[petcare] Overcoming the past

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Koa gulped audibly as he handed over the chocolate coin that he had found the day before. To say that he was nervous was an understatement. The symp tending to the wheel of the Easter event lucky draw looked at the chocolate coin thoroughly before smiling. “That’s the real deal alright. Are you ready to possibly win a pet, buddy?”

 

He just shakily nodded his head and took a quick glance at his friend who was there among the crowd as his emotional support. Arianne looked at her friend with such pride and gave him a thumbs up. That notion gave the ara a bit more courage as he took a deep breath and spun the wheel. In his mind, he was hoping and wishing that he would just end up getting a monetary prize, but his gut said otherwise. And oh boy was it right.

 

There were cheers when the wheel stopped and symps and aras surrounding the wheel saw where it landed. The symp tending to the lucky draw gasps as well, congratulating him on his prize. As they went to the back for a moment to bring his prize out, he could feel himself going faint, but managed to regain composure as they brought out his prize. He felt himself shake as he looked into the basket that the symp handed to him.

 

The basket had a blanket over it, but a tuft of purple fur was sticking out. The creature under the blanket shuffled around before popping its head out. “Congratulations! You have won yourself a Fhionn! Take great care of her alright?”

 

Koa just nodded as he stared into the innocent creature's eyes, he knew that it was just a baby, probably a few months old. It knows nothing of the cruelty of this world. He felt himself move off the stage, and the more he looked at the Fhionn, memories of his past played in his head. An incident that happened when he was younger was triggered. 

 

Look what you’ve done! This is what happens when you try to touch them. They would just bite you! Wash your hands and dress the wound. Your father will take care of this dreadful creature.

 

The booming voice of his mother played, causing him to abruptly stop. His hands became shaky, and he nearly collapsed and dropped his new pet if it weren’t for Arianne catching her friend. “WOAH buddy, I got both of you. You alright there Koa?” she asked in concern.

 

She moved them to a quieter part of the street and sat him down. She gave him a bottled drink that she had in her hand, which Koa thanked her gratefully and gulped in down. The Fhionn seemed to look concerned as well, as it got out of its basket and got on his lap. He froze, unsure of what to do. “...It looks like she imprinted onto you.” Arianne commented.

 

Koa looked at the fhionn again, and  as he raised his hand to pat her, she seemed to ready her head for a pat. They would just bite you! His mother’s voice played again, and he recoiled his hand back in fear, confusing the Fhionn. “It’s bad… isn’t it?” Arianne frowned when she saw his reaction, and Koa nodded. Tears formed, as he didn’t want to feel this way. 

 

He has always loved animals, whether they were wild or tamed. But his parents didn’t. To the point of calling them filthy and savages. And the fear etched in permanently when a fhionn he had tried to pat when he was younger bit him, leading to his mother scolding him and his father “dealing” with the poor creature. Whatever that happened to that fhionn weighed heavily on his conscience. 

 

When this Easter event started, he wasn’t interested in it, especially since most of the prizes were pets. However when he found a coin where he worked and after talking with his friend, Arianne, that gave him courage to try and get over his fear and trauma of pets. However, it seemed that it was all for naught.

 

“I know you think that there is no point in this Koa, since your trauma was triggered. But remember, a phobia and trauma that runs as deep as yours does not disappear overnight. Give yourself time to get through this. Remember that she is also a baby. If you give her love, she will give you love and loyalty back. And besides, remember that I’m here to support you and help you in any way I can,” Arianne spoke and reassured her friend. Touched, he cried and gave her a hug.

 

At the end of the day, they managed to buy some basic husbandry for the fhionn and set up his home. The creature was very excited, running around the house and sniffing new scents that she was not used to. “Alright that should be all. Do you need me to stay overnight?” Arianne offered, but Koa declined. “It’s okay, besides, I don’t think Sani would appreciate it if you were to leave him alone with 12 Chu-owls,” Koa gave a dry laugh, pitying his friend’s Alligawper.

 

“Oh he’ll be fine,” she brushed it off but agreed as well. He bid his friend farewell and when he closed the door to his house, he turned to see the Fhionn at his feet, purring and rubbing herself onto him. His heart softened and he tried to pat the creature again, only to flinch back. He cursed under his breath, annoyed at the memories that reappeared again. He went to the kitchen and gave the Fhionn some food. She happily ate it clean off the plate. 

 

“Hmmm, I wonder what I should name you?” Koa thought out loud as he stared at the creature that was grooming herself. Stumped, he just sighed and went to his room to wash up. Yawning, he decided to tuck himself into bed, only to realise that there was something under the duvet. He turned it over to see the fhionn curled up, asleep in the middle of the bed.

 

“Ah, excuse me, I’m pretty sure I have laid a bed for you downstairs! Go to your bed and sleep there,” he prodded the creature, but the prodding made her wake up and look up at him. She gave such big and soulful eyes that Koa’s heart broke. He couldn’t say no to those eyes. And so, he compromised and moved her bed to his room and placed her in the bed. 

 

She seemed to make a disgruntled noise but still ended up sleeping in the bed given to her. And so he thought that that would be their sleeping arrangement from now on. 

 

Boy was he wrong.

 

As he woke, he felt a weight on his chest. When he rubbed his eyes a little more, he looked to see that the creature was asleep on his chest. He wanted to move, but she looked like she was sleeping so soundly he couldn’t bear to wake her. Thank goodness he was set to open his shop late today. 

 

After half an hour, the fhionn rose from her sleep. Realising that her owner was awake, she mewled and rubbed her face on his. He froze for a moment, again, unsure of what to do. But the fear was not as bad as it was the previous day and days prior. He haphazardly lifted his hand near her face to let her sniff it. She did as was expected, then proceeded to rub her face on his hand. 

 

His heart raced at the feeling of her soft fur on the back of his hand. This was the feeling that he had always dreamed of when he was younger. But as he recalled his past, the memory reappeared, causing him to flinch his hand back and shocking the Fhionn. “Oh no I’m so sorry!” He apologised, but the creature just got up from his bed and left his room, as if offended that he flinched at her touch. His heart sank.

 

As much as he wanted to rekindle that moment again, he had to go to work. So he left food out for her and left the house, his heart aching at the fact that he had to leave her alone in the house. 

 

During his time at work, his mind would drift off to what the fhionn is doing at home. Is she doing okay? Is she tearing up the house? Is she scared of being alone? His thoughts whirled as he tried to concentrate at work. He kept on glancing at the clock, time ticking slower than usual. He huffed in frustration as he continued cutting the client’s hair.

 

Finally, after what seemed like eternity, it was time to close up the shop. He hastily cleaned the shop and closed it before rushing back home. He quickly dropped by the shops to get some dinner and toys for his pet before reaching home.

 

“Hello… Are you there?” He spoke out slowly as he opened the door to his house. It was dark, since the sun was setting, but there was a trickle of light from the setting sun that gave away the location of his pet. She was on the couch, asleep. Her chest rose and fell as her fur shone under the sunlight. Koa sighed in relief as he closed the door and slowly approached the sleeping fhionn. He smiled, appreciating how adorable his pet is. He felt his hand raise and try to pat the fhionn. But as he did, he stopped and his hand started trembling. Again, he cussed under his breath. His voice woke the fhionn up, as she raised her head sleepily to see her owner. 

 

She got up from her sleeping position and stretched, before making her way down the couch and rubbing herself on his leg, wanting some food. He giggled before they both made their way to the kitchen to serve dinner for the both of them.

 

And so this would be how it was for the next few days and weeks. He would go about his day working, come back home and try to get close with his pet. At times, he felt that he was making progress, but other times it felt like he took 2 steps back. The progress frustrated him, and he could tell that it was affecting the fhionn as well. Due to him being cautious around her, she would in turn be cautious around him as well, as if scared of what reaction she may receive if she got too close to him.

 

“Well, have you tried to name her yet?” Arianne asked during one of her visits. The fhionn seemed friendly with her, as she rubbed herself on her and allowed the symp to give her chin rubs. The view of that couldn’t help but make Koa feel jealousy towards his friend who was able to touch and play with the creature like how he should be doing. 

 

“No I have not… I think you should take her instead, since she seems to like you alot,” Koa suggested rather bitterly. The suggestion shocked Arianne, and she could see her friend looking quite bitter as well. 

 

“Now just because she is friendly to me does not mean she wants me to be her owner. She is just being friendly. Besides, don’t take the easy route Koa. You have committed yourself to this, and I firmly believe that you are able to get through this. You just need to figure things out, like her name for starters. Whichever the case, I have too many pets in my house. I don’t think I can add more,” she ended with a hearty laugh. 

 

Koa looked at his pet, who looked at him as well before mewling and coming over to him and rubbing herself on him. “...You look like a Marcelini” he mumbled a name. When she heard that, she looked up at him with huge eyes, as if he had finally said her name after so long. Touched by her reaction, he decided to call her Marcelini.

 

The next day, he went to work as usual. Waving Marcelini goodbye, he left for work and went about his day as per usual. It was a rather dark day that day, as rain clouds appeared over the horizon and droplets of rain started to pour down into town. After a minute or so, lightning and thunder could be seen and heard. 

 

“Wow, it’s been awhile since the weather has been this grey,” Koa spoke as he dusted the hair of his clients off the floor. At that point it was a downpour, rain beating down heavily to the point you can’t see past the next building. The lightning and thunder were nothing to laugh at either.

 

The lightning appeared fast and bright, and a booming clap of thunder followed thereafter. It was a true storm. “My Byun would usually hide away when there is such a heavy storm, especially with the thunder and lightning. He was not a fan of them, no siree,” a client spoke as he paid for his haircut. He thanked Koa and ran through the rain in a hurry.

 

His words lingered in Koa’s mind for a while, before it dawned on him. This is the first storm that Marcelini had experienced. His anxiety rose and he immediately closed his shop, thanking his lucky stars that he didn’t have any more clients booked for him for the rest of the day. 

 

He ran through the rain, his anxiety and worry growing even more as he thought of how Marcelini must be feeling from all the loud noises. As he arrived at his house, he practically burst through his door. 

 

His floor was dripped with rain water as he hurriedly closed the door of his house and turned on the light. He tried to search for the fhionn downstairs but to no avail. Then he went up and searched the bathroom before his room. “Marcelini?”

 

He looked at her bed, before his own and then the cupboard. His heart sank, unsure whether she was still in the house as he knew that one of the windows to his house was opened to let it ventilate. Then he heard it. A squeak.

 

He turned and tried to find where he heard the squeak. “Marcelini? Where are you?” he called out again, and again he heard a noise. A mewl this time. It came from his bed. Confused, he turned over the duvet but didn’t see his pet.

 

Then he heard it to his right, and he realised it came from his pillows. Slowly, he moved the pillows around, and felt one was heavier than it usually is. As he opened the pillow cover, he felt the heavy mass run out towards him. He was shocked at first and was pushed back by the force. 

 

That was when he realised that Marcelini was on his chest, curled up and shaking. “Oh you poor thing…” he spoke out, and without thinking, he patted her as he comforted her. “It’s okay Marcelini, I’m here. I won’t leave.”

 

Although he was drenched and at that point soaking his bed with water, he didn’t care. He brought the duvet over the both of them and cuddled as they waited out the storm. It took a while, but the rain slowly disappeared, and the moon appeared over the grey clouds. They had fallen asleep throughout the storm, and when Koa had realised that they had fallen asleep, he turned to Marcelini and his eyes softened at the sight of her still curled out on his chest.

 

Marcelini woke up when she felt movement under her. She turned to her owner and chirped, rubbing her head onto her face. “Aww Marcelini I’m still wet though. You’ll be drenched as well, though you probably are at this point,” Koa laughed as he patted her on the head, which she happily reciprocated and leaned into the pats.

 

It suddenly registered to him that he was patting her. On his own accord. Without fear. He audibly gasped, causing Marcelini to look up at him again in confusion. “I-I can pat you Marcelini! I can finally pat you!” 

 

Tears streamed down at the realisation. He had never felt such relief come over him, together with happiness overwhelming him. All those years of fear felt so far away. He looked at Marcelini and proceeded to pat her head again, which she willingly accepted. Gleeful laughs and smiles came out of Koa that day, as he felt like he took a very big step towards healing from his past trauma and fear. 

 

“Alright Marcelini, let’s get you and I some food to eat. I’m hungry. And I kinda have to give myself a shower too before I catch a cold.”

 

.

.

.

 

“I’m so happy for you Koa! You’re making such great progress!! I’m so proud of you!!” Arianne couldn’t help but contain her excitement for Koa’s accomplishment. She had arrived the next day, worried about her friend. But it turned out that he was doing way better with his relationship with his pet. 

 

“Yes, I’m really glad. I feel so relieved that such a dark part of me has been lifted off my chest. Marcelini seemed to slowly trust me again as well. She looks like herself when we first got her. “ Koa agreed, as he gave Marcelini some chin scratches.

 

“To think that I have been missing out on such an amazing experience… But we can’t dwell on the past now can we,” Koa continued, and Arianne agreed. Marcelini twirled around Koa’s feet, excited to play. He grabbed a nearby toy and ran around the house so that Marcelini could chase after him, the squeals and giggles from both of them filling the once quiet home.

 

The symp looked on at the two of them with such pride, knowing how much pain Koa must have felt when he was thinking of having pets to actually getting one and wondering if he was even going to bond with the fhionn. She’s so glad that it ended with a happy ending.

 

“So, shall we start with little play dates with our pets?” Arianne suggested, smiling.

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[petcare] Overcoming the past
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In Writing Only Prompts ・ By Boop
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Submitted By Boop for Pet Bonding Time ✧ Writing Only
Submitted: 2 months agoLast Updated: 2 months ago

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