Coming down the stairs, I looked out a window: it was a dull and dreary day – just enough sunlight to warrant keeping the lights off, but not quite enough to brighten the interior of my drab apartment. I paused to consider the photos framed on the mantle of friends and family, captured in images of bright summer days at the beach enjoying refreshing ice cream desserts, or bundled up on the wholesome winter nights at the family ski lodge, sharing warm mugs of apple cider; people and places I hadn’t seen in many weeks.
I looked over to see there were still no messages on the answering machine; I checked, just to make certain it was still working properly – turned the volume up a setting. Then, with a heavy sigh, I heaved into my favourite chair. Its plush leather sunk in under my weight, and I closed my eyes.
I was awoken by an cold nose pressed against the back of my hand, nudging insistantly. I looked down to see the sleek black lab holding my gaze; he held a leash in his strong jaw, and rested a paw on my knee, waiting.