Saturday, December 24, 2011

Best Present Ever

     Brian tapped his fingers against the steering wheel as he waited in his car. Since he was parked in a tow zone, he kept an eye on his mirror to make sure a meter maid wouldn’t surprise him with a ticket. He checked his watch for the twentieth time and swore under his breath.
     “Where is she?” he said aloud.
     In answer to his question, the passenger’s door swung open and a young blonde woman hopped in with an armful of shopping bags.
     “I know, I’m late. But it was worth it because I found the perfect gift for my brother.” Sylvia gave Brian a kiss as she tossed the bags in the back seat.
     Brian started the car and pulled away. “I’m glad, sweetie, but I don’t understand why you have to wait until Christmas Eve to do your shopping. Now we’re going to be late meeting your brother for dinner and we don’t have time to wrap whatever you bought him.”
     “Not necessary,” she said, unzipping her thick coat. “Check it out.”
     From inside her coat, she pulled out a squirming brown puppy and held it up to Brian’s face. The sight surprised Brian, causing him to almost swerve off the road. The car behind him honked.
     “Isn’t he the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?” She said it in a baby voice as she kissed the puppy’s head.
     “Sure, cute,” Brian said, keeping his eyes on the road. “Did your brother want a dog? I don’t remember him talking about it.”
     Sylvia pressed the puppy’s cheek against her own. “He never mentioned it, but that’s why it’s such a great surprise.”
     “Isn’t he allergic to dogs?” Brian pulled onto the highway.
     “Only a little.” She held the puppy up in the air to look at its big brown eyes. “His face breaks out and he has trouble breathing, but that’s it.”
     Brian checked his mirrors as he merged lanes. “And doesn’t his landlord have a strict rule against pets?”
     She shrugged. “Maybe he’ll just have to pay a pet deposit or extra rent. Worst case scenario, he’ll have to move. Why are you being so negative about this?”
     Brian sighed. “Sorry, Sylvia, but a dog is a big deal. That’s a lot of responsibility to thrust on your brother.”
     “Well I had to do something big to make up for last year.” She set the puppy on the floor by her feet.
     “That’s true,” he agreed. “He did tell you not to put real candles on his Christmas tree.”
     “It’s not my fault his tree was so dry,” she said. “If he watered it more often then it wouldn’t have been so flammable.”
     “In-flammable,” he corrected her.
     “Don’t start.” She pointed a finger at him. “This is the most awesome gift ever and my brother is going to love it. By the way, he has to pee.”
     Brian pulled into the emergency lane and hit the brakes—a little too late. Sylvia opened the door to let the puppy out, but there was already a distinct and odorous puddle on the floor below the passenger’s seat.
     “Isn’t he adorable?” Sylvia asked as they leaned against the hood and watched the little guy bounce around in the grass.
     Brian was about to say something, then decided against it. “Yeah, adorable,” he said instead. “So what breed is he?”
     “Great Dane,” she said. “And the cutest one in the litter.”

No comments:

Post a Comment