Wendell the dog awoke to the wonderful smell of summer.
Samantha the cat stretched and yawned. She could smell it too. “This is a perfect day for...”
“...going to the beach... [+]
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I was coming home from school through the park, like I always do, and suddenly, there he was in front of me.
That was the first time I saw him. He looked so amazing that I stopped a few feet from him, with my mouth wide open... My heart was beating, fit to burst!
Sitting quietly on a bench, he was watching the people walking past without much interest. I would have liked to talked to him, but before I could go up to him, he got up and left. I didn’t dare follow him... So I went home.
All evening, I couldn’t get him out of my head. His beautiful green eyes, his casual attitude. I couldn’t concentrate on anything and it took me ages to finish my homework...
The next day I hoped I would see him so much that I felt as if I had a knot in my stomach! I walked slowly, very slowly, through the park to the bench where I had seen him the day before. He was there!
My heart leapt when I saw him. I thought he looked even more attractive than he had the day before!
Stretched out, with his eyes closed, he looked as if he was asleep. I went up to him without making any noise and stopped in front of the bench.
Slowly, I put out my hand, wanting to touch him, wake him, talk to him... But suddenly he opened his eyes wide and stared at me, as if he had sensed I was there!
I jumped and stepped back, ashamed he had caught me. He stood up, gave me one last glance and walked off.
For three days, I pretended not to see him as I passed him in the park. I was so ashamed of myself that I would hurry home, and wouldn't stop to look at him. I always had the feeling he was watching me, but I didn’t dare turn around to check...
Over the weekend, he was all I could think about... He was so attractive. I really wanted to go up to him, but how could I do it? Then, I had an idea. On the following Monday, on the way home from school, mustering all my courage, I sat down on his bench, next to him.
I had a snack with me and I started to eat it, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. I saw him staring at me, so, with trembling hands, I divided my food and offered him half... He got up and walked away without even touching it...
I was not going to give up just because of that! Perhaps he didn’t like what I had offered him? The next day I sat on the bench and held out half of my snack, a piece of home-made yogurt cake... This time, he threw himself on it as if he hadn’t eaten for days! I was so happy! Then, without a word, I stood up and left, before he had finished eating. I didn’t want to scare him away.
Over the following days, we repeated the same routine. I would sit on the bench, take out my snack and give him half. While he ate, I would slowly walk away. I felt that from then on he started to wait for me...
After a week of this little game, I told myself that I must go on to the next stage. On my way home from school I went up to the bench, my mind made up to speak to him...
He wasn’t there!
I looked all around, telling myself that he might be on another bench, but no, I couldn't find him anywhere.
I felt let down. I had plucked up all my courage to speak to him, and he had stood me up! Well, it wasn’t as if we had actually arranged to meet up, but it was the first time for days that he hadn’t come...
What if something had happened to him? What if he didn’t like my company? What if he never came back again?
I sat down on the bench and, sad at not seeing him, I closed my eyes to stop myself from crying.
Suddenly, I felt a presence next to me...
It was him, he was there! I was so happy!
I got my snack out and gave it to him. Instead of throwing himself at it, as he usually did, he looked at me for a long time then climbed onto my knees and rubbed himself against me... What a surprise! And I had thought he was so shy!
I stroked him and made a fuss over him, then we went back home together...
To my delight, my parents agreed we could keep him.
It was the first time I had ever adopted a cat.
Translated by Wendy Cross