Grays and Blacks
It was a wonderful day with an occasional cool breeze bawling through the trees. I was wandering onto the yellow lawn inside the park looking for food. This is the best place where I could easily find food to eat. There are lots of crunchy things in yellow packets lying on the lawn, and sometimes yellow leaf stuffed under a soft brown thing wrapped with grey paper. People tend to throw away the leftover food after their tummy is full. Anyways, it was a happy day for me.
Just beneath a dark yellow bench I saw a grey thing with yellow leaf stuffed inside it, peeking through the wrapped paper. A salivating urge to eat it rushed through me. People throw the leftover with the expectation of someone else to pick it up and discard it in bin on their behalf. Unfortunately everyone thinks the same way and eventually I have to eat it. And I am happy for that. Because I was hungry and all I wanted was to eat that piece. I ran under the bench and scratched the grey paper to uncover the crumb and leaf. The leaves were juicy and tasted minty. I was lost in the paradise of taste and rest of the world blurred.
After a few moments a small screeching and indistinct cry brought me back to the real world from paradise. I looked up with magnified eyes to find out where the voice was coming from. A part of leaf was hanging out from my mouth as I stood there undistracted.
An old man was sitting under a big yellowish tree and the voice seemed to come from him. But before that let me tell you something strange about the big yellowish tree. It has a lot of leaves (which I can’t eat because I am too small) and the tree is full of grey balls which hide behind the leaves. People eat those grey things and I think they are tasty. I have never tasted them. Once, a lady threw the leftover ball on the lawn. That must be the happiest day in my life, I thought. But the leftover grey ball hardly had anything left on it.
This another time a young boy fooled me. He was sitting on one of the benches with a hard book lying on his lap. He held the book quite unusually, in a way that the lines in the book would stand vertical rather than horizontal. And only half of the book lied on his lap, the other half was open and the boy was continuously staring at it. There was also flashy light with people singing and dancing inside the book and that must be what the boy was staring at. I stood in front of the boy and I could see the book’s cover from this side. Suddenly, the same salivating urge rushed through my mouth as I saw it. On the cover of the book the same grey ball, like on the tree, laid – resting. And unlike the lady, who left nothing on the leftover, only one bite was missing from this ball. A bright white light reflected through the ball as if it was calling me. I hopped on my legs and jumped on the cover to grab the ball. Nothing! Although I was able to lick it only once yet it tasted nothing! Just nothing! Or maybe little like dust. The grey ball stood there sitting still on the cover not moving an inch. The boy ran, scared because I jumped on him. He left his grey hat on the bench.
I looked at the old man again. And I moved closer to him. I could hear his heavy breath which included lots of huffs and pauses. As I moved closer I saw his eyes were tightly shut like someone does so as to control some physical pain. I never did that. His old loose skin hung on his old bones forming series of uneven lines on his forehead and cheeks. The lines descended downwards like the liquid flowing down when put on a glass window. He wore a grey jacket and t-shirt and, between his fingers, he held a picture of a small girl. She was adorably cute with a grey bow on her head and a yellow sweater on her body. I wished to ask him what was wrong and why was he crying. But he sobbed and sobbed.
I rubbed my head on his arm and he gave me a saddened pat on my back with his trembling, old, worn out hands. Finally, after few minutes of patting, he muttered, gathering his breath,
“She was the reason I smiled and laughed. We played on this very bench.”
Tears again filled up his eyes and a few moments later he whispered,
“She turned six today..… would’ve”
He ruffled my hair and started leaving the park. He struggled to walk and used a stick for support. I could feel the pain behind his tears that had sucked all the liveliness out of his life. Without her this world was gray and black for him, just like me. I ran towards him with my tiny legs sinking in the grass. I started hopping and circling around him. Still he didn’t notice. Humans are stubborn, I thought. So am I.
I ran again and this time grabbed his trouser. He stopped and turned. His old eyes stared at me and he knelt so as to look into my eyes, closely. His breath had eased now and with a sigh he started speaking,
“Pal, you are a good doggie. I like you very much, just the way I liked my granddaughter. And that’s exactly the reason I won’t take you with me. I loved her till eternity”, he paused to gather some breath and spoke again,
“Now that she’s gone, vanished into thin air, I feel the pain of being alone. If I keep you close you too will love me like I loved her, maybe even more. I am old now. Any day could be my last one” , ruffling my hair he added,
“I don’t want you to go through the pain that I am in now, pal. I am sorry.”
The old man stood up and left with his struggling walk and welling eyes. He didn’t want happiness in his life anymore.
As I stood there looking at his frame, disappearing with every step he took, suddenly, I felt a pair of soft hands on my belly. As my feet left the ground I realized that I was being lifted up. I couldn’t see who it was but the soft female voice assured me that it was a small girl. She held me close to her this time looking into my eyes. She was an adorable little girl. She had a grey bow on her head and a yellow sweater on her body. Kissing me, she screamed joyfully,
“Moommyy.…I wanna take him home.. I will name him braawniee..”
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