"All done?" the woman asked as he approached the gate.
Jack nodded. He guessed that he was. Not really by choice though. It felt far more like giving up, like admitting that no one, not even an animal, should be around him. He was too tainted, too dirty for their love. And they knew it. No wonder the dog hadn't wanted to come close to him. His hand went to the gate, ready to open it.
"Missy, come back here," Marius called.
Jack looked over his shoulder at the sound of a dog whining. Had her leash gotten caught on something? Was he the reason she sounded hurt? When he turned though he saw nothing wrong with her. She stood in the middle of the small area, her head down, her tail between her legs and whined loudly as if there was something wrong with her. He looked to Marius, unsure of how to ask what he wanted to. Was this his fault too? Had he done something to her?
Jack stepped toward her, wanting to apologize for whatever he'd done but not quite sure how. Her tail twitched as he approached and her whining stopped. When he was close enough to touch she took a step toward him. He reached for her, wanting to touch her if she'd let him. He hadn't had contact with anyone or anything in weeks. Feeling something warm and alive might be good for him. It could remind him that he was alive too. That he hadn't died. That they hadn't killed him.