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Man's Best Friend

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Man's best friend will be sleeping alone tonight. Each night from this wretched morning on, that obese dog shall sleep alone.

It's 5:16 am, and my phone's ringing. My father's name across the screen. I ignore it in thoughts of pocket-dialing. My mother's phone then begins to ring from down the hall. I decide it's best to run through a mental list of things I could have done wrong. Mother doesn't answer, so he tries me, again. I decide it's best to pick up.

"Hello?"

All of a sudden, my view point has changed. All of a sudden, I'm not so easy-going on the thought of death.

"Grandpa Manney died."

Deep sobs from both ends erupt.

"I love you, little one."

I'm speechless. I had never lost anyone close to me up to this point.

"I love you, little one." He repeats.

"I love you, too, daddy." A month ago, I refused to say this to him. Tides have changed.

I used to say I wasn't afraid of death, or the death of others. I used to say it lead to better things. I used to say I'd never cry , no matter how close I was to the person, because that's selfish. I suppose I'm selfish. I suppose I'm a hypocrite.

"Are you there, little one? Aunt Shari says she loves you."

"I love her, too"

When online "surveys" asked who I cared the most about, I'd say "my three brothers and my grandfather."

I blink, in hopes that it's just a dream. In hopes that this will go away.

It doesn't.

All my plans for the day seem unbearable. I feel selfish for doing nothing but sob. I feel selfish because I'm crying. I'm crying because I'm sad. It's about me. I'm selfish. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry grandpa. You always did tell me I was selfish. Oh, but I loved you.

I think about your stories. The hundreds of stories, rarely repeated. You don't have to repeat a story, if you have so many great ones to tell.

I guess I should have seen this coming. I didn't. I couldn't.

"I love you, little one."

What will happen to man's best friend?



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