"Hold on," I said, shutting the door, and heading back into the living room.
Aidan pranced to keep up with me, making circles around my legs as he tried to gaze anxiously into my face while having cataracts and trying to walk at the same time. He knew he had one more chance to get me to take him with him before I was gone forever.
"P.S." he said, frantically, sticking with the pen pals theme. "I love you!"
"Chill, buddy," I said, leaning over the arm chair and rummaging through Aidan's storage drawer for his leash. It wasn't there. Aidan watched me, wordlessly, for fear that too bold a move on his part would ruin his tentative chances of coming with. I was looking in his drawer, yes, but there was no telling what I was looking for in there. For all he knew, I was going to cheapen the depth of his love for me by feeding him a treat before making my final departure from his life, as if food was all he needed to forget that, for one short moment, he'd had a mother. I pursed my lips, shoving the bag of treats aside. Where the heck was that leash? I looked at Aidan, my hands on my hips. He tilted his head appealingly.
"What's up?" he ventured.
I grumbled, shutting the drawer and heading back to the front door. "I want to go for a walk with my brothers," I explained. "I'm feeling fat."
Aidan chased after me.
"Don't go!" he wailed plaintively. "I think you look thin! I'm the fat one! I need to go for a walk! I'll go with you! Please! Please don't leave me!"
I stopped and looked down at him, my hand on the door knob.
"I was already going to bring you with me," I said. "Silly!" I picked him up and put him under my arm.
"I thought you weren't," he said, legs poised stiffly in the air. "Because where's my leash?"
"I couldn't find it. We'll borrow Lucy's," I said, sliding into the car and shutting the door before releasing Aidan. He parked his butt on my lap and craned around to look into my eyes.
"Who's Lucy?" he asked.
"You'll remember when you see her."
Lucy is my family's dog. She has a pretty face, and dark ashy fur with darker spots. Every time she and Aidan see each other they act awkward and skittish, because they are both shy.
(Poor Lucy right after her accident. That's why her face fur is buzzed and you can see her scar.)
"She's old," Aidan whispered, goggle-eyed, when I brought him into the house. I set him down.
"Have fun," I said.
They advanced tentatively towards on another and commenced smelling each other's butts before trying, awkwardly and skittishly, to play. Their rate of success was severely limited. After a few minutes, Aidan ran over to me. "I don't think I'm having a lot of fun," he said. "Oh, are those cookies?"
"Cookies?" asked Lucy, making her way over to the table where I was, indeed, eating Russian tea cakes.
The dogs eyed each other. I bit a cookie in half and passed them each a piece.
"Oh, my. These are delicious," crowed Aidan, delighted.
"I'm not allowed to have people food anymore," whispered Lucy, sneaking under the table where my Mom couldn't see her. She put her head on my knee. "But one more won't hurt me." She looked at me angelically. She had cataracts to match Aidan's, although hers were from age and his are from being a pug. I slipped her another cookie.
"That's not fair! That's not fair! She got two!" protested Aidan. I handed him another fraction of a tea cake and then raised my empty hands in the air.
"That's it, guys," I said. "No more Russian tea cakes for any of us."
Lucy sighed in a long suffering way, still hidden away under the table. "They're gone?" she asked.
"No!" said Aidan. "They're not gone. I can see them. There's a whole plate of them up there, and I will never give up until I have eaten them all!" He looked at me reproachfully. How dare I deny him such a delicacy!
"There's more?" asked Lucy.
"Yes," said Aidan. "And I will be the one to eat them, because I am King Aidan!" He thought for a moment. "You may have a few."
"Thank you," said Lucy, politely.
"Don't get ahead of yourselves, you nut jobs," I interrupted. "I told you both, no more cookies."
Lucy gave me an appealing look. "I'm sorry to say I'm going to die soon," she said.
"Gah!" I spat, my sympathies won. I handed over the coveted sweet. I tried to be sly so Aidan wouldn't see and become offended, but I was not stealthy enough. He gasped, wounded.
"You... you gave her one... but not me?" he whimpered, blinking at me through the walnut of his sad, sad face.
"Jesus," I muttered, giving him another half a tea cake. "But seriously guys, no more. Just because they're on the table doesn't mean we get to keep shoving them down our throats like we're never going to eat again."
"Give me another cookie!" Aidan suggested, bracing himself against my chair. I patted him on the head.
"Sorry, buddy," I cooed. "If you eat too much sugar you'll get diabetes and they'll have to cut your little feetsies off."
"I don't care!" he complained. "I want a cookie more than feet!"
"I'm already old," said Lucy. "What's one more infirmity to me?"
"Stop it!" I said.
They both turned their puppy dog eyes on me full blast. I covered my face with my hands, but it was still too much. I grabbed a tea cake and held it out for Lucy to eat.
"Don't give Lucy tea cakes," my Mom said, finally noticing. "She's got organ problems."
"Drat," said Lucy. Her jig was up.
"It's not fair to give you snacks when Lucy can't have any," I said to Aidan.
"Drat," he said, foiled by etiquette.
"I wont have any more, either," I said, pushing the plate away. I was relieved the whole ordeal was over.