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Abby Was a Lonely Girl
Abby was a lonely girl. She lived a part of the suburbs where her neighbors were over sixty years old, except for those Olivers down the street; but her mother would not let her to talk to them. Everyday she would wake up to find her daddy had gone to work and her mommy had started cleaning the house again. There were no brothers or sisters for poor Abby to play with, and her mother was a firm believer in the fact that children should be able to amuse themselves. So Abby would dress up Barbies by herself, she would run around the backyard by herself, and she would nap by herself. No matter what was happening, Abby was a very lonely little girl. Her greatest wish in the entire world was that someone would play with her.
One winter day when Abby was still very young Grandma called Daddy at work to tell him that there was a cat on her roof. Daddy reluctantly gave up what he was doing and took a rare lunch break to get the cat off of Grandma’s roof. Before he went back to work he dropped the cat off at his house.
“Take it to the Humane Society now, it will get everything messy!” Mommy yelled at Daddy.
“The Humane Society is on the other side of town. I will take it later,” Daddy picked up his briefcase with one last look at the mangy cat, not much more than a kitten. It had a grey and black striped tail and stripes that ran jaggedly across its belly, so that when it curled up it looked like the stripes were continuous. Abby too looked at the cat and saw the golden opportunity that lay before her.
“Daddy can we keep it?” she asked in the cutest voice she could muster. Daddy paused for a moment.
“Well, I don’t see any reason why not,” he finally answered, “but you will have to ask your mother.”
“Mommy, can we please keep the baby kitty?” Abby asked again.
“Absolutely not, do you realize the mess that it would make? Hair everywhere, cat litter tracked around the house, doorframes scratched into oblivion. No.”
“Please Mommy?” Abby was about to cry. All she had to look forward to was more days of being alone if she did not have someone.
“Really dear, I do not see any reason why not. It will teach her some responsibility,” Daddy interjected.
“Fine,” Mommy marched off into the back of the house. Daddy got down on one knee and gently placed Abby on it so he could look her straight in the eyes.
“In order to keep the cat you need to promise to take care of it. You will need to feed it, and clean its litter-box, and care for it. Okay Abby?”
“Yes, Daddy!” Abby practically shouted. She picked up the cat and looked into his green eyes. “Your name is Jon,” she told it. Jon mewed proudly to show his approval. From that day forward Abby was no longer a sad, lonely, little girl. She would dress up Jon, run around the backyard with Jon, and nap with Jon. Every time Abby was sad Jon would always crawl into her lap and rub his face against her until she petted him. When he would start to purr Abby would always start to become the happy girl she was once again.
Then one day it was time for Abby to go to school. She wanted to take Jon with her but her mother told her that cats weren’t allowed in school, school was for little girls and boys. She would meet plenty of ‘real friends’ at school. On the morning of her first day of kindergarten the last thing Abby did was to give Jon a big hug and tell him that she would be back later and they could play then.
Abby’s mother was right. She did make friends with the little girls and boys at school. It seemed that almost everyone wanted to be Abby’s friend. That fall Abby’s best friend Sarah told her that she was playing soccer and Abby should play soccer too. So Abby did play soccer and she found out that she was really good at soccer, then basketball and softball. If Abby tried to do something she was the best person to do it, it seemed.
When Abby was at school or playing soccer Jon sat at home alone. At first he would sleep for a few hours and then walk around the house, checking every room to make sure that his Abby hadn’t come home yet. As the years passed Abby stayed away from home longer and longer. Still everyday when she got home the first thing she would do was find Jon and put him on her shoulder, but the end of that came one day too. Now Jon slept for hours upon end, sometimes not moving from one spot for nearly a whole day.
In the year that Abby started high school she noticed that Jon was getting old. She still loved him very much, but she didn’t spend much time with her cat anymore. Whenever it seemed like he wanted to get up off the bed Abby was always reading a book. Now he walked slowly, and his teeth were disappearing. So now Abby was there for Jon. She would mix milk with his food so that he could eat easy and she didn’t complain when he didn’t quite make it to his litterbox and she had to clean the mess up.
Abby left home for college one year.
Unlike when she had been at school she never came home when the day ended and she never saw her Jon. At college Abby was the odd one out. Here all the people that didn’t skip class and couldn’t care less about making the cheer squad. She was the lone Miss Popular in a sea of geeks. Her parents had been apprehensive about letting her go so far away to a college that was known for the quality of its academic programs and not its football team, and now she knew why. For the first time in her life since before she could remember Abby was a lonely girl once more. She had an acquaintance or two and occasionally a boyfriend but there was no one for Abby to turn to when she really needed someone.
Once winter day Abby was sitting the common room of her dorm and her mother called her. “Abby,” she said, “I have some really bad news.”
“What is it?” Abby asked worriedly.
“We’re so sorry honey, Jon past in his sleep last night.”
“Jon is dead sweetie. Your father found him this morning.” Abby hung up her phone. She didn’t even say goodbye to her mother. Tears welled up in her eyes and she ran outside to a secluded bench before she started to bawl. A few people walked past her before one man, a student probably a few years older than herself sat down beside her.
“What’s wrong?” He asked, offering her a tissue.
“My cat died; I’ve had him forever. My mom just called and told me that he is dead.” The man put his arm around her and she leaned in to his shoulder.
“I know how losing someone really important to you feels; anything you need, I’m here for you.” His voice was so comforting, even though the worst thing in the world had happened; Abby could now imagine that sometime in the future there might be a time that she would be happy again.
“Thank you so much. You are so kind to help me, when I don’t know you, why I don’t even know your name.”
“My name,” he whispered, “is Jon.”