Puppy Love


"Someday, I'll be livin' in a big ole city and all you're ever gonna be is mean! Someday, I'll be big enough so you can't hit me and all you're ever gonna be is mean! Why you gotta be so mean?"

Me and Damian sung back and forth while cleaning my classroom.

"And I can see you years from now in a bar talking over a football game with that same big loud opinion but no one's listening! Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things, drunk and grumbling on about how I can't sing!" I sang, while hanging posters. We finished the song and Damian walked to where I was standing on a little ladder hanging a poster. He smiled up at me. I smiled at him as I stepped down gracefully.

"I think it looks nice," Damian said, wrapping his arm around me.

"I think it looks perfect," I said, smiling at Damian, hugging him.

"Well hello," He said, chuckling and wrapping his arms around me.

"Thank you so much."

"It was really no problem," He said, looking down at me.

"Are you hungry?" I asked, walking to my desk. I picked up my phone.

"Food sounds nice," He said, walking beside me, looking at the Chinese menu.

"What about your sister?" I asked, with an eyebrow raised.

"I'm sure mom got her," He said, smiling. I ordered the food to be delivered. I sat at my desk and graded papers while Damian sat in my beanbag chair keeping the conversations going. Soon, our food arrived and we ate.

"So why did you become a teacher?" Damian asked while eating.

"It's a challenge. I enjoy being around kids, and teaching isn't really the same thing every day. There's always something," I explained simply while eating my Lo Mein.

"Ah, I want to be a singer," Damian said.

"Well why aren't you a singer?" I asked, receiving a stare from Damian,"What I'm saying is, why aren't you one? You have a beautiful voice, and if you want to be a singer, don't give up. Go for it with all of your heart."

He looked at me with soft eyes and smiled,"It's not always that easy."

"Well why aren't you in California or something trying to get big?" I asked, eating some Sweet and Sour Chicken.

"Because my mom needed my help with Anne. Her and dad are not able to handle her by themselves. Anne, as much as you won't believe it, is a wild child. She was born with absolutely no fears. My parents got lucky with me. I was always like an old man. Sleep and eat with minimal play," He said, chuckling, "My parents want to move back to Ireland. They're just waiting for the right time to cut off from me and Anne. They want to wait until she gets a little older. My grandparents are both sick, so they think that'll come quicker than we thought. So I'm going to be the guardian of my younger sister in about a week's time so that my parents can go take care of my grandparents."

"Wow. Well, you could both come stay with me. It's not a world class suite, but it's a roof," I said. I'm offering my house to a stranger, but for some reason I felt comfortable around him, and I had known his parents since last year when I met them before the school year started. It felt right.

"Well that sounds great actually, do you have an extra room?" He asked.

"Yeah, I do," I said, looking at him confused.

"Would you mind if me and you turned that into a room for Anne? I mean, I feel like she needs to feel normal. Our family situation isn't really normal."

"Well our dinner date can be a room decorating date," I said smiling. He hugged me and kissed the top of my head.

"That sounds fantastic," Damian said. We finished our food and we did some more work on my classroom to make it look like nothing ever went wrong.

"It may not be what it was before, but I hope it will suffice," Damian said in my ear.

"It's perfect," I said smiling up at him. I turned the lights off and locked my door, then headed to my car. He was parked beside me.

"Well, I'll bid you adieu," He said, hugging me.

"Here," I said, handing him a slip of paper with my cell phone number on it, "Text me and we'll work out some details.

"Thank you so much," He said, hugging me again,"You know, if I hadn't just met you, I'd kiss you."

He smiled down at me and kissed my forehead and walked to his car. I got into my car and drove home. I went to find my landlord to discuss my water. I found him waiting for me outside my door.

"Hey Harold," I said, unlocking my door.

"Hey Dakotah, listen, I need your rent," He said, frowning. He hated bothering me for rent, but I understood. I nodded my head and went to my room. I opened my rainy day jar and found that I had just enough money to cover my rent.

"Here Harold," I said, handing him the money.

"I'm so sorry I have to ask Dakotah..."

"It's fine! Teachers don't make bank, I knew that when I decided to become one," I said, smiling at him.

"And your water this morning was cut off due to a broken pipe," He said, looking at me and smiling. He knew I would ask.

"Thank you Harold," I said as he walked out of the door. I was at home at last.

I went to my bathroom, showered and put on my robe. I went to my room and put on a pair of pajama shorts and a tank top. I fell asleep immediately. What a day.