I was watching TV, on the floor, in the dark. I didn’t notice right away, but there was something nearby, something next to me. I waited for a commercial, and then I turned — and there was Barbie. She was curled up behind me, still and quiet as a sleeping puppy, with a wet, wet nose. Like she was never sick at all.
As she lay here breathing slowly, I thought, maybe she’d gotten over whatever she’d been sick with. I was scared to move, not wanting her to move, not wanting her to go back to being a monster. I stayed still for a long, long time.
But after a while I had to get up to pee. And when I got back she had started again. Running back and forth, back and forth, faster and faster. All through the night. I stayed under the covers.
The next day, my sister Evie tried to stop her by picking her up, to hold her to calm her down, but Barbie whimpered and wiggled until Evie couldn’t hold on anymore and had to put her back down. Then she ran off again, back and forth, never stopping. We were scared.
My sister Evie and me started crying. And crying. So we had a conference about what to do. We did not include Fever because he never liked the dog since it was a poodle and it was named Barbie after a doll.
“What are we going to do about Barbie?” I said, still crying.
“Papi should bring it to the doctor,” she said, sniffling and tearing.
“Yeah! He should bring it to the doctor,” I said, crying a little less.
So we went to Mami, and Evie said, “What are we going to do about Barbie?”
Mami was making breakfast for us at the stove, fried eggs and platanos and fried Spam, and smoking a cigarette. She said, “Ask your father.”
When Papi came by in the afternoon, he was drinking beer and listening to the Mets on the radio. Evie went and told him, “Papi. Can you bring Barbie to the doctor?”
Malo was there, and he and Papi started talking in Spanish. Finally, Papi said he would bring the dog to the doctor the next day, but that night Malo would put the dog in the bathroom so it wouldn’t scare us.
Evie and I were finally happy. Our dog was going to be okay!