As I sit on this couch I see the picture on the wall it is when I realized, time moves so slow when you wait for someone. Someone may not be right word since I know who it is that I am waiting for. Pretty sure it has been few years since I last saw him.. sat with him.. walked with him. I knew him since he was just a kid. He was such a small boy, so active, so full of life. He is nice, kind and genuinely a wonderful person all around. We have a picture of our first meet to remind me of him everyday of my life. It was at the park across the street during an early monsoon. The wind blew hard and I was going to meet my new family. It was going to be a new start for me with them. I was nervous yet with a hope that things would eventually work out. As I walked towards them, I saw him, a small boy with a missing tooth. I was cautious as I took my steps towards them. They were a wonderful family yet a part of held me back. We spent few hours in the park so I could know them better and be comfortable, that’s when he said, ‘Hey Max! Want to play?”. I guess I did not need an introduction by judging the way he just gave me a nickname. “Was Maxine too long to being with?”, I though. To not look rude I decided to follow him for a while and few minutes later, I had naturally started to enjoy his company. Ever since then, I always wanted to be by side as much as possible. We grew up together and we had our beds in the same room so even the nights were also fun. We would secretly stay up late and watch TV together till one day we got caught by mom. Boy was she mad at us but it was fun while it lasted.

He was never physically strong but he sure was strong doing everything that was right. He never had a commanding height nor size, yet he was always caught in fights. I have see him come home with bruises after his school fights. I am pretty sure they hurt a lot but he would scrub it off saying it doesn’t. I am sure he was just standing up for his friends who were the ones getting bullied and being the kind of person he is I bet he would get involved only to get beaten up. I wanted to go with him to his school to show those bullies a piece of my mind but he wouldn’t let me go with him. I guess he was trying to be protective of me even then. It sure wouldn’t be the first time for him. I didn’t go to the same school as him but I did hope I did. His high school years were the not best part of his life. Bad company lured him and he became distant with us. It was tough to spend time with him as he spent less time with his family and me. It would try to chase away his friends when they would come to see him however, this only grew my distance with him to a point everything stopped between us. But luckily there was someone else who stepped into his life during the same time. Elin managed to bring him back but, I didn’t know should I be happy or sad. Should I be happy that he is back to being the nice person he was or sad cause he has someone new one his life who may well be the better half of his life. One day finally got to meet her when he brought her over to our home. She was really sweet and they both made a great pair. All I could do is join them from time to time and hope for the best. The trip to the beach was one of my most fondest memory. We took our picture as the sun sat in for the night. It truly was a wonderful day. However, lives do have their ups and down. During college Elin had to leave town and they ultimately they had to break up. He was sad and filled with sorrow. I did what I could but I knew he needed time and certainly someone else other than me. I wanted to let him know that he would meet someone just like Elin, someone who would be there with him but he never could understand what I told him nor was he ready to understand. All I could do was hope that he would be fine again.

With the end of his final semester he was finally ready to take on the world as a grown adult. He looked for jobs near-by but nothing clicked. He finally did get one but it was out of town. It was great but, this meant that he would have move out. The separation was expected but I didn’t know it could hurt this much. He said he would come frequently to visit us but I know that would change and it did. He was getting caught up with work and he had cut-down the time to visit us. I wanted to call him but then, I hesitated. Mom used to call him once in a while but it would land in a voice-mail. We didn’t know if he was busy or if he was being distant. I would wait for him to do video chat just to see him and when he did he never looked happy. I wanted to go over to his place but I didn’t want to be a burden. In a year’s time he told us over the call that he had quit his job to join the forces. Mom and dad were furious and they demanded that he returned. I too wanted him to back home. The home were he was truly his own. However, in the end he did leave for his camp and then his first deployment. The last picture he sent was with his uniform. I was so proud of him. He truly looked like a soldier who fights for the people. When ever I missed him I would go to our bedroom and sleep on his bed. His bed gave me some of the best memories of my life. All I could hope for him to return soon.

The calls were minimal and when ever he did he was on the speaker phone. He voice had life. May be this is what he was meant to do in life. He always stood for what is right and he gets to do that even now. However, it doesn’t stop the lingering thought that he may eventually be broken down by what happens on the front line, that he may change, that things might turn him for the worse or even worse that he may never return. I have lost track of time since we last spoke. I don’t know what year it is nor do I know how most of my days has goes by. Everyday I would wait at the corridor for the front door to open and hope he would be on its other side but it remains a dream. May be I have aged too fast that makes me feel as if a millennia has passed by.

I woke up today and I found that my parents has stepped out. May be they went to get the groceries. As I walked passed the hall I saw a box on the coffee table. It had his pictures in them. So many of them, so many memories flooded by as I saw them. I walked back to our bedroom and I laid down on his bed again. “I wish I could see him again”, I thought while I tried to sniff his diminishing scent off his bed. As I closed my eyes I could hear the car pull over upfront. I could hear my parents talk while they walked up the stair. Old habits don’t die that fast as I walked out of our bedroom and stood along the corridor which lead to our main door. The door opened and I saw parents enter the house, sadly no one else was there. I slowly turned my head to go back to my room. ‘Hey Max’, I heard. May be I am dreaming. I turned my head back to the corridor. I still saw only my parents but something urged me to walk towards the front door. I was being cautious again but not because I was scared rather I didn’t want to let my hallucination get the better of me. I reached the door and there he stood at our front lawn. A full grown man who is back home with the same smile I saw the first time. I was ecstatic and you could hear me bark across the street while I shook my tail in any direction it could. I ran to him to welcome home so we could be together as we used to be for the remaining life I still have.