Ambrose kissed away the last trace of her tears. “Do you want me to stay with you?”
“I wish I could say yes, but…”
He smiled. “I understand. What can I do? What do you want me to do?”
The light turned green again.
This time, Barbara noticed it. She drove forward. “If you could somehow keep an eye on him.”
“Well, that’s gonna be hard to do, considering I can’t enter his house.” He noticed her crestfallen expression. “But I will do what I can.”
“Promise me you’ll stay away from him. I know it isn’t an easy promise for you to make. I know you’re soft-hearted about him. I know you’re worried about him. But, Barbara. He’s changing and he will never change back into the Kevin you used to know. He’ll become erratic, aggressive, more…”
Her mouth twitched like she was about to cry.
He stroked her hair. “I’m sorry. But please. Please promise me.”
“It isn’t fair.”
He retreated to his seat.
“Why him? Why did this have to happen to him?”
Ambrose’s voice was gentle as he replied, “I don’t know.”
“If you had known him before, if…” Her voice caught. She inhaled a shaky breath. “He was so different before. He’s changed so much. He’s lost…so much.”
She stopped at another red light. “His ability to speak full sentences has degraded in only one night. I’m scared, Ambrose. What will happen tomorrow? What will he lose tomorrow? How soon will he forget me?”
Ambrose’s heart hurt for her. “Barbara.” He unbuckled her seatbelt and held out his arms. “Come to me.”
She flung herself into his arms.
He hugged her soft and gentle.
He silently cried for her loss.
Kevin stood in the doorway long after Barbara’s car had left.
He stared out into the night.
The night stared back at him.
He pushed the door open and stepped out onto the porch.
His arm and leg muscles twitched.
Run and run.
Powerful, hard, fast.
Night air blowing speed against muzzle, blowing through fur.
He startled. Muzzle? Fur? No.
He raised his hand to touch his face. He stopped and studied his hand instead.
Kevin walked into the living room and sat on the couch. He studied both of his hands. There was something wrong with them.
Not too big?
He focused on his fingers.
Too space much.
His ears wanted to twitch.
He raised his head and listened. Something was calling to him.
Something was calling to him.
He returned to the front porch.
Something was calling for him.
He threw his head back and howled a response.
It was a beautiful yet eerie sound.