Tory Stosse

Professor Bryant

FYS: Calling All Writers!

September 27th, 2011

No One to Play With

Lyla's soft brown eyes were mottled with the sadness of what she had lost. Looking in the mirror, she saw that her golden hair looked like, and very much reminded her of, her dog Rocky. Rocky had been gone for a week now, and there was no getting him back. Her eyes started getting misty as she touched the scar by her left eye; Rocky had given that to her when she was just four. She remembered how much she'd hated him after that, but the anger hadn't lasted long. Anger towards him could never last long.

"Lyla!" Her mother's voice interrupted her thoughts. "Your father and I are leaving for the business trip now; we'll be back tomorrow night. Your sister should be by later to pick some things up. Don't cause any trouble."

The door slammed, and Lyla was greeted with silence, as usual. This was not something a sixteen year old should have to deal with. But this silence, it was different. Her ears started ringing until she couldn't take it anymore.

Pacing back and forth with a knot in her chest, she took one look at the back door, and without a second thought, ran for it. Bursting through the door with tears streaming down her face, she didn't even look back. She just ran, sobbing the whole way. Never in her whole life had she felt so alone. She cried for her parents leaving, like they always did. She cried for the hatred she and her sister had for one another. But most of all, she cried for the death of her best friend, her only friend.

Her parents had gotten Rocky, then just a golden ball of fluff, when Lyla was one month old. They never wanted her, they'd only wanted her sister. Then Lyla, the "accident", had come eight years later. Rocky was meant to keep her company while her parents spoiled her sister. It had remained that way for sixteen years, sixteen long years. Now there was no one. No one left to keep her company. Lyla ran harder.

She ran until she couldn't anymore. Her breath came in short, ragged gasps, from either crying or running, she could not tell. Collapsing on the pavement, she curled up in a ball and rested her head against a tree. People were staring at her, but she didn't care. She closed her eyes so she wouldn't have to see their prying eyes.

Lyla sat there, still as a statue, for how long she did not know. When her thoughts finally cleared after what seemed like hours, she heard the rattling of a collar and her eyes snapped open. Her heart sank as she realized it was not Rocky, but another Golden Retriever prancing by. She looked around and saw, finally, where her feet had taken her. She was at the town's park, where she had taken Rocky for countless walks. It must have been muscle memory that had taken her here; she knew coming here would greatly upset her. The park was the most common place for people to take their dogs.

A tear escaped her eye and slipped down her cheek as she watched the dogs run by. Young and old, small and large, they all reminded her of Rocky. She remembered the last time she'd taken him for a run here. It was two weeks ago, and blistering hot. She'd only been able to take him for a quick loop around the park, for it was too hot to continue. Rocky had seemed disappointed, and eager to run more, but Lyla could not continue. She's promised him next time, when it was cooler outside, they could go for a much longer run. But there wouldn't be a next time.

This broke Lyla down more than ever. Soon she was gasping for breath, and shortly after ran out of tears. She didn't know what to do at this point, there was nothing left for her. The only option she came across was to run away, forever. There was no way she could take this life anymore. The past sixteen years had been hard enough, now what? She had no answers, she just knew she couldn't take it anymore. She'd given up.

Lyla's thoughts were interrupted by a cold, wet, slobber on her face. A dog had gotten loose from its owner and started licking her face. She must have had a look of shock on her face, for the owner started apologizing immediately. Lyla responded so listlessly, that even the owner asked what was wrong.

"Nothing. Nothing at all," Lyla mumbled.

The owner gave a look of disbelief and walked away.

Lyla sat and processed what just happened. Someone actually…cared? She refused to believe it; no one ever cared for her. Still, she thought, he'd asked if she was okay, which meant something. Perhaps, however small the number was, some people did care for her. Perhaps she should give them a reason to care. Forget her parents, forget her sister; she only had two years left with them before she was off to college. She had to work on herself, anyway, before she could deal with other people.

Lyla knew she had to get over Rocky's death somehow, might as well start today.

I have abided by Wheaton College's honor code in this work.