“Where is Prudence now?”
“She’s close by” replied Rusty. “She comes with another. Some curious creature she picked up on a whim in a pet store, would you believe.”
“Sounds about right” I sighed.
“Tell me,” he asked, “Why did you push her to one side? Beg my pardon if you will, but she’s undoubtedly the reason why you ended up here, and yet how many years did it take you to obtain such an epiphany? Time is an essential ingredient in understanding our path through life, and yet why, I wonder, did it take you so long to realise what she meant to you?”
Skulking around, I glanced at the light coming through the branches of the trees. The music drifting to me pinched at my whiskers. The pain quickened my heart.
“Because she hurt me.”
“Silly human” Rusty scoffed. “How long would you have been prepared to have kept this petty silence in place if it hadn’t been for the events of today?”
Narrowing my eyes at him, I whipped my tail between my legs before licking my right paw for some reason I wasn’t sure of.
“You’re both as bad as each other. Keeping grudges as if you had all the time in the world. It’s not my place to judge, and yet I’m going to—just how much love did you throw away to protect your fragile egos? Imagine the happiness you could have enjoyed together these years, and yet you were both too worried about not being the first to concede defeat. You’ve redeemed yourself it must be said, and for that I applaud you, but that wasted time is something you’ll never get back, and time, my friend, is the one thing we never, ever have enough of.”
Feeling sorry for myself, I lowered my head and waited for him to continue.
“My own life wrapped in human skin was full of regrets and wasted time believe me, but that’s what gives me the authority to say this to you. Many would think you were not deserving of a second chance of love, and the amount you’ve squandered is too much by far.”
His gaze bore into me, but still, I kept it.
“If you find each other in the light, and you come out the other side, promise me you’ll never let her go. Not many are blessed to find their equals—even less find them twice. Do you promise me?”
“Yes,” I whispered, shamefully.
“If you break your promise, I shall find you and bite you on the ankles.”