Monday, October 10, 2016

Dear Peter

A heavy knock woke Rory out of her sleep. She never expects guests, so this came as a surprise, especially at nearly 9 a.m. She peers through her fractured peephole. All that’s visible is the lense of a camera. Rory cracks the door, with its chain still intact.

“Hi, I’m Anica Mathews,” a startling voice shouts at Rory.

The name sounded familiar to Rory, maybe from one of those magazines her mom used to keep in their family’s bathroom basket. She couldn’t remember, but she decided to open the door.

Anica’s crew rushed in.

Peter, who had been sleeping, began inspecting each crew member. Rory crouched on her cot, waiting for Anica to explain why she was in her apartment. Anica’s crew quickly set up their lights and camera, clipped a mic to Rory’s forest green pullover and started filming.

“Okay, first question: What’s your name?”

Rory smoothed down her dark wavy hair and answered. “Rory… Langely. Oh, and this is Peter,” she pointed.

Anica patted the dog’s head and moved on.

“Why do you live here?”

Rory struggled with this response. She had only told her therapist the real reason she moved the this half abandoned town. She and her mother had never gotten along growing up, so when she had the chance, she left.

“Hello?” Anica interrupted Rory’s flashback. Rory sunk lower into her crouch and asked if they could skip that question.

Anica whispered to her crew, “I don’t think we’ll get much out of her. Let’s wrap up.”

As the crew began to pack, Anica asked one final question. Out of curiosity, not for Southern Living.

“When did you get Peter?”

One thing Rory loved talking about was Peter. The 5-year-old brown mutt was the love of her life. Rory adopted Peter right before she moved into her apartment. She knew she’d be lonely, so she figured getting a dog would fix that. A few months later, her therapist recommended that she register Peter as an emotional support dog.

Rory explained Peter’s adoption. She became excited, as did Peter. He knew how much Rory cared for him. This left Anica grinning as her crew gathered their last few items.

“Nice meeting you. And Peter,” Anica said as she closed the apartment door.

Rory lied back on her cot with Peter beside her.

“I’m still not sure why she was here, but at least I got to talk about you,” Rory said to Peter.

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