December 19th

The next evening I drink mounds of caffeine, which works its proper purpose: I can’t sleep. When I’m certain Klink is knocked out (I can hear her purring) I sneak out of my bedroom with a bag of items I’ve acquired this past week.

I work swiftly in silence, returning to bed once my task is complete.

In the morning the alarm sounds too early for both of us: 8am. I drag her into the living room.

“Whyyy?” she moans.

“Come on.”

She reluctantly complies. In the centre of the living room a large rectangle sits covered in a blanket. I remove it in a single swoop and let the magic happen, revealing Klink’s new home: wallpapered with pictures of mice, carpeted with an old t-shirt, and lit up with a blue star. In the centre sits an unfolded mandarin orange. A tape-recorder plays back the seniors’ sing-a-long version of Silent Night.

Klink circles round the orange three times before settling in.

“It’s perfect.”

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