Tom and Kayla adopt puck!
"Umm, is it too late to ask you to take the side streets?" Kayla said as Tom flicked on his blinker and got into the on-ramp turning lane.
He glanced over at her, "I'm already getting on the freeway. And besides, it's quicker this way."
"Yeah, but..." she trailed off as the stoplight turned green and Tom turned. He sped up, hitting 50 miles per hour quickly and bringing the car up to 70 miles per hour as he merged onto the highway. "I just like the side streets," Kayla said. "the highway is so.. boring."
Tom took her hand in his, squeezing it gently. "We'll take the side streets next time."
At one in the afternoon, traffic wasn't too bad. Tom drove at a steady 75 miles per hour, passing only two cars on the way to the mall. Kayla stared out the passenger side window, silent, zoning out as the green interstate signs became a blur.
When they got off the freeway, slowing down felt good. Tom snapped out of the quiet, "I've been thinking about buying a dog."
Kayla instantly tensed. "What kind of dog?"
Kayla liked some dogs. Such as dogs that behaved and didn't lick her face.
"I don't know," Tom said. "whatever we like."
He pulled into the parking lot of the large mall, and they got out, the sun shining through thin, white clouds. Kayla took Tom's hand as they walked up. This felt good, the two of them together, getting out and doing something.
"You mind if i go to the pet shop real quick? see the dogs?" Tom asked. "Then I'll meet you in the record store."
Kayla nodded, letting go of his hand. "Sure."
They parted, Tom going inside the pet shop on the left, Kayla going inside the record store to the right. Inside the small record store, the outside world faded away. Here, there were no high ceiling lights, only the soft glow of lava lamps and neon guitar shaped lights. dozens of shelves lined up together along the walls.
"Hi there," a man said behind the counter, "is there anything i can help you with?"
"Just looking, thanks."
Kayla bypassed the shelves of the records as she observed the posters along the walls. The record store had an entire shelf devoted to Led Zep-
She startled and straightened as Tom rushed over. "Come to the pet shop," he said, grabbing her hand and dragging her next door.
He held the door open at Pet Shop, smiling like a kid in a toy store. Kayla went in, and a cacophony of barking dogs sounded from the back. It smelt like wet dog and dry cat food. Not a bad smell, just not something Kayla was use to.
"In the back," Tom said, winding through the aisles of dog and cat food and then the hamster cages and plastic exercises balls. They finally reached the back corner of the store, where an arched opening led to another room. Above the archway read Pet Land in big, blocky letters.
Kayla went in beneath the archway and looked around. On one side of the room, puppies yipped from small kennels and on the other side, larger, adult dogs barked and jumped against their cages.
"Hey," a woman crooned, "calm down, you guys." Several of the adult dogs quieted, sitting on their hind legs, eyeing the short, petite woman intently. She had long black hair braided down her spine. Over sized square glasses sat low on a crooked nose. "Oh, you're back," she said to Tom. "This must be your girlfriend, then?" She offered her hand to Kayla and Kayla shook it.
"Hi, Kayla said.
"Your boyfriend here said he couldn't adopt anything without your blessing." The woman smiled. "But you look like a girl who can handle a husky."
"Umm.. a husky?"
The woman went behind a partition wall and came back out with a small, fluffy puppy on a leash, it's tail wagging happily behind.
"His name is Puck," the woman said. "and I think he was meant for you two."
Tom crouched down and scratched Puck beneath the chin, "I think he likes me," Tom cooed.
The dog was mostly white save for a patch of black fur on the top of his head and a spot on his back.
"Isn't he cute?" the woman said, the leash hanging loosely from her hand. "He has eyes like you."
Kayla had to admit, if Tom had a twin in dog form, here it was. But adopting it? Sure, it was sitting there nicely now, but what happened when Tom took it home and Kayla accidentally got in the way of it's food?
"So what do you think?" Tom asked, looking up at Kayla expectantly.
She reached over tentatively and patted the dog on the back, far, far away from it's mouth and teeth. It turned slowly, watching her with those striking blue eyes. Kayla stepped back, putting her hands safely in her shorts pocket. "He's pretty."
"Isn't he?" the woman said, running her hand down pucks back. "I wish i could take him home. But i have too many already! My husband would kill me if brought one more home."
"Cathy?" Tom said. "Can you give us a minute with him?"
"Sure." The woman, presumably Cathy, handed Tom Puck's leash and disappeared into an office in the back.
Tom pulled his fingers absently through the tuft of fur on the dog's forehead. "He only has today, i guess," Tom said softly. "nobody has adopted him yet. I think we should adopt him." Is Tom really trying to make me feel guilty? That if i don't agree to adopt this dog, he would be put down? If i were to let that happen, Tom would never let me forget it.
We? Kayla thought. she half grinned, liking the way he put it. He wanted to adopt a dog together, like they were starting their very own family. "He's house trained." Tom added, as if he were trying to sell a used car with leather interior. Maybe it would be fun, having a dog that Kayla and Tom saved together.
"Alright," she finally said. "Let's adopt him."
"Did you hear that, Puck?" Tom said, "You're saved!" Puck barked several times before coming over to Kayla. He sat on his hind legs and glanced up at her as if to say, "Can I lick you or something?"
"He fell in love with you quick," Tom said. "Just like i did."