My name is Connie. And ever since I have finished school and got my own place, things have sucked, quite frankly. First off, I got my own place simply because my parents happened to die in quick succession. If that doesn't say "life sucks every possible piece of male genitalia in existence", I don't know what does. And so I was left with their house, a small yet colorful ranch on the corner of Sunday Street in the outskirts of Green Hill Town. And life sucked.
Secondly, my love life, and social life in general, was nonexistent. My last boyfriend, some guy I met in college whom I would rather not name, dumped me because I was (or am) "a bitch", in his own words. So I told him, "Screw you". I decided to break things off with no looking back. And it seemed like nobody cared for me, as I really had no friends either.
There were days where I simply felt like killing myself. Well, not really, but I felt pretty low on some days. I looked at myself. "Okay Connie, let's see. No one depends on you. You mooch off your parents in the sky, and even your little sister isn't that little anymore and is on her own. So what's the point of this crap?"
One day, on a particularly bad day, I decided enough was enough. No, I wasn't going to go hang myself or go to the gun shop, but I was going to get someone who would depend on me. I was going to get a dog. A little puppy who would love me no matter how much of a bitch I was, or how much I loathed myself.
After doing some research, I found a Kuvasz breeder (Kuvasok have always been my favorite dogs) within the city limits, and I went for it. Armed with about six hundred dollars in cash and a lot of hope and commitment, I drove to the kennel.
When I arrived at the kennel, I noticed a woman standing outside. I wondered if she was the woman who bred the puppies. Getting out of my car and heading towards her, I could finally see her in greater detail. Her short, dark brown hair was styled into fluffy bangs and the rest of her hair was tucked into three buns. Dressed in a red blouse with a powder pink skirt, her dark eyes eyed me as I got even closer. Eventually, we stood within about a foot's distance, and she extended her hand to me. "You must be Connie, right? I'm Meg. I breed these dogs."
I shook Meg's hand, and grinning, I said "Of course. Anyways, could you please show me the puppies? I'm really kinda anxious to get my dog."
Meg smiled. "Well sure! I've got one picked out that's perfect for you. He's a he, and he's the youngest of the litter. I don't know why anyone else didn't want him, so let's go!"
I happily followed Meg, anticipating my little puppy. As we walked, Meg spoke "When we spoke on the phone to arrange this, you said you wanted a dog because you wanted something to care for and someone to care for you. That worries me a little."
I nervously bit my lip. "Well, my life's been kinda bad lately. I just went through my parents passing with in a month of each other, and a break-up a month later. I don't have many friends at all, and I thought a dog would help."
Meg furrowed her brow with genuine concern. "Awww, I'm sorry. You seem really nice; perhaps we could be friends? Here's my home phone number if you need someone to call." She handed me a slip of paper with a series of numbers scrawled on it.
"Well, thanks! It looks like we're here; could that be the one?" I pointed to the lone, cream-colored puppy in a metal playpen-like confinement.
Meg grinned. "Yep, that's him. I call him ChaCha, but you can call him anything you want."
Walking up closer to the little furball, I responded "I'm pretty uncreative really; I'll call him ChaCha since I can't think of anything else. It's so cute! It makes me think of cha-cha dancing!" I bent down and picked up ChaCha, who seemed fairly happy to see a new face.
Hastily handing Meg the money whilst holding ChaCha in the other arm, I ran off. "Thanks Meg! It was nice meeting you!" I shouted.
While running to my car, I saw Meg in the distance. She seemed to mumble something to herself, but I just kept on going.
After getting ChaCha, my dog walk route was as follows: get out of my neighborhood and into Green Hill Town proper. It wound through various shops, including one in particular called Toy PoPo. It was a toy shop that specialized in models. Time and time again, I saw many of the same people, but some new ones I'd never see again. I never really talked to them; they accepted me as "the woman who walked the puppy", and I accepted them from their snap-judgement roles too.
One day, something unusual happened on my usual ChaCha-walking route. I was just beginning to pass the Toy PoPo as I noticed an almost black haired man of about my age looking into the windows of the store and taking pictures. But I paid no attention to him and just kept walking.
Suddenly, ChaCha barked out of nowhere. It was a shrill, high-pitched puppy bark, but still a bark, and it was enough to startle the man, and with a horrific thud he fell to the concrete ground on his back.
I finally could get a better view of the man by now. His dark eyes, framed by glasses of a medium-thickness, gazed into mine for a split second. He had hair that was bushy to the point of looking unkempt at first glance, and looked to be dressed rather professionally overall. He rolled onto his bottom from his back quite rapidly, dispelling my worries of something being seriously wrong with this stranger.
Without the time to rationalize, I offered my hand to him and asked sympathetically "Do you need help getting up?"
The hand of this stranger that wasn't holding his rather expensive-looking camera flew right behind his head, and is face began to quickly flush crimson. He then pointed the window of the toy store and said "Thanks, but no thanks, I'm okay. Did you notice these model toys in the window? I was taking pictures of them for my job."
He quickly got up, and began to show me the models in closer detail. "You see, I'm a journalist for the Green Hill Times, and I'm typically assigned articles pertaining to new toy releases. Aren't they nifty? I just bought the plane yesterday!"
I could barely notice the wave of wonder that controlled me as I gazed into the window with this man that I hadn't even exchanged names with yet. I felt so content for one reason or another, and I couldn't put a finger on it.
The man went down to his knees to pet ChaCha. "So I see you have a dog? So that's what must have startled me. I'm sorry if I startled you."
I responded "Yes I do! His name is ChaCha. I only got him a few days ago, and have been walking here ever since I got him."
The man looked up at me, and I think I could see his eyes twinkling a bit in the dim sunlight of the midday. "Just for reference, my name's Forest Rand. And what's yours?"
"My name is Connie," I somewhat dully said.
After exchanging names, Forest got up and seemed to get nervous. His fingers met one another, and he gazed down at the ground, as if her were trying not to look at me. "U-uh, Connie, you say? You don't mind co-coming here tomorrow again, right?" Forest's speech then began to trail off into a stream of stuttering, and then he looked at me and stopped.
Instinctually, I replied "Sure. I usually walk past here, but ChaCha's a pretty young puppy, so I bet he doesn't need all that walking. And no need to be that nervous, do you think I'd hate a virtual stranger?"
Forest looked into my eyes again for a moment. "No, but…uh-er-errr…I think it was really nice of you to ask to help me up. And…uh-er…"
After Forest stopped, I interjected "Yes? Feel free to speak your mind around me."
He resumed speaking, and stuttered yet again. And then he said it, so quietly that I could barely hear him. "I don't know how else to tell you this," he beamed, "but I think you're really pretty."
I lightly elbowed Forest Rand, this virtual stranger that literally seemed to fall for me. And I simply smiled and said "Thanks."