Tyler has spent the last six years constructing his perfectly boring life, which is exactly the way he wants it. He spends his days hiding behind the protective walls he has so carefully built and has no intentions of changing . . . until he meets the unpredictable.
Lennie Jacobs is an intoxicating mess. She never stays anywhere long enough to form a solid relationship with anyone, including her family, because she has taught her fragile heart that love isn’t an option.
What started as a way to pass the time soon blossoms into something neither expected.
He was never meant to be permanent.
She can’t promise forever.
But, when life and love are on the line, everything changes.
I roll my eyes and gesture to the dog she’s walking.
She looks down at the dog then back at me. “How could I not is the better question. Being locked up in the same small space day in and day out . . . I know that seems like a normal day to you, but to most people, it’s enough to drive them crazy.”
My step falters when I hear her answer. No one outside of Chad calls me out on how little I leave our apartment. Even Chad is starting to give up.
“These dogs are more than likely going to die, anyway.” Lennie turns a sharp stare my direction. “The reason these dogs won’t get adopted is because everyone wants the cute, shiny puppy. Most people won’t stop to notice that these dogs have a lot to offer the world. People just need to open their eyes and take a chance.”
I’ve apparently ignited a fire.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you. My parents aren’t animal lovers so we never had a pet.”
Lennie tilts her head to the side. “Tyler, have you ever felt unconditional love?”
Her question causes my head to spin. I was in love once, only life didn’t work out how I pictured. The only thing I know for a fact is she didn’t unconditionally love me.
“Sure, my parents love me unconditionally,” I finally answer.
“What if you disagreed with them? If you told them you were gay or that you robbed a bank? That you killed someone? Would their love still be unconditional?”
I look her in the eyes, and I can tell she’s seriously questioning my answer. “I don’t know. I’d like to think they would.”
Her face softens. “Humans come with strings. They always have and they always will, but the love you get from an animal is truly unconditional.”