it was a friday. i am sure. freshman year. i was in california. i woke up that morning and felt around the bed. travis was still a puppy and i made sure he had no crapped in my bed like previous times before. he had slept in my bed that night. he slept so close. and i was pleased when i found no mess.
i was starting a ritual. wake up, take travis outside with the other dogs, shower, let dogs in, finish getting ready.
i lifted travis from the bed and i honestly felt as if he was a baby. obviously still half asleep, his head rested gently on my shoulder and i carried him downstairs. with a little push he managed to walk outside. the other dogs were already out there. i closed the door and went back upstairs.
that morning my stepmom was to take me to school. my dad had plans to go camping. after i finished getting ready i came downstairs. i saw my dad on the couch watching animal planet. travis was curled up in a blanket right next to him. i said goodbye to my dad and in one of my most girliest mommy voices, said to travis: "Bye honey, mommy loves you." and kissed him on his head.
The school day is blank to me.
i walked home that day feeling happier than i had for awhile. i was content. i took my time walking home, which was unlike me. i am a fast walker. i got to my house and entered the garage code. walked inside. turned off the alarm and took my time to place my bag upstairs instead of just throwing it anywhere. the dogs, seeing that i had gotten home, were scratching impatiently at the door. i unlatched the lock and pulled open the glass door. the two dogs scampered in as i looked around to see where the other had gone. it was unlike travis to not be there. so i called his name. i walked through the back yard, not paying attention to anything but finding my dog. as i searched behind the wood pile and looked to see if there were any holes dug, my mind began to imagine the worst.
i went back inside and called my dad on his cell phone. i asked him if he had taken travis with him camping. he said no. i told him that i thought someone stole travis. he said, Stephanie he just probably got out of the backyard somehow. If he's smart he'll find his way back. I ended the conversation feeling even worse.
I telephoned Holly and let her know what was going on. Nothing seemed like a big deal. Again, I searched through the whole yard, by the wood pile, and looked for holes. I was walking towards the door when out of the corner of my eye I noticed it. I didn't think it could be possible though. So I slowly walked over to the pool and lifted up the area in which there seemed to be a big bubble. I was relieved to find nothing. It's what I was hoping for. On the phone with Holly I must have been rambling on about this. It's unlikely either of us were really paying attention to what the other was saying.
I dropped the pool cover back down and stood up. With the phone in my hand I looked to the other side of the in ground pool, which had some sort of bubble underneath the cover. I walked over, again, not actually believing it would be possible. It wasn't. I lifted the cover to find nothing. My anxiety had almost completely vanquished at that moment. If Travis wasn't dead, then atleast he was still out there somewhere and I could find him.
The worst thing that could probably happen. I saw another bubble. The anxiety immediatly came back. I walked over to the opposite side of the pool. With the phone in one hand, and my other reaching out towards the pool cover, I reached down and grabbed the blue plastic material. I lifted it up and all at once it was like reality had become anything but. i was in a movie, a book..something. i dropped the phone. still unaware if i turned it off then or after. but i screamed. a scream that you wouldn't expect to come out of a regular mouth. one of those scary movie screams. i lifted travis out of the water and laid him on the cracked cement surrounding the pool. the phone rang but it did not occur to me to answer it.
i reacted as anyone may have. i went through a quick case of denial. not actually believing he was dead. i heard someone call from across the fence and ask if everything was okay. i dont believe i answered. i picked up travis and drenched my shirt with pool water. i picked up the phone and ran inside. i laid travis on the floor and watched him. i tried to believe he was still alive and moved his paws.
i picked up the phone and dialed my dad's cell phone number. he answered and i was sobbing so hard he had to tell me to calm down and tell him what was wrong. i told him travis was dead. i believe what he said was, Oh Stephanie I'm sorry.........Don't worry sweetheart. We'll get you another dog.
Still in my state of shock, I wasn't quite sure I was hearing my father correctly. The phone conversation didnt last too long.
I ran to the bathroom and got a towel. I wrapped Travis up and held him in my lap. I don't know for how long, but soon after laid him on the floor beside me. I called my mom. Between the sniffling and tears i managed to get the story out. I told her what he looked like and she said that he was dead. She told me to put him outside and cover him with a towel. I placed the phone down on the living room table and picked up Travis. I opened the sliding glass door and walked out on the cement. Placing travis gently on the ground. After a lot of crying and tearful goodbyes I placed the towel over him and walked back inside.
I picked up the phone to talk with my mom who was still on the line. As I sat on the couch I could see Travis' towel covered body lying there. I watched as the wind blew the towel from time to time and I even jumped up, having a little bit more of hope inside of me.
I heard the garage door open and told my mom I had to go because Debbie was home and I didn't want to get in trouble for calling long distance. I hung up with my mom and wiped my tears as best as I could. I caught my breath. Debbie walked in and I'm not sure what I told her. I can't remember if my dad had called her or if I just gave her a brief description of what had happened.
But I walked up to my room. I pushed my bag aside and opened the blindes in my window. I watched as Debbie used that black garbage bag and I finally closed the blindes.
Soon there after I walked down stairs and Debbie asked me if I wanted to go to Chillis for Dinner. I said sure. We went to Chillis and didnt talk much. I had lots of lemonade. Neither of us said much about Travis. I held back my tears, when all I really wanted to do was cry.
I couldn't sleep that night, and I never thought there'd be any chance of me getting in that pool again. I'm still cautious of that one side, and when i get near it I am quick to swim away.
I was sitting in bed tonight thinking about this. Too tired to do work, but not tired enough to sleep. I got on the computer and wrote every last detail about that day. Because I remember little things about that day and I think that's odd. Some nights when this is brought up I find it hard to sleep. Every time the thoughts enter my head I have such a difficult time getting them out.
I guess I just needed to get the whole story out.
maybe now i can sleep...for tonight anyways.