(originally posted 10/13/2018)
She got the dog a few days before he moved in. One of a series of curious decisions she made around that time. His moving in being one of them. He immediately hated the dog, finding it a distraction every time he sat down to write.
He was a writer.
So was she… in theory. She had yet to write anything.
He wrote a lot but as far as the literary community was concerned she had a real leg up as she’d yet to write anything terrible.
His latest project started off as a retelling of a children’s story he’d once read about a girl who suffers heartbreak as a child and makes the decision to take out her heart and carry it around in a glass bottle with her. The point being that she feels nothing and misses out on a lot of things in life. The hero in his tale had set out to save her.
Every time he seemed to be making progress the dog would jump into his lap or start barking or chew on the cable to his laptop. He would try and be nice and push the dog away but the dog’s behavior particularly upset the girl. She would yell and complain about the dog and it appeared at times she was even embarrassed she’d ever let the dog into her life.
Over dinner one night she asked him if she should get rid of the dog. He said no, that once you agree to own a dog it’s a lifetime commitment. She disagreed, pointing out that sometimes you have to correct bad decisions. She then went on to list a litany of transgressions the dog kept committing.
Around this time the setting for his story changed to Transylvania. A significant shift in mood. The girl in the story began to change as well.
The girl in his life talked about starting writing in earnest. But she didn’t. She did however elaborate on why she thought she needed to get rid of the dog. It wasn’t just its bad behavior, it was its unwillingness to learn and modify its behavior. It kept doing the same dumb things over and over and no amount of smacks on the nose seemed to change things.
The girl in his story became a vampire and instead of the main character trying to get the girl to trust him and open up and feel love again it started to be about the girl tricking him into pulling out the stake in her heart so she could once again terrify the locals with her unholy appetites.
The girl in his life couldn’t start writing her story because every time she did it seemed the dog would do something like crap on the carpet and ruin all the work she’d done setting up her writing desk with pretty colored pencils, arranging all the books on her shelf by color and pouring a big glass of wine.
He wrote anyway, the sounds of her whining in the background seemingly making the vampire in his story more and more loathsome.
She didn’t write, saying that she couldn’t capture what she wanted with distractions in her life.
One day he got a text message saying that the girl had started to read his new story and that she looked forward to seeing if the main character had found success in his efforts to rescue the girl. He thought momentarily about texting back asking her not read it or at least to explain that the premise had changed since he originally described it to her.
He did neither.
When he arrived back at the house he found all of his stuff outside in one large box. On the top of it sat a note that read “Sometimes difficult choices have to be made.” His laptop was damaged beyond repair… apparently one of those difficult choices. The dog sat at the window yapping and watching him as he loaded the box into his car and drove away. He kept the note, thinking to himself “Well, at least she started writing.”
As far as he knew she still had the dog.