We were just going to buy fishy’s new bowl, at least that was the plan that day. But, as soon as I stepped into the shop, there was something that caught my eye. A man was on the other side of the window. His big brown eyes were staring at the cute puppies pressing his palms closer to the glass. He had a smile on his lips, and in that little moment, I almost imagined he was my age.
I remember this as if it was yesterday.
I remember my mom holding my hand so we could just buy what we needed, but the words ‘I want to see the puppies too,’ kept being pronounced. Her patience was growing thin, and I knew that.
But I also knew that was when she usually gave in.
So after five minutes of begging, mom finally let me go to them. The three chubby pets were running in their playground, but the man with sweet doe eyes was nowhere to be seen.
“Can I have one?”
That question made mom sigh like she always did when she didn’t want to reply to something.
It was her way of dodging hurting me. Now I know that at five, I wasn’t mature enough to have a pet, but at that moment, as the cute fluffy dog licked my fingers, there was nothing I wanted most in the world than to take one home.
“We can’t Laurel,” she said for the third time crouching in front of me. “You know we don’t have space.”
Space, that was her excuse that day.
Behind her, someone chuckled, and when I raised my eyes to the tall person, I noticed and opened my mouth in aw, as the nice man grinned at me.
He was taller than mom, older than me, but not her. He had a pretty face, cheeks that raised, and hide his eyes when he smiled at us. His hair covered his forehead but not his eyes when he leaned in my direction.
“You want a puppy, little girl?” He asked, and mom tilted her head to the stranger. “She wants a puppy,” he repeated, pointing at me.
His eyes were on mom; she wasn’t pleased I could tell. Her lips were pressed together, and she was taking long deep breaths before turning to face the man who was amused.
“Yes, but we cant.”
My eyes went from one to the other, as the man questioned her. Mom was the authoritative figure I always knew; she was the one person I could never doubt or question when she said no.
She was the one person there for me no matter what.
“Because,” she said and then leaned to the man.
I couldn’t listen to what they were talking about, but whenever mom replied to his question, he would ask something else. Then he widened his eyes, and mom closed her mouth, knowing she won the argument.
He was lucky she was polite and in a good mood. I am not sure if I would have behaved like that.
“When it’s your birthday?” He turned to face me, a smile covering his lips disguised as curiosity.
But I didn’t reply, I knew better than to talk to someone who was a stranger. Mom always said I shouldn’t talk to people I didn’t know, and that was what this man, however sweet, was to me.
“Her birthday was last month.”
Giggles left my lips when the man’s smile widened, and he clapped his hands excitedly. He then turned to mom, with nothing but happiness on his face and saying the words I wanted to listen to the most.
“Then it’s settled, I will give one puppy to her as a birthday present.”