If you went back ten years into the past, I would have never expected my life to turn out the way it has. I was that little kid that was brought up to be pretty spoiled and had almost anything that I wanted. Dolls? Here's one in a shiny new wrapping. That doughnut? Have a box of it. I had it all. Everything except you.
I begged and pleaded with my parents, trying to convince them. But they wouldn't budge.
"You're not responsible enough."
"Who's gonna take care of him?"
Of course at the time I only saw these as a way to brush off my demand. My frustration grew over the years and I eventually gave up the dream, seeing it as a lost cause. I even lost motivation myself to pursue the topic, seeing that my parents were strictly adamant about not giving in. Over the years, all I could do was admire your kind on the street as a mere passerby, hoping to one day reach out and touch you as my own.
And then something incredible happened. They budged. We entered the place where I would first lay eyes on you- where you first reached out to me. I remember walking through the building, running my fingers along the metal bars. The place was echoing with sound and I was pretty frightened by all the commotion. And then I saw you. Sitting all the way in the corner. You were the only one not making a sound; just alone in your own little world. I squatted down to get a better look and put my hand up the gate separating us. You don't know this, but I specifically remember you because of what you did next. It has touched my heart ever since.
You actually came up to me. Not like a frenetic little puppy that's practically bouncing off the walls with energy. You deliberately came up to me. You sniffed my hand. You lifted your paws up. You wagged your tail.
You noticed me.
This all happened during one of my "phases", if you can even call it that. I was extremely self conscious of everything I did at the time and had absolutely zero confidence in myself. I felt like I was someone who always blended into the background, the one that no one really cared about. But when you saw me, that was the best I had felt in a long time.
I also remember how I was so ecstatic that I brought my parents over to show you. And the second I came back into view with them you let out the longest string of barks.
We signed the adoption papers that day.
You weren't allowed to be released until you had all of your shots and examinations by the shelter, since you had just been brought in as a stray only a couple days ago. That waiting period felt like an eternity. I was so anxious that I couldn't concentrate in school and was counting down the seconds until you were done.
And then the day finally came. You were scheduled to be available during school.You probably remember this best; not only was this your moment of freedom, but your favorite person in the whole world would show her face that day.
That person wasn't me.
I know you love my mom. I love her, too. But sometimes I wish I had been there that day you were brought home for the first time because maybe some of that love could have been shared with me. For, god knows how many months, you would cling by her side like a shadow, never letting her out of your sight. Everytime she would go out, leaving me alone with you, you would cry hours on end and seclude yourself to the bed by the door. If I called your name from another room, you would never come leaping in like you did when she called. She's your best friend.
I wish you would see that you are mine.
I know I forced my way into your heart, whether it was holding you down in my lap as my mom left the room, you struggling to follow her, or playing while she was gone to distract you from letting out the biggest wail. I know you were frustrated at my intrusion in your bond with her, but I couldn't take it anymore. Deep down, I just wanted to be loved back. I've never had someone who I could call a "best friend" because I knew I wasn't considered that for someone else. I thought you coming into the family was an opportunity to finally make my dream happen, but I was left with another crushed hope. Everytime I couldn't concentrate on homework because I wanted to see you and would run down the stairs to where you were, I was never met with the same enthusiasm. It hurt.
But thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me.
Thank you for giving me a chance and enduring everything I put you through.
Sorry for dropping you the first time I held you.
Thank you for letting me regain your trust.
Thank you for being the best thing that has ever happened to me. Because of you, I was able to truly gain a sense of responsibility and understand what it's like to love, even if I'm not equally loved back. For every 2 A.M. walk in the middle of the dark or bite marks on my hand from playing tug-of-war, I learned what it was like to take care of someone. Those nights where you've curled up on my chest and slept for an hour have and will always stay in a special place in my heart. At times I feel like you've given more to this family than we've given you. I am eternally grateful for having you in my life.
that one girl with the toy