My Nana never looked old. Sure, she was young when she had my mother- only 21- but even so, by the time I was old enough to really know her, she was in her early 50's, and she should have looked it. People used to confuse her for my mother when we went out, or confuse her for mother's sister when we were all together. It wasn't just her looks. Her attitude was young, too. Nana loved everything about life, and was always looking for new experiences to have and to enjoy. Looking back, I think maybe Nana had a premonition of her early death, because I have never known another person to concentrate so much living into such a short time.

So, why am I telling you about my Nana, when I'm supposed to be telling you why I hate Leon so much? Well, everyone knows the hamster story by now. Leon knocked my hamster cage off the shelf because he was screwing around, and my hamster died. That, in and of itself, would be reason enough to hate the jerk.

But Chewy didn't die immediately. He must have broken his back in the fall, because he lay there, stunned, at the bottom of the cage for several minutes. That ass Leon just stared- he was too afraid to reach in, to touch my dying pet. I was scared too, but I scooped Chewy up, unwilling to let him die like that, alone, in a broken cage. He was cool to the touch and limp as I cradled him in my hands. He opened his deep black eyes one last time as I sat there crying, lightly stroking the gold and white fur on his back. I felt the last beat of his heart, the last soft exhalation of breath as his life ebbed away. And for the second time in six months, at an age too young to fully contemplate the meaning of life, I experienced the death of someone dear to me.

Leon, of course, had nothing to do with Nana's death. Nana died at the hands of an incompetent anesthesiologist who let her blood pressure drop too low for too long during a so-called "routine" operation to properly fix the ankle that never set right after she broke it on a skiing trip. My mother and I sat there with blank expressions on our faces as the young man explained what had happened, how there was no hope for Nana to ever really wake up again. I sat there with Nana as her eyelids fluttered and she twitched for days after the operation. I watched her life slip away, just like Chewy's. Even in death she looked young and vital.

So even though Leon didn't kill my Nana, when he killed Chewy, it was like seeing Nana die all over again. My Nana, who had held a beautiful funeral for my last hamster, and who had wept real tears at his passing. Miserable Leon couldn't even bear to touch Chewy after sending him to his death. Why did it have to be Nana? Why couldn't it have been a cold and careless person like Leon? Or like the doctor, with his empty gray eyes.

I can't forgive Leon, or any of the Leons of this world. They take life for granted, expecting it to never end, and when it does? So what. That's that- we must move on. Well to Hell with that! I won't move on, and I won't forgive. Others may think I'm odd, or spread rumors about how "mean" nasty old Anya is to poor Leon, who only wants to be her friend. I really don't care. Until they have felt the last breath of someone they love just float away into the air, they can't begin to understand what I feel.