No one could ease the pain he felt, had been feeling for too long now. She raised an eyebrow as he entered the kitchen, held her breath. She could smell the grief off him. Emotional pain like an aura captured by Kirlian photography. He wandered in a fug of it and Girl felt her throat tighten. She would not whine. He always misinterpreted her care for him as hunger. At her most empathetic moments he would open a can of meat and scoop it into her bowl. Sometimes at night he would let her climb onto his bed and curl up beside him. Sometimes he would bury his head in her neck and she could feel his whole body shake with the pain of it.
This had been happening for too long.
He sat in the chair he liked to sit in and she dragged herself closer with her toenails, sidling up along the linoleum till she could rest her chin on his foot. She breathed on his ankle. Each little puff a whispered secret. Your wife is gone. I am here. Your wife is gone. I am here. And as if he had heard and understood he reached down and touched her head. Girl closed her eyes and whined, knowing there was no way she could love something or someone more than this.
She had taken to easing her way into the bathroom. When his wife was alive he would shut the door completely. She would sit outside, and even her thigh pressed against the bathroom door would not budge it. Some mornings, on the weekend the wife would join him in the shower and girl would pause between breaths, listening for the little human sounds, the coos and giggles, the grunts. There was of course something not right about it. Her excitement was ludicrous. They were people. Naked, hairless, ridiculous.
Once they left the bedroom door open and she crept in and sat by the bed. There was something tender about their little naked bodies entwined that way. Rolling like pups, and the mounting that occurred in the middle of it seemed a mimicry of adult love. The smell of them, hot and acid, off-putting at first, but she got used to it, became almost excited by it at one point, hunkered down onto the carpet and pushed against it in that way that felt best.