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My husband’s name is Felix, and he is no pussycat. In fact he growls and barks like a regular guard dog except when it comes to our son, then he whispers and purrs and occasionally with me, when the mood strikes him.
Felix was raised by a stern father, an officer in the army and his mother passed when he was only eight. There was no hugging or mollycoddling in his childhood, that he can remember. Father, Officer McLelland, a staunch Scot even though he had lived half his life in Toronto did not feel the need to praise his son or nurture his feminine side, it was discipline and proper behaviour all the way. Though it must be said that he was always fair and placed great stock in fairness in general. The only time Officer McLelland, stood up on his son’s behalf in school was when Greg, a bully locked him in a school locker for over an hour until the janitor heard his muffled cries for help. Then Officer McLelland, put on his best army uniform plus every cross and regalia that he had accumulated during the war and knocked on the principal’s door demanding appropriate consequences for Greg, namely no less then expulsion from school. After much haggling they finally agreed to suspend Greg for a week. At home Officer McLelland, told Felix to hurt Greg next time, in self defence and showed him a few tricks, like kicking in the knee and above and a choking maneuver, they used on enemies in the army. Felix did not have to wait long to try them out. Almost immediately upon Greg’s return to school, Greg decided to teach him a lesson and went up to him to box his ears for snitching, but as soon as he got near, Felix went into action and kicked Greg so hard in the knee that the boy went down on all fours in the middle of the school hall, while a group of students gathered to watch and cheer. The experience was humbling enough that Greg left Felix alone from then on.
Felix missed his Mother terribly but since his father never mentioned her, keeping a stiff upper lip about her demise, Felix was scared to show his tears which he shed into his pillow late at night, making his blue eyes seem even bluer, after his father turned the lights off and shook his hand goodnight. He remembered his Mother’s twinkling eyes whenever she was about to play a trick on him, which was often, pretending to be going out and really hiding and when Felix would call out to her she would jump out from under the stairs and laugh, and hug him and kiss him all over. The only kisses he had after his Mother went to heaven, because Felix was sure that was where she was, was the orphaned mutt they adopted, Molly and she slobbered her wet tongue all over Felix in kisses especially when she sensed Felix was sad. Molly took the place of his Mother in Felix’s heart. He loved that dog to bits. They were best buddies and Molly lived for Felix’s return from school everyday when they would go out to Bellwood Park, and run and play and throw a tennis ball. Felix lived on Crawford Ave, right across from the park and could be seen there more often than at home.
Not very sport minded, Felix refused to join the boys hockey team his father encouraged him to do. He preferred books, lots and lots of books and everyday after school and on weekends he lost himself in adventures, mysteries and the wonders of the world, his tawny hair splaying on the pages as he poured over his treasures. If it wasn’t for Molly he wouldn’t go out at all. That is one of the main reasons his father went to the pound to get him a dog. As soon as they neared the cage Molly was kept in, she sat up wagged her tail and fairly grinned. It was love at first site for both of them. Molly was a true mongrel, a mixed-breed that is a testament to and defying nature. Longish scruffy black hair on her face, white ones just along side the nose, making her look like she sported a beard. The rest of her body was an ashen grey colour. Her one eye was always gleaming with a come hither look while her other one was hidden under her hair. This made her look both playful and pirate-like at the same time. Molly was an important member of the family, even Officer McLelland occasionally smiled at her quizzical expressions when she would try to ingratiate herself in the hopes of some treats by skidding up to him when he came home after work and wagging her tail furiously while licking his hand and giving him the eye.
Molly was not to reach old age however, and just before Felix’s 13th birthday she was run over by a car while crossing the street, that did not even bother to stop or look back. A neighbour saw the accident but did not catch the license number of the Minivan.
Felix was not the same after that, he wanted nothing to do with a new pet even though Officer McLelland tried to encourage going to the pound. Molly was not just a pet, she was Felix’s whole life, beside his books. Felix more and more hid in his room reading. He particularly loved Jack London and devoured all he get his hands on. “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang” were his all time favourites and he re-read them several times. Even after his father gave him an IPhone for his 13th birthday, hoping that would take his mind off Molly, he rarely engaged with it preferring to live vicariously through stories and far away lands in literature.
Life would have continued on in this hermetic manner for Felix if it wasn’t for the fact that their neighbours sold their house and a new family moved in, a couple with a 13 year old daughter. The girl had shiny black long hair with a blue tinge, black eyes and olive skin and no sense of personal boundaries. Maria while standing on her porch noticed Felix coming out of his door and immediately ran up to him, gave him a hug and said thank God there is someone to talk in this forsaken town. Toronto wasn’t quite a town and prided itself on being a metropolis, but Maria was from New York, so every other city to her was a town. Maria and her family were of Latin descent and when the new president of the States started talking about deporting people of her origin her family did not wait, but immediately applied to come to Canada. Her father was a well respected engineer and her Mother a nurse, both professions looked upon favourable in Canada’s immigration quotas.
To be con't...