Simin lived in that dust-pinched, one-room apartment with her boyfriend Barry, and his dead dog, Zulu. She had been concerned with dishes, out of wedlock, for three years, when the scrambling mammal collapsed under the sink. It wasn’t quite dead yet; she was staring at dog-paralyses or whatever it is Doctor Abu called it.
Barry came back late, saying something about the air condition in his office;
“Today was hell.” Then, he noticed how strained she felt. Thank God for a man like that in her life. “Have you done the dishes?” he asked.
Simin hated the feel of water recently. At first, she told Barry that she hated giving Zulu a bath, and then the kitchen sink really started getting on her nerves.
“That dettol smell is not fooling anyone.” He didn’t sound angry. She could accuse Zulu of having diarrhoea up until the world ended. However, she wandered how Barry would feel if she told him that everything would be just fine once Zulu was out of their lives- that she was certain that they would get married and have a baby then.
“- Where is Zulu?” Barry asked.
“We have to call the Doctor Abu again.” Simin hoped that she didn’t sound psychopatic.
Barry wrapped his wrist-watch back over his wrist. “I want to get some air outside.”
“Aren’t you calling Doctor Abu?”
“Let’s allow Zulu die in peace.” Barry bumped the chair backward, got up, and walked out of the door. Where are you going Barry? The dettol cloud made her feel stagnated.
Simin walked back into the kitchen. The afternoon light sat blandly over the oil and fermented stains. Within the umbra of the mounted sink was Zulu’s limp body. Why wait? She plunged shoulder deep into the poky store-room, where she found a shovel. How about a placard that read Good ridance to Zulu the Bingo, Oh what a name!?
She reeled back. She remembered yelping, and then, Doctor Abu saved her from falling. His face was dignified, but his fingers secured her wrists.
“Easy madam, where are you going with that?”
“Welcome Abu- Barry called you didn’t he? Zulu is dead. I was just going to bury it.” She didn’t know Abu well; but she hoped that he would never tell Barry that she tried to bury Zulu alive.
“Madam calm down, nobody is dead.”
“I am calm” Simin felt angry. Why was still clutching her wrists? “If Barry didn’t call you, then you can go.”
“I don’t know any Barry or any Zulu. Please madam, let go of the bed support.”
She slithered through blurred, mental surges. The shovel lurched horizontal. She could never have mishandled so much disinfectant; she fell, light-headed, into the sponge of a hospital bed- Saint Albert Clinic. Doctor Abu, still in his white overall, loomed over her.
“Hallucination is part of the symptoms of rabies.” He let-off her wrist.
“I want to talk to my boyfriend.”
“You live alone Madam. However, your mother called.”