This Fan Fiction story is dedicated to all the Flo fans(myself included), and in general to all people that believe that Flo should return with her friends. I hope you enjoy!
Hyaku-Legger's Sasha La Fleur Fan Site
"The Cutest Collie Comes Back!!!"
Written by: Fern (Hyaku-Legger)
San Francisco, California
Three months had passed since Sasha and Charlie's adventures with Gabriel's Horn came to an end. They had opened a very nice Cafe, named 'Flea Bite Cafe', and were living a happy life together. They had met a kind and friendly Cocker Spaniel named Bess, and they became very good friends. Bess was hired to work with them at the Cafe, and the three lived happily.
Charlie and Sasha moved into a house in an alley that was abandoned by it's human occupants some time ago, and although it was in chaos at first, they fixed and cleaned it and made a nice house out of it once more. They visited David frequently, and passed happy hours together remembering all the things that they had lived. David's parents knew all about Sasha and Charlie, and they knew all about the adventures that they had lived. Strange as it may seem, David's parents weren't like other parents. Most adults, knowing about a dog that could talk and understand human language, would go round the bend and take the dog to some laboratory to have scientists study and do all sorts of weird tests on the poor canine. But David's parents weren't like that. They respected the lives of their beloved canine friends, and never told anyone or make a big fuss about it, no matter how truly incredible it was. That's the kind of parents they were.
Charlie, who was determined to live an honest, clean and straight life, worked hard at the Cafe with Sasha, for there is a satisfaction that only hard work and sacrifice can give you. Also, he became a member of a public library, and he would get nice books to read and cultivate his intelligence and his heart. Sasha was very proud of Charlie, and she also started to read books with him. They went out on Sundays, usually to the park or to the shore, and would spend time together, talking and generally having fun. Actually, quite everything they did, they did together. Sasha and Charlie felt their relationship become more and more solid as time passed, and their love grew and flourished more every day. Charlie had learned that true happiness is that which you share with someone special, and he realised what his problem in Heaven was three months ago. He had everything he could ask for to be happy, but he had no one special to share it with. But now, he had. Sasha meant everything for him, and the hours they spent together, laughing, joking, and sometimes crying made him understand what true happiness is. Sasha had realised what she had always needed as a puppy; someone who would be there to help and support her, someone to comfort her tears, share her laughter and make her feel secure and accompained. Someone to hug her, kiss her and tell her how special she was. Someone who would love her and someone she could love back in the same way. Since she never knew her parents, Charlie was almost like a parent for her, only far, far more. Sasha absolutely adored Charlie, and what made her ever happier is knowing that Charlie felt exactly the same for her. And so, their life together seemed to be the happiest life that anyone could ever ask for.
Bess, their friend, lived in another alley house not far from theirs, and she would often visit them. Bess lived alone, and although she wasn't lonely, she sometimes wished she could have someone to share her house with. She often told Sasha and Charlie about this, and they wanted very much to help her. But Bess told them not to worry, that she had them, and that was enough for her.
Now, although their lives were very happy, there was a little thing that was, well, missing. There was something that Charlie had always wished, and it was this: He wished he could somehow know something about his long lost friend, Florence, the collie that lived in the old abandoned church in New Orleans. He had never seen her again after he died, and he missed her very much. He cried sometimes, thinking about how lonely she must be, and regretting that she would never be able see him as he was now, not the sad, loveless and empty dog he was back then, but the new, kind and caring dog he had become, thanks to Sasha's love and hard work.
He often told Sasha about it, and Sasha felt sorry for him. She knew that he was doing his best to be a good person, and it was very sad to know that there was a little emptiness in his heart that would probably never be filled. There were days in which he felt it more than other days, and this was one of those days.
It was Friday night. Sasha and Charlie had finished their work at the Cafe, and were at home. They had already eaten their dinner, and were sitting in the family room and talking.
"Nice day we had, huh?",said Charlie.
"Yeah",Sasha agreed",very nice. And it's Saturday tomorrow."
Sasha was still marveled by the life they had.
"Oh, Charlie",Sasha said",isn't it wonderful. I never imagined that two sad lives like ours would end up like this."
"Yes",agreed Charlie",it still amazes me too."
Charlie and Sasha smiled. But suddenly, Charlie's face went a little gloomy. Sasha quickly noticed this.
"Charlie?",asked Sasha",are you alright?"
Charlie looked at her.
"I'm fine, Sasha, but, I still have something that pains me very much",said Charlie",remember my long lost friend I told you about? Florence?"
Sasha remembered. She held his big paw in her own little ones.
"Yes, Charlie",said Sasha",I remember."
Charlie lowered his head. He couldn't help to drip some tears.
"I'm very happy now, Sasha",Charlie said behind tears",your love is the most beautiful thing that life has ever given to me. I hate to be ungrateful with Heaven, but I can't help feeling this way. I miss my old friend, Flo."
"Charlie",Sasha said, wiping his tears with her little paw",You're not being ungrateful. It's nothing wrong. It's a feeling that you have, you don't need to hide it."
Sasha would comfort him the best way she could, and Charlie thanked her for understanding how he felt.
"Sasha, I really miss Flo",Charlie said", Now I realise how truly valuable she was. I wish I could see her again, at least one more time... perhaps to say I'm sorry."
"Oh, Charlie",Sasha said, hugging him.
There was no doubt that Charlie would see her again someday, in Heaven. But in the meantime, it was very sad to have something to tell her and not be able say it.
"Don't worry, Charlie",said Sasha, giving him a little smile",you'll see her again sometime. I know you will."
Charlie found this very comforting.
"Yeah",said Charlie, wiping his tears with a little grin",You're right, Sashy. I ought to stop crying. I bet you think I'm a crybaby."
"Oh, Charlie, of course not",said Sasha, giving him a little kiss on his tearstained cheek",Crying cleans the soul's sorrows. It's alright. We all cry sometimes."
Charlie held her little paw, and smiled.
"Thank you, Sasha",said Charlie",I know that my tears aren't dripped in vain."
Sasha smiled back at him, and they hugged.
"You know what they say, Charlie",said Sasha",A shared happiness becomes a double happiness, and a shared sorrow becomes a half sorrow."
Charlie valued there words very much.
"Oh, Sasha",Charlie said happily.
And so, comforted by Sasha's affection, Charlie would chin-up once again, and they would enjoy each other's company. After a while, feeling sleepy, they went upstairs, placed some blankets on the comfortable carpet of their room, and lied down, side by side.
"Tomorrow's Saturday, Charlie",said Sasha.
"Yeah",said Charlie",what would you like to do tomorrow in the afternoon?"
"Well, I don't know",said Sasha",there's lots to choose from."
"How about you and I go to watch a nice movie?",said Charlie",it starts at 4:00 PM, and I think it'll end before it gets too dark."
"Oh, that's a great idea, Charlie",said Sasha",I'd love to go to the movie theater."
"Then, that's how it shall be",said Charlie smiling.
"Oh, Charlie",said Sasha smiling",what did I ever do to deserve such a lovely person like you?"
"You know, I ask myself the same question sometimes",said Charlie",well, actually no. I don't. I ask myself something a little different."
"And what is that, Charlie?",asked Sasha.
"What did I ever do to deserve such a lovely, kind, beautiful and sweet little person like you",said Charlie, holding her little paw.
Sasha smiled, going rosy in the cheeks. She doesn't hide it, but she apologizes.
"Sorry, Charlie",said Sasha",I can't help it."
"Oh, no need to apologize, Sashy. In fact, I love it when your cheeks go that color. It's so cute",said Charlie.
"Oh, thank you Charlie",said Sasha, going even rosier.
They both smile.
"Well, I guess we'd better get some sleep",said Charlie.
They got ready to rest. Sasha layed her little head on Charlie's shoulder, and snuggled closely.
"Well",said Sasha",good night, Charlie."
"Good night, Sasha",said Charlie.
Sasha and Charlie nuzzle their noses together for a while, kiss good night, and close their eyes.
Sasha snuggled closer to him, kissing his muzzle.
"I love you",Sasha said softly.
Charlie smiles, and kisses Sasha's forehead.
"I love you too, Sashy",said Charlie, and they both fell asleep.
Charlie's problems weren't only heard by Sasha's ears. There were other ears that knew. Anabelle, the arch-angel whippet, had been listening to him from her heavenly home. She felt sorry for him, because she knew that he was trying the best he could to follow the good path.
"Oh, poor Charles",Anabelle said to herself",he is trying so hard to be a good person and mend his past, and he is succeeding everyday. He works hard and helps people, and never asks for anything in exchange. I wish I could help him."
Anabelle would think about his problems.
"I wish I could reward him for all the things he is doing",Anabelle said",he is such a good angel. I want to give him something, but it has to be something very special. Something that he really longs and wants."
And so, all of a sudden, Anabelle came up with a gigantic idea.
"I KNOW!",she exclaimed",I know just what to do. I'll give him a chance to see his long lost friend Florence again! That will surely make him feel good. It won't be easy, but I am determined to succeed."
Anabelle thought and plotted her moves. Having Charlie return to New Orleans was out of question, that place was filled with sad memories. Besides, Anabelle wanted it to be a surprise. Well then, it would have to be the other way around. Having Flo travel to San Francisco was a smarter idea. But how to convince her to go? Anabelle would see to that. After a lot of planning and thinking, Anabelle was ready to place her plan in action. Yup, it would be a great surprise!
In the yard of the desolate little chapel of New Orleans, Louisiana, a very beautiful collie was slowly wandering and thinking. It was Flo. The puppies that she took care of had grown up, and eventually found nice homes. Flo was not much in the habit of going outside in the wet, but today she felt very desolate. She had been thinking about his lost friend, Charlie, and felt very sad. Although many months had passed since those events took place, the feeling still remained. Flo felt lonely. Even though she was surrounded by people she knew, she felt very lonely. She had never told Charlie how much she cared for him, what a good friend he was, and how she liked to spend time with him. He was a very close friend, almost like a brother. All those moments invaded her tormented mind, and big tears dripped onto the cold wet ground.
"Why did he have to die?",Flo thought sadly",Why didn't I ever tell him how special he was? Why?"
Flo's thoughts came to a brick wall, and answers were few if not none. She went inside, up the rickety stairs, and to her little den. She layed down on a soft, moth-eaten bed, and closed her eyes.
"Well",she thought",I guess tomorrow is another day, just like everyday."
She decided to go to sleep, and make time pass.
Suddenly, something made her eyes open again. There was a very bright light in the room. Flo was alarmed. She got up and saw that the light was advancing towards her. Scared, she backed off until she was against the wall, with nowhere to run. But just then, the light materialized into a figure. A figure of a whippet, with a halo and wings. It was Anabelle. Flo was stunned.
"Hello",said Anabelle with a friendly smile.
Flo was very frightened.
"Who...Who are you",asked Flo.
"Don't be afraid, my child",said Anabelle",I will not harm you. I came to help. My name is Anabelle".
Flo calmed down a bit, but kept her distance.
"Are you, an....angel?",asked Flo.
"Yes, my dear, I am",responded Anabelle, sitting down on the floor",please come and sit here with me."
Flo was very unsure. She didn't move. Anabelle could understand her fear. It was the first time Flo ever saw an angel, and it was normal to be startled.
"Don't be afraid, please,",said Anabelle.
Flo still didn't budge.
"Are you truly an angel",asked Flo",truly?"
"Yes, I give you my word",said Anabelle",I won't hurt you, my little dear".
"Do you promise?",asked Flo warily.
"Yes",said Anabelle",I promise."
Flo decided to take a risk. She cautiously walked towards Anabelle, and sat down. Anabelle smiled.
"That's it. Hello, Florence",said Anabelle.
Flo was startled again.
"H...how do you know my name?",she asked.
"Oh, angels know many things",said Anabelle",I know that you are lonely, and that you are very sad."
Flo was astounded. She still couldn't believe that there was an angel from Heaven in her room. She thought that maybe it was a dream, and decided to calm down. She nodded.
"Yes",said Flo",you are right."
"I came to help you",said Anabelle",I have something for you."
Anabelle told her to get closer, and Flo did. After all, if it was a dream, what harm could it do.
"Florence, I want you to have this",said Anabelle, giving Flo what she had brought. It was an envelope for her. It had her name written on it in golden cursive letters. Flo opened the envelope, and inside she saw a piece of very colorful paper. It was a ticket. A round way boat ticket to San Francisco, California. Flo was confused.
"San Francisco?",asked Flo",but, why? I don't have relatives there".
"No",said Anabelle", but surely you want to get away from this humid and gloomy place, at least for a couple of days."
Flo was puzzled.
"Why me?",asked Flo",why do you give this to me. Of all the dogs in the world, why me?"
"Well, let's say that you are a very special person, and you have won this ticket",said Anabelle.
"But, I haven't done anything grand",said Flo",I just live here and survive. It doesn't make sense."
"Maybe not",said Anabelle",maybe you are right. And please understand, it is only if you want to. I give you the ticket. The rest is up to you. If you wish, you can take it. If you don't, then you can stay."
Flo looked at the ticket. It showed very nice of photographs of San Francisco. There was a bay, and some fishing boats, a street with lots of shops, and a Cafe. Flo looked closely at the picture, and was able to read the Cafe's name. It was Flea Bite Cafe.
"Remember",said Anabelle",only if you want to".
Flo felt vaguely happy. It was certainly not something that happened everyday. She looked up.
"Thank you",said Flo.
But when she looked up, Anabelle wasn't there anymore. Was she an illusion? Flo looked at the envelope and the ticket, they looked quite real. Was this really a dream?
Flo went back to her bed, layed the envelope beside her, and fell asleep.
Flo woke up. The sun was shining brightly through the little window of her den. She rubbed her eyes, and yawned. Suddenly, she remembered her dream.
"Funny",said Flo",dreams can be so real sometimes."
She stood up and hopped off her bed. But as she did so, a piece of paper fell on the floor. Flo looked at it, and went pale. It was the envelope! It was real!
"Oh, oh, oh my gosh",Flo stammered",it...it really, happened".
Flo was startled. Anabelle had really been there, and she had given her the envelope with the ticket. It all happened!
After she calmed down a little, she sat down and thought. The ticket was real, that meant that Anabelle was real too. And that meant, that, she could use the ticket to go to San Francisco. But, why? What would she find there? She wasn't sure. But, she would think it over.
Time passed. Flo became more and more restless. Would she take the trip Anabelle offered her, or would she just stay and not risk herself. It was a tough choice. On one side, Flo did want to get out of that place at least for a while and see new lands. But on the other side, she didn't have any money and could not go as a tourist anywhere. But the fact that she had the ticket was incredible itself. Maybe she should go, and clear her mind from all the things that tormented her daily. But there was another thing. Why did an angel bring it to her? It was so senseless and crazy.
"Well",said Flo to herself",senseless as it is, I'm not going to waste this chance. I'll go."
And that she did. She was at the harbor at noon. There was a dog that secretly boarded the dogs that wanted to travel, and he saw Flo's ticket and let her pass. The ticket, as you might have guessed, was a ticket used only by dogs. Humans had their own tickets.
Flo wished herself goodluck and left firm ground in seek of new sights.
Sasha and Charlie were walking along the beach that Sunday morning after going to church. Charlie was very cheerful that day, and Sasha was having a very good time walking beside him. The waves splashed against the sand, and the bracing air gave them a nice feeling of freedom and joy. Sasha looked at the ocean and saw some nice seagulls fishing with their beaks along the surface of the water.
"Oh, Charlie",said Sasha",I love seagulls. They're so cute."
"I do too, Sasha",said Charlie",do you remember when we walked along this very spot all that time ago."
"Oh, how could I forget such a lovely moment",said Sasha, remembering those glorious times",and to think that it was merely three months ago. And look at all the nice things we had passed already".
"Everyday seems to be filled with new and beautiful moments to come,"said Charlie.
Sasha and Charlie stopped walking and went towards the shore. They sat down on some smooth rocks that were constantly lashed by the gentle waves. Sasha looked at Charlie in the eyes, and he looked back. There was something about Charlie's eyes that made Sasha's cheeks feel warm. She couldn't quite understand it, but she loved the feeling. She gazed into his dark eyes with her own little green eyes, going rosy in the cheeks.
"Isn't it lovely, Sasha?",asked Charlie, looking at the sea beyond them.
"Yes it is",answered Sasha, taking her eyes off him for a moment and gazing at the water.
Sasha felt very expressive when she was with Charlie by the sea. It seemed that her deepest feelings were treasured in the sound of the waves and the lights of the sun reflected on the water.
"Charlie, I know you already know this",said Sasha smiling",and I'm probably saying this for the hudredth time, but I can't help saying it. I love being with you. You are the most special person in the world for me. You brighten up my life."
Sasha looked away. She really needed to express herself, but it was difficult to find proper words. She looked up at Charlie once again, and to her delight, Charlie smiled, gazing at her with those wonderful eyes of his. The sound of water gave warm feelings to their hearts. It was the sound of peace.
"Sasha",Charlie said, looking at her.
Sasha looked straight at him with a smile. Charlie held her little paw, stroking it gently. He looked into her eyes, in the very center, with that capturing look that Sasha had always loved.
"Never be afraid to express your feelings",said Charlie as he stroked her little paw softly",and never be afraid to tell me anything. I will always be willing to listen to anything you have to say."
Sasha smiled and gazed into his eyes. Charlie gazed back.
"You're so beautiful, Sasha,"said Charlie smiling",you are the most beautiful dog in the whole world."
Sasha went rosy in the cheeks. She looked away.
"Aww, I'm not all that pretty, Charlie",said Sasha.
"You think so?",said Charlie.
Sasha felt so happy. She knew that Charlie loved her, and this made her very happy. She snuggled close to him, laying her head on his high shoulder.
"Oh, Charlie",Sasha replied.
They looked at each other once more, and nuzzled their noses together. Charlie closed his eyes. Sasha smiled, and closed her eyes too. They were just about to kiss, when all of a sudden, a very bright light appeared in front of them. They were both startled. The light cleared and a figure of a whippet with a halo appeared in front of their eyes, hovering inches above the water.
"I'm terribly sorry to interrupt you like this",said the whippet",I beg you to forgive my rudeness."
Charlie suddenly exclaimed.
"Anabelle!",he said",what a pleasent surprise. I haven't seen you in months."
Sasha was a little uncertain. She did not remember the whippet. Charlie noticed this.
"Sasha, I think you haven't met Anabelle yet",said Charlie.
"I didn't",said Sasha smiling",but, it a pleasure, ma'am."
"Anabelle is the angel that helped me a lot",said Charlie.
Then he turned to Anabelle.
"Anabelle, I would like you to meet Ms. Sasha La Fleur",said Charlie.
"Very pleased",said Anabelle, as she and Sasha shook paws.
Anabelle turned to Charlie.
"Charles",said Anabelle",I have a request. I need you and Sasha to go to the port, at pier 18, and watch for a ship named 'Landoness' to arrive. It is supposed to berth in the bay this morning at around 9:30."
"Of course, Anabelle",said Charlie.
"Is there anyone on the ship?",asked Sasha.
"Yes. I want you to wait for a very special passenger there,"said Anabelle",that's all. I'll be going now."
Anabelle started to fade away.
"Anabelle",asked Charlie quickly",how do we know who the passenger is?"
"You'll know",said Anabelle as she left them",you can't miss."
Anabelle was gone. This had been the shortest encounter that Charlie had ever had with Anabelle, but it had left both him and Sasha very curious indeed.
"Well",said Charlie",I guess we'd better get going."
"Sorry our morning was interrupted",said Charlie.
"That's okay",said Sasha",I guess we all have responsibilities."
Charlie stood up.
"Uh, Charlie?",Sasha said.
Sasha smiled. She closed her eyes and gave him a nice little kiss on his cheek.
"I had a nice time",said Sasha",thank you."
Charlie smiled too. They got up, and started walking towards the port.
Sasha and Charlie arrive at the port. There isn't much movement, but in the distance they can both see a big ship coming slowly towards the shore. It was the boat that Anabelle described, for it had a the name 'Landoness' written on the starboard(right) side.
"That's it, Charlie",said Sasha",that's the boat."
"Right. Let's sit down and wait",said Charlie.
After a while, the ship berthed. The gangplank was lowered, and a few human passengers got off. Sasha and Charlie knew that humans got off first, and after there was no one around, dogs got off. The stream of humans slowly subsided. They were waiting patiently for the mysterious passenger to get off.
"Who do you think this passenger is, Charlie?",asked Sasha.
"I don't know",said Charlie.
"I hope he wasn't a human passenger",said Sasha.
"No, I'm sure it's not a human. Anabelle told us we couldn't miss",said Charlie.
Suddenly, Charlie and Sasha saw a single figure walk cautiously down the gangplank. It was a dog. A female collie with creamy colored fur. Charlie saw the collie, and for some reason, he found it was quite familiar.
"Let's get closer, Charlie",said Sasha",I think's that's it."
Sasha and Charlie got closer to the gangplank.
"Hi there",called out Sasha.
Then, suddenly, collie looked down at them, and saw Charlie; her heart skipped a beat. Charlie looked up at the collie, and his eyes went wide. He was stunned.
"What's the matter, Charlie?",asked Sasha, alarmed.
Charlie didn't answer. He just stared in disbelief at the collie. Then, very cautiously, he stepped a little towards the gangplank, and looked straight at the collie.
The collie gasped.
The two stared at each other outraged. Sasha was confused.
Then, suddenly, the both of them smiled, and bursted into tears.
They both ran towards each other, along the gangplank, and hugged each other. Charlie's eyes were streaming with tears. Flo also cried. She was so surprised. It was the biggest surprise that they she had ever had in her life. Now it all made sense. The ticket was to travel to San Francisco, and find Charlie. But, Charlie had died months ago. Why was he here? And he was a flesh and bone dog, not a spirit or anything. It was all so confusing.
"But you died, Charlie",stammered Flo as she cried",you drowned in that accident... months ago...how can this be?..."
"I, I came back Flo. I, I was given a chance to live again. Oh, how on Earth did you know",Charlie exclaimed behind tears",how did you find me? How... oh my God, it's a miracle..."
"Charlie",said Flo",it's really you...oh, I...I can't believe it..."
Charlie and Flo stayed there, with exclamations of sheer disbelief and happiness. Sasha watched quite surprised, and confused as well. It was all so strange. Charlie's sudden reaction, and the collie's reaction as well. Sasha didn't understand.
After a while, Flo and Charlie were theirselves again, and slowly walked down the gangplank towards Sasha. Flo noticed the Setter.
"Flo",said Charlie happily",I want you to meet a very special person for me. This is my girlfriend, Ms. Sasha La Fleur."
Sasha looked at the newcomer.
"Flo?",that name sounded very familiar to Sasha.
Charlie turned to Sasha.
"And Sasha",he said",I'd like you to meet a very special friend, she is my long lost friend, Florence."
Now she remembered. Flo was the name of Charlie's long lost friend from New Orleans. Now it was all clear to her. Flo looked at Sasha. She could see that the Setter was very friendly at first sight. She held her paw out.
"Pleased to meet you, Ms. La Fleur",said Flo.
Sasha smiled. Flo's voice was very beautiful, it sounded very soft and pleasently.
"Pleased to meet you too, Ms. Florence",said Sasha",and, you can call me Sasha".
"Oh, okay, Sasha",said Flo",you can call me Flo, if you wish."
They shook paws.
"I, I still can't believe it",said Charlie",it's so...incredible."
"She was the passenger that Anabelle said we would find",said Sasha.
Flo looked at her.
"Anabelle",asked Flo",you mean the the pink angel whippet?"
Both Charlie and Sasha looked at the collie.
"How do you know?",they asked.
"She came to me two nights ago",said Flo",and gave me a ticket to board this ship."
Now it was all clear. Anabelle wanted to give Charlie a reward for all his efforts in trying to live a straight life, and she saw that Flo also deserved to be rewarded for her kindness and good heart, that's why she decided to reunite the two lost friends.
"So that's why she told us to come here",said Charlie.
"Now I understand everything",said Sasha.
"Do you know Anabelle?",asked Flo.
"Yes",said Charlie",she was the angel that gave me a chance to live again."
"But, why?",asked Flo",weren't you happy in Heaven?"
"Well, that's a long story, which I will tell you on the way to our house",said Charlie.
Sasha, Charlie and Flo started walking home. There were many things that Charlie and Flo had to tell each other. About Charlie's life in Heaven, about his return, about how he met Sasha, and all those things. Also, about Flo's life after Charlie's death and after the orphaned puppies grew up. Charlie told her all about his life after he had left her, and Flo was very facinated. She also felt sorry for him when she heard about Charlie's lack of company in Heaven, all the things he had passed and the mistakes he had made. But she felt happy to listen about how he met Sasha, and how his life was happy now thanks to Sasha's love and the satisfaction of hard work. It was a very nice story, for it had a happy ending.
After a while, they arrived at their house.
"Flo",said Charlie",this is our house. It may not be as humble as home, but I hope you find it comfortable."
Charlie opened the door, and let the girls go in. Once they were all inside, he closed the door and hung the key he had on a peg in the wall.
Sasha took Flo to the guest room, and told her she could get her things organized. But the fact was that Flo didn't have any luggage.
"I didn't bring anything",said Flo, a little gloomily",to say the truth, I had nothing to bring."
Sasha felt sorry for her. Flo was poor. She had no money, and many times hardly enough food either. Sasha knew what it felt like, for she had lived in the same conditions some time ago. She told Flo to sit on the bed and relax after her long voyage, that she would surely need some sleep. Flo appreciated this.
"Well",said Sasha",I guess I'll leave you alone for a while so you can rest."
Sasha was about to go out the doorway, when Flo softly said something to her.
"Wait, please",said Flo.
Sasha turned around. Flo looked at her with those kind little brown eyes. They were so full of tenderness.
"Could you sit with me for a while?",asked Flo.
Sasha couldn't possibly say no. And she would have never said no. Flo was so cute, so innocent and so lovely. Sasha saw that she needed someone to talk to. She walked towards the bed and sat down beside her. Flo looked at Sasha in the eyes, and saw that Sasha was willing to listen and help her. There was something in her eyes that gave Flo a feeling of security. It was like looking into the eyes of her mother, although she it was the first time that she ever saw Sasha. Strange, but very nice.
"Sasha",said Flo",I really don't want to be a bother."
"Oh, you're not being a bother, Flo",said Sasha",I'm happy to have you here with us. I know that you are a nice collie, although I never saw you before."
Flo felt happy to hear this.
"I just still can't believe that Charlie is alive, and that I found him again",said Flo",it's all so incredible. It's a miracle."
"Truly, it is",said Sasha.
"Excuse me",said a new voice.
It was Charlie. He was standing in the doorway. In one paw, he carried a tray with some home baked cookies and a mug of tea.
"May I come in?",asked Charlie.
"Of course",said Flo happily.
"Come sit with us, Charlie",said Sasha with a smile.
He went in. As he sat down, he offered Flo the mug of tea and some cookies. Flo was indeed hungry, for it had been quite a while since she had last eaten, so she gladly accepted his offering. She sipped some of the hot tea.
"Charlie, this is delicious",said Flo",did you brew this yourself?"
"Yes, right now",said Charlie.
Flo tried one of the cookies, and loved it also.
"Charlie baked the cookies as well",said Sasha.
"Really?",said Flo",that's wonderful, Charlie. Where did you learn to bake such delicious things?"
"Well, I learned from a book that I read lately",said Charlie",I'm glad you like them."
"Oh, I love them, Charlie",said Flo very happily.
Sasha was glad to see them so happy. She felt that they might want to be left alone, for they might have things to tell each other, and she would only be a bother.
"I'll leave you two alone",said Sasha",after all, you are long lost friends..."
"Oh, please do stay, Sasha",said Flo",you are a friend too."
Sasha accepted. Flo seemed to have great confidence in Sasha, although she had never seen her before. It was indeed unusual that someone would trust her way from the beginning.
"Okay",said Sasha, sitting down again",I'll stay."
"Flo",said Charlie",before you begin, I just want you to know something that I wanted to tell you all this time".
"Of course, Charlie",said Flo.
"Flo, I'm sorry for being such a bad person in the past",said Charlie",I was selfish and vulgar. I really feel bad about it now, but I can't erase my past. I just want you to know that I changed. I'm not the guy I used to be. Thanks to Sasha, I found that which I always needed. Now I realise how special you were, and I see many things that I couldn't see before. I just want to apologize for all the bad things that I did back then."
Charlie looked at his friend.
"Flo",said Charlie",I'm sorry."
Flo said nothing, but instead, smiled very nicely.
"Charlie",said Flo",it's alright. To me, you were always a very nice person. And you were always kind with me. You were always a very special person for me. I always felt sorry because I never told you how special you were for me. But now, I found you again. And now I can tell you. You are very a special dog, and you're my best friend. I'm so happy, Charlie. I can finally tell you what I never did before. And now you finally know".
Flo's words were very touching. Charlie felt a tear roll down his cheek. He quickly, wiped it off.
"Sorry",said Charlie",I can't help it."
"Oh, it's okay, Charlie",said Flo, who also had a few tears in her eyes",in fact, I can't help it either."
Sasha's eyes were also a little watery. It was so touching to see two friends speaking such nice things, they were both so full of tenderness. It was truly a very nice moment for the three of them.
"Now, what was it that you wanted to say, Flo?",asked Charlie.
"Actually, it was that",said Flo smiling",what I just said."
Charlie smiled too.
"Well",said Charlie",I guess that's all we had to say to each other."
"Yeah",said Flo",I think that's all the sad story. Now we can start the happy one".
Flo looked at Sasha, and Sasha smiled pleasently.
"What about you, Sasha",said Flo",I'd like to hear something from you also."
"Well",said Sasha",I really don't have much to say. But I had an idea that you might like."
"Yeah",said Sasha",I was thinking that maybe we can go on a little tour tomorrow, us three. We can show you around the town and you'll be able to see the nice things that our city has."
"Oh, that would be lovely",said Flo.
"Maybe we can give the Cafe a day off",said Charlie",and we can enjoy a nice day together."
"You have a Cafe?",asked Flo",what's the name?"
"It's called 'Flea Bite Cafe', and it's not too far from here",said Charlie.
Flo's eyes went wide.
"Really? Flea Bite Cafe!?",asked Flo amazed.
Sasha and Charlie looked at her.
"Did you hear about it?",they asked.
"Yes",said Flo",it's on the ticket that Anabelle gave me."
Flo showed them the ticket.
"Wow!",said Sasha",I didn't imagine we were this famous".
"Nor did I",said Charlie",this is quite a surprise."
Flo was happy to have them near. They were so kind and so cheerful. Flo wanted to stay with them forever.
"Oh, it's such a glorious day",said Flo",I still can't believe it's real".
Sasha and Charlie smiled.
"And tomorrow is going to be an even better day",said Sasha.
"Oh, I can't wait",Flo said excitedly.
As the day moved on, Sasha and Charlie made Flo feel more at home with them. It was so nice to be there all together. Sasha really liked Flo. She wanted to be her friend too. Flo was a very nice dog, she was so lovely and so cute. She was adorable.
"She's so special",thought Sasha",I can see why Charlie and her were such good friends. I wish I could be a friend to her too. I'm going to try to win her confidence."
And so, night came, and the three canines had dinner and went to sleep.
It was still night time. Charlie woke up from his sleep, and found himself beside Sasha, who was still sleeping sweetly like a night blooming flower. Charlie gazed at her and smiled. He couldn't believe how beautiful she was, and he still couldn't believe all the things that had happened to him. From the sad and empty life he lived in New Orleans, to the gloriously happy life he lived now with Sasha. And now, he was given a chance to see his long lost friend, Flo. He thought about all those things. Clearly, it was Anabelle who deserved all the credit. It was she who rescued Charlie from the eternal suffering of hell, it was her who sent him to Earth, it was her who gave him a chance to live happily with Sasha for the rest of his life, and now it was her who gave him a chance to reencounter with Flo. Charlie wanted so much to thank her for all the things that she had done for him. He deeply regreted being so rude with her in the past and saying mean things about her. He wanted to apologize for this. He was determined to let her know about all these things. Charlie would somehow call her and tell her all the things that he needed her to know. He was thinking about doing it right now. He quietly treaded towards the door, not wanting to wake Sasha, opened it silently, and went out to the corridor. He went down the stairs and to the first floor. He checked on Flo, who was sleeping soundly in the guest room. She looked so cute when she was asleep. Charlie walked passed, and went to the front door, opening it with a key and going out.
The outside world was quiet and still. Charlie thought about going to the small baseball field that was close to their house. He walked for some time until he got there. Then, sitting down in the middle of the field, he called for the arch-angel to come.
"Anabelle?",Charlie said",can you hear me? I need to speak to you, please."
No response. Maybe he was not doing the right thing, but it occured to him that Anabelle's figure appeared suddenly in shiny surfaces. He wandered around and went towards the aluminum stands that loomed tall in the distance. He sat down on one of the high rows, and found that the aluminum was shiny enough. He called Anabelle again, but he still found no response. He had tried, but it seemed that she didn't hear him.
He started feeling a little gloomy. He felt a great necessity to speak with her, and he would feel very bad if she didn't show up and he didn't tell her what he wanted to.
"Anabelle",said Charlie looking towards the sky",I need to talk to you. I need to tell you something that I should have told you a long time ago. Please, if you are listening to me, please come. I, I need you, Anabelle."
Charlie's eyes were a little damp by now, but still, Anabelle didn't appear. He decided to go home and try some other time. But just as he was getting up, he felt a little paw tap him on his shoulder. He turned his head, and who should he see, but Anabelle herself.
"Hello Charles",said Anabelle",did you need to speak to me?"
"Yes, Anabelle",said Charlie",but it's a little long, and I don't know if you're busy".
"I have all the time in the world for you, Charles",said Anabelle with a smile",please, let's sit down."
Charlie sat down, and Anabelle sat beside him. Charlie wasn't sure how to start, but after a lot of thinking and organizing his thoughts, he finally spoke.
"Anabelle,"said Charlie",I want to thank you for everything that you've done for me all this time. For accepting me in Heaven, for letting me live with Sasha, and now for letting me be able to see my friend Flo again. Anabelle, I don't know that I can thank you enough..."
Charlie ran out to words. He looked at Anabelle, and saw that she was smiling pleasently.
"You're welcome, Charles",said Anabelle",after all, you deserve it. You're trying so hard to live a straight life, and you are succeeding everyday. I am very proud of you, Charles, and Heaven is too."
Charlie found these words very kind, but he felt that he didn;t deserve them, for he remembered the other things that he had to tell her.
"Anabelle",said Charlie",the main reason why I called you here is to say, that, I..."
Charlie's voice was quavering a bit. He lowered his head.
Charlie rised his head again, and Anabelle saw tears dripping from his eyes.
"Anabelle",said Charlie behind his tears",I'm sorry."
Anabelle was a little confused. She gave Charlie a little hug, trying to comfort his tears.
"Charles",said Anabelle",you haven't done anything bad to me."
"I have, Anabelle",sobbed Charlie",I have..."
Anabelle felt great sympathy towards him, seeing him cry like that was a very sorrowful sight.
"I'm sorry for being so rude with you and saying mean things about you",said Charlie, crying on her shoulder",Anabelle, I, I'm sorry."
Anabelle wanted to consolate him, so she smiled and gave him a kind look with her big, brilliant eyes.
"Charles",said Anabelle",you have nothing to feel sorry about. I understand now what your problem was, and I'm happy that you have finally found the rightful path. I'm not the least bit mad at you. I'm very proud to have an angel like you, a kind angel that tries hard to be a kind person. You are very special, Charles. And you will always have me here to help you. I will be your friend, always."
Anabelle gave him a nice smile. Charlie felt so much better now that had told her all the things he had to say.
"Anabelle?",said Charlie",I'm sorry I called you, uh, flying nun".
To his surprise, Anabelle started to laugh.
"Hah haha",laughed Anabelle",oh, Charles. That's all right. In fact, it's sorta funny. Flying nun, hehehe".
Charlie smiled too. He felt happy now. And now he knew that Anabelle would always be a true friend that would help him whenever he needed. He was feeling happy, but also a little tired. He remembered Sasha and Flo, sleeping soundly back home, and felt that he needed to sleep too.
"Anabelle",said Charlie",I have to go now. I left Sasha and Flo back home".
"Okay, Charles",said Anabelle",go home and get some sleep. You deserve it."
Charlie smiled, and got up.
"And Charles",said Anabelle",thank you for telling me. If there's anything you ever need to tell me, please don't doubt in calling me. I'll be here to listen and help you, okay?"
"Okay",agrees Charlie happily.
"Now, go back with Sasha",said Anabelle, smiling",she needs you."
Charlie smiled, remembering his beloved Sasha. He got up and climbed down the stands and back to the ground.
"Thank you, Anabelle",said Charlie", Thank you for everything."
"You're welcome Charles",said Anabelle",and good night."
Anabelle left. Charlie started to walk back home. He got back, went inside, locked the door, checked on Flo to see if she was alright, and went back upstairs with Sasha. She was asleep. Charlie slowly walked towards her, and lied down beside her, closing his eyes. Suddenly, he felt Sasha moving a little in her sleep, as she sometimes did. Sasha, turning in her sleep, layed her head on Charlie's shoulder, snuggling sweetly. Charlie felt very happy to have Sasha with him. He softly kissed her forehead, and nuzzled her gently.
"Good night, my sweet little Sashy",said Charlie, closing his eyes, and falling asleep.
Dawn came. Charlie woke up and found Sasha awake beside him. She kissed his cheek and smiled.
"Good morning, Charlie",said Sasha.
Charlie smiled back.
"Good morning",said Charlie.
"Flo is still asleep",said Sasha",I checked on her."
Charlie glanced at the clock that hung from the wall. It was 7:30 AM.
"Well",said Charlie",I'd better get up and make something for breakfast. What do you think she'll like?"
"I think she'll like anything",said Sasha",the poor dear must be very hungry."
"Yeah",said Charlie",I think some pancakes with fruit and some orange juice will be enough".
"I think it'll make a lovely breakfast for her",said Sasha.
And so, the couple went down to the kitchen to prepare the morning meal.
Flo awakened after a while. She sat up in her bed and yawned, stretching her forelegs. She smiled gleefully, for she woke up in the same cozy place, and with the same happy feeling that she had never felt before as a puppy. She was happy and very cheerful on that day. She got up and walked towards the door, opened it and went out to the hallway. She found Sasha and Charlie in the kitchen, getting the table ready for her. Sasha noticed her.
"Good morning, Flo",said Sasha.
"Good morning",said Flo.
Charlie turned around, for he had his back turned from where he stood, in front of the drawers.
"Please sit down",said Charlie",and, enjoy."
Charlie took a tray of delicious looking, golden, hot pancakes stacked neatly into little piles.
"Oh, Charlie, Sasha",said Flo, very surprised",you shouldn't have."
"Go on and help yourself, Flo",said Charlie smiling",you must be hungry".
Flo was indeed hungry, and she insisted in having them sit down with her to enjoy this wonderful meal. They accepted, and the three ate happily.
After breakfast, they were all set to go. Sasha and Charlie thought about presenting Flo to Bess. Perhaps she would like the little Cocker Spaniel. Bess was cheerful and optimistic, and always willing to meet new people.
"We have a friend we'd like you to meet, Flo",said Sasha",she lives in the alley across the street."
"Would you like to go to her house right now?",asked Charlie.
"I'd be delighted",said Flo.
The three canines left the house and walked through the alley until they came to the sidewalk. After that, they crossed the street the the other sidewalk and entered another alley. Walking for a while, they came to a little alley house with a nice blue-painted wooden door. Charlie knocked twice.
"Be down in a minute, Charlie",said a voice from inside. She knew it was Charlie because only he knocked in that particular way.
After a while, the door was unlocked and opened, and a cute little Cocker Spaniel with red ears stood in the doorway, smiling pleasently.
"Good morning",said Bess",glad you came by."
Then she noticed the newcomer.
"Pardon me",said Bess",but I think I haven's met you before."
"Bess",said Sasha",we'd like you to meet a very special person".
"This is a friend that I lost a long time ago and now we reencountered. Her name is Florence",said Charlie.
Bess smiled kindly and help her little paw out.
"Pleased to meet you, Ms. Florence",said Bess",my name is Bessimae, but everyone calls me Bess. You can call me Bess if you like."
Flo looked a little timid at first, but she liked the way Bess spoke, she was polite and pleasent. They shook paws.
"Pleased to meet you too, Bess",said Flo",you can call me Flo, if you want to".
"Okay, Flo",said Bess",would you like to came in. Sasha and Charlie, you may come in too".
"Oh thank you, Bess",said Sasha.
They went inside, and Bess told them to sit in the family room. She herself sat with them.
"So",said Bess",where are you from, Flo?"
"I come from New Orleans",said Flo.
"Mighty far, eh?",said Bess.
"Yes indeed",answered Flo.
"Hey, aren't you from New Orleans too, Charlie?",asked Bess.
"You said it",said Charlie",we both grew in New Orleans, and we were friends since we were puppies. Sasha and I found her yesterday arriving on a ship at the port".
"Charlie was so happy when he saw her",said Sasha",he couldn't believe it."
"I still can't",said Charlie",it's a miracle."
"That's really good to know",said Bess",it must be nice to reencounter with an old friend".
"It sure is",said Charlie.
Bess looked at Flo and smiled.
"Now that I think about it, I believe I recollect hearing about a collie named Flo",said Bess",I think Charlie told me about you before".
"Yes, that's certainly me",said Flo.
"Hmmm",said Bess",he didn't tell me you were so pretty".
"Oh, thank you Bess",said Flo smiling",to say the truth, I think you're pretty also."
"Aww, shucks. Thanks a lot",said Bess.
"You are pleasent as well",said Flo.
"Well, I like meeting new people",said Bess",and especially people as kind as you."
"I'm glad you two are happy",said Sasha",to say the truth, I was a bit unsure about how you would go along with Flo."
"Oh, you know me",said Bess.
"Yeah",said Charlie",I remember when I met you the first time. Sasha was the one that met you before. She presented me to you, and I found you very pleasent."
"Let me tell you the truth, Charlie",said Bess",I was a bit scared of you at first. After all, you are almost three times taller than I am and have those huge teeth. Sasha told me that yo were the sweetest fellow in the world, and I took her word for it. Now, I realise that you are a true and kind friend. It happens to all of us."
"I'm so glad I came",said Flo",it's so nice to meet kind people. First I met Sasha, and now I meet you. So many nice things happend to me in merely one day and half a morning."
"It's incredible how life twist sometimes",said Bess",truly incredible."
Sasha and Charlie were happy that she found Flo's company enjoyable. Bess was very fond of Flo way from the beginning, and this was very uncommon in her. Usually, it took Bess some time to grow fond of someone, but this time it was instantaneous. The two seemed to like each other. Bess found her company very enjoyable, and Flo did also. Maybe they would be good friends. Hopefully.
"Well",said Charlie",we are taking Flo on a tour around the city."
"We were wondering if you'd like to come along",said Sasha.
"Oh, I'd be delighted",said Bess",of course, if you agree, Flo."
"I'd love to",said Flo",it's nice to be surrounded by kind people. Do come along."
"Then, let the tour begin",said Sasha.
The four canines left the alley house and set off to a nice day full of fun and excitement.
Their first stop was one of the most common places, the park. There was something about the park that made it a perfect place to spend time. Flo was delighted to see such a nice green place, after seeing the everyday rotten boards and creaky stairs of her church back home. She was even more pleased when they lead her to the artificial lake. There were some fish that swam around close to the surface as well as little white ducks, and children threw little pieces of bread to feed them. It was a cheerful sight that Flo had never seen before in her life. It was simply lovely. As the day went on, they had lunch at a place that Sasha and Charlie knew about, and they rested under the shade of the trees that grew near the artificial lake.
"I've never felt so happy in my life",said Flo as they all sat under the shady tree",I'm so fortunate to have people like you with me."
"This city is very beautiful",said Bess",you will find lots to do and see here."
"The bay is also a very nice place",said Sasha",the sandy beaches are just perfect to spend the day."
"And, if you girls agree",said Charlie",I think our next stop shpuld be there."
The three females agreed with Charlie. They left the park and walked west towards the bay. It was very close indeed, and they got there in no time. Flo saw the sparkling water and the bathers enjoying their afternoon swimming and having all sorts of fun. The four dogs walked over a sandy patch and sat down. The sun was high in the sky, blazing it's rays. Fortunately, dogs don't have to worry about sunburns. Their fur protects them from the vile ultra-violet radiation of the sun.
"The water is great",said Bess",do you swim, Flo?"
"Yes, I do",said Flo.
"I love swimming",said Bess",and it's real great excercise for us dogs. How about you and I go for a little swim near the beach?"
"Oh, that sounds great",said Flo.
"How about you two?",asked Bess, turning to Sasha and Charlie.
"We'll join you in a second",said Sasha.
"Go ahead and have a head start",said Charlie.
Bess and Flo went to swim, while Sasha and Charlie sat down for a while more on the sand.
"They seem to like each other very much",said Sasha.
"I'm glad",said Charlie",it's so nice to see her so happy. I really still can't believe this is all happening to us."
"It's been such a nice time",said Sasha",these three months that passed had been so full of wonderful things. Oh, Charlie, I simply couldn't ask for more. I'm so happy."
"And it's merely three months",said Charlie",there are lots of wonderful things to come, Sasha, and that's the best part of all."
Sasha smiled, and gave Charlie a kiss on the cheek. In the distance, Bess and Flo called them.
"Sasha, Charlie",the girls called",come on. The water is great."
Sasha and Charlie gave each other a sweet look, and joined Bess and Flo in the water.
The three canines had a lovely time. After all the swimming and bathing, they all went up on the smooth rocks to dry off.
"Swimming sure is great",said Sasha.
"But there's something about salt water that makes your fur kinda stiff",said Bess.
"That's a normal reaction caused by the salts",said Charlie",a nice shower with some shampoo after you get home will soon make it pass."
Everyone was happy, especially Flo. This was the most wondeful vacation she had ever had. In fact, this was the first vacation she ever had in her life, and it was just lovely.
"Anyone for some ice cream?",asked Charlie.
They all nodded eagerly. Charlie took them all the a nice ice cream parlour that was nearby. The place was meant for humans, but dogs could buy ice cream secretly also. Flo, Bess, Sasha and Charlie sat down near the water and had some delicious ice cream. Flo had never had anything like it. She loved it, just as much as she loved Sasha and Charlie's cookies and pancakes. She had never had so much fun in so little time. It was simply wonderful.
After they had finished, they returned home. It was getting kind of dark. Sasha and Charlie asked Bess to come over to their house. They arrived after a while, and Charlie told the all to take a nice bath and that he would arrange something fun for them to spend the night. Sasha, Bess and Flo went upstairs. There were two bathrooms in the house, one downstairs close to the kitchen and another upstairs near Sasha and Charlie's room. The downstairs bathroom was quite simple, with a small shower seperated from the rest of the room by a glass sliding door. Charlie had his shower in this bathroom, dried off, and went to the family room to prepare the something that he had told the girls.
The upstairs bathroom had a big bath tub, and Sasha filled it with nice warm water. When the water level was right, Sasha, Bess and Flo went into it and sat in the warm water. It felt so nice. Flo had never had a warm bath before. The only times the had a bath at home was when it rained in summer. In the winter, she didn't dare to get wet because she didn't want to catch a cold. If she did, she would have no money to buy medicine, and that would be very sad. Flo was very, very happy. Her heart seemed to sing contented with all the marvelous things that she had lived up to now.
"Ahh",said Flo, relaxing",I love it."
Sasha thought this might be a good moment to start winning her confidence. She knew that it would be difficult, but she also knew that Flo was Charlie's friend, and somehow, that was loke having a head start. Sasha liked Flo very much, and she wanted to be her friend.
"I'm glad you like it, Flo",said Sasha",I'm really happy that you are enjoying your stay."
"Oh, I really enjoy it here, Sasha",said Flo",and I enjoy being with all of you."
"I'm really glad to be here too",said Bess, turning to Sasha",thanks to you and Charlie, I met a wonfderful friend."
Sasha smiled. Maybe Flo also wanted to be Sasha's friend. Sasha thought about something.
"Charlie and I have to work at the Cafe tomorrow",said Sasha",maybe you'd like to come along and see where we work."
"Oh, I'd like that very much",said Flo.
"It's a very nice place",said Bess",and it's famous too. Charlie and Sasha do a really good job. I work there with them too."
"Really?",asked Flo",then maybe we can all go tomorrow. That would be great."
"But we might have to get up rather early",said Sasha",we have to prepare the things before the customers come."
"That's no problem, Sasha",said Flo",as long as I'm with Bess, Charlie and you, everything is alright."
Sasha smiled. Perhaps Flo did like her also. Maybe they could be good friends. It was all so great. The three girls enjoyed the warm water and their company. After a while, Charlie called them, and they dried off and went downstairs.
Charlie had made some nice tea, and had prepared board game of 'Dungeons and Dragons'. Flo, Sasha, Bess and Charlie sat down on the warm carpet of the family room and played the board game, while drinking nice hot tea. Flo had never felt so cozy and happy before, and she loved it. The tea was delicious, and 'Dungeons and Dragons' was a very entertaining game.
Hours passed, and the game ended. The canines, feeling very sleepy, went to their rooms. Bess was asked to stay in the upstairs guest room, and Flo retired to her own room. Charlie made sure everything was alright.
"If you need anything, Flo",said Charlie",just call us, okay."
"Okay",said Flo",thank you Charlie".
"You're welcome",said Charlie with a smile",good night."
Charlie locked everything, went upstairs, made sure Bess was alright, and retired for the night to rest with Sasha. Sasha had placed some nice blankets on the carpet of their room, and Charlie lied down beside her. Sasha and Charlie usually talked before going to sleep. Sasha told Charlie about how she wished to win Flo's confidence. Charlie smiled happily knowing that Sasha wished to be Flo's friend.
"Flo is such a nice dog",said Sasha",I really want to be a friend. I want her to consider me as her friend too. I consider her my friend."
"She likes you too, Sasha",said Charlie",she wants to be your friend also, but she just doesn't know how to ask you."
"Oh, really!",said Sasha happily",that's so great."
"Why don't you and Flo go the the park tomorrow",suggested Charlie",and you can speak to her. She'll be delighted."
"Yes",said Sasha",that's what I'll do. Oh, Charlie. I'm so happy."
"I am too, Sasha",said Charlie",and I know that Flo will be happy too when you speak to her."
They were both happy, and also very sleepy. Sasha yawned, and snuggled close to Charlie.
"Good night, Charlie",said Sasha.
"Good night, sweetheart",said Charlie.
Sasha and Charlie nuzzled noses, kissed, and went to sleep.
Sasha and Flo were walking along the sunny path of the park. Charlie and Bess were at the Cafe, taking care of the customers. They had gotten up early that morning, gone to the Cafe, and shown Flo all the things that they did. Sasha and Flo were now moving towards the artificial lake and talking about many things. once they arrived, they sat down near the water, side by side.
"You know, Flo",said Sasha",Charlie and I usually come here to sit and talk also. This is a very special place".
"It must be",said Flo",oh, Sasha, there are some things I wanted to tell you."
"I'm all ears, Flo",said Sasha.
"I'm really happy for Charlie",said Flo",he lives such a nice life now. And there's something different in him. He has changed a lot."
"Yeah",said Sasha",he promised to live a straight life, and he's doing very well. I'm very proud of him."
"There's something else too. He is a lot better groomed now",said Flo",back then, he was sometimes a little dirty and his fur was sometimes untidy, but now, he looks a lot nicer. He's looks very handsome now".
"Yes",said Sasha",he does. Although I always knew him as a handsome dog. He told me that he was always kept well groomed in Heaven. I believe it."
"Yes, I believe that too",said Flo.
"I'm so happy that he found a such a nice girlfriend like you, Sasha",said Flo",I think that's what he always needed."
"Yeah",said Sasha",it's still incredible to me. I never fell in love with anyone before. I never even thought about falling in love, for I was far too busy thinking in surviving everyday. Charlie is my first and my only boyfriend. He is the only person in the world I ever fell in love with. And he turned out to be the most special person in the world for me. I remember the time we walked along the Golden Gate Bridge together. It was so lovely. It's as if God made us just perfectly to be a perfect match for each other. I still wonder how such a lovely person could have come into my life."
Sasha smiled, looking into the distance. Flo also smiled.
"I'm happy for the both of you",said Flo",you two are a beautiful couple. And Bess is a very good friend."
Sasha took this chance to say what she wanted to say.
"You are a very good friend too, Flo",said Sasha.
Flo looked up.
"Yes",said Sasha",in fact, I wanted to tell you that, although I know you for only two days and half a morning, I think you are a very nice person, and I want to be your friend."
Flo smiled like she never smiled before.
"Oh, Sasha",said Flo",I want to be your friend also. I just didn't know how to tell you. I, I'm kinda shy sometimes."
"It's alright, Flo",said Sasha",I'm also a little shy sometimes. It's normal."
Sasha smiled, and gave had a friendly pat on the back.
"You know",said Sasha",I think this is the beginning of a very nice friendship."
"I think so too",she said.
Sasha, who had a lot to tell, but couldn't find words, stood up and gazed at the water. Then, to Flo's amazement, a very beautiful song seeped out of Sasha's heart, and it went like this:
'It takes much more than just a seed to make a tree grow tall,
It takes more than a spring to make a river touch the sea,
There's something that we cannot see, or smell or touch or hear,
But we can feel it in our hearts, it's there, true as can be.'
'It's something sweet and beautiful that helps the world live on,
It makes us laugh, and sometimes cry, it makes us feel secure,
It's some mysterious energy that we feel deep inside,
A power with a name, that power's name is love.'
'It takes more than a single word to sing a lovely song,
It takes more than a step to make a journey far beyond
There's something more than everything that we see everyday,
There's something that we feel that helps us see the rightful way.'
'It's something sweet and beautiful that helps the world live on,
It makes us laugh, and sometimes cry, it makes us feel secure,
It's some mysterious energy that we feel deep inside,
A power with a name, that power's name is love.
That power's name, is...love'.
Flo was enchanted by Sasha's voice. It was the most beautiful song that she had ever heard in her life.
"Sasha",said Flo",that was beautiful."
"I can't help it",said Sasha",sometimes, I just can't express my feelings rightly, so I often sing. And I think that by singing I can express myself better."
"Oh, Sasha",said Flo",you are such a wonderful person. I'm so happy Charlie found you. You must be the happiest couple in the world."
"You are also a very special person, Flo",said Sasha",and there's one last thing."
Sasha looked at her, and sat down again. She raised her paw, and looked at Flo straight in the eyes.
"Friends?",asked Sasha, smiling pleasently.
Flo smiled very happily, and held Sasha's paw.
"Friends",assured Flo, and the two shook paws.
Sasha and Flo were very happy. Now, they were friends and they would be friends forever. Flo gave Sasha a friendly hug, and both felt very happy.
"It's so nice to see you two that way",said a voice.
Sasha and Flo looked to see who it was, and saw Charlie. He had come with Bess, and was smiling happily. They came and sat down, and the four talked happily beside the lake.
Time passed, and the four were filled with ideas and plans to do. But, suddenly, in the middle of all these cheerful words, Flo remembered something that made her face go very gloomy.
Sasha noticed this.
"What's the matter, Flo",said Sasha",did we say something wrong?"
"No",said Flo",it's just that I remembered something about, my... ticket".
"What about your ticket?",asked Bess.
"It's a round way trip",said Flo sadly",and, well, the trip back is...tomorrow."
Everyone realised this. Flo felt very sad, but she tried not to show it. However, it was very obvious that she had to return to New Orleans. Up to now, all the things that she had done had some sort of meaning. The ticket was given to her because she was to come here. But the ticket was a round way one, which meant that she was meant to return. Saha, Charlie and Bess felt very gloomy also. They realised that they were going to loose a very good friend. Charlie would loose her again, and Sasha and Bess would loose her as well. It was something that they didn't understand.
"But, I don't want to loose you again",said Flo, breaking into tears",I, I wanted so much to be with you, Charlie. And now, I found not only you, but also Sasha and Bess. Why, why do I have to return?"
Charlie gave Flo a hug, and she cried on his shoulder. Sasha and Bess were crying as well. It was so heartbreaking to see Flo cry. She was so sweet and gentle, and her tears were so bitter and beyond consolation.
Charlie tried to calm her dowm a bit.
"It's alright, Flo",said Charlie",we'll meet again."
"Flo, you can always return",said Sasha",you will always be welcome here."
"But I have no money to afford another ticket",said Flo",I could never buy another ticket to return..."
She cried until she could no longer go on. She felt somewhat better when Sasha, Charlie and Bess tried to cheer her up.
"We've got to make he best of the time you have left",said Bess.
"We'll have a nice time at home and forget about our troubles",said Sasha.
"Come along, Flo",said Charlie",let's have some fun and try to forget about it."
Flo managed to smile. Her friends were always so kind with her, even in the saddest moments.
They went home, had their baths just like the night before, and had a very nice dinner together. Charlie made calzone, which was a very good European recipe, and they all watched a very nice movie at home. Flo forgot all about her troubles, until it was time to go to sleep. Bess went home, saying good bye to Flo before leaving.
"I hate good byes",said Bess with tears in her eyes",they always make me cry. Don't worry, we'll see each other again. I promise."
Bess left them, and Sasha and Charlie tried to cheer Flo up. They decided to sleep all together in the family room and tell stories before sleeping. Charlie brought the blankets from Flo's room and his room and set them on the carpet and sofa. They entertained each other by telling different kinds of stories. After a while, they all felt sleepy, and said good night. Although the night was silent and still, Flo felt a very empty feeling inside her. She decided to go to sleep, and forget about it. And so, she did.
The morning came, and Flo had to leave. The boat that took her back to New Orleans left at 8:00 AM. She was very, very sad. Sasha and Charlie were crying, and so was she.
"Well",said Flo",I guess, this is goodbye".
"Flo",said Sasha",I will never forget you. You will always be in my heart."
"Oh, Sasha",said Flo, bursting into tears again.
Charlie was so sad he could hardly speak. Flo knew this, and tried to comfort him.
"Don't worry, Charlie",said Flo",I'll see you again someday, and Sasha will be there with you."
Charlie managed to give her a little smile.
"I want you to know that I had a wonderful time with the both of you",said Flo",and I will always remember you very dearly."
Flo paused, and a large tear rolled down her cheek.
"Charlie",said Flo behind tears",please take care of Sasha, and please, love her always. That's the only thing I can ask you to do. Please."
Charlie's cheeks dripped with tears, but he managed to speak.
"I...I will. I promise",said Charlie.
Flo, took the envelope that contained the ticket in her paw, and gave her friends a last look. She couldn't possible leave without giving them a last hug. She went towards them, and hugged both at the same time, Charlie with one arm, and Sasha with the other.
"I will miss you two",said Flo.
Sasha and Charlie were too sad to speak, so they just hugged her back. After a while, Flo stood up, and opened the envelope to take her ticket out.
But, when she opened the envelope, the ticket wasn't there!
"Huh?",said Flo confused.
The envelope was completely empty.
"But, I never took it out of the envelope",said Flo",I never left it out, either. Where could it be?."
"What's wrong, Flo",asked Sasha and Charlie.
"The...The ticket, it's gone!",said Flo",but it can't be true, I never took it out of the envelope, and you didn't either."
"Maybe you did, and left it in the house",said Sasha.
"I have to look for it, and fast",said Flo, going towards the front steps. But just as she was about to open the door, Charlie called her.
"Flo, wait",said Charlie.
Flo turned around. She was surprised to see that Charlie was smiling.
"What it it, Charlie",asked Flo, rather alarmed.
"Flo",said Charlie in a calm voice",even if you looked for it, you would never find it. Because, that ticket does not exist."
"Huh?",asked both Flo and Sasha confused.
"Yes",said Charlie",I understand it now. Anabelle gave you that ticket, but it was really not a ticket at all. It was a heavenly test, disguised as a ticket. You see, Anabelle was testing you. You found true happiness here, and you forgot about all your sadness. But the ticket was a round way one, which meant that you had to return. No matter how sad you were, you did what Anabelle her meant for you to do, because that was God's will. Seeing that you would renounce to all this because it was his will, you passed the test, and the ticket vanished! And that proves that you have a very great spirit. And now, Flo, you don't have to return anymore, and you can stay if you want to!"
Flo was astounded for a few seconds, but then she realised it. She could stay! She didn't have to return!
"Flo",said Sasha",I know that you like being with us, but maybe you also miss home..."
"No",said Flo",please, no. I don't want to go back. I hate New Orleans, it's full of sad memories in every corner. I want to stay here with you, I want to be with you guys forever. But, I have no money, and I can't afford a house..."
"Money?!",said Sasha",oh, please don't worry about money, Flo. We've got lots of that."
"But I couldn't live on your earnings",said Flo",it wouldn't be fair. I have to earn my own living, but I just don't know how."
"You can work with us at the Cafe, Flo",said Sasha",I'd love to have you with us, and you could earn your salary that way. Please, stay with us, you can live with us, Flo".
Charlie suddenly got struck by a tremendous idea.
"Wait a minute",said Charlie",Sasha, I have a better idea."
"What is it, Charlie",asked Sasha.
"I know someone who would love to have some company",said Charlie",and I bet she would happily accept Flo. Come with me, girls."
Sasha and Flo were a little uncertain, but they were also happy. They followed Charlie to the place where he was heading, which turned out to be no less that Bess's house.
Sasha, Flo and Charlie arrived at Bess's house. Charlie knocked on the door.
"Come in, Charlie",said Bess, knowing that it was Charlie's knock.
He went in, followed by Sasha and Flo.
"Bess",called out Charlie",I have something to ask you."
"I'll be down in a minute",said Bess.
Bess was upstairs. Charlie told Sasha and Flo to stay in the hallway out of sight. Bess, after a while, came down.
"Hello, Charlie",said Bess",please sit down."
Charlie sat down on a couch in the familily room, and Bess sat down on another, opposite to him.
"I want to ask you a very special favor,"said Charlie.
"Of course, Charlie",said Bess",what is it."
"Remember you told us that you sometimes felt as if you needed someone to share your house with?",asked Charlie.
"Well",said Charlie",if it isn't much to ask, could you please accept someone I know in your house?"
"Hmmm",said Bess",I'd be glad, Charlie, but it depends on who it is. Who it it?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you, so, let me show you",said Charlie.
He pointed towards the hallway, and Flo and Sasha stepped out. Bess was stunned.
"Flo!",exclaimed Bess",but, I thought you were gone".
"I'm back now, Bess",said Flo",I'm staying in San Francisco for the rest of my life."
"Really!?",said Bess",oh my God, I, I can't believe it. You're back!"
Sasha looked at Bess.
"Would you accept her, Bessie?",asked Sasha",would it be alright for her to live here with you."
Bess looked hard at Flo. She stared into her eyes very intently. Flo thought that maybe Bess didn't like the idea. But, suddenly, they all had a big surprise.
"Well",said Bess impatiently",what are you waiting for, girl? Go upstairs and choose a room. Unpack your things if you have any and make yourself at home. After all, this is your house too, you know."
Flo was surprised.
"Oh, Bess",said Flo,"do you really mean it?! May I live here with you?!".
"Heck, of course you can, Flo",said Bess",and from now on, this is 'Bess and Flo's Bungalow!'"
"Oh, thank you Bess",said Flo with tears of joy",thank you so much!"
Flo gave Bess a big hug. Bess hugged her back, feeling very happy indeed to have her friend back. Sasha and Charlie were overjoyed also.
"Anabelle made us all happy",said Charlie.
"Yes",said Sasha",she made you happy bringing back Flo, she made me happy meeting such a good friend, she made Bess happy by bringing her a friend to share her home, and she made Flo happy by letting her meet us all."
"Oh, guys",said Flo",I'm so, so happy. I know that our past lives are filled with sad memories, but we will make new ones, and erase those sad and empty thoughts. I want to live with you forever. I...I love you all."
"And we love you too, Flo",said Sasha, smiling.
Charlie smiled, and gathered them all around. Sasha put her arm around Charlie's shoulder, Flo did the same, and Bess put her own arm around Flo's shoulder. Everyone was happy as can be.
"Now",said Charlie with a nice smile",the most important thing is that we are all together, and we will live happily and make new and happy memories. Our lives will be very different now, and I think this is the beginning of a very beautiful life."
"You said it, Charlie",said Sasha with a big smile.
"We will make new little memories",said Bess happily.
"Yup",said Flo with a wide grin",Little Memories of a Beautiful Life!"
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Hi! It's Hyaku-Legger. Notice that Flo's last words 'Little Memories of a Beautiful Life' are the same words that I use as the title of my main Fan Fiction. Just in case you were wondering, it was Flo who gave me the idea of the title, and that's just how things are. That's all. Bye, and long live Flo in our hearts. :)