You are Mable! You’re a brown and pink fluffy and you love your daddy! He picked you up from the shelter when you were just a little baby fluffy, the shelter people said you were “abandoned” by your mummah. That means she didn’t love you, and left you somewhere alone! What a horrible thing to do! It made you very sad. But then Daddy came and took you home! You spend all day playing with your nice toys, and then when Daddy comes home from work you’ll go to the park! You love the park, and you love doing it with Daddy! Sometimes he says he’s too tired to go to the park. That’s fine! Daddy and you watch TV together, and he gives you snacks because you’re his special girl!
“You’re the only girl I need, Mable!” Daddy said one night, hugging you tight. “It’s just us, and that’s fine!” He didn’t sound happy about it though. He sounded sad, and you hugged him back tight. “Whatever we godda get through, we’ll do it together.”
You have a very important job as your daddy’s bestest friend. Daddy doesn’t have a mummah or a daddy or a special friend, so you have to give him all the bestest huggies and listen to him talk about his day and make sure he’s as happy as can be! It’s hard work sometimes, you get to sleep in Daddy’s room to make sure he takes his special nummies in the morning, you remind him to take a bath when he gets smelly, and you make sure he gets his daily hugs in even when he doesn’t want them. It helps, it always does.
Today though… Daddy came home from work very late. The sky-ball had gone to sleep before he finally came in the front door.
“Daddeh!” You cheered, running up to hug his leg.
“Hey girly.” He sounded so sad! “Sorry I’m so late, I brought us dinner.”
“What am wong daddeh?”
Daddy sighed. “Nothing gets past you, huh?” He plopped down on the couch, and you jumped up next to him. “It’s just… some bad news. We’ll talk about it later, okay?”
“…Otay…” Daddy smiled at you, but you could see he had been crying. You hoped the bad news would go away soon. You ate sketti with him and watched TV late into the night. You fell asleep on his lap at some point, his hand heavy on your back.
“But… It can’t…” You could hear Daddy talking from the other room.
You were trying so hard to be a good fluffy, to stack your blocks and not listen like Daddy told you to but…
“There has to be a mistake!” You could hear the tears in his voice. “Please, tell me this is a mistake. This has to be a mistake.”
You didn’t know who he was talking to. You knew the little rectangle he talked into had people in it, somehow. You didn’t know any of those people, but they often told your daddy bad things. Things that made him upset. You didn’t know how to comfort those things.
“PLEASE!” Daddy shouted, causing you to flinch and knock down your blocks. “No, wait, I’m sorry, I just… Hello? Hello?!” You heard some things smashing, and then daddy crying.
You reached for your blocks with your shaking hooves, then pause. Daddy was upset, and you never wanted to be alone when you were sad! You looked to the saferoom door, which never really closed firmly. You knew from experience that if you pulled on the bottom edge it would pop open, and you could go give some much needed huggies. Daddy did tell you to stay and play with your blocks…
You had a job, and you would take the punishment if it would help Daddy.
You pulled the door open and jogged down the hallway. In the living room you could see shards of glass, sharp and twinkling on the floor.
“Daddeh?” You asked.
“Mable? I… I told you to stay…” Daddy sniffled, wiping his nose on his sleeve.
“Daddeh nee huggies.” You started to carefully pick your way across the room.
“Mable, no! It’s not safe, go back to the saferoom.”
“Nu, Daddeh nee huggies.” You surveyed the room, trying to find the best path to where Daddy was sitting against the side of the couch.
“Don’t… Don’t be a bad girl. Listen to me.” There was no force in his voice, and he put his head back in his hands. “Please, girl. No.”
You ignored his pleas, traversing the minefield around him and wrapping your hooves against his leg. “Mabwe hewe Daddeh. Nu hab huwties.”
“You… stupid…” Daddy sobbed.
“It am otay, Daddeh. We gun get twoo dis togedah.”
Daddy grabbed you and pulled you into his lap, giving you a crushingly tight hug while he wailed into your fluff. You patted his head with your hoof as best you could.
The Bad News kept getting worse. Daddeh was sick, very very sick. He said he didn’t have to go to work anymore, which was exciting at first but then he spent even more time going to the doctor. He said it was for “treatment” which was a thing that would make him better. It didn’t seem to be helping much, he came home from the doctor looking more tired than ever. He would collapse into bed, and you would snuggle him until he fell asleep. He would forget to feed you a lot, but you always forgave him. When you told him in the morning he would say he was sorry and give you extra nummies to make up for it.
Eventually Daddy had another friend, a nice woman named Veronica! Daddy said that she was here to help him too! Veronica came by every day to make Daddy food, and do his treatments for him. You didn’t like watching the treatments, Daddy had to get lots of owies and you weren’t allowed to hug them better until she was done.
One day, after Veronica had filled up your food bowl and left, you sat next to Daddy on the bed. “Daddeh?”
“When am Daddeh gun be bettah?”
Daddy sighed heavily, and turned over to stare at the ceiling. The bones in his face were so sharp now, his eyes seemed to have fallen back into his head. “It’s… gonna be a while more. And then we can go to the park, like old times.” He reached over and tousled your mane. “You want to order sketti tonight? I know I haven’t been giving you enough attention lately.”
“Nu wan sketti. Ow pawk. Wan Daddeh bettah.”
Daddy’s hand shook, gripping your mane. “Sweety… I…” He swallowed heavily. “Daddy… Isn’t going to get better.”
“Wha? But Daddeh gu tu doktah! Du tweatment!”
Daddy shook his head. “Daddy is… going to go away soon. The treatments are just… making it easier.”
“Den… Den Mabwe gu tu!” You wrapped your hooves around his arm. “Daddeh nee spechow giww!”
“Mable…” Daddy pulled you into a hug.
“Daddeh nee Mabwe!” You cried, tears flowing into your cheek fluff. “Nu gu wifout!”
“Sweety… Daddy doesn’t want to go either.” His voice caught in his throat. “But… I’m not going to get better, and one day the sickness will get so bad that I’ll…”
You knew what he meant. You knew. You gripped his arm and wailed, feeling his tears drip onto your back as well. What would Daddy do without you? What would you do without him? You didn’t know. It didn’t seem like Daddy knew either.
“We gun get twoo dis.” You finally whispered.
Daddy’s arms tightened around you. “Together.”
Daddy never got better.
You sat by his side as he got thinner and thinner, as his hair grew out and spread across the pillows, as he needed help going poopies and drinking water. You ate sketti with him, urging him to eat even a few bites. It was hard. There were days, while Daddy slept, that you went into your saferoom and cried into your blankets. It was unfair! It was wrong! You were supposed to live with Daddy forever and ever! Going to the park and watching TV and playing games! It didn’t make any sense. You wished you could go tell the sickies that they were dummies and to leave your daddy alone. You wished you could tell the doctors to be better and make Daddy better. Somedays you were even mad at Daddeh. But you knew it wasn’t his fault.
Daddy called in a nice mister, one who told you that after your daddy… went away… he would take care of you. You didn’t like thinking about that time but Daddy said he wanted you to know that you would be taken care of. He and the nice mister promised that you would be okay, and you believed them. You just didn’t want to think about it.
And then the day came. Daddy had been feeling really bad for a few forevers now, Veronica said she was doing all she could for him. You were cuddled up against his shoulder, feeling his chest rise and fall. You had been anxiously sitting by his side all evening, the pit of dread growing in your belly.
“Mable…?” Daddy croaked.
“Daddy… loves you.”
Your heart dropped. “Mabwe wub you tuu daddeh. Daddeh nee huggies?”
“…Yeah…” He whispered.
You wrapped your arms around his chest, trying to hold as much of him as you could. Why did your hooves have to be so small? If you could just hug all of him, you could make this better. Hug the sickies away. And then Daddy would be okay. Shuddering sobs rose up in you as his hand gently rested on your back. So light, just a soft touch of fingertips in your fluff. Not the strong hand that used to hold you tight.
His chest rose… and then fell. So slowly now. You didn’t get enough time. Not nearly enough. You had so much to do with him, so many sunny days frolicking in the grass, evenings watching TV in his lap, nights spent listening to his gentle snores.
Rise………. and fall. “Yu am guud daddeh.” You choked out. “Bestest daddeh.” Daddy didn’t reply. His hand shook slightly. “Mabwe wub yuu, gun miss daddeh. Buh… Buh Mabwe be otay. Nebah foget Daddeh.”
Rise………………… and fall. There was a long, contented sigh that escaped him, and his hand slid off your back and fell to your side.
Daddy laid there, perfectly still, a slight smile on his lips.
“Mabwe see yuu gain, wub yuu foebah.”