anam cara

by Flora Huang
Art by Elizabeth Cheng
Issue: Nostos (Winter 2019)

my hero is coming home and i dutifully wait for them, sitting in front of the door ready to welcome them home after their daily conquest 

a million questions rush through my head- when will they come? what will they bring? what if they never come back? i can only sit and wait, anxiously anticipating their return 

you might ask- who is my hero? someone who looks a bit different, taller and less fluffy, but i love them, despite their careworn face 

after years of waiting, tires screech into the driveway, the thump of a car door echoes through the night, weary footsteps sound behind the door 

the door swings open, and my hero trudges in listlessly, downtrodden after a day of battle, reviving only as i barrage them with welcome-home’s and i-missed-you’s 

my hero hugs me, as they do every day, while shedding their armor and hanging it on the coat rack, whistling as they microwave dinner 

we spend the rest of the night ignoring the dishes in the sink and dozing on the couch, side by side, where we belong 

we do this day after day, gravitating towards each other i wait for my hero, and they come home to me 

you may ask, who are you? 

i am Dog.