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His Name was Puppy

Today she had a done a bad thing. She knew she wasn’t supposed to open the door but her father was calling to her from the other side, cajoling her into acquiescence. “Come on, sweetheart, open the door for daddy.” Her mother shouting from behind her, “Don’t you do it! Don’t you open that door!”

She stood in the middle. Turning both ways, conflicted, afraid, overwhelmed. She couldn’t take it anymore, the pleading, the yelling… it was too much. So against her mother’s wishes she had opened the door, and then flew out of it, away from her mother, right past her father. Running. Running. Out of the house, around the block, until finally, panting, she rested against a tree. She took a few deep breaths, lingered a bit to pick at the bark of the tree and then walked slowly back to the house. Where else was there to go, really.

When she returned, her parents were sitting there in the yellow kitchen, waiting. “I’m sorry ‘bout that, doll-face.” said her father, tussling her hair and grinning sheepishly.
Her mother knelt before her, grabbing her arms with her hands, “I shouldn’t have done that to you. It’s okay that you opened the door. I’m not mad.” Her mom gave a comforting little smile, “Okay?”

She shrugged. She could take it. She could take it all. It was no big deal. “Sure. Okay.”

Her parents exchanged a strained glance, and sent her off to play in her room.

She sat there now on her bed with Puppy, her favorite stuffed animal since she was a baby, and “A Wrinkle in Time,” one of her favorite books, semi-listening to the angry voices billowing up the stairs. The voices were loud and full of hurtful accusations. At 10 years-old, she was well aware her parents were divorcing, but it didn’t make her cry or anything. In fact, unless the fighting was particularly hateful, she could block it out completely.

Years later, her grandmother would relate a story about how she walked into the enraged house to find the little girl coloring a picture on the floor, her parent’s screaming all around. The grandmother bent down and asked, “What’s all that fighting about, pussycat?”
The little girl answered, “I don’t hear anyone fighting, grandma.”

The little girl listened for just a moment, hugged her worn, torn, well-loved Puppy a little closer and returned to her reading. It was no big deal. No big deal at all.

Puppy lived till the ripe, old age of 17, when all the thread in the world couldn’t put Puppy together again.

He is lovingly remembered.

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

9 responses »

  1. Winnie Schindler

    again you make me cry

    On Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 8:15 AM, Icescreammama

    Reply
  2. lilahbrett@aol.com

    I really like this. Have you read the liars club? Mary Carr I believe. You will like I think, I really appreciate her approach.

    My thoughts with respect to editing (take it or leave it, and you asked for this by blogging ), puppy should be in your arms at the door, and the you run away with him to keep him safe.

    Also, “do not let daddy in!” shrieked mom, would totally clarify and help reader get to your feeling efficiently. I was trying to figure out what was happening , had to re read.

    Unrelated,

    I have little memory of years 12-16 with respect to my home life (before second divorce) as the human mind is amazing in its protective instinct. Your piece moved me to tears…

    XO

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
  3. I like your fiction. Keep going with it.

    Reply
  4. So powerful. Amazing how you wrote only a few paragraphs but were able to evoke such feeling and emotion out of the piece. Great job!

    Reply
  5. I can relate to this and reallyy enjoyed reading it. Thanks. XO

    Reply
  6. Nice post – and really, really nice writing.

    Reply

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