“Again! You just had to do it again. How many times have i told you, shouted at you. Oh, what’s the use of it all? You do it merely to annoy me.”
He was sitting across from her, in his favourite armchair. Hers. Before he usurped it. And now he reigned from it. Over her. “I love you so. And you know it. And you always, always try your damnedest to use that fact as an apology when you know i have caught you.” Her face softened as she realised just how much she loved him. “But this does it. This is the last time, i positively warn you. I can’t keep at it much longer. I fought everyone when they tried to dissuade me. I still took your side, fought for you, by you. Gave you another chance. And now i am tired. Tired of trying to change your ways. Tired of explaining to everyone why you behave like this. Damn it, i am tired of making up excuses for you, of defending you. You are ..” She was cut off in mid-sentence by the phone ringing. He looked a bit hopeful at the thought of a reprieve, and made to get up from the chair; only to sit down again as she continued “Oh no, i am not done with you yet. Where do you think you are going? For another walk outside? I know what your walks amount to…Hullo?” She listened distractedly to her sympathetic friend on the other side “Oh, it’s him again, is it? Having another of your tiffs? I can hear the talking-to you are giving him, though, he might be deaf for all the effect it has on him. Looks like it’s not a good time to talk with you. I will come by in the evening. Cheer up love, it’s not as bad as it seems.”
She replaced the receiver and turned back, her anger at her friend for interfering between them redirecting itself at him again. “Yes Max, that was my friend. And she too thinks the same. I just ought to have turned away when i first saw you, but you turned your lovely brown eyes on me and i was gone. Like you are doing right now. It doesn’t change a thing Max, it doesn’t! You have been nothing but trouble from the day i saw you.” She paused to regain her breath. “But..but you have also brought some sense and order into the chaos that was my life. You have made it a little more meaningful for me.” A little note of despair crept into her voice, and she gave up entirely, sitting back in her chair and burying her face in her hands.

Seeming to know he was being pardoned, Max got up and went to her chair. She was done with her role, now he would enact his by soothing her, in the only way he knew. He wagged his tail comfortingly and licked away her salty tears. After all, his crime was no worse than purloining a few items which caught his fancy, from the neighbours’ houses!

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