“Get out!” Zach finally screamed after several more weeks of Humphrey never leaving his side. “Get out!”
Humphrey sat up straight on the couch. He looked at Zach like he had just stabbed him in the back.
“What’s wrong?” Humphrey asked with his head tilted.
“Dude, you’ve been here for weeks,” said Zach. “Don’t you have anything else to do?”
“I thought we were having fun,” Humphrey said. “Did I do something wrong?”
“No,” said Zach. “You’re just here a lot.”
“Don’t you have other friends?” Spencer asked. “A home?”
“Yeah,” said Humphrey. “Of course, I do. I just like hanging out with you guys.”
“I’m sure your other friends want to hang out with you as well,” said Zach. “You should see what they’re up to.”
“They’re all busy,” said Humphrey. “They’re not cool like you, Zach.”
“He’s not cool!” Spencer yelled.
Humphrey growled at Spencer for the insult.
“I don’t see where any of this hostility is coming from,” said Humphrey. “I’ve done so much for you guys. I bring you the paper. I fought off that burglar the other day.”
“That was Clare,” said Spencer. “She has a key. She literally lets herself in. Now, she doesn’t want to come over here.”
“Well, if I was around more I would have known that,” said Humphrey.
“You’ve literally talked to her,” said Spencer.
“I appreciate all the things you’ve done, but you can’t keep staying over here,” said Zach. “Go home.”
“But, I am home,” said Humphrey. “You fed me. You play with me. You’re my family, Zach.”
Spencer took a step back. He pulled a cell phone out of his pocket. “I’m calling the cops.”
“Fine,” barked Humphrey. “Do it. See if I care.”
Spencer did not hesitate. He dialed 9-1-1 and told them they had an intruder.
“Just go,” said Zach. “The cops are on their way. We don’t have to make this ugly. Just go home. Don’t come back here.”
“We’re friends, Zach,” said Humphrey. “This is fine. You’ll understand. When you come around we can go for lunch. Maybe a quick trip to the dog park. And Spencer, you never know, Heather could be there. I can get you an in with her. She loves dogs.”
“Don’t need your help,” said Spencer.
“You’re smothering me,” said Zach. “Please, I just need some space.”
“But we’re best friends,” said Humphrey.
“No, my best friend is Spencer,” said Zach.
“Thank you,” said Spencer.
“And I love going to work just to get away from him,” said Zach.
“Hey,” said Spencer.
“Luckily for us your work allows office dogs,” said Humphrey.
“No, not lucky for us,” said Zach. “You’re not listening.”
“I’m hearing in your heart you just need a better friend,” said Humphrey. “That’s what I am. You’re lonely, and I can fix that.”
Thankfully, a harsh knocking interrupted the budding friendship festering in the apartment. Spencer rushed to the door. Humphrey was quickly behind him.
“Who’s there?!” Humphrey cried out. “Who is it?!”
Spencer opened the door. Two New Delta City Police Officers stood side by side. Their faces were grimaced. Humphrey did not mind. He came up to the two officers and greeted them with hugs.
“How’s it going?” Humphrey asked. “It’s so good to see you guys.”
“We got a call about an intruder,” said one of the officers.
“Yes!” said Spencer. “This guy does not live here and he refuses to leave. We’ve asked him several times, but he will not budge. He’s harassing my friend and myself. We want him gone.”
“What’s he done?” asked the second officer.
“He’s here every morning. He keeps giving me the paper and donuts. He comes with me to work. Always in my cubicle. In the afternoon he pops up with my mail. He’s just always here.”
“Hmmmm,” said the first officer. He looked Humphrey up and down. “He sounds like a very good boy.”
“Who’s a good boy? Are you a good boy?” the officer asked Humphrey.
“Yes, I am,” said Humphrey.
The second officer glared at Spencer. “I don’t see the problem here. 9-1-1 is for serious emergencies only. I suggest you reexamine your life if you find yourself annoyed with such an adorable friend. Not call the police again.”
“Oh,” said Zach. He did not have the words to challenge the officer’s declaration.
“He’s not a good boy!” said Spencer. “Take him away!”
“Have a good night, sirs,” said the second officer with disgust in his voice. “If anything happens to that dog we’ll know who to talk to.”
“No,” said Zach. “Come back. Take him with you. He’s not our friend. He’s insane. Please, listen to us.”
The officers turned their back to the situation and left Zach and Spencer with Humphrey like nothing had happened.
“We have the worse cops,” said Spencer.
Zach groaned in frustration. Sensing, Zach’s discomfort, Humphrey wrapped his arms around Zach.
“It’s okay, buddy,” said Humphrey. “I’m here for you. We’ll get you through this.”
Slowly, the two of them wrapped in each other’s arms returned to the couch. Zach had given in. Humphrey was his new best friend. He was a good boy.