I woke with a crick in my neck. I slept better in my car, molded to my exact shape than on this halfway decent couch that let my legs stretch. The jab went down my shoulder like a knife blade. It was enough to chase away any desire to see another human being, even Anne. I stuffed my things in the Walmart bag and slipped out of the apartment without making a sound.
The thing was, the dog was on my mind. Of course he was fine at Mammy’s. I had no doubt Roady had a good dinner, slept in a warm bed and received at least a handful of treats along the way. The problem was that the cold night had me thinking. A car is no place to house a dog in the winter. I needed a better plan. Anne’s place wouldn’t work. We’d be broken up and hating each other if I and Roady crashed there every night. What was I going to do?
I didn’t have any answers but ended up at Mammy’s doorstep figuring she would be tired of entertaining Roady by then. She opened the door and let out a cloud of coffee, sausage and what must be muffins baking. It hit me like a giant ethereal hand and dragged me into the house.
Then I realized Mammy had her hand on my arm and was pulling me in.
“Well good morning young Tyler,” she said. “You came just in time for breakfast.”
Roady came trotting out of the kitchen like the master of the house. He gave me a welcome bark. I stood frozen in bewilderment.
“Roady?” What happened overnight?
He turned back to toward the enticing smells and the heat emanating from the kitchen. He looked over his shoulder once, inviting me in.
“We have a surprise for you,” Mammy said as she nudged me along. “But first a good meal.”
She wasn’t going to get any trouble from me with that plan.