My clothes for today were ironed and folded, left on the cane seat chair my father used to do his ironing. This was Dusty’s doing. Ever since the incident happened back at the town square, he had taken the role as a father toward me though he would never be a replacement for Jazzmere. Nothing could ever change that. Ever. Now only folded clothes, Dusty, and Vinyl greeted me. That, and a breakfast I could barely get down.
One grim and overcast morning, as I was spooning down a bowl of cereal, Dusty walked in levitating a pile of firewood for the wood burning stove. I asked him where my father was. “I don’t know, Octavia,” Dusty said, kneeling before the stove. He opened the little square door with his magic.
“Will he ever come back?”
Dusty paused with a log in the air. A worried look marked his face. “I sure hope so. I miss him, despite everything that had happened with him and Bulldozer. And I know you do, too. But lately, it seems all he wants to do is be alone. Maybe he needed some time to himself... Can I ask you something?”
“I don’t see why not....
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...loped by the wool blanket and Vinyl’s hoof, I got out of bed. I don’t know why I even bothered, since waking up only brought a wave of joylessness because of my father’s absence—though I did hope he was back—while staying close to Vinyl gave me jubilance. In the event of a noise coming outside my room, Vinyl was considerably more conscious now, and she noticed me standing and staring at her.
“Morning, Octy,” she said, climbing out of bed. “Why the sad look? Is it about your father not being here?”
“For the most part, yes,” I said.
“Well, I’m always here for you if you want to talk about something, anything.” She gave me a sleepy grin and a quick peck on the lips.
“Thank you, Vinyl.” I wish I could have mustered something more than a ‘thank you.’
“Hey, that’s what I’m here for,” she said. “You know what makes me feel better when I’m down? Food. Let’s go get some grub.”
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