Club Ink Monthly Competition Winning Entry
Every month, Club Ink hosts competitions with different prompts. The prompt for December was ‘Your Story’. Writers were expected to ponder upon a memory from their pasts and create a story in third person.
The winner of Club Ink’s December competition was a first-year Psychology student, Aysha Labeeba Latheef. Read the winning entry below!
The first time I met her was on a rainy day. I still remember that day like it all happened yesterday. I was returning to my apartment after an exhausting shift at my part-time job. As I was passing the alley near my apartment, I heard a faint noise. Curiosity getting the best of me I walked farther into the lane and that’s when I saw her. The moment I laid my eyes on her, I knew I had to take her with me. I began approaching her slowly so I would not frighten her more than she already was. I stood rooted to my spot and waited for her to come up to me, taking her own time. After a while, I saw her slowly making her way towards me. I knelt slowly and scooped her up in my arms as gently as I could and walked back to my apartment. Seeing her clearly under the light for the first time, I fell in love with her instantly. She had the blackest fur with silver streaks peeking out from here and there. She also had the most beautiful eyes, one that was full of hope, mystery, and innocence. She looked fiery yet, mellow, affectionate and healthy despite her shaggy appearance.
I woke up to the harsh sound of my alarm ringing. I sat up looking around, a small part of me wishing she would just pop out from under the cover and snuggle up to me as she always does. I knew it was impossible because she was gone, never coming back.
I dragged myself to the bathroom to finish my morning routine and made my way over to the kitchen to grab something to eat before I leave.
I reached for the nearest edible thing in my kitchen, which was an apple. I took a bite from the apple and turned to head out and then I saw it, laying there was her favourite toy of all time, a cute white toy mouse. I took it and carefully placed it on the table. I got out of my apartment as tears threatened to spill from my eyes. I headed towards my car to go to the clinic.
2 weeks have already passed, and I still didn’t name her. I couldn’t think of a name that would suit her well. Tired of just sitting at home doing nothing on a Saturday, I decided to go out for a walk taking her along with me. I went to the pet shop to get her food and some toys. I brought the things I need to the cash counter, the cashier looked at me and her with a warm smile and said,” Such a beauty she is, her eyes remind me of the colour of the moon on a lunar night”. That’s it! Instantly I knew what I wanted to name her. I named her Luna. The cat with the most mysterious and mesmerizing grey eyes.
I parked in front of the same pet shop we frequently visited and went in, and like always I was welcomed by the warm smile of the same lady. She asked,” How are you doing son? Where is Luna?”. I looked at her and straightaway she knew something was wrong.” Oh! My dear lord! Is everything okay son?”. I looked at her with a doleful face and told her,” She is gone, Luna is gone, and she is never coming back”. She looked at me sympathetically and said,” Oh dear, I am so sorry for your loss, honey”.
Wiping away the tear I looked at her, smiled and said,” I am going to bury her today. I just thought I would tell you since she liked coming here a lot”. She came out of the kiosk and hugged me tightly. I said my goodbyes and got into my car to head to the clinic.
I started noticing Luna acting weird for the past few days. She was very inactive, which was unlike her, and she started losing a lot of weight despite her normal eating pattern. I took her to the vet the next day, and the doctor said she was healthy, and I didn’t have to worry about anything.
After a week, as usual, I left for my classes, making sure that Luna had enough food and water until I came back from the university. After my part-time job, I headed back home. The moment I went in, I knew something was off because Luna usually came running to me.” Luna!! Luna! Where are you?”. I switched on the light to my room and saw her collapsed on the floor. I ran up to her and tried waking her up. Without wasting any time, I scooped her up in my arms and ran all the way to the clinic.
Reaching there I spoke to the doctor in between my panting” I came back and home and found her collapsed in the house. What happened to her? You told me that there was nothing wrong with her!!!” .The doctor stared at me in shock and right away started checking up on Luna. Then his face was suddenly panic-stricken, and he looked at me with a pained expression and said,” I am so sorry, but Luna is dead. She was suffering from Feline cardiomyopathy, which is a heart muscle disease. I am very sorry for your loss”. I looked at him darkly and started screaming at him” You told me nothing was wrong with her! You said-sob- I didn’t-sob-have to -sob- worry about her -sob- and she was perfectly healthy, so then why!!?”. I broke down crying. “Heart muscle diseases can cause sudden death in outwardly healthy cats. Again, I am truly sorry for your loss”. “I don’t need your sympathy”. I snapped at him and walked out of the clinic, holding her close to me. I walked back to my apartment and laid her in her bed.
Debating on whom to call, I finally called my mother and told her everything.” Oh! Sweetheart, It’s okay! She might be in a better place now. I will come tomorrow, then we can go bury her”. She comforted me. After the call, I took Luna to another vet clinic. They said I could come to bury her the next day, but they would have to keep her body with them. With a paining heart, I left Luna there and returned home.
I parked outside the hospital and dragged myself to the entrance where my mother was waiting for me. She hugged me the instant she saw me and I tried my best not to cry. I looked at her, smiling and told her” Ma, let’s go bury her”. I took her hand and went to the clinic. We did all the formalities required, and they allowed us inside to take her for her burial. I scooped her up in my arms gently like I did the first time I brought her home. Then we went outside to bury her. I gave her to my mother to hold while I started digging slowly. I took her back into my arms and nuzzled into her for the last time. I kissed her nose and slowly buried her. I covered her slowly with the sand and sat there, crying silently with my mother by my side. She went inside after a while leaving me there alone for a while. People around me were giving me strange looks as if I was a madman for crying over a cat’s death. What they didn’t know was that she was more than a cat for me. Even though she was there with me for a short while, I felt happy, something I didn’t feel for a very long time. I felt alive. I felt that I could achieve anything in this world, but now that she was gone I started doubting myself again. Its like she always knew what to do to make me happy despite how moody I was. Even though she didn’t speak to me, her small affectionate actions were more than enough to make me feel happy and satisfied. We had one of the most beautiful relations, one that I could never forget, nor will I ever. That’s when I knew that sometimes all we ever need is someone by our side, whether they talk or stay silent, it doesn’t matter, what truly matters is that they are by our side accepting us just the way we are.
I stood up from there and moved on without taking another glance backwards, leaving her there, but taking the precious memories with me. I went from there just like how a lover leaves behind his loved one for the last time.