“You have his eyes.” she said softly, when the heated argument had finally blown over.
Her young, teenage son was startled by the sudden soft voice, the sudden solemn words. “Wh-what?” he asked, fighting back the tears in his eyes. “This whole argument started because he left! Wh-why do you need to say that?!”
She remained calm. While she was smiling, there was such sadness in her eyes… She looked like she’d break into tears at any given moment. She sat herself down on the couch behind her slowly. “That man used to be my everything…” she mumbled. “I loved him. I couldn’t wait for you to look up to him, and want to be like him.”
The boy stared in what started as scorn, but it turned into sadness. Why would he look up to a coward that left his family to fend for themselves, to struggle to earn any money at all?
His arms folded, so he could grip his baggy sleeves roughly and avoid any more big outbursts. They were going through enough, he didn’t need to be another burden on his mother right now. “…Y-you need to forget about him.” he spoke again at last, his hands loosening their grip on his sweater. “He’s nothing but trouble. It’s just me and you now.”
She was silent at first, daydreaming. Staring at the wall, barely even moving.
She looked back at her son again, having taken in his words. Her own sweater was hiding her hands in it, her whole posture closed into herself. “…It’s hard.” she muttered. “I wanted a life with him. With you. A family…”
“You have a family!” the boy barked. “I’m your family!”
That was the final line to be tread.
The mother collapsed into her own arms, sobbing loudly to herself. How could she be so stupid? Everyone around her always said that man was nothing but trouble. As soon as he’d wasted away his gambling addiction, all the money she gave him, he left.
He never even said anything, he just left a note to declare his leaving.
“Fuck…” the boy muttered to himself. He inched himself forwards to sit on the couch at his mother’s side, and carefully placed a hand on her back. “I-I’m sorry,” he started with a bit of a panic. “I’m just so angry. You’ve given up so much for me… And I’m just so angry that anyone could do this to you.”
Her sobs got quieter, she finally gained the strength to lift herself up, and wipe at her eyes. Even finding a smile again. “In a way… You’re more a man than he ever has been…” she mumbled to herself.
He was surprised, but couldn’t help smiling at the comment. This was all he wanted… For her to adapt to life without that stupid man. He never liked him, he was just greedy and never put himself at risk for anybody.
But here, his wonderful mother… If she had to give up her own happiness to give her son even the slightest bit of joy, she would do it. There’d been several times where she was going to get herself something, but her son asked for something too. Not wishing to disappoint him, she’d put away what she wanted just to get what he asked for.
It was only in recent years that he really understood that.
“I’ve got to go to work.” he told her softly, standing from his place on the couch. “Take it easy, since it’s your day off… Watch those stupid soap operas you always watch.”
“They’re not stupid…” she retaliated calmly. “They’re interesting.”
“You just cheated on me for the fifth time!”
He couldn’t keep mocking in his squeaky voice for too long, before his mother threw one of her cushions at him to have him stop, the two of them laughing through it together.
It was on that note that the young boy left for work, it was a great thing to leave on at least.
But when he was done…
He had an idea.
He’d been thinking about this for a while, and now that his lowlife father was gone, he’d be able to do it!
Downtown, he wandered the busy streets, by a lot of the more famous stores until reaching the end of the street. Separated off from all the stores was one particularly big building, it might as well have had its own street.
The teen wandered his way in the big, metallic building, hands tucked in the pockets of his neat work uniform. He was just a retailer, but it was a good enough job for him. When he stepped into the building, he stepped right through the big room to reach the counter at the side.
“Hey,” he greeted. “Could I have a look at what you’ve got?”
“Yes, of course.” the man at the counter answered bluntly, as he’d just finished scribbling something down one the papers in front of him. Looking up is when he really recognised the boy, a bit of a bright smile coming to him. “Think this is the day?”
“It is, yeah.” the boy nodded. “I just need the perfect one!”
With permission, he walked away from the reception area and into the main chunk of this huge building… A huge set of lanes of cages, all with different sorts of pets just waiting to be adopted.
His mother loved dogs. She had one when she was younger, before he was born. She always preached that rescue dogs were so much more deserving of what they had, and today was the day this boy would make her proud.
It was hard to walk by, and watch them all get excited and bounce forwards, barking and whining for his attention as he walked by. They were all very cute, that was for sure. But he needed the right one. The one that needed him and his mother more than the others.
It was about halfway down his walk that he peered into a cage… And saw one timid dog, perhaps the only one that hadn’t dashed forwards when he got closer. He wondered why to start with, his head tilted as he grew more curious. He stepped closer to this cage and crouched by it. “Hey.” he spoke softly. “What’s wrong, little guy?”
It was when he approached it that it seemed to get more excited. But when it stood from laying in the corner, it could be seen that this poor grey husky only had three legs. It hobbled to the front of the cage, licking at the teenager’s hand whenever it could.
He watched it with a light smile… This was the one.
“I’ll be right back.” he spoke with a grin.
He went through the process of going back to the front and explaining which he wanted. He received some papers, paid what he had to and of course got a brief explanation of the dog he was taking.
She was a timid thing, but really perked up upon getting attention. Quick approaches seemed to startle her, so it was best to be gentle and slow. She was the type to quickly get affectionate and lay around with her owner, too.
It was perfect.
The boy took his new friend on her soft red leash, to get her home.
After her first walk, the boy opened up the door to his house and whispered to his new dog to be quiet. This was going to be a surprise, he’d been saving up for this for weeks. He peered himself into the front room, to see his mother was still there.
Now in a change of pyjamas, at least she looked comfortable. “Hiya.” she greeted. “You’re a bit late. Go out with your friends for a bit?”
“No…” he answered with a playful roll of his eyes. “But I made a new one.”
Making his reveal, he wandered into the room with his new husky. The gasp from his mother was a big one, she had no idea what was really happening, if this was even real. That dog was beautiful…
She hobbled over to the woman carefully, her tail started wagging around gently when her hand reached out to softly pet at her head.
“Jason…” she muttered through tears of disbelief. “You…?”
“She’s ours now.” Jason smiled warmly. “We don’t need that rat in this house… But we need someone like Peggy here… To keep our spirits up.”
He expected to be left rambling for a while but instead was dragged into a hug by his mother, she hugged onto her precious son tightly. She’d darted off her seat to reach him.
“Jason… You’re amazing. I love you.” she mumbled, as best as she currently could. She felt a little nudge at her leg, letting go of her son and looking down to see that lovely dog he’d brought back home. “You’re going to love it here, I’m sure!”