Dog Days.

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Chapter Six: Daisy.

Today felt like a long day, but a good day. Usually when my day’s got busy I found my anxiety getting the best of me, especially when the day had something new. Today I went to my regular job, then to walk the adorable Thor, the another dog name Biscuit after that. It was a lot of new, and more work then usual but I didn’t mind. I felt ready, like I knew what I was doing. That was something I didn’t often feel. Most days I went through life thinking I would mess up and surrounded by a confusing haze.

When I got to Chris’ house, he seemed stressed. I didn’t know what kind of work he did, but I do know how any job is hard with a new puppy. I couldn’t help but notice that he didn’t seem ready for a puppy, how did he get one? Or why? Maybe the dog was a gift? Didn’t people know to not give animals as gifts, especially when the person wasn’t ready for one?

I wanted him to be ready though, I wanted him to love having a dog. I know that I loved having one, and dogs could bring such joy to someone who needed it. As far as I could tell he lived here alone, a dog could make life less lonely once it was trained right.

I was tired by the time I go home, but not my normal tired. Usually I came home feeling the same way I left. Worn down, unprepared for the day, exhausted, unhappy. Today though, it was fulfilled. I did well today. When I spoke I felt like I sounded confident, like I knew what I was talking about. Most the time I come across as unsure, even when I knew exactly what I was talking about. When Chris looked at me, he looked impressed. He looked like he was happy to be entrusting something to me. Man, it felt good to be doing something I loved. I never thought that would happen to me.

After all, being a three-time college drop out didn’t exactly line up with having a good life. I wasn’t making enough money to live; I knew that, I could barely pay my bills. But I was happy, for now, I think.

Koda was out when I got home, which meant that Grams had decided to spend some time with him. Sometimes she would do that, but only on days when she was in a good mood. He greeted me at the door with kisses to my hand, “Hello good boy, did you have a good day?”

I walked up to the second floor, some news station playing on the radio in the kitchen. “Hey Grams.” I spoke passing the kitchen; she was sitting at the small two-person table eating her warmed up frozen meal. It looked like lasagna, but I wasn’t positive. Every one of those meals she opens looked less and less like food. The other night she had some meat loaf that looked like the can food that I sometimes gave Koda when I felt like splurging and getting the fancy stuff. Fancy for dogs, not for people, was the point.

“Hey.” She said to me, glasses sitting at the tip of her nose. “Good day at work?”

“Yeah.” I sat down at the seat across from her, letting my bag drop to the floor beside me. Koda and Ella, Grams Corgie, nosed at it. They must have smelled the other dogs I had seen today, and the treats of course. “I started walking for that guy today, and I got another extra walk.”

“That guy?” Grams said, tilting her head to the side. “What guy?”

“The one I told you about. I go there for an hour and a half three times a week.” I fiddled with the yellow saltshaker that was shaped like a bird. One of the many bird items in the house. Towels with birds on them, bird statues, paintings of birds, even a cage with two parakeets in it. For some reason, one I can’t understand, the woman loves birds. I paused my sentence to listen to the birds screech in the cage next to me. Lovely creatures. “He has the Morkie.”

“They love to get weird names to dogs these days don’t they.” She muttered.

“Well it’s a mix. Yorkie and a Maltese…”

“I know what it is.”

I didn’t know if my Grams knew that she sometimes came across as grumpy, but she did. I didn’t mind it much, at least not after a good day. She took a sip of her tea before speaking again. “He must be loaded having someone come in that much to train his dog. Nice house?”

I shrugged, “I guess. He doesn’t live to far. He lives in Oak Park too.” I grabbed my bottle of water from my bag, taking a sip. “I’m not even sure what he does for a job. He works from home though.”

“I bet he lives in the rich part of Oak Park.” All of Oak Park was pretty nice; our house was smaller but nice. This had been the first house Grams bought, and here she stayed. But, as much as I didn’t want to admit she was right, he was living in one of the expensive houses on one of the nicest blocks. “Maybe he’s a struggling artist, much like myself.” I fought back the urge to roll my eyes; I wouldn’t call a retired woman who paints birds while watching Netflix struggling. “How old is he? Married? Is he cute?”

And here we went, my Grams was constantly trying to set me up with someone. If she thought he was cute, she thought that I should be making a move. It was like she didn’t know at all; I wasn’t going to go talk to the barista at Starbucks just because he had dimples. “I never see anyone else, so I don’t know. He’s older though, upper 30’s or lower 40’s maybe.”

The elderly woman scoffed, “You’re 25, if he’s 30 or 40 that’s not a big deal. You’re grandpa was 16 years older then me. I personally always liked the older men. Why waste your time on men your own age? They are all dunces.” She wasn’t wrong, again. She sounded like a crazy person sometimes, but today she was a correct crazy person. Spouting strange words, but still somehow words of wisdom, while eating a gross frozen meal with her grey hair sticking up in all the wrong places. “But, like I asked before, is he cute?”

“He’s kind of dorky but…” I paused, suddenly getting up. “No, we aren’t starting this again. I don’t need to be thinking about the man I work for as a possible relationship are you crazy?”

“I’ve been told I am yes.”

I groan, starting towards the kitchen exit, “I’ve dated plenty I don’t need to be finding anyone new.”

“Oh come on, you’ve only dated losers. And that last one, I didn’t like him. He whined too much, and his hair was always perfect. It was weird.” She called after me as I walked into the hall.

Koda was at my heels as I headed towards my room. “I’m a very busy person and I have many busy person things to do.”

“Fine fine!”

I closed my door once Koda was in, leaning against it for a moment to let out a long breath. She would be the death of me. I kicked my shoes off, sitting down on the bed and grabbing my laptop. My dog jumped up, lying beside me and I opened my laptop to see the word document staring back at me.

Chapter 12, I can’t believe I’m stuck at chapter 12. My free hand scratches at Koda’s head, looking up at the ceiling. Another book to write, another book I would do nothing with. God knew that I never thought that my work was good enough to be published. Plus, I would have to finish it in order to even try.

I grumbled as I slammed the laptop closed and put it back on the ground, grabbing the book that laid beside my bed. I laid back, opening it and letting Koda move to lay against me in my twin bed. I was lucky that I had such a cuddly dog, I don’t know what I would of done if he didn’t like to cuddle.

I started reading right where I left off last time, being sucked into the story right away. I wasn’t one for mysteries usually, nor did I take book recommendations from Grams, but this one was good. What did it feel like to be such a good writer? To be able to created such a complex story? The author must be sitting on top of the world, feeling nothing but pride to know that something they wrote is loved by so many. I would give anything to feel that even once.

My thoughts drifted, I rested my book against my chest and stared up at the celling. “Now that I think about it, he is kind of cute.

Dammit Grams.

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