What’s more certain than the love of a dog?

She had left it without farewell, without assurance of when she’d be coming back or if she’d be back for it at all–but it had always loved her. It had always waited for her. Noah, a stout beagle, still gave her the same kind of cheek-licking and hip-waggling affection whenever she returned.

Noah didn’t easily forget her and move on. It never would. 

Christie threw her beagle’s torn up toy bone, and it landed just a little beyond the lawn of the small neighborhood park. Her eyes were locked on Noah as he ran towards the pavement but she had become aware of a blurry image on the other side of the road. It seemed like lovers in courtship, their shoulders coyly brushing, hands anxiously swaying in hopes of finding each other. 

One blink switched her focus from the vaulting beagle to the couple. The boy seemed familiar to Christie. 

One blink and it all became clear.   The soft contours of the boy’s nose and chin, same banged hairstyle which concealed a big forehead, athletic chest and shoulders. 

In fact, he was very familiar–even more familiar than the hungry howl of her only dog of nine years or the stink of her after-jog perspiration. Simply because she had been with him so much longer than a couple of days. 

Seven years and ten weeks, to be exact. 

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