- Mom? - I shouted entering the living room jogging, with the boys following behind me.
- What is this thing doing here?! - she screamed from the kitchen.
We entered in there and saw her standing on top of the dinner table and shouting like she was being tortured by purple aliens in a circus in the middle of the desert, with the audience being teddy bears with their intestines out. Dakota was running around trying to keep the dog away.
- What are you doing? - I laughed.
I could hear the boys were about to explode from laughter.
- It's not funny! It's not funny! - she screamed again.
- Please, go down. - Ashton laughed.
- Not before you get this thing out of here! - she cried.
- OK. - Michael tried to stop laughing. - Come boy, come, let's go for a walk.
And he and Ashton went out with the dog. A second later we heard the frond door close.
- Oh, thank God! - my mom went down from the table and sat on one of the chairs, trembling. Before I realized it, Calum and Luke had taken the pizza, Dakota was making, out of the oven and sat on the chairs, opposite my mother.
- That was just a dog! - I said when I stopped laughing. Luke and Calum were acting like they were at home. Then again I did not know for how long they had been friends with Ashton. For all I knew they could have been in that house thousands of times.
- It wasn't! - she looked at me wide eyed and stood up, walking closer. - What happened to you?! Why are you pink?
- Um... - I looked at Calum and Luke who were laughing again and asked them for help but they just shrugged. - I... Um... Went on paintball after school with my new friend I told you about yesterday?
- And you got pink? With no trace of other color?
- Yeah. - I smiled fake. - There was only pink paintball balls.
Luke and Calum were eating pizza and watching us with interest. My mother was staring at me knowingly, just waiting for me to admit all my sins.
- You don't believe me, do you? - I sighed. She nodded. - And I'm grounded, am I not?
Mom nodded again.
- You're gonna clean up the whole house, make sure there is no fur left, by tomorrow evening! - she ordered sternly. - And wash your clothes!
- Clean the house? - I voiced. - But Luke had only been in the kitchen.
Mom looked behind her to Luke. The blonde boy was stuffing his mouth with pizza, same as Calum, with not a single care in the world. I did not mean him, Jeez.
- What do you mean? - my mother looked back at me obviously confused.
- Not him. - I pointed to the blonde. - Luke, the dog. His name is Luke.
- You named the dog Luke? - Calum asked with a laugh and full mouth. Luke smirked.
- Of course not, am I nuts? It was written on his strap.
- You are always nuts. - commented Luke.
I was to answer with something snarky when my mother, predicting my next move said.
- Anyways, you'll clean the whole house. I don't care where the dog's been. That's part of your punishment.
- Isn't that Dakota's work?
The older woman looked at me over her shoulder as she was cleaning the kitchen.
- You brought the dog, you'll clean it. - she said in a thick Russian accent.
I did not know she had an accent!
- Dakota! - I acted offended. - Don't leave me hanging here!
- I'm Sorry, Miss Mursur, but you will clean.
I looked at my mom who was now standing with a little smirk on her lips with her arms crossed.
- And that dog is not to be allowed in that house from now on!
- What? Mom! But he has nowhere to go!
- And you decide to take him in?
She was walking around the house just trying to get rid of me, but every door she opened to go in, I either closed right under her nose or went after her so she just got back out. We got up the stairs then back down, the scenario still not changed.
- So what, you're going to take all homeless animals off the street?
- Yes, duh! And Luke's not homeless... - I threw my hands in the air as if the answer was obvious.
- Don't 'duh' me! - she stopped at the entrance of the kitchen and turned around to face me so abruptly, I almost fell over her, trying not to smash into her. After a moment spent in staring at me from above, even though she was shorter than me, imagine that, with me being only 5'2... - You'll feed him, give him water and walk him. If he makes a mess, you'll clean after him. And he'll sleep in your room.
- Yes! - I threw my hands around her happily. - Thank you, thank you, thank you!
- Get off me, you grandma! - my mother pulled away from me and walked off to the living room. - You'll die unmarried and with no kids, with a house full of animals!
- Sounds great to me! - I laughed.