Ruthie was awake, and she didn't know why. She had gotten to bed late last night so she shouldn't be awake yet. Her eyes remaining firmly closed, she focused her efforts on relaxing and going back to sleep. She was almost there when she heard "YAP".

Her eyes shot open, 'what the heck was that' she thought.

'A dog' another part of her brain answered.

'Well duh' the first part thought back, but this place has a no pets policy'.

'Obviously someone is bending the rules' the other part of her brain supplied.


There it was again. 'Isn't someone gonna shut the thing up, people are trying to sleep' Ruthie thought. But for her, sleep was a thing of the past, at least for today. Reluctantly she sat up in bed and looked out the window at downtown Denver. She had gone to Denver on a whim. She was supposed to head straight down Interstate 80, but she had seen the sign and decided that she had never been to Denver, so why not take the opportunity. She had arrived at about 5:30 in the afternoon (thank God for a morning graduation) and kind of wandered into the heart of the city. She was intrigued by the place, parts of it reminded her of Chicago, but there were some very unique elements here, plus some of the bars looked cool. She had looked around for somewhere to stay and found the Black Mountain Hotel. She liked the place; it was quaint and quiet, almost as if it had been placed there from another time. She had put her essentials in room 1611 and gone out. She had almost immediately found a great Mexican place called Oerta's right down the street, and a neat bar called Bash Riprock's near there as well. She only had one beer, but she had soaked in the ambience and had liked what she had felt. She had wandered back to the hotel and settled in for what was to have been a long relaxing sleep, that is until someone let a noisemaker loose in the hall. "YAP" speak of the devil.

'Crap, it sounds like its right outside my door, everyone's gonna think it's mine'.


Very reluctantly Ruthie climbed out of bed and staggered in the direction of the door. She opened it a crack and looked out; it was right in front of her door. It was indeed a dog, not a little mop dog, but one that looked like Benji. "Shoo, go home" Ruthie said, but the dog just wagged at her. 'I don't need this, even if it is cute' Ruthie thought. She opened the door wider to see if there was anyone else stirring on the floor. As soon as her door was open wide enough, the dog darted into her room. 'Great' Ruthie thought 'now it's gonna pee on everything and housekeeping well string me up'. She tried to follow the dog's progress in her room but gave it up. The little mongrel was darting here and there at roughly the speed of light. It was like trying to follow a quark. She glanced back to her open door and noticed something, the dog wasn't the only thing outside her room, a newspaper was there as well.

'No way is this happening' Ruthie thought 'this just isn't possible'. Slowly, reluctantly she reached down and picked up the paper. It was the Denver Post; the Denver Post for May 27th. She checked her watch just to make sure; yep, today was the 26th. Then the realization actually hit her, she was standing there with tomorrows Denver Post. She almost dropped it and closed the door, there was no way she'd survive what Gary had to put up with, but she didn't drop it. She stepped back into her room and closed the door, already perusing the paper. And in that simple act everything changed, both in her life and in her mind. Everything that she had thought was going wrong with her life didn't matter anymore, because now she knew what she would be doing with her life. She was already marking items that needed her attention while the dog just sat on the bed and looked at her, a curious expression on his face. While she was doing this she picked up the phone and dialed automatically.

"Camden Residence"

"Hi mom, it's Ruthie"

"Are you OK honey?"

"Yeah mom, I'm in Denver."

"Just a little side trip?"

"At first, but something just fell into my lap and I'm gonna be here a while."

"How long do you think?"

Ruthie looked at the dog and the paper and thought for a moment. "I'd have to say for the rest of my life mom." Then she winced, waiting for the reply.

After she got off the phone, she looked back at the paper and the dog. At the moment she wasn't sure if she should be petting the dog or chasing it around trying to skin it. At that moment she realized that there had been a purpose for everything that she had gone through. There was no way she would have willingly left Chicago, even if she had been told that she was needed here in Denver. And so she had been forced out. Forced to come to the place where she was needed, forced to come to the place that now was, andforever morewould be, her home.