Toby.


 

 A short story excerpt: fiction.

Toby. 

I grew up in an empty house. I describe my humble abode as empty, because every piece of furniture, color and decoration was arranged and colored in a way that made it appear non-existent. Everything was correlated in a pastel plain seeking nature. If my mother had her way our house would have looked and felt like an upscale waiting room in a hospital. There was no life flowing through it, no individuality.

 

Now that I think about it, I always used the color as a source of purgatory to explain the deafness of that house. The rooms were all splattered with pearl paint and as time moved along the house became like shades that would spill long white domino’s into sand.

 

My parents treated me like an adult as soon as graduated from diapers to pull ups. My mother was a socialite who recently won the full rights to my grandfathers estate. She had six brothers and sisters to knock down one by one to get to the prize and represents her earnings as her winnings and her deception mirrors triumph.She always dressed with a style on the borderline of a high-class hooker by night and high school teacher by day.   She decided in honor of “paw,” she was going to do something really special. She literally added a house next to ours that was connected. Every room mirrored my grandfathers old house to a tee. All the furniture  antiques and even his clothes were hung up on display. My mother kept calling her project, “so vintage.” Of course she could only re-create so many rooms because my grandfather lived in a huge house. The only thing that brought joy to me from the whole thing was being able to have the dog my grandfather left behind. His name was Toby and I played with him for hours the first week we got him. When he passed away the week after my mother had his stuffed and placed in grandpa’s house.

 

 

When I was six I moved into my grandfather’s house with Toby.

 

My father was a successful sports writer for numerous magazines. His salary wasn’t sky-high but substantial enough for him to hide a good amount from my mom. My father told me that he actually hated his job but the fact that he got to travel nine months out of the year was just too hard to turn down. I knew what he meant.  I came to accept at an early age that my parents lives came before mine. I also came to accept that I had to be alone most of the time. Until I was thirteen, An eighty seventy-six year old, smelly woman named Mrs.. May, was my sole authority figure.

 

She wasn’t so bad. I enjoyed her because she could sleep through anything, and napped most of the day. One time when I was seven, I lit the her old scratch off tickets from her purse on fire. She actually slept through the fire men carrying her out of my house. From then on, my parents decided Toby was enough company for me.

 

 

 

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