The rain was pouring down hard. I saw a little but bright light shining in the distance. I heard a distant honk. Apparently, Koko, my dog, heard it too. He barked noisily, ready to fight with the loud ‘dog’. Despite my sadness and recent loss, I laughed out loud and drew Koko closer. I mostly covered only him from the rain with my umbrella. I didn’t mind getting soaked.
My mood and happiness was falling down just like those water drops. Koko reminded me so much of Ma. Without me wanting to, tears rolled down my cheeks to my chin and dropped to the ground. Koko was gifted to me on my 7th birthday by Ma. She knew I wanted a puppy the most.
At that moment when I had heard the cute little yap, I had dissolved into tears. I jumped at the sudden sound of the blaring horn. I boarded the train, with Koko in my steps. Ma’s funeral was to take place in her birth place. Da had left Ma when I was three years old. In this journey, all I had was Koko and I planned to keep him by my side, always.
The journey from Mill Valley to Bodge Bay was an hour and a half away but every minute felt like an hour. I rested my head against the window, trying to distract myself from the elephant in the room by watching the little droplets slide down the pane. It felt like nature was mourning for me. Koko kept whining continuously. I thought it was because he knew something had happened. Three quarters of an hour went by slowly. I had fallen asleep. I was awakened by a loud noise which seemed like it came from the front of the train.
Lightning and thunder had started playing their parts too. Once, the thunder boomed so loud that Koko got terrified and ran across to the next coach. I panicked and ran after him. He disappeared. I am still not sure if I was seeing things or if it was real, but I saw an angelic-looking, glowing figure outside the train a few metres away. Just then, the coach (as I was told later on) got struck by lightning and toppled over to its left. I went crashing across and banged my head to the window.
Thankfully, I wasn’t hurt much, only a little bruise on my knee and elbow. I tried to find Koko. I somehow heard his voice over the commotion. He came running over to me, jumping over all the seats and squeezing from between. I took him in my arms and cuddled him as if the world were going to end. We were safely escorted out into the flooded valleys and were given food to eat and water to drink. It had finally stopped pouring. We looked around for shelter and found a dark little cave up on a small hillock which definitely did not have space for all the 113 passengers.
We stayed huddled close together in the cave for a night until the train was set upright and the track was cleared. Twelve buses were sent for us. Unfortunately, in all the haste and huddle, Koko and I got separated. I reached Bodge Bay the next day at around noon. Ma’s
funeral was to take place in the evening at about 8 p.m. My bus was the first so I waited for all the buses to come to the stop and for Koko to get out. The second bus came. People got out.
No Koko. The third bus came, same scenario. The fourth bus came, I had crossed my fingers. No Koko. The fifth and sixth bus came and my prayers went in vain. By the time the twelfth bus came, my fingers were hurting from the pressure I was putting in crossing my fingers. No Koko.
My world came crashing down. Where did he go? Why wasn’t he there in any of the buses? My mind got filled with questions. Everything went blurry and a second later, I could only see the sky and a few concerned faces. Another second later, everything went black.
I woke up to the same angelic-looking glowing figure hovering a few metres away. Although, as soon as I opened my eyes properly, it vanished in a fraction of a second. I heard a faint soothing voice in the top of my head, “I am proud of you. You deserve him. He got attacked by a pack of wolves. Take care.” At least, that was what it sounded like. I instantly sat bolt upright, shaken. I heard a bark. No, it couldn’t be! It was a dog who looked very similar to Koko. No, it WAS Koko! I screamed in delight.
Ma’s funeral was sadly missed by me, but Koko and I pray to her every day. The mystery is, I am pretty sure that angelic voice sounded a lot like Ma herself.