of their mouths. It was not her competition with him though that drove her to accomplish more, it was her uncompromising nature when it came to living life to the fullest that brought this out in her. And she wished that he understood that. She did not move on to and get another stable job because she had given up on their dream of opening a business together, she did it to make that dream more of a possibility. She had not abandoned him with work still to be done because she no longer cared about their dream, but rather because she knew that life continued on and they needed a way to survive until that dream came true. And she did not leave him to struggle through learning how to make sales on his own, but she did expect him to step up and learn the skill the way she had had to do. All she wanted from him was evidence that he actually cared about their dream too — because from where she was standing, she had been the only one actually working towards making their dream a reality for months now. She had put in hours of her free time to write a business plan and even more hours to test its legitimacy. She had forced herself to reach out to resources to learn more from others who had successfully done what she dreamed of, and naturally expected him to do the same. She had set an example of progress and development for him, yet she felt like he had failed to see any of it and discredited her for the months of work she had been dedicated to. And now when she was expected to carry on with life and when she needed him to pick up where she left off, she was left hanging. And it was hard for her not to resent that. It was hard for her to forgive his blatant disregard for her efforts and dedication, and it was difficult for her to understand why he was struggling. Because she had never been cut slack in her life and she had always worked for everything that was handed to her in life. She was not blessed with good luck or cursed with terrible luck, instead she relied upon her dedication to work and improvement to carry her on. And he failed to see that. He never said it out loud, but she sensed that he thought life had just been kinder to her and that she had found the easy way out. He never gave her credit for the shitty jobs she held to pay the bills and the sacrifices she made to serve the practical side of life. He never saw that she stifled her creativity and independence to humbly work positions beneath her, and how she never allowed that to diminish her self-worth. He did not see the days she struggled to find value in how she spent her time nor the days when she wanted to give up on it all. He naively thought that this came naturally to her, when she felt a struggle and resistance to live every day.
But there was one who saw it all, and he was the one closest to the man who frustrated her the most. But he was also the one who could never do anything about it. He provided support to each of them and reminded them of patience in moments of frustration, but he could never speak out and resolve the clear conflict that was disrupting his household. Instead he waited for his humans to finally see eye to eye, and until then he showed them each the love and attention they needed. And life carried on in the only way they knew possible, with forgiveness, understanding, strength, and a healthy dose of unbreakable puppy love.
She has been home more often than usual — the human I count as a friend but not an authority. I don’t know what changed in her life, but something has and she now spends most of her days by my side. She no longer leaves the house in the morning and instead we spend our mornings on the front porch watching the neighborhood while she types away on a computer. She seemed happy about it at first, and we would hike almost every day and her legs would move fast as if she was running away from something, but I’d rather think she was running after something all along. She started drinking again and the habits of her late nights became routine. She would sleep for hours on end and I would be left waiting for her to emerge from her room and allow me the chance to stretch my legs on the front lawn while she smoked a morning spliff. She seemed to not mind the slow passing of time and we would do whatever she felt like doing that day. She cried a lot though and I wondered if she was really happy with enjoying the freedom I enjoy every day. She seemed to forget how to enjoy her days and how to interact with other humans. She began to use me as a crutch for exploration and refused to leave the house during the daylight hours without me by her side. I knew she needed a friend though, I could sense it radiating off of her. She needed someone who would walk for miles in silence by her side and she needed someone to understand her thoughts without them having to be spoken aloud. She needed a companion who did not judge her actions and one who encouraged her to get outside, and I stayed loyal by her side. She is not my human, but I feel the need to care for her in the same ways that I do for him. She needed a shoulder to cry on, so I submitted to her weight on my back crushing me with tears and fear that life was not working out the way she had hoped. I wandered for hours through forests with her, knowing that the trail would not end until she was exhausted to the point of no longer thinking and I was happy with being by her side until the end. She had forgotten how to play fetch and what it was like to enjoy the sun warming her face. She constantly wore a look of worry and I could sense the she was having trouble keeping her food down again. I heard her restless steps across the house at night and I didn’t get rest when I knew that she was pacing through her thoughts. I tried to tell her not to worry and that life has a way of working itself out, but she did not want to listen to me, so instead I patiently waited by her side. Her emotions swung drastically and I never knew what version of her would be waking up in the morning. I never knew if it would be a day of adventure or hiding, and she never seemed to know when she woke up either. She was lost from the moment she opened her eyes every day and there was nothing I could do to hep her find what she was looking for expect be patient.
It baffles me that humans have such a hard time with living life, and that they seem to invite so much pain and agony into their daily existence. I cannot understand how the sun shining and the grass being green and soft is not enough to make any human smile. I do not know how they miss the sights that surround them every day and how they cannot feel the urge and need to get outside and take in fresh air. What do humans entertain themselves with when they sit inside their house for so long? What is so interesting that they could want to sit for hours without exhausting themselves first? And the more she gave into human habits of hibernation and seclusion, the more she struggled to continue living life. She was slipping and she began to leave the house less and less. I began to worry about her health and tried to communicate to her with meaningful glances and heavy sighs since words are out of my realm of use. There were some days when I got through to her and she would take us both into the woods to stretch our legs and clear our minds. She needed me to remind her occasionally that she was human and to use her body for what it was meant to be used for — movement. She needed me to be forgiving and understanding, yet remind her when enough was enough and depression would not get her anywhere. She needed a friend and none of the humans she surrounded herself with were willing to be that for her, so I stepped up to the plate. She is not my responsibility, but I feel responsible for her all the same and I care about her well being. She is my adventure buddy and my morning neighborhood patrol officer. She is kind and full of love, but she forgets to give herself love in the end and that is where I come in. She is a silly human who puts too much thought into her every move and action and I am always there to remind her that life is short and sometimes the best course of action is to play fetch in the sun. She has a heavy soul and I try to lighten it in the way that only a furry companion can, and I can see the love in her eyes and thanks for my actions. She takes herself way too seriously, and occasionally I remind her that she is only human and in the end I need her to feed me and pick up my shit and that is just another part of life. She cares too deeply — that is her issue. Then again the same could be said about me.