This is one of those writing exercises I did early in my college career. I’m ashamed of it, but I’m going to post it anyway. I forgot that it even existed.
Adrian lived alone in a small apartment, and she feared that it would remain that way until gray hair sprouted from her head and her boobs would begin to sag to the ground. She tried to fight this terrifying future by dating as much as she could. It was the only way to find Mr. Right, at least that’s what her mother had told her. (Her mother was on her fourth rich husband at the moment.) Yet, it only led to dead-end relationships with guys who thought they were prettier than her or those who wished they were prettier than her. These were no easy feats seeing as she was a blue-eyed bombshell with long black hair. Her last boyfriend Sean, who stomped on her heart, had been the closest thing to Mr. Right, until he ran off with his younger sister’s best friend. Jerk.
The thought of starting a family on her own did cross her mind, but the thought of a mountain of dirty diapers and money not spent on her squashed that idea. A dog would be cheaper. At least, I wouldn’t have to send it to college.
She contemplated the idea a bit longer, before a sigh escaped her lips as she sat at her desk. Her eyes dragged away from the clock on her computer. Working was such a hassle. Wasn’t it time to go, yet? She had a new companion to go buy.
“Hey, Adrian, what are you doing tonight?” Jeff said, peering over her cubicle. She sighed again in annoyance. Jeff was constantly asking her out. He was really weird. She was pretty sure she caught him sniffing her hair many times. Couldn’t he take a hint?
“I’m going out with a friend,” she mumbled, hiding behind a stack of papers she was supposed to have made copies for her boss. Oh, well.
“Oh, maybe I could tag along or …”
“But, I could…”
Jeff frowned and slid a hand through his overly done hair. Adrian was positive she saw a bug peeping out of one of his curls and was winking at her.
“Maybe another time, then,” he said hopefully.
“We’ll see, Jeff. I’m really busy right now.” She shuffled some papers and pretended to be typing something that looked very important as he walked away.
This was her life. It was always the creepy, old, or egotistical guys coming up and trying to talk to her. She was doomed, doomed to be forever alone. If Sean didn’t want her, then no one else would. The idea of getting a dog rose in her mind once again. It was dumb, but she needed some companionship, and a dog wouldn’t be so much trouble.
One glance at her clock told her it was time to check out. Working as an assistant was so hard. She quickly packed her things, and strode toward the elevators. Her heels made a click-clacking against the marble floors as she tapped her foot in impatience. The elevator dinged as it reached her floor.
In the elevator, Adrian cursed her bad luck. A balding gentleman with coke-bottle glasses stared at her without blinking and didn’t seem to know what personal space meant. He also smelled like bologna. What a creep. Without looking back, Adrian got off the elevator and walked out of the building, speed-walking to her car. She hopped in and fixed her hair in the rear-view mirror and gasped. Oh, my God. There were bags under her eyes. She looked so old. No wonder Sean dumped her for that 20 year old. That’s it. I’m going to get a dog.
She started up her car and drove out of the parking lot onto the street, where she cruised for the pet shop she often passed on her way to work. Holly’s Pet Store in big tacky yellow letters loomed into her view. She quickly parked her car and strode inside. Excitement bubbled in her chest. Goodbye, loneliness. The air inside the pet shop smelled like animals, dirty animals. She covered her nose at the strong odor. A bouncy young brunette walked up to her. Adrian squinted at her name tag. Olivia.
“How can I help you, today?” the perky girl asked.
“Uh, I would like a dog, preferably, one of those little cute ones that can fit in my purse.” Adrian watched as the smile was wiped off Olivia’s face.
“Oh, you’re one of those people.”
Adrian puffed up her chest in indignation. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all,” Olivia paused and a gleam was in her eye, “I know just the dog for you. Wait right here.”
“Wait, don’t I get to pick the dog?” Adrian called after the retreating girl’s back. She stomped her foot in frustration. Her eyes glanced around the store and came face to face with a parrot staring at her. “What are you looking at?”
The bird only squawked at her in response.
“I think this is the dog for you,” a voice interrupted her staring match with the parrot. The dog was small and blonde haired and love instantly filled her heart. This one would definitely fit in her purse.
“It’s so cute. I’ll take it,” Adrian squealed as she took the small whimpering dog into her arms, “I think I’ll call you Princess.” It looked over at Olivia forlornly as if knowing the type of owner it had just been given to.
Olivia rolled her eyes. “But it’s a boy.”
“Well, do you have any girl dogs that look like this?”
“That’s the last dog we have of that particular type.”
“Well, then I can name it whatever I want, since you don’t have what I want.”
“Do you even want to know what kind of dog it is?”
“Not particularly. Does it matter?”
The perky employee had lost their cheerfulness and simply sighed, glancing up at the ceiling. It seemed Adrian had sucked the happiness right out of her. “I suppose not, if you’re heart is really set on buying him.”
Adrian began to get impatient and irritated. Who was this teenager to tell her what to do? “Are you going to get me the things I need to take care of him or are you going to stand there all day?”
“You have to fill out this paperwork first.” Olivia glared at her and handed her the forms. Then she began going the aisles of the store, gathering things she would need to take care of Princess.
It was quite a bit of stuff. More than she thought she would need. Hmmm. Maybe a dog wasn’t for her after all. Something began to wiggle against her chest, and Adrian looked down at the sad-faced dog staring up at her. Her fingers carded through his hair unconsciously. When they got to the cash register, that little furry face wouldn’t let her put him back and run out of the store like a madwoman.
Olivia rang her up and told her all the things she would need to do for Princess, like the check-ups and shots. That’s so much responsibility. She kept glancing at her like she was expecting her to say ‘Never Mind.’ Adrian thought about it, but she wouldn’t give the smug little girl the satisfaction. Olivia helped her carry the things to her car, while Adrian carried her new dog in its kennel.
The ride home was filled with yelping and whimpering. It was the most annoying sound in the world next to her stepfather’s donkey laugh. Dr. Lewis would be very disappointed to see her grinding her new veneers, but it couldn’t be helped. I don’t think I thought this through. Luckily for someone, the apartment complex allowed pets, so she trudged to the elevator, down the hall, and to her apartment with her new friend.
She set the kennel down in the middle of the living room and let Princess out. He crept out, beady little eyes straying all over the place. Then he began to yap at her. At least, her apartment wasn’t filled with soul-sucking silence anymore. They stared at each other for a while before Princess waddled up to her nipped at her feet.
“Hey cut that out. These are very expensive shoes.” The puppy ignored and continued his battle with her shoes. She bent down and picked him up. “Let’s get one thing straight. I’m the boss here, and you’ll do what I say.” It’s not like she expected the dog to talk back, just that he understood. He simply licked her on the face, and then she felt something warm dripping down the front of her blouse.
“Please, tell me you didn’t do what I think you just did.” Adrian glanced down at the yellow stain on her shirt. This was not starting out how she expected. With determination set in her chest, she was going to keep Princess and train him, no matter what.
A couple days passed and Adrian was at the end of her rope. Her favorite shoes had been ruined. Princess practically pooped and pissed on every inch of her living room floor. This was not what she signed up for. Currently, she was kneeling on her carpet dressed in sweats and a ratty t-shirt trying to scrub another pee stain off her carpet, while Princess looked on in a guilty sort of way.
“I think I’ve had enough. You’re just too much trouble. I thought I could do this, but I can’t.” A little whining noise broke her out of her tirade, and she saw Princess trying to comfort her by nudging her side. That cute little face was trying to butter her up. It wasn’t going to work, even though his fur was really soft, and she hadn’t thought about being alone in a while.
Sweat prickled down her forehead; she wiped it away with a flick of her hand. Manual labor was not for her. Then the doorbell rang, and she struggled to her feet. Who would be coming over this early on a Saturday morning? Adrian walked to the door, and looked through the peephole. “Who is it?”
“It’s me, Sean.” Surprise shot through her body, and she quickly began to fix her hair as best she could in the mirror hanging in the hallway.
“Just a minute.” She ran to the door and opened the door with her heart racing in her chest. This was the man she loved, yet he had dumped her like she trash. Sean stood there with flowers in his hand and a hopeful expression on his face.
At the sight of Adrian looking sweaty and tired, his expression shifted to horror. He put the flowers behind his back. “Oh, hi, Adrian, I was just in the neighborhood and thought I’d stop by, but it looks like you’re busy. I’ll just go.”
“No, wait, come on in,” she squealed, tugging him into her apartment and closing the door behind her. Sean wandered inside a little, and then clamped a hand over his nose.
“What’s that smell?” Pure disgust overshadowed his face.
“Oh, that’s just my dog had a few accidents. I was cleaning when you rang.”
“Since when do you have a dog, and when did you start cleaning your apartment. Don’t you have a maid?” He was staring at her as if he had never seen her before.
“Well, she sort of quit a couple weeks ago, and I haven’t had the chance to find someone else. Working and taking care of a dog takes up a lot of time.” Adrian was wringing her hands in embarrassment. She just wanted the floor to open up and swallow her. Sean was staring at her with such revulsion, and it made her heart sink. How could he look at her like that after all she had done for him? She had actually admitted that he was pretty than her, and he hadn’t disputed it. Why couldn’t he just love her? Self-hatred rose up in her like a wave.
Then Princess came from under the couch and trotted over to Sean and proceeded to urinate all over his shoes
“What the hell?” he yelled, jumping away from the puppy, “Get control of your stupid mutt!” Sean glared at the dog that seemed to be staring up at him in defiance. “I hate dogs. Why would you get one in the first place? You can barely take care of yourself. Your mother has to step in and help you all the time.”
Adrian stared at the floor as the tirade went on and on. Her hands curled into fists at her side. She had been working too hard these past couple of weeks for a stupid boss and cleaning up after a dog that had done nothing but be there for her, unlike him. He had no right to lecture her.
“Shut up and get out,” she growled lowly. For a second, it hadn’t seemed like he heard her, but he stopped talking to notice her.
“What did you just say to me?” Sean muttered, stalking towards her.
“I said to shut your damn mouth and get out of my apartment. You’re a complete loser, and I don’t know what I saw in you. I mean you go after you teenage sister’s best friend. What kind of man are you… Desperate. That’s what.” Adrian started pushing him towards the door. “Now, get out and don’t come back. I’d rather be alone with my stupid dog.”
“Wait just a second…” The sound of the door slamming cut of his response. Adrian leaned against the door and slid to the floor with angry tears in her eyes. Yapping broke through her thoughts and Princess came towards her. He put his head on her lap, while she stroked his head.
“It’s just you and me now.” Strangely, Adrian was okay with that. Princess licked her hand in reply.
Author’s Note: The prompt my professor gave us was to write something with dogs. That was it. It took me a while to find my legs in that particular class, but I’m glad I took it. It was called Fiction Workshop. Here is the story, which I cringe every time I read it. Oh well. You move on and learn better and write better (hopefully). 🙂
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