Every evening, pounding the pavements, come rain or shine, with me twenty yards behind. I do my best, but I’m overweight, stockily built and no athlete; I sense people laughing at me. She thinks I like to run with her, but I don’t – I do it because I love her. And I need to look out for her too; she means everything to me.
Eventually we arrive home, both of us tired and sweaty and she slips into the shower. I hang around outside, watching her lithe figure through the frosted glass. I’m anticipating a long evening on the sofa together – maybe an early night.
But when she’s dried off, she starts getting ready to go out and I watch her, trying not to make her feel guilty. When it comes down to it, I’ll take whatever crumbs of attention and love she’s prepared to give me, I guess. I’m such a pushover, and she can read me like a book.
Much as I love her though, I’m exhausted and I know she won’t want me cramping her style tonight. I need to let her go – she’s a woman who needs her own space.
I sigh, flop onto the sofa and stare fixedly at the television until she plants a distracted kiss on my head as she’s leaving. My heart sinks for a moment, but then she pauses at the door, suddenly remembering what she needs to do to make everything right between us.
And as the door closes behind her, I settle contentedly down on the rug with my bone.