Last week me and Sansa saw a really dumb movie. It was called Dear John. Bran wanted to see Avatar but nobody would take him. I promised him that when I got my license we wouldn’t have to tag along to the mall with Sansa and Jeyne, and he said if you were here you’d have taken us. Which is true. If you were here you wouldn’t have let Theon drop a tampon in my fishbowl and turn it red with food coloring either.
I know where he got the food coloring too. Sansa is organizing a bake sale for kids with learning disabilities, or women with abusive husbands, or dogs with droopy tails, I don’t know. She convinced Mom to buy a $200 electric stand mixer plus assorted pie dishes, cookie sheets, and probably eight pounds of sugar. Two hundred dollars! Do you have any idea how long I’ve been after Mom for a new bike saddle? Of course you do. The suspension in mine has been whack for months.
I haven’t been able to finish the tune-ups to the Trek hybrid since you left. I think I still need a kickstand. It’s harder to get parts now I can’t use your card to order them online. It’s harder but I’m glad you left me something to work on until you come home. When are you coming home, Jon?
Ghost goes with me to the lake a lot. So do the other dogs, but I always make a point of taking Ghost – partly because he’s lonely, and partly because I caught Theon hauling him backwards by the collar other day. Theon claimed Ghost was trying to lick his crotch, but you know Ghost has never liked Theon. Ghost has never liked anyone except you, actually, and I suspect he only tolerates me for Nymeria’s sake. He certainly never lets Mom or Sansa feed him.
I haven’t forgiven you for leaving me all by myself with Mom and Sansa, you know. Mom and Sansa are normally bad enough, but now Robb and Dad are never home it’s turned into a Mom-and-Sansa-cabal. Robb’s never home because he’s out with Jeyne. Dad’s never home because he’s always flying to New York, or just getting back from New York, there’s even talk of us moving to New York but of course we can’t sell the house. I don’t want to move to New York. I don’t think they’d let us take the dogs.
Jeyne says she wishes Nymeria or Lady would have puppies. Robb’s Jeyne not Sansa’s Jeyne obviously. Robb says for all he knows Grey Wind has whole litters of puppies running around. Jeyne gave him a dirty look when he said that. She wants a dog pretty bad. Her brother’s allergic so she’s never had one, and every time she comes over she brings rawhide bones or biscuits. They come in different flavors - Nymeria likes the turkey ones best. I like Jeyne. I don’t get why Mom doesn’t. Probably Mom doesn’t think any girl alive is good enough for Robb, but the dogs like her. They certainly like her a whole lot more than they liked any of Sansa’s exes.
So that's the state of the union. Robb has Jeyne, and Bran has a crush on his babysitter. Rickon has a rainbow trout plush toy Uncle Edmure gave him that he won’t let out of his sight. Him and Shaggydog take turns using it for a pillow. I don't know what possessed me to go to the movies with Sansa and Jeyne.
Sansa made me promise not to start cracking up at all the sad parts, which she did by bribing me with popcorn. She didn’t buy me an Icee like you always do, though, and she and Jeyne actually stuck two different straws in the drink they were sharing. They’re best friends, how can they be scared of swapping spit? You and I don't need more than one soda can or one shot glass between us. Well, naturally I didn’t tell Sansa about the shot glasses.
The movie was worse than I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be sappy – it’s by the guy who wrote The Notebook – but it was worse, it was uplifting. I threw popcorn at the kids two rows down but they were making out so heavy they didn’t notice. Sansa asked why I didn’t like it and I said, “She should’ve waited for him.”
“She waited two years,” said Sansa.
“Two years is a long time to go without even seeing the other person,” Jeyne agreed.
“Would you have waited that long?” Sansa asked her friend.
“I dunno. Depends if my boyfriend was as hot as Channing Tatum.”
We went home. Sansa and Jeyne made brownies. I drew up a stool next to Mom and asked her if she'd ever considered breaking up with back Dad when he was stationed in Iraq for months on end.
She gave me an unreadable look. “No. But probably it helped that I was three months gone with Robb.”
“What about when Uncle Brandon was in Panama, earlier?”
Mom sighed, but it was a tired sigh, not an annoyed sigh. “I’ve seen Pearl Harbor too, honey. It wasn’t like that.”
I scowled. “I never said it was. Pearl Harbor was a dumb movie anyway.”
“Didn’t you just say you thought Dear John was a dumb movie?”
“Yes, but –“ I bit my lip. It was wrong, all wrong. “She should have waited for him.”
Unlike Sansa, Mom didn’t argue the point. “Yes, she should.”
Jon, I’m so glad you don’t have a sweetheart back home. If you did she would probably start dating Theon or something. Then I’d have to break her kneecaps.