Kids, Love, Cats and The Future…A short story

“Will you love me when we grow up?”  he asked, hopefully.

“How should I know?”  she said, staring at him.  “That’s years and years away and I don’t love you now.  I mean you’re a good friend and if you got sick I would visit and bring you a comic book but I’m not in love with you.”

“Why not?”

“We’re kids, we don’t even know how we feel about dinner.”

“I hope it’s mac and soy cheese,” he said, dreamily.

“You know what I mean,” she sighed.  “Grow-ups don’t seem to know much about love either, if you ask me, so how can we possibly know?”

“Look at me and tell you what you feel.”

“Uh, I feel like this is a conversation that’s going nowhere.”

“Just do it.”

“Fine.  Your eyes are brown, like your hair.  You have dirt on your shirt, from when you fell out of the tree.  I told you to grab the other branch but did you listen?”

“You’re telling me what you see not what you feel.”

“I feel tired.”

“You’re not good at this, are you,” he said.  “Okay, here’s what I feel when I look at you.  I feel like all the air is stuck in my lungs and it won’t come out, so I can’t breath and I think I might die.  I feel like there’s no one around us because all I can see is you.  I feel like…”

“Stop,” she said, holding up her hand.

“I want to spend all of my time with you.  I want to climb trees together, swim at the park together, walk down the street together, buy a cat together.”

“Wait, what?  Buy a cat?”

“You love cats, so yes, buy a cat together.”

“What kind of cat?”

“Whatever kind of cat you pick out.”

“Really?”

“Anything.”

“Would the cat live with each of us half the time, or would it stay at one of our houses?”

“I don’t know,” he said thoughtfully.  “Would you always love the cat more than you would love me?”

“Probably, but I can’t say for sure.  Right now I doubt that I could love anyone more than I would love a cat.”

“How about your parents?”

“Cat,” she said.  “Promise you won’t tell them I said that. I mean I love them and everything but a cat will always be my first choice.  After all, it’s a cat.  Parents are just there to get us to stand on our two feet, then their job is done and….”

“Not for my aunt it’s not.  My two cousins moved back home again.”

“Okay, but most parents just have a job and that job is to keep us alive until we can do that for ourselves.  Then parents move to the ocean and try and forget how terrible it was to have kids in the first place and they talk about what life would have been like without us and how much money they would have had and lastly they dream about all the places they could have gone if not for us.  At least that’s way Loretta’s grandmother said.”

“Do you believe her?”

“I do,” she said nodding.  “She’s a smart woman and seems to know what she’s talking about.  I think she’s waiting for the time when she can make a break for it.  I’m not having kids, just cats.  Kids never go away and they never stop wanting things and they wear you out and you look forward to death just to get away from them.”

“I never thought of parents that way.  Is that what Loretta’s grandmother said?”

“Yes, and all you have to do is look at them and then see that Florida is going to fall into the ocean because it’s so heavy with parents who ran away from their kids.”

“Wow.”

“It’s not that they don’t love us it’s just that they didn’t know what they were getting into when they had us and when they realized what they had done, it was too late to do anything about it.”

“You’re not having kids?”

“Not for anything.”

“Okay.  I can work with that.  I can’t stand my brothers, so I don’t see any reason to bring more of those kinds of people into the world.  With global warming my teacher said there won’t be a world much longer anyway, so cats are fine with me.”

“You’re pretty smart for a boy.”

“Thanks.”

She stared at him for a few minutes.  “I like you more than I did before.”

“Really?” he said, his eyes wide with hope.

“What will we name the cat?

“If it’s a girl I think we should name it Beautiful, after you.”

“Too much,” she said.  “Take it down a step.  And if it’s a boy?”

“Hmm,” he muttered.  “No idea.”

“If it’s a boy I think we should name him, Boy.”

“Maybe we should wait and see what the cat looks like.”

“Good idea,” she agreed.  “See you tomorrow?”

“Definitely.”

“Hope you get your mac and cheese.”

“I really just want you.”

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Responses to Kids, Love, Cats and The Future…A short story

  1. Resa says:

    A very cute story! You write very well, all of the time!

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