It was a cold winter day when I saw her. The snow was melting after last week’s heavy snowfall leaving the streets a glittering shade of black. There were hardly any cars on the icy wet streets that day. The houses along the street were so quiet I could almost hear the soft swaying of the trees.
My sister, Samira, and I were looking out the window of our room on the tenth floor of our apartment building, as we often do, observing the scene on the street. We have a lovely view of Rock Creek Park and when it isn’t foggy or cloudy, we can see the National Cathedral in the distance. Ever since I was little, perched on this window sill, I had been thinking about the lives of people I saw on the street. Since COVID-19, the window had been my connection to the world. I had spent many hours seeing the world through my window.
I traced my fingers along familiar scenes on the glass window—the long black road that looked like it could go on forever, the small houses along the road, the grassy patch where the streets intersected at the roundabout. I often saw people walking their dogs by this grassy patch. But something looked different today. I squinted my eyes to take a closer look. Right then, I spotted a jet black puppy with a striking red collar on that grassy patch right by the sidewalk on Eastern Avenue. I saw no owner around.
“Samira, look! Do you see that puppy over there?” I exclaimed as I pointed toward the grassy patch. Samira turned her head and her eyes grew wide. It was a tiny little thing. We watched it walk around in circles for a while. We thought it looked lost. Samira and I started getting hopeful. We looked at each other and, without saying a word, we each knew what the other was thinking. Could it be that that was the puppy we were destined to have? What an incredible chance! It was like waking up from a happy dream and realizing everything you dreamt of is true already.
Immediately, Samira went to go tell Mama and Baba, while I continued to observe the puppy, secretly hoping no one would show up. I watched the puppy walk around slowly sniffing the grass. It looked like it was looking for someone who wasn’t there. “Hey, little puppy, I will be here for you, okay?” I said softly, imagining that she could hear my voice. Soon my parents came into the room and peered out of the window. We watched their eyes dart towards the grassy patch.
Samira and I looked at each other. It was time to implement “Operation Beg for a Puppy.” My parents were skeptical. A stray puppy with a collar did not seem possible to them. They thought someone would surely be around and we just couldn't see them. They made us wait a little bit before going down to check on the puppy. Now, the whole family was looking out of the window in excitement and anticipation. At least two out of the four members of the family were so restless, we couldn't keep still. You know which two.
In just a few minutes, I imagined how my life would change with this puppy. I was holding her in my arms, looking into her chocolate brown eyes. I imagined her looking at me as she wagged her tail and smiled. I imagined coming back from school and having someone to always be there to greet me. Sure I had Samira, but a puppy doesn't talk, complain, whine, screech, yell, or cry as much. I forced myself to stop daydreaming and keep concentrating on the puppy, making sure it was safe.
While we were waiting, we saw a man come out of a parked car by the sidewalk with a leash who seemed to be calling the puppy. He attached the leash to the collar and carried it back into the car. Noooooooooo!!!!! The dream had ended. All our hopes shattered like a broken chandelier on a ballroom floor! There went our chance to adopt a puppy. We thought that person was the owner and they were probably going a long way and the puppy needed a little break. I guess we would never know.