My father had lied to me. These mongrels, as magnificent as they were, couldn't feel the slightest of emotions. My father had wanted me to watch her in action, and perhaps become impressed with her. And yes, she definitely was a force to be reckoned with. Her soot grey hue was but a blur as she sprinted in our backyard, trying to fetch the piece of bone my father had thrown. I threw the bone a couple of times too, just to please my father, but it seemed so…awkward. Smokey moved without a sound, it was as if her vocal cords had been snapped.
‘She doesn’t need to make a sound, unless there’s trouble.’ He said. A dog that doesn’t bark even when it wants to? No wait, according to father, these don’t even want to bark. What kind of ploy is this? It became even more frustrating when I tried to pet her. Of course, I didn’t expect her to purr like a kitten, but dogs are supposed to give a positive response to an affectionate touch. She merely responded to my commands and stood as still as a statue, not moving a muscle.
Father knew it was futile to bring home such a beautiful, cold beast into our home. She reminded me nothing of Rocky. I was certain that even AI robots expressed more emotion than these beasts. Yet I took her out for a walk…the stubborn person I was.
She was at my heel, moving softly. I had to turn back quite a few times to check if she was following me. I was a heavy walker, and after an hour or so I would usually hear Rocky give a lowly pant, with his mouth open and tongue out. But oh no, not Smokey, she wouldn’t make a sound. It annoyed me a lot to learn that this creature was way too perfect for us.
The streets were almost deserted because of the summer heat. It was 4 pm and the sun shone brightly as ever. I was sweating buckets by the time I reached the harbour. I walked over to the shore with Smokey, and sat on the rocks…like I’d always done with him...Only this time, I felt empty, staring into the horizon and watching those seagulls squabble mid-air. Smokey stood by my side, obediently, but I really didn’t give a damn. She never felt like someone who really mattered.
My phone buzzed and I picked it up, not bothering to check the number.
‘Hello.’ I said, pensively.
‘Where are you at?’ a familiar voice asked. It was Bryan.
‘I’m at the harbour man, whaddya want?’
‘Nothing, just checking up. Wanna come over? We’re going the orphanage again. Got some things I need to shove off.’
The orphanage. That was our new place of hang out. For some reason, my friends and I were going through a self-righteous kind of phase. We were all into saving people, animals, plants and stuff like that. It was a good thing, actually, and I’d always wanted to get my friends involved in such activities, considering I’d been doing them for my whole life. But for some reason, it had become an addiction among them. More of a fashion statement. Still, I didn’t mind. As long as people were being helped, it was all fine with me.
‘An hour?’ I ask him.
‘You’ve got 45 minutes.’ He commanded. ‘Fine, I’ll walk over. Shouldn’t take me much time.’
I cut the call. ‘Come on, girl.’ I said, as I got up. ‘Wait till they get a load of you! Not like you’re gonna care, huh?’