You Are Worth It
You Are Worth It
The headlights of a single hatchback pierced the darkness. The car seemed to limp rather than roll, eventually making its way into a nearby garage. The lone passenger dragged herself out of the car, black hair sticking out in multiple directions, while her tanned skin was barely being illuminated by the barely functioning light in the garage. She took a look around at what, to her, was a desolate storage space. Outside of her and the car, there was nothing here, and with the way she felt at the moment, it was as though was nothing of value occupying the space even then. Even worthless junk would have added some value to the mundanity of barren hole she had just dumped herself into.
Work had been tiring. She wished she could have called it satisfying, but her simply attire of a pair of black pants, and a white shirt over a simple black apron was a firm reminder that being a Grocery Store clerk was hardly a groundbreaking profession. She got criticized for not being fast enough with putting out the stock, got complaints for customers over things that weren’t in her control, and overall got beaten down by the world everyday. It was soul killing, and all she could do was walk it off in preparation for the next day.
She walked out of the garage and closed it, and then made her way to the door of her home. It was a nice place, despite her derogatory thoughts about the garage. A good find for a single person of her income. It was rather large though, and while it meant she had a lot of room, it was as empty as her garage.
Well, maybe not as empty as it seemed.
A Golden Labrador Retriever was sitting on the porch of the house. The dog had raised its head when it saw the headlights of the car, and now that its master was in sight, wagged its tail in obvious excitement. For her own part, the sight of the loyal hound seemed to re-energize her. A smile curled onto the young woman’s lips, and she had a sudden hop in her step.
“Hey girl!” She reached out to the dog when she got to the porch and scratched its ear. “Did you miss me?” The retriever gave another bark,, seemingly in the affirmative. “Yeah. You better believe I missed you too Winnie!” She said. “There are no words to describe today!” She stood up and led the Winnie towards the door. “C’mon. Let’s get inside. I’ll tell you all about it, that is if you can stand to hear your master vent for a bit?”
A few seconds later, they were inside the house. Without a word, she slipped off her slightly battered sneakers and left them on a nearby green rug. It really was a place too big for one person, but it gave Winnie a lot of room to move around, and again, it was still pretty affordable in spite of that. A few pictures hung on the walls; one of her parents, and another picture of two older sisters who were far more successful than she was. She hadn’t seen any of them in years.
“Why do I keep these? It always feels like they’re just judging me.” She hadn’t talked to anyone in her family in a long time. Both sisters were married, and her parents kept nagging her about when she would do the same, until it had exploded into an argument that left that particular bridged burned to cinders. “And now I’ve depressed myself even more. Dammit.”
Pushing thoughts of family as far back in her mind as she could, she made her way towards the kitchen and started opening a can of food. She didn’t need for Winnie to bark or whine as a signal. She knew her pet pretty well by now, and was fully aware that her friend was likely hungry.
I bet you’re hungry huh?” She asked the question, despite already knowing the answer, all while pouring the Dog Food into the dish. Winnie response was both unexpected and appreciated: rather than eating the food first, it jumped into her arms and started licking her face.
“Hey! Hah ha!” Winnie stood up on her hind legs while she held the dog up. “Wow. I needed that .” The fact it chose to comfort her first and show appreciation for the food—or at least that’s how it felt to her—was a well needed pick-me-up. “Thanks, girl.” More licking came as a response. “It’s been a hell of a day. First some kid got lost, and when I tried to help, his mom thought I was trying to kidnap her, so my bosses chewed me out for something that wasn’t my fault. Then another just started screaming at me over not having tomatoes, which isn’t even my fault. That damned drought has ruined a lot of a crops!” She plopped herself onto a chair and put her face into her palm. “It’s just been an overall awful day.” She pulled her hand away from her face and gave Winnie a look; it hadn’t started eating yet, instead intently listening as she recounted one more in a long line of poor work days. That got her smiling once again.
“Ok. All done. Eat your food.” Winnie didn’t need to be told twice. It started scarfing down the dog food right away.
Moments like these were why she loved this dog. She’d been with it for three years, after the fight that more or less lead to her banishment from her family. She’d just been walking by a dog store when she saw it, and something clicked. The loneliness of her place had gotten to her, and in that moment, she knew she needed something to keep her company. The choice had paid off in ways she’d never expected. Winnie was faithful, patient, and seemed to always be glad to see her,. With the way life seemed to place its foot on her neck daily, having someone who appreciated her, seemingly unconditionally—though she suspected the feeding helped a little—was always good for raising her spirit. Looking back on those days before she’d met Winnie, she couldn’t even fathom how she’d been able to bear her life before she became a pet owner.
As if sensing her ruminations, Winnie looked up at her. She could swear it was smiling, giving her thanks for the meal. She smiled right back.
“Yeah, I love you too.” She said. The dog again responded, giving a playful bark before continuing on with its meal. She watched, still in the chair, and still smiling. “It sucks out there sometimes, completely and utterly.”
The grin refused to leave her face as she watched her most loyal and beloved friend enjoy its meal.
“But you, you’re well worth it.”
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