of happy endings

Was it Dumbledore who said it takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends? D (the ex-husband) and I clearly weren’t listening, so we not only unwittingly invited AP to come stay with us, but also allowed him to bully us into letting his friend N, whom we barely knew, move into our new apartment.

I don’t think I told you this before, but N was this tall, dusky girl with painstakingly ironed, poker-straight hair, clichéd big brown eyes and washboard abs and big boobs. She was also smart and funny, she could dance, she liked the same music I did, and we really liked her.

We spent the first few months getting to know each other. Though D and I still had zero privacy, we didn’t actually mind the company. It was like living in a hostel.

The only thing that really bothered me was that she didn’t seem to be wearing any clothes at home. I’m serious. All she ever wore was a loose spaghetti top that ended (very conveniently) just above her pierced navel and her super-short shorts that ended even before they began three inches below her waist.

But anyway…

A few months into the new apartment, N decided to get a dog. AP, our rom-com loving, highly codependent, and emotional wreck of a friend was overwhelmed. We were, too, but only because we didn’t want the responsibility of having to care for another living being, but were too chicken to say no.

N flew all the way to Bangalore to “adopt” a puppy in exchange for money. Seriously, she actually paid three thousand rupees. She spent another 7k to fly him back with her. She texted images and videos of two pups from the same litter, one male and one female, playing with each other. Someone she knew had “adopted” Tiny, the girl. She promised to name our dog only after she got back.

The day they were supposed to arrive, D and I (very reluctantly) set about puppy-proofing the apartment to the best of our collective ability. Basically, we moved all laundry detergent and cleaning supplies from the bottom shelf in the kitchen to the one above it, and cleaned under AP’s bed (we didn’t have one, we slept on a mattress). AP went and bought buying pet supplies in the meantime.

In a few days, N returned with a gold-white ball of fur with long, soft ears; large, droopy eyes; a glistening black nose; and four little paws tucked under her arm.

Meet Ben, my first-ever pet and the reason why I forgave N for everything (including stealing money from the jar in the kitchen) because apparently that’s what she used to pay for him.

Have you ever had a pet? Ever felt your rage evaporate like this? Has anyone stolen from you for a good cause? Have you ever stolen anything?