After the all too pleasant encounter with my mother the previous day, I found myself in the best mood anyone could be in. I dreamt of frolicking through a field of flowers and performing other cliche montages. No, but seriously, I am so angry that the only way my body could express the amount of rage I was holding in, was to vomit. Yep. All over my bedroom floor. Quite honestly I didn't care if I made it to the toilet or not. I wonder if dogs felt this triumphant when they barfed on the floor and waited for their owner to find it. After a steaming shower that left my skin bright red, I brushed my teeth to rinse out the vomit taste and got dressed. When my nerves were this shot, a walk was one of the only things that could calm them. So down the stairs I stomped, only to find my dad sitting on the couch like he owned the damn place. Okay, he did own the place, but it wasn't like I didn't already know that. I could tell that an argument was about to erupt.
"Do you mind telling me why your mother had to call me home?" he asked like he actually cared. "I'm sure she's already told you, otherwise you wouldn't be here." I laughed and kept walking. "Young lady, you get back over here." he scolded me like a puppy who had peed on the floor. At this moment I was relieved that I had cleaned up my rage vomit. "I quit being a young lady at five years old." I said, stopping but not turning around. "You have one last chance to clean your act up and start taking your therapy seriously before I have to break your mother's heart by sending you off to rehab." he yelled, raising his voice. At that point, I had had enough of the rehab threats. "You have got to be out of your fucking mind!" I yelled, spinning around. "How much fucking sense does it make that I am the only one in this godforsaken family that has been committed to therapy! He was your damn son!" I screamed stomping the rest of the way out of the house before slamming the door. I almost wanted him to come after me so I could embarrass him in front of the entire neighborhood. But he wasn't about to let the neighbors see that. After all, he had worked too hard to keep up the perfect facade. So I just kept walking, headed towards the park.
Today the park closest to my house was obnoxiously crowded. There was nothing more I hated than crowds; especially in outdoor areas. I thought the purpose of a park was for fresh air. This annoyingly large mass of people seemed to be hogging all of the fresh air. My frustration with the crowd was peaking, and I felt myself tensing up; the only thing I could do was walk. I kept walking towards the edge of the park where the woods began. Not many people wandered near the woods. It has been a rumor for many years that homeless people live in those woods. Lucky for me, I don't care where homeless people set up shop. They canvas our neighborhoods and rummage through our trash cans for food, so I don't see the harm in seeking out peace and quiet near their dwellings.
Just as I had broken away from the large crowd, I noticed one last obstacle in my way. It was a frail lady with mousy brown hair and a large cardboard box resting at her feet. It was most likely filled with mutt puppies or feisty kittens. Either way, I wanted to avoid her at all costs. The last thing I needed was something else bothering me. As I neared closer and braced myself for her pleads to take an animal, I noticed that she wasn't eagerly waiting to speak to me. Instead she pinned a sign to the box, grabbed her dingy bag and walked away. Puzzled, I slowed my pace and waited for her to disappear. When the coast was clear, I jogged up to the box and snatched the note. It read: Please give me a good home.
I threw the note down and peered inside. Curled up in the corner of the box was a fat, white ball of fur. The puppy's body was shaking. Despite his thick fur, he was freezing. Was this woman insane? She was seriously going to leave this poor puppy here to fend for himself, in this freezing weather. Some people have no heart. Why didn't she just take him to a shelter? Fucking moron. I quickly scooped him up and buried his body inside of my coat, letting only his head peek out. There was an animal shelter about four blocks away. That could be considered a lengthy walk for some people, but I walked everywhere, so it wasn't a big deal.
Half way there the puppy started wiggling wildly in my coat and I couldn't help but laugh, at first. But after I tried to situate him several times with no success, I became annoyed. So I set him down next to me, hoping he would follow. But he just started whizzing on the sidewalk. The sight of him throwing caution to the wind and pissing in the middle of the sidewalk brought back my laughter. And when he was done, I scooped him back up and he went right to sleep.The shelter slowly crept into view as I rounded the corner, pup still in hand. Some degree of anxiety came over me. Never in my life have I owned a pet. We haven't even had a family pet. So I was lost as to what I should do or say upon entering the animal shelter. Still, I walked forward and eventually entered the main door of the shelter. A cluster of employees in scrubs walked about the space behind the counter. The main lobby was vacant, save for an older lady with a tiny ball of fur in her lap. As the small puppy caught sight of me, it went to yapping so loudly that I wanted to shove my boot down its throat. I did my best to ignore it as I made my way to counter. I had to clear my throat loudly a few times before the the woman at the desk acknowledged me.
"Yes, may I help you?" she asked pleasantly. "Um, I found this puppy in the park today. He was in a box. Some woman just left him there with a note asking for a good home." I presented her with the information as I remembered it. "Okay, so what would you like us to do?" she asked as she raised her brow. "Um, what exactly can you do?" I asked, not quite sure what services they offered. "Well are you planning to keep the dog or would you like us to take him?" she replied. "Are you kidding!" I laughed. "My parents are already pissed at me. Imagine what they would do if I brought this home!" I said, shaking the puppy slightly. "Okay then.." she said, filing through paperwork behind the counter. "It's going to cost you fifteen dollars to admit him to our clinic. We do adoptions on Saturdays. And every animal that is not adopted within two weeks will be put down." she said frankly as she handed me the papers. "Wait a second." I said, ignoring the papers. "You're going to make me pay you, when I am the one offering this thing over? And you're also telling me that he may not even live if he isn't adopted?" I said, disgusted. "Well he is a puppy, and he appears to be a pure bred Saint Bernard, so he stands a great chance of being adopted." she said. "This is fucking nuts! You people are crazy, sadistic, animal killers! What happens if a child isn't adopted within two weeks? Do you think adoption agencies just kill them off!" I raised my voice, causing the small dog across the room to yap. "I am certainly not paying you to kill this dog!" I yelled as I stuffed the puppy back in my coat as I stomped out of the clinic.
The entire way home I ranted about the vet clinic to the puppy, who obviously couldn't weigh in on the situation. "Those people are fucking crazy!" I yelled into the open air. "Just who the hell do they think they are, trying to make me sell you, knowing good and well that you could die!" I finished. After a few moments of silence I began to laugh. "My parents are going to be so pissed about me bringing you home." I laughed louder. He wiggled a bit in my coat in reaction to my laughter. Walking up the steps to my front door I braced myself for the scream-fest that was about to take place. "I'm home!" I said happily. "And I brought a puppy!" I giggled a bit. Dad came running into the living room with a clear look of disdain hanging on his face. But before he could start screaming my head off, mom jumped in. "Honey, where did that puppy come from?" she asked as politely as she could manage. "Some lady at the park left him in his a box. There was a note on it asking to give him a good home." I said, petting in between the puppy's ears.
Dad obviously wasn't buying my story, even though it was true. "No, you are not responsible enough to have an animal. March yourself back out that door and take that mutt to the pound." He said seriously, pointing towards the front door. "He isn't a mutt." I countered. "I already took him to an animal shelter and they said he is a pure bred Saint Bernard." I stated, in a matter-of-fact fashion. "I don't care if he is a pure bred trophy dog, you're not responsible enough!" dad said, raising his voice. "Now wait a second." mom said, joining in. "She may not be the most responsible child, but Dr. Elliot has mentioned that having a pet could really help Abyie cope with Avery's death." she finished, looking to my dad for a response. He hesitated for a moment before speaking.
"You can keep that mutt under one condition." he said sternly. "What's that?" I asked, not really caring. Whatever it was, I would probably agree to it. "You have to start treating myself, your mother and Dr. Elliot with more respect. And you must also start taking therapy seriously. That offer for rehab still stands." he stated. At this point I really wanted to bring up the discussion from earlier. Why aren't him and mom in therapy? Yeah, Avery was my twin brother. But he was their child. I've read that losing a child is the most traumatic event a parent can experience in relation to their child. But I figured bringing it up would ruin my chances of keeping Dexter. That's what I decided to name the puppy. I looked back at my parents who were still waiting for my response. I nodded slightly in agreeance before walking upstairs and yelling back at them, "He's not a mutt!"
I'm Abyie Saturday and I approve this message.