Coming Clean

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An hour had passed since Isadora fell asleep, and Sebastian had spent the entire time gathering the courage for what he was about to do. He inhaled deeply—it was now or never. After a few minutes of struggling, he managed to wriggle out of her grasp. He padded to the side of the bed and onto the nightstand before he leapt to the floor. Now all he needed to do was find her father.

He’d tried to figure out their names, but the couple had referred to each other as ‘love’, ‘dear’ or ‘darling’ the entire day. Most of his day had been spent playing with Isadora. By playing, he meant he pretended the stuffed bear next to him kept trying to steal his make-believe tea just to make Isadora giggle. At the end of the little tea party, he tackled the stuffed bear and made a show of making it pay for its attempted thievery. Isadora played along but couldn’t stop herself from giggling.

Sebastian paused at the doorway to the kitchen when he heard voices. Eavesdropping wasn’t a good thing, but he couldn’t help himself. He tiptoed across the wooden floor until he reached the island in the center of the kitchen. Both of her parents stood near the kitchen table.

“How are we going to afford buying the cat goat’s milk and tuna for every meal?” Her dad ran his hand down his face and released an exacerbated sigh.

“Familiar. He is a familiar, not a cat.” Her mom fisted her hands on her hips and glared at him. “And we use the profits from my store, of course.”

“How many times do I have to tell you that your store loses money?”

“I sell stuff, don’t I?”

“Yes, you do, but not enough to cover your expenses.”

She waved him off and walked over to the fridge. “Just use whatever money we get from selling things to pay for Sebastian’s food.”

He hung his head and rubbed his forehead with one of his hands. “All that money goes towards trying to keep the store afloat.”

“I’m tired of talking about this, Jason. I want pineapple. Do we have any pineapple?”

“There are some cans in the pantry.” The dad paused before he started walking away. “I’m going to check my e-mail. I’ll be upstairs in a bit.”

“Night, dear. Love you!”

“Love you, too,” he called over his shoulder as he walked into his study.

Sebastian slunk after him and watched him slump in his chair. The computer came to life after the dad wiggled the mouse for a couple of seconds. Sebastian jumped onto the desk and the poor man leapt backwards in fright.

“Don’t do that!” He pushed his glasses back up his nose and inspected Sebastian. “Shouldn’t you be in bed? Don’t tell me she’s wandering around again.”

With a quick shake of his head, Sebastian moved closer to the dad’s seat. The dad inched away from him. A half hiss and half cough chuckle escaped Sebastian.

“Meow?” Sebastian cocked his head at the dad.

“I don’t know what you are, but I find it hard to believe you are some rare familiar or whatever the heck they think you are.”

“Meow.” Sebastian shook his head and scrunched up his nose.

“Wait a second, you aren’t a familiar?” The dad’s jaw dropped when Sebastian nodded. “Well, I’ll be. What are you then?”

“Meow.” After Sebastian pointed at the computer screen with one paw, he sat patiently facing the screen waiting for the dad to make the connection.

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