A routine, to-nowhere-in-particular walk of two people and an ageing dog on a leash came to a gradual end yesterday. Since the appropriate reasons for why they started it is not known, the reasons why it ended is irrelevant, though it would be useful to remember that it had been three years since it started.

The two, a man and a woman to be more specific (however, in the beginning of it, they had not quite stopped being a boy and a girl) had followed the artless and beautiful habit without giving much thought about why they were doing it and hence, were regular. The dog only made things easier for them by pretending to be aloof. It kept as much distance as the leash would let and always sniffed for something that she never seemed to find.

They never held each other’s hands or anything, not only because this isn’t a silly romantic story, but also since something like that would have been an affirmative act of mutual affection and they were just walking a dog. In fact, they never talked, most of the time they were thinking different things to themselves. Like the boy (lets call him that) was wondering what could it be that the dog was sniffing about and the girl (since the man is a boy) was feeling that it was abnormal that a road was taking a turn, taking all that trod on it along, when it could have run straight. But between their thoughts it looked as if they were having conversations, few and random, and were even careful not to break them while crossing the road. People believed they were deaf and couldn't talk. I don't think so. It might sound strange that after three years of companionship, they didn’t have things to talk about, but if you think again it is only normal that they are like this since, as I told earlier, they weren’t exactly perambulating but only walking a dog and it didn’t require them to talk about something that would have made long conversations.

The dog wasn’t particularly excited about the strolls, which is not to say that it didn’t enjoy them. It was aging, and was starting to find contentment in things that did not usually make animals happy, let alone humans. So, had it even known about its part in this underdeveloped state of things, there was nothing it could have done. It was after all, a dog; though with two people depending on her for the turn of fate, it is indeed difficult to agree with this fact. 

Lets come back to what happened yesterday.

After crossing the same roads and running out of footpaths like the other days and before it was time for the dog to turn around and for them to follow suit, the two stopped for no apparent reason (nobody knows it how it happened for sure since as the sight of two people pausing between walking is not unusual enough to be worthy of our precious attention).
And the dog, feeling the leash tighten for the first time, stopped too and turned back to find two of them standing, suggestive of nothing since they weren’t even looking at each other. 

They realised what was going on much later. And knowing them it would have happened separately at different points when their respective thoughts broke as thoughts often do. 
It was a while till they finally looked at each other, only as an effort to make sense of what was happening. Everything seemed to come back to the way it used to be and it looked as if they’ll start back only to come tomorrow, but nothing happened. The dog was glad to actually notice the sights around for the first time. It seemed to forget about her incomplete search and felt the warmth of a fading evening in its eyes.

The man and the woman tried to talk, but, as usual, no words came out. They tried to go back to their respective thoughts, but it remained as elusive as what the dog was searching for. He tried to remember who had stopped first, while she noticed the silence around them. It was probably then that they realised that there was nothing left to be said. The dog showed no hurry and was sitting, careful still to leave enough distance, and looked away at everything moving, jiggling its ears to shoo the illusive flies buzzing around its head.


Of a meek last chance given to pair of dry mouths

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