Side-swiped by the Dog – Roady Episode 13

Roady likes Mom. I don’t know why but it bugs the hell out of me.
Stan starts his weekend shift the same day Mom is discharged from the hospital. She hobbles into the house and crashes into the recliner. JJ hangs on the arm of the chair. Carson jumps around showing Mom his ninja moves. Junior and Liam go out to the yard after mumbling simple hellos. I watch Liam copying Junior’s gait. As I turn back, Roady comes running around my legs and stops at Mom’s feet.
“A dog? How did you pull that off?” She pets the scruff of Roady’s neck and he gives a happy groan.
“Roady,” I call to the dog.
He hesitates a second, then comes to me. I hate the stab of pain I feel at his pause. It’s one of the worse feelings to have. You know when all the cells in your body scream that someone else has what is yours, has stolen what was yours and you want to rip it back no matter the cost. It starts with a simple observation like Roady running right up to Mom, taking to her just like he took to me. Then the thought creeps up behind it, ‘so Roady’s attention to you is not special, means nothing’. I tell myself, ‘it’s in his nature to be friendly’ and ‘why would it bother me that the dog thinks Mom is nice? She generally is’.
But then she seems to know just how to scratch him and I’m under an avalanche of feeling stupid that I thought the dog really distinguished me from any other person. A fire of resentment is set off that bursts into jealousy. Now I’m standing here. The dog wants to go back to Mom for another scratch and I’m holding him in my petty desire to call him my own. I turn and join Liam and Junior outside throwing rocks into a trash can. You never know what is round the next corner and I seem to get side-swiped more than my fair share.

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This post is fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith. See for more info about the author.