I never wanted to say goodbye to Casper, but it was bound to happen sometime. Our friendship started with a lonely boy and a ham sandwich. After I got kicked out of my home, I started living on the streets, sleeping in the parks, and eating from the dumpsters that lay around the city. It wasn’t until I found the boy sitting outside of the high school with an uneaten ham sandwich that I found an opportunity for meal and a friend.

I was never one to be bold, but I hadn’t eaten in a few days and I was starving. The boy saw me coming and watched me as I approached. I stopped a few feet away, unsure if he would ignore me or not, but all caution was thrown to the wind as he held out the ham sandwich and told me he wasn’t going to eat it anyways.

Grateful for the meal, I snatched it from him and was about to run off when he called out. He said he didn’t have anyone to eat lunch with and could use the company, so I walked back and sat next to him, eating my ham sandwich. I didn’t talk much, but he told me all about what was happening in his school, how people were annoying, and how he missed his father. He told me all sorts of things and I sat there and listened, giving comfort by just being there.

This is how it went on for several months. I’d meet him at lunch and he’d bring a ham sandwich. He ate the bread and I ate the ham. He talked, and I listened.

One night, there was a big rain storm. By the time I found shelter, I was already soaking wet so I spent the night shivering in the doorway of a restaurant. When I met Casper the next day, he gave me his jacket so I could warm up and didn’t object when I curled up next to him. This is one of my favorite memories.

To me, Casper was my home. From him, I learned that I wasn’t homeless. He showed me that home could be a person. So when he told me that his family was moving, I couldn’t deal with it. I had just found a new home after getting thrown out of my old one and now he was leaving.

I was too angry and hurt to anything besides run away. I heard him calling after me but I didn’t feel like listening. What would I do without Casper? I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t take me with him. I couldn’t be that much of a burden, could I?

I guess that’s what hurt the most.

I didn’t see Casper after that. It’s something that I’ll always regret because I never got to say goodbye.

It was a Saturday when I went back to our meeting place. I knew he wouldn’t be there but I had nothing better to do and our old meeting place was one of the few things that gave me comfort.

Casper had left. I had watched him get into the car with his family and drive off. He hadn’t even tried to say goodbye.

My best friend, my home, was leaving me behind. I had become homeless once again.

When I arrived at our old meeting place, there was a package that sat in the place he normally waited. As I approached, I saw that it was a ham sandwich. On it, was a note that said goodbye.

I was trying not to cry. Who would eat the bread from the sandwich? I had no one to share it with and no one to listen to as I ate the small treat.

I could picture him coming with the sandwich, waiting until I arrived to give it to me, watching the time, leaving when it ran out.

Then he left.

And there was nothing I could do.

There was nothing I could ever do.

I am only a cat after all.