The tree stomps on a car caked with mud. Pulverised like a squashed mosquito, the glass from its windscreen shimmers before disappearing out of view. Up high, Hachikō howls, and whatever direction he turns his tail, so the tree follows. Hachikō’s keen, observing eyes are seeking a way through the urban maze towards the light from the forest. Is it a trip he’s made before, I wonder? More than likely. I have the distinct feeling we’re taking a ride that’s been in service for many years, with hundreds, if not thousands, of satisfied customers. How did the dog find us? Was he spying on us for several weeks after receiving a tip-off from some other messenger of the light? Or did he stumble upon one if not both of us as were going about our business in town, deciding we had the spark about us that told him we were destined for something more? I’d always dreamed of letting the world know what I was made of through the beauty of my words. Dreamed of others knowing the poetry of my soul through the literature I’d spent years perfecting, and yet here I was, sussed out by a mangy dog with a penchant for fish guts and sick. I guess it made sense, really. I was never destined to be like others, so why should my dreams pan out the same way as my life? To wish for a different way of living—of being—meant you couldn’t pick or choose which aspects of your life blossomed and which ones remained the same. It was all or nothing, and once you opened the door, both feet had to step through. Perhaps that was where I’d gone wrong all these years; wishing for change while being too hesitant to embrace the storm it would cause. Hesitation was no longer a part of my vocabulary. The door had opened, and I’d stepped through. The way back no longer existed.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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