Chapter 1 : The accident that started it all
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Standing at the lounge room window of her grandparents house, Kyla stared out into the darkening night, searching for any sign of her mother and wondering idly where Toby, the most beloved family dog, was. Every second weekend was the same and had been for almost four years. Arrive and spend the weekend with her father and her Scottish grandparents.
Kyla enjoyed the visits somewhat. She was 10, nearly 11 and was still in some ways "Daddy's Girl". She was more adventurous, boisterous and open than her sister Liana, but was also a imaginative dreamer, often prone to quietly escaping into her own little world.
Liana was almost the complete opposite. Liana had never been one for much physical activity, preferring instead to read books by adult horror and mystery writers, even at the tender age of 8. Now at 14, Liana had reached that teenage stage where she felt herself superior to most adults in her knowledge and wit and was a masterful debater and could be very verbally combative.
In the eyes of almost everyone, Liana was a golden child. Intelligent, articulate, pretty and an over achiever. She had many lively and intelligent conversations with her nan and mother about books, world politics, science, history and movies which made her her Nana's favorite.
In the eyes of Kyla though, she used to have an almost divine glow and Kyla had worshiped her in younger years as younger siblings do. But Liana had not liked having her quiet time interupted and was often quick with a cutting remark and a push away. Yet still Kyla would seek her sisters approval and attention, her praise and gratitude.
Kyla closed her eyes for a second to rest her eyes when a most terrible and heart rendering noise ripped through the air and her heart.
"Toby!" She cried, recognizing the dogs voice.
Running through the lounge to outside she searched for him, following the most pitiful yelps and howls to her dearly beloved dog for Toby was, for all intents and purposes, Kyla's dog. Even though Toby now lived with her father and grandparents, he would always be her dog.
When she had been a girl of no more than four or five, her parents (when they were still together and happy) had taken the girls to an outdoor garden fair with farm animals, plants, flower competitions and what not. A man had been giving away puppies and Kyla, stubbornly, had held on to the fence around the puppies and refused to move until her parents gave her one.
In vain did her parents plead, coax, threaten and try to unwrap her fingers from the chicken wire fence. She would not budge and would never let go unless it was to hold a puppy. Defeated by her unwavering determination and stubbornness, her parents relented and the man handed the last puppy, who had curled up to sleep in an empty water container to her father.
"I don't know this little fellow was the last one picked. Though he wasn't the cutest, he had the best temper." Said the man as Kyla snuggled her new pet and future best friend.
They had always been together, Kyla and Toby, exploring, playing and getting into mischief together. Neither could have asked for a loyaler or more loving companion which was why it was heartbreaking for both when Kyla, Liana and her mother moved into a small house with no backyard.
That Kyla's dearest, best loved and most treasured friend should be in danger distressed her greatly and she was heedless of anything else but finding him. She ran, barely aware that her father was calling out and running after her.
Across the road from her grandparents house was a pretty sort of nature area and creek and Kyla and Toby had often explored it and come home needing a bath for being so muddy. It was near the entrance that Kyla found Toby, his front left leg bleeding and sticking out at an odd angle.
"Oh Toby!" Kyla cried, flinging her arms around his neck, her tears dropping onto his head as his blood stained her shirt.
A few moments later her father arrived and seeing the state the dog was in, pushed Kyla aside and lifted the dog off the ground. Holding Toby tightly, he ran towards the house. As he neared the road, Kyla's mothers car pulled up.
She stopped the car and observing her distressed daughter and ex husband holding a whimpering and bleeding dog, she called out.
"Kyla, stay with your grandparents. Your dad and I will take Toby to the vet." She directed.
"But Mum.." Kyla started to protest.
"Inside. Now!" She barked.
"Grant, get into the back. There should be some towels in the back seat, wrap them around his leg and keep the pressure on it." Kyla's mum advised.
"Alright, Maria. Kyla, open the back door for me. Hurry now!" Kyla's father said.
Kyla quickly opened the back door of the car and shut it after her father.
"Go inside now, darling. Toby will be ok and we'll be back soon." Her mother reassured her.
Kyla simply nodded, tears streaming down her face and she stood on the driveway, watching them speed off up the road. She would never see any of them again.