Devon was a quiet man. Even though he lived in quite a big apartment complex, he never did anything other than politely nodding at his neighbors. As a musician, especially one in a rock band, everyone expected him to act and look a certain way. Long hair, leather pants so tight that you could almost see things you don't really want to see, ripped band shirts and overall ragged looks. Personality wise, he probably should be obnoxiously loud, sulky (at least this one is correct), and the type to pick fights over nothing. For the most, that could not be further from the truth. Devon took a long look at the mirror and reflected on himself. He was already 23, with a two-block haircut colored gray, stretched ears, and deep, deep eyebags. What was he doing with his life? Just getting by with his convenience store job in the mornings, guitar lessons in the evening and sometimes a few gigs with the band. All he could afford was a flat so small that he could barely fit his dog, let alone himself. There wasn't even a bedroom, just one ambient used as bedroom/kitchen/living room and a small bathroom with a tiny bathtub. He thought once again about his choices in life. Dropping off college, trying to live off of music. Even knowing how hard it was going to be beforehand, he still wondered if he made the right choice. The only things that gave him comfort was knowing that he was making his music how he wanted, his independence and his gigantic and drool-machine of a dog. Kira. She was there for him when no one else was, and she was all he needed. After a long, hard day, all he needed was to hug Kira and sniff her fur for a few seconds and it was like all his problems melted away.
Even though Devon took to himself, the whole building knew who he was. The weird man living in apartment number 410. Everyone was "friends", maintaining the smiles and gifting baked goods as expected of "good neighbors", but Devon wanted none of that. He rarely spoke, never smiled, refused to partake in any social activities, and only left his house when absolutely needed. It's not that he didn't like people, but he knew that the precious friendship everyone maintained, was held by a thread. And it also came with a price. As all social engagement, people do things for you expecting something in return, no matter what it is. Maybe they expect you to fill a hole inside their soul, maybe they need that when they have a problem, you're there to help. It doesn't matter what it is, but people always expect things from one another. And that was precisely why Devon stuck to animals. They love you for who you are, and don't give two shits if you suddenly show up and has seven piercings on your ears or a shaved head. You are still you, and they love you.
Devon threw himself in his bed and wondered if someday he would have money for an apartment large enough to place a couch. A TV would be nice too. And a wardrobe, so that he wouldn't have to keep all his clothes in a raggedy rack he made himself with some pipes and a lot of duct tape. He looked at his phone and saw that it was 6:45 and sighed. Late for work again. He threw some clothes on, the same thing as every day - ripped jeans and a black shirt already faded from old age. He ruffled his hair until it looked somewhat presentable, brushed his teeth, kissed Kira goodbye and ran as fast as he could hoping he wouldn't miss the bus.
It was already 11:30 and Devon swore the clock on the wall should be broken because it seemed to never move. Like, ever. He tapped his fingers on the cashier and made up a beat, slowly picking up the rhythm and started humming to it. His manager didn't allow him to listen to music while he was working, even when there were no clients, so creating melodies helped pass the time. He named it "Rhapsody to Boredom" and tried to not forget it until he could arrive home and actually turn it into a proper song. When the clock finally hit 12:00, Devon moved in the speed of light, changed from his work clothes to his normal ones and rushed to the bus stop, without even checking to see if his substitute had arrived. "Fuck them," he thought "I just need to see my baby and play some music". The bus arrived and he hopped in feeling a weight lifting from his back. He hated that job with all his strength.
Devon walked home with his usual fast-paced steps but stopped on his tracks to a horrifying sight. His apartment door was wide open. He slowly walked closer and called Kira, but had no response. Usually, she would be jumping for joy from having him arriving home, but he didn't even hear a single bark. He looked around, in panic, wondering where she might have run off to, and noticed a quite unusual scene. Two doors past him, there was another open door, and if he listened closely, he could listen to the quiet "arf" he knew so well.
"KIRA!!!" He barged into the apartment with the opened door and saw Kira on the shoulders of a man that Devon could only describe as a giant. He had black, messy, shoulder-length hair, and was over 2 meters tall. Upon hearing Devon's shout, the stranger lifted his head just enough for his face to half-appear in the middle of all his hair.
"Oh! Is this your dog? She is quite lively, I must say" The strange man laughed and Devon felt the ground trembling. His voice was so deep that it was possible to feel it in the palms his feet, even through his shoes. The strange man caringly placed Kira on the ground, and she jolted in Devon's direction immediately, licking his face and almost dropping him to the ground.
"Calm down, girl. Dad's home. But how the fuck did you escape? At least you're okay, but you're still up for a time-out, you little devil." Devon looked up once Kira calmed down and saw the strange man removing the hair from his face and tying it in some sort of messy bun. His clothes were hideous, was all that Devon could think. Everything was as colorful as possible, and nothing matched. And he was wearing socks and sandals. Devon must have made the worst face possible because the stranger immediately lifted his hands and said:
"I was taking the trash out and saw that your door was open and she was walking up and down the corridor. I decided it was best if I brought her in and waited until her owner appeared" He walked a few steps closer to Devon. "I swear I meant no harm to her or to you. My name is Craig, by the way. I just moved here this morning." He lifted his hand for Devon to shake, only to be left hanging.
"Thanks for taking care of her. I'm sorry for troubling you. Goodbye" Devon turned and started walking, with Kira glued to his feet.
"Wait! You didn't tell me your name! And it was no problem, I am a vet. Taking care of animals is kind of my job." Craig followed Devon and gave an awkward laugh.
"Devon." He rushed Kira inside, closed the door and left Craig facing the door, with a confused yet happy look on his face.