People were rushing to their cars or homes, trying to escape the chill. My hands were cold but it was more to it than one could see. I felt it, I’ve smelled it before everyone else. I’m no one special, I just started to understand the nature better and pay more attention to it. When you live like I do, you need to adapt. I could smell the rain even before the first drop touched the ground, I could feel the storm in the first breeze. But this time it was snow.
I took a deep breath and take it all in, both the smell and the cold. My feet were freezing but my heart started to jump. Couldn’t wait to see the flakes falling all around, cover me under their protective embrace. I took another look at the sky. It was red under the lights of the city and under all those clouds that will soon fall onto Earth.
There were nights when I felt asleep as soon as I put my head down, but there were also those in which I just move from one side to another begging for the dreams to come. I was usually tired, running all day from one place to another, and my twelve years old body felt exhausted every night. But my mind was full of thoughts that refused to let go. They were yelling at me, trying to get my attention, covering the sounds of the streets. There were nights when I was afraid that someone will came out of the darkness and grab me, but most of the time it was the cold. It did no matter how high my temperature was, I kept shivering and coughing and stood there waiting for the light of day. It was all so much better when I had Monster.
I miss him so much, even more than I miss my parents. I was alone and scared and when that big dog stopped and looked at me, I felt no fear, but my heart filled with love. He stayed with me from that moment on, every day, step by step. I could not take him everywhere I went, but he was always there when I returned. He made me smile, no matter how my day was, just by looking at me and waving his tail. At night he twirls next to me keeping me warm.
I think of him every day and cry every night when I feel the empty space in my bed. I’ve lost him a while ago and nothing is the same anymore. I was coming home that day, happy to bring some food for both of us. He saw me and run to welcome me when the car hit him. I’ve dropped everything and collapsed next to him in the middle of the street, trying to get his big body in my arms. I cried and begged for some someone to help him, to bring him back, but they just stood there and looked without moving a finger. I’m not blaming them, he was gone and there was nothing to be done, but he was all I had and I was not ready to let go. I don’t know when they came and dragged us away, I don’t know when I found the power to let go or what those people that came to take him said. I just looked at his body and cried until I wasn’t able to breath anymore. They took me to the hospital and kept me overnight, but I ran away. My sickness was back. I found an empty home and collapsed on the bed with my heart feeling too heavy to be able to carry it. I would give everything to bring Monster back, but looking around at all my belongings it is not to much to give.
I cuddle under all the blankets trying to get my body warm and feeling the emptiness once again. The tears exhausted me and finally surrender to sleep.
I woke up struggling for air and coughing my lungs out. Crisis like this came and went, but lately they were more and more frequent. I heard the doctors speak, but they could not do much for me, even if deep down inside they felt sorry. I don’t know how long it lasted, I had no notion of time, but when it finally stopped and I could open my eyes, everything was white. I tossed all my blankets away and got out. The teeth of frost bite deep into my skin and my body shivered more than before, but I did not care. I’ve started to run around, swiping my feet on the ground, taking it into my hands and throwing it in the air. It was still dark outside and people were sleeping in their warm beds having nice dreams. I was alone, me, the streets and the snow. I’ve stopped to look at the sky and opened my mouth. I was happy, so happy that for a moment I forgot my real life. I was a child again, enjoying the simple life.
I’ve collapsed on the blankets when the cough yelled at me once again. I’ve looked at my bare feet. It wasn’t a good idea to throw my shoes away, even if they were too big and I could barely keep them in my feet. I was freezing, but my heart was happy once again. I nested under the rags, but it did not help. When Monster was around, I slept with him in my arms, but now there was nothing to bring the warm into my fragile body.
I don’t know when they found my body. If it was the next day or a week after. People don’t usually pay attention to homeless. They could not see me from under the pile of rags and even if they did, they choose to ignore me. Someone must have cared, because they’ve found it and take it away. They felt sad for a moment for the child that lost the battle with the cold of the winter, but everyone soon forgot me. Now I feel no cold and I am not sick anymore. I just hope Monster did not forgot me and he is still waiting.
I’m coming, Monster!