"Not great, to be honest," I said to the cab driver when he asked how I was. He proceeded to tell me about how bad his day was going—flat tire or something—but all London's beautiful women made it better, he said as he almost ran one over. I grunted and nodded, but even as it was happening it felt like a dream.
Willow was dead when I arrived at the animal hospital. Hit by a car. She looked so ... normal lying there, like she was just resting. Except she wasn't excited to see me, snorting and waving her little white-booted paws in the air. Sometimes when I came home and she did that, I'd try not to react, because books say spoiling them when you arrive home just makes them miss you more when you're gone. But ... oh God ... I wish I spoiled her every time I saw her, which already wasn't enough ... I wish I fully appreciated every single minute I got to spend with her, whether it was relaxing on the couch or cleaning up her puke. And I am going to miss her so much now that she is gone.
In my few hours of sleep that night I dreamed about taking Willow for a walk in this beautiful weather. Just another ordinary day with her. I was thankful to my subconscious for that. I also dreamed that the shrivelling little plants I keep on my windowsill had grown giant green leaves, reaching their full potential. I think the two dreams were related.
Even when I'm awake, my brain keeps trying to make sense of it. When my thoughts briefly wander from the topic, the grief will snap back to me in some new and horrible way. Sometimes it comes back fuzzy, like it really was a bad dream. A bad dream, or just a flight of dark hypotheticals that I mentally test-drove, as I'm prone to do when an idea for a horror story comes to me. Another minute, my mind acknowledges the reality, but tries to fit it into a puzzle, like this was supposed to happen; some natural endpoint to a series of events that preceded it. Or it's just a temporary challenge to be overcome if I can fit the pieces together.
It really happened, it can't be undone, and there is no reason to it. It was random and it was terrible. I guess that sums up life, for those of us still living it.
At least I have memories that will, one day, bring me happiness. I love you so much, Willow.