“Come on, bud. Go potty.” The girl pulled on her dog’s leash. She hated walking the dog at nighttime, worried about strangers who could be lurking in the shadows, crouched and ready to attack.
The dog looked up alertly into the distance. An elderly woman and a middle-aged man walked toward them. The old woman, the girl realized, lived in the same building. The girl had seen the man with the old woman before, so she thought nothing of it.
As the old woman and the man approached, the dog tried to run toward them. The girl reined in the dog. The old woman proceeded to the door.
But the man stopped.
The man, looking ragged and dressed in dirty, torn clothing, came at the dog, crouching, threatening.
“Oh, be nice.” His voice sounded curious, slightly menacing.
The dog calmed, approaching the man, trying to lick him. The girl breathed a sigh of relief.
Until the dog tried to jump on the man — in excitement or aggression, the girl couldn’t tell. The man hunched back over, growling toward the dog. “You better be nice.”
The girl picked up the dog protectively and held the dog in her arms. She watched as the man reached out to the dog again, worried how the dog would react — the dog always became more aggressive when restrained, a defense mechanism. She watched as the dog tried to lick the man, as the man leaned his face in toward the dog, almost allowing the dog to lick him there as well.
After what seemed like an eternity, the man backed away. “I have a cat that could kick your ass.” The man muttered something else, then walked into the building.
The girl waited for a moment, then peaked into the window of the building’s door. She couldn’t see the man. She quickly entered the building, ran to her apartment and locked the door behind her.
I hope you enjoyed this piece of creative nonfiction.