My Dog's Last Name

August 23, 2010
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People think I have a crush on you. Explain to me, then, why my head didn’t spin, my heart didn’t skip, and my face didn’t redden when I first saw you. I even met you in the way I have always thought ironically romantic, the same way my characters meet when I compose stories in my head. I ran into you, on the way to math class. I don’t know why that seems so romantic, but for some reason it always has to me. So when you bent down to get your books, then stood back up, hitting me in the head and giving me a bloody nose, you ruined it for me. Thanks a lot.

Not only did you have to ruin my romantic fantasy, you are genuinely annoying. You won’t stop running your mouth about sports, or video games, or things that I can’t make sense of. You talk about stupid stuff, toothpaste and faux-bo’s (those guys you assure me dress up like hobos but are actually rich), and, once again, sports. Yet you make it seem like college math, somehow boggling my mind with the concept of pencils.

You drive me crazy when you ask questions that seem to have an answer, but the way you look at them, don’t. Once you asked me what the stray dog you took care of had as a last name. Did he still carry his owner’s last name? Or share yours? Or was he just Newton, stuck between families and identities. When I told you dogs didn’t have last names, you frowned at me.
“Then what do you call them when you are mad at them?”
I didn’t have an answer, and you laughed, saying you thought his last name was Anderson – you’re last name.
You’re extremely smart, yet are flippant about it, preferring to ponder useless things rather than use your brain to rise up the respect ladder. You effortlessly got perfect grades, then came right down to spend lunch with me, one of the lowest readings on the popular-o-meter, and talk about last names for your dog. I admire you for that. The admiration doesn’t sit right with me, like an internal itch I can’t scratch. You and your philosophy drive me crazy – I can’t admire you for it.
Everything about you bothers me, from your endlessly working mouth, to your philosophy, to your perfect grades, to your amiable response to my coldness. It even bothers me that, somehow without my permission, you have been able to make yourself my best friend. You annoy me, Brady Anderson.


Over the years, you started to push my buttons less. I realized that, though I had never wanted you there, you were always at my side when I needed you. As my self-confidence grew, I became able to enjoy your conversations. I played your little mind game with you, no longer feeling like a complete idiot compared to you. Not only did I stop despising you, I began to actually like you. In eleventh grade, you asked me out, and I said yes. After hating you for five years I fell in love with you. Wouldn’t you love to philosophize about that.
We sit at our favorite table, in our favorite café. I feel a strange desire to bring back simpler times, when we would go to this café and I would sit here hating and admiring you, while you fantasized about being a faux-bo.
“You know, I decided something a little while ago.” You looked up from your mocha.
“I decided to get a puppy. I haven’t had one for over a year.” You looked at me sympathetically, knowing how hard it had been to let my last dog, Sebastian, go after sixteen years of friendship.
“That sounds great! Have you picked one out yet?” Your voice was earnest, but your eyes were distracted. I realized my conversation must have cut you off from something he had wanted to say. You needed to be more spontaneous – you always thought for a while before you said something. It used to annoy me, now I thought it funny.
“Yes, her name is Ariel, I brought her home from the shelter yesterday. Didn’t sleep a wink.” You smiled.
“You know, not sleeping is as bad for your reflexes as drinking.” You had told me that before.
“I know, but she’s worth it.” Silence fell between us again, as it often did when you were thinking. “Brady?”
“Hmm?”

“What do you think her last name is? Hansen?” I could almost see a light click on behind your eyes as you thought.
“How about Anderson?” I looked up from the shake I had just taken a sip of, surprised and confused. He was down on one knee, holding out a gorgeous diamond ring. “Felicity, will you marry me?” I squealed.
“Yes!” He smiled, genuinely elated as he slid the ring onto my thin finger.
“Good. Because I love you, and I think Anderson is a nice last name for a dog.” I grinned.
“I agree.”





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This article has 24 comments. Post your own now!

Mystiecub said...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm
Yeah, I do agree that the proposal came pretty quick, but it was a great story all the same :) good job
 
Hazel-daisy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm
i like it but i agree, the proposal came a bit fast...but asides from that i don't see anything wrong with it!! its really cute and sounds like something in a movie!!
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm
Thanks! :D I'll fix the bit about the proposal - I see where everyone is coming from on that. :)
 
Phoenix97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 5:46 pm
I agree with apocalyptigirl that the proposal does seem to take place in the eleventh grade. :) However, aside from that little detail, I don't really have any improvements to make on this one. My favorite part is the discussion of the dog's last name. Kudos on using it to tie in the ending, by the way.
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 12, 2010 at 8:39 am
I totally need to fix that detail - the thought is weirding me out! lol But I'm glad you liked it otherwise!
 
apocalyptigirl said...
Oct. 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm
Haha, cute! The proposal at the end took me completely off guard. I don't know how old they are, but isn't 11th grade a tad young to get married? Lol if they've been dating for several years you might want to clarify that---the way it's written, it sounds like he proposes on their first date.
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 2, 2010 at 11:17 pm
Thanks for the tip!  Reading back through it does seem like that.  Creepy....
 
NikitaBliss said...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm
I really like this story! You did a very good job. ;) Keep writing! :D
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm
Thank you!
 
Annalibelle said...
Sept. 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Hi, It’s Annali from Actually Helpful Critique.

The writing itself:

You do second person perceptive very well; you give enough information to the reader, without sounding like you’re telling the other person things he should already know.

The motif of the dog’s last name was great, very original, and tied it together very well. My only concern is that it doesn’t start until half way in, so a reader might be like “WTF is the title about”... (more »)

 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Thank you so much!!!  I'm glad you liked it!

1: I know the title doesn't make much sense until the end, but I kind of planned it that way.  It is on "Brady wave-length" if that makes any sense at all.  It's sort of an example of how something that can seem so small can become a big deal.  Sort of the optical illusion of the literary world - wow, only I would say something like that... lol

2.  Thank you!  And I think you are right; I should pace the ... (more »)

 
apocalyptigirl replied...
Oct. 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm
and another grammar thing: "you're" is a contraction for "you are." "Your," as in the possessive, is what you want in that one line...im sure you know what im talking about.
 
Berrylublee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 18, 2010 at 10:33 am
I liked this. Lol it was funny and relatable, and the dialogue was awesome ^,^
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 9:59 pm
Thank you! :)
 
Eatfoodzap said...
Aug. 29, 2010 at 12:39 pm
I love this. It was kinda funny, in a strange upbeat sort of way. I don't even know how to describe it. They way you list all of the little annoying things about him, like the philosophy and the endless prattling about video games. It's just...sweet. So, awesome job, 5/5!
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm
haha Thanks until the end of pi!  :)
 
KatWolf said...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm
What I found hilarious was I have (or I guess rather had) a friend whose last name was Andersen, and I considered him my best friend, and I liked him, but now his philosophies and thoughts just annoy me :/ So I thought it was very relatable, and I loved the voice and detail, especially about the faux-bo and walking to math class. :) My only problem is with the ending, this is just a personal preference, but I think it would be more interesting (and maybe stronger) if you just end when he sa... (more »)
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 26, 2010 at 9:47 am
That's funny!  It really is a small world.  ~AsIAm
 
SwordGirl said...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm
This rings true. Nothing about it seems forced or unnatural, like it does in many romance stories. You have a talent. Keep writing!
 
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm
Aww, thanks so much!  
 
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