I was born in the streets. When I opened my eyes, the only thing I could recall was the loud honking of vehicles in the busy streets. I don’t have much remembrance of my mama. Unlike me, she had pretty eyes. They were so blue and full of affection. Every morning she used to bring us food. Sometimes it can be a piece of bread or a tiny bite from a cake. No matter what sort of food it was, me and my mama were hurried to wolf it down because we were always hungry.
One day, something unexpected happened.
As usual, I was waiting for mama to come and she didn’t return even after sunset.
I tried my best to call for her as loud as I can but the usual response wasn’t there.
“Hey, kid! lost something? “
A hoarse voice asked from behind. I looked back and two amber eyes were glistering with excitement and curiosity. Now I don’t have a clear image of him in my memory now since I am an oldie. But definitely, he was three or four times bigger than me with a reddish fur coat and a long nose.
“Mama, my mama didn’t come home yet!’’
“oh! Your mama? where did she go until the sun goes down?“
“she went to the village, down the highway road to bring us food’’
‘’ highway road !? that’s terrible. I’m coming from that way too. Vehicles are running like crazy there.’’
‘’ anyway, how does she look like? ‘’
‘’ mama has the blueish eyes you can ever encounter and she has soft- milk like fur.’’
‘’ oh! is she? Then tell me kid, does your mama have black specs in her head ?’’
‘’ yes, she does. Tell me good sir, have you seen her?’’
Stranger’s expression suddenly changed into a wistful mood.
‘’ if then, my dear kid, I’m afraid you will have to be on your own from now on. Be strong and live on despite it.’’
Even as a kid at that time, an inner alarm was ringing inside of my head. My whole heart and body felt heavy and the sorrow made me completely silent informing myself mama is not going to return anymore and the next step of my life is not going to be peaceful.
One morning, I crawled down the busy street to find something to eat. Even after searching every corner of the small town, all I could find was a crumb of a cookie. And that was not even enough for my first bite.
‘’ Yo! Watcha doin here ? this place is not good for small brats like you.”
A stranger was approaching me.
“Me? I’m here for food. That’s all. I’ve got no other thoughts’’
These types of conversations actually made me annoyed and all I wanted was to finish the small talk and find something more and get a nap.
“Ya brat, not from here? Aren’t ya?’’
I pretended not to hear him and have my way with the cookie.
“Ya, ain’t gonna live with that grub.’’
“come with me. I will show ya how to find food.’
Actually, strays like us always have to fight for food and protect ourselves from two-legged beings all the time. We didn’t have any shelter upon us.
But the experience with the stranger taught me everyone is not like that.
He showed me a path to a small restaurant and its’ bin was always full of plenty of yummy foods.
Life was not easy but somehow I managed to keep going until I start my journey to meet her.
One evening, after a small walk I decided to sleep. I curled inside a box and soon I was in deep sleep. Sometimes, life is a series of thousands of tiny little miracles. Also when nobody is there to see it, the miracle happens.
Suddenly I felt a warm gaze upon me. I opened my eyes only a little bit, to see who actually dares to disturb me when I got into my precious sleep.
A young lady with glittering eyes is waiting for my permission to stoke me.
“Oh dear, aren’t you the cute one?’’
Yes, I am. What problems do you have with it? When I was a kid mom advised me not to approach two-legged beings as possible as I can.
“Wait, I suppose I have something with me to give you.’’
I ignored her and curled up again. What distracted me was the lush smell of fish katsu which she took out from her bag.
These kinds of situations never happened to me before. So I didn’t know what to do. My pride was much more important to me than the young lady.
“quite stubborn, aren’t you?’’
“Then I’m going to keep it here. Eat it whenever you feel hungry.’’
Hmp. Who cares young lady. Keep talking if you want. I’m not gonna listen to you anyway. Go away!
I shut my eyes back and listen to her footsteps until I couldn’t hear them anymore. When the surroundings came back as it was I slipped down from the box and swallowed the fish katsu in one bite.
The young lady continued to visit me. Even though her stories annoyed me I got used to listening to her. How she works, how one of her colleagues tries to ask out her and how she turned him down, what kind of food she likes to eat blah blah… With these types of daily conversations, I got a pretty clear idea of what kind of a person she is. And from time to time her sweet little treats always gave me hope about tomorrow.
One day I was got bitten by a guard dog. Those stupid big faced noisy monsters. I was digging in my lunch peacefully and he wanted a share of my meal even after wrenching others’ meals.
You can not expect the world to be fair just because you treat others fair. At least don’t play the victim. I refused to accept the pessimism and I was able to give a fine scratch to that bastard dog.
But my wound kept bleeding and I felt weak. I crawled up to my usual spot and tried to take nap.
I was woken up by the delicious smell in the air and my body felt lightweight. The wound was not hurting anymore. I tried to take a good look at the surrounding I was in.
It was a small cozy room with a bunch of flower arrangements and lots of books.
“you have to watch your step little friend, don’t get into fights anymore.”
I knew that voice. That’s her. My sweet snacks supplier. The girl who always kept visiting me and annoyed me with her daily conversation.
Well, I didn’t get into any fights on my own. I complained. I have a right to protect what I earned. Don’t I?
“come and eat. I bought you some food.’’
Life became amazing after that incident. She gave me freedom and never expected to stay inside the home until she returns after a long day of work.
She was all by herself and I was too. I was feeling the same. Both sides make a good deal and she was a good companion for me.
On holidays we would walk down the country roads, and she took me into cafes. She even bought me my own small bed. Most importantly she gave me my name!
I liked it.
Days months and years kept passing and our bond became strong with each day.
“Shirobe, I’m visiting my mom in (name of a town). I will be there for a few days. Be a good boy and wait for me.’’
After a few days, strange people came into her house. One of them saw me and picked me up.
“look how skinny you are, I bet you didn’t have any meals since your owner is … never mind”
What ? what happened to her? She told me she is going to come back and when she returned she promised me that we are going to visit the park.
“Is there anyone remaining in the house ?’’
“yes, her cat.’’
“tsk tsk, that incident was unexpected. She is still young. I never thought that kind of earthquake will happen there.’’
“Who knows, life is a merry-go-round. So you never know.’’
So that is what has happened.
I cried my lungs out. But she is not coming back.
Life is unfair. Most beautiful people were always quick to go back. As time passes memory of the people we’ve loved doesn’t grow old. It is only us who aged.