"It's all because of you."
Beneath the oppressive overcast sky, I found myself reluctantly tethered to the responsibility of walking our family dog Bob through the empty park, throwing discontent glares at him. I could have been racing up the leader board at home; I could have made it to the top spot in Mobile Legends. But it was my turn and the weight of this duty was palpable, etched onto my face in the form of a deep-seated frown as I trudged alongside my furry companion.
Responsibility. Responsibility. Responsibility.
Mother had nagged before we left the house. She made it a point to drive home the message that it was I who had wanted a dog in the first place.
As we ambled through the park, a melancholic drizzle began its descent, sending us scrambling to seek refuge beneath a pavilion. My discontent, like the gray clouds above, was thick and suffocating.
"Just great. Now this," I muttered, disinterested and sulky.
I sat for a while, looking as raindrops danced into puddles, wondering how long I would be trapped. Bob was pacing about, sniffing this and that. With no end of the rain in sight, I reached for my phone but not before sternly warning Bob.
"Don't go out of the shelter, you hear me?"
I shot him a look and wagged my finger. Soon, I was immersed in the loud of clamour of the mobile game, blissfully ignorant of the world around me.
Little did I know that Bob had seized the opportunity to explore, quietly wandering out and away.
A distant bark served as an abrupt awakening. With a startling realisation, I raised my eyes away from the illuminated screen to witness a unfolding peril—a terrifying force in the form of a speeding car hurtling towards my oblivious dog.
At first, I was paralysed and could only stare with my mouth wide open but an electric surge of fear coursed through my veins - the sudden arenaline rush I needed - sent me flying off the bench as I sprinted to stop the impending disaster. Time seemed to slow as my feet pounded the rain-slicked road.
Images of Bob flashed into my mind. In those mental snapshots, I saw a ball of fur, small and innocent bounding into my life. His big puppy eyes, wide and brimming with curiosity locked onto mine. He trusted me to protect him.
I could not let him down.
Bob's frantic barks echoed my own anxiety and the car's brakes screeched, grappling with the slippery surface.
Running with every ounce of strength my young limbs could muster, I knew that slowing down would be tantamount to surrendering to disaster. Bob's life hung precariously in the balance as the car closed in. In a last-ditch effort, I threw myself forward, snatching the canine from the speeding vehicle's path. We tumbled to safety on the other side of the road, narrowly escaping the catastrophic collision.
The driver, shaken and apologetic, emerged from the car. His words, a feeble attempt to convey remorse, were drowned out by the relentless patter of rain.
"I … I really couldn't see it …" he confessed.
Intent on making amends, he insisted on escorting us back home. In the backseat, I sat cradling Bob, uttering comforting words but he was a shivering mess. Tears rolled down my face as I tried to hold myself together, ignoring the pain from the scratches on my arms and legs.
Upon returning home, my mother was furious. Not so much at the driver whom she dismissed almost immediately but at me.
I had been irresponsible and reckless, and I had put both Bob's and my life in danger. She unleashed a torrent of scolding that reverberated through the walls, and this went on for at least ten minutes. I bit my lips and sat through it all, still holding Bob in my trembling arms.
Finally, as her eyes met my tear-streaked face and fell upon the visible injuries borne from the harrowing tumble, she went to retrieve the first-aid box in silence.
"Did you learn anything?"
I nodded solemnly and the flood gates opened.
In the aftermath of this heart-stopping incident, I found myself marinated in the profound understanding of responsibility. I was very careful taking care of Bob, devoting meticulous care. Feeding him became more than routine, and our walks, once seen as a chore, became bonding sessions. It took some time but Bob eventually started to trust me again. I would never let him down. This harrowing escapade left indelible imprints of responsibility etched into the canvas of my heart.