Can We Keep Him?

Dexter and Harry Morgan walked through their front door to be met with Debra rolling on the floor laughing with a little dog.

"Look Daddy his name is Banjo. Dex, do you wanna play with him too?" Debra asked with a huge grin on her face.

"Debra where did you get that dog?" Harry asked angrily.

"Mommy gave him to me. She said he has no home and he can stay here. He can stay right?" Debra asked holding the puppy to her chest as if he was going to be snatched away from her.

"I don't think so Debra where is your Mother?" Harry asked looking around the house.

Harry walked away from them without an answer. Dexter and Debra could hear their parents fighting in the other room.

"Why can't we keep him Dex?" Debra asked as she began to cry.

Dexter knew it was because of him, but he thought maybe he could talk his father into letting them keep him.

"I don't know Deb." Dexter lied.

"I would take care of him all by myself. We could both take care of him. He'll be like our new brother. He can even take turns sleeping in our rooms." Debra said like she thought all this through.

'She was so happy. Could I live with that dog without wanting to kill it? Maybe I can see it as part of the family. I have never wanted to kill Deb or mom or dad. Maybe this could work.' Dexter thought.

"Come on Banjo say hello to your big brother Dexter." Debra said as she picked up the dog kissed its head and held him out to Dexter.

'Debra loves the dog already. I can't let dad take him away. I will not kill it I will not kill it I will not kill it I will…' Dexter's thoughts were interrupted.

"Dex, are you okay?" Debra asked concerned.

"Um yeah. Hi… Banjo." Dexter said patting the dog's head.

Harry came back in the room with Doris.

"Debra honey I'm sorry but we can't keep the dog. Give it to me so I can take it back to the pet store." Harry told his daughter.

"No dad please I promise I'll take care of him all by myself. Dexter said he would help me. You don't have to do anything please!" Debra said crying again.

"Don't make me ask you again Debra give me the dog.' Harry said impatiently.

Debra kissed the dog again and put it on the floor. Then she ran to her room sobbing and slammed the door. Doris followed her daughter looking guilty leaving Dexter with his dad and Banjo.

"Dad I think it'll be okay if we keep the dog. I promise I won't kill it. I don't want to kill it Debra really likes it." Dexter said.

"I want to trust you Dexter, but you can't control your urges. I can't take the risk. I'm sorry." Harry said as he picked up the dog and left the house.

Dexter went to his room feeling bad that Debra couldn't keep her dog.

'Maybe if I tell her why dad took it away she'd understand. Maybe she won't be as upset.' Dexter thought.

Dexter waited until he finally heard his mom leave Debra's room before he went in to talk to her. Debra's face was red and her eyes were puffy. She looked up from her position on the bed when she heard him at the door.

"Hey Deb. Can I come in?" Dexter asked apprehensively from the doorway.

Debra nodded rubbing her face.

"Deb I'm really sorry we couldn't keep Banjo." Dexter said as he sat on the bed next to Debra.

"What did I do wrong? Why did he take him away?" Debra pleaded to understand.

"You didn't do anything. It's all my fault, but I'm going to tell dad he doesn't have to worry about me. We can keep the dog." Dexter said.

"But how is it your fault?" Debra asked confused.

"Well it's just that sometimes I get these… well I have to…"

"Dexter is allergic to dogs. That's why we can't have one. I'm sorry Debra but your mother shouldn't have brought you that dog in the first place. It was cruel to take him from you, but I didn't have a choice." Harry said apologetic.

"Okay dad." Debra said in a hoarse defeated voice. Then she laid down pulled the covers up over her head and turned away from them.

"Dexter can I talk to you for a minute?" Harry asked.

Dexter nodded and followed Harry into his office.

"What were you going to tell Debra Dexter?" Harry whispered as he shut the door behind him.

"The truth. It would be so much easier if she knew."

"You can never ever tell Debra do you understand." Harry said adamantly.

"Why not? Debra loves me." Dexter defended himself.

"She loves who she thinks you are. If she knew the real you she would be terrified of you." Harry said sadly.

"But no…" Dexter felt this odd lump in his throat. He didn't remember ever feeling it before, but it was painful and made it hard to talk.

"I'm sorry Dex but you have to make sure Debra never finds out. It would destroy her and you. Promise me you will keep this from her at all costs." Harry demanded.

Dexter nodded.

"Good boy." Harry said giving Dexter a pat on the head.

Dexter walked out of the room. When he reached the doorway he turned to his father.

"Just so you know I wouldn't have killed that dog." Dexter croaked and then walked to his room without waiting for a reply.

Dexter shut the door to his room and lay on the bed looking at the ceiling.

'Would Debra really hate the real me? Of course she would. Who could love someone that wants to kill things? If Debra finds out she'll hate me. That would be the worst thing that could happen. I can never let that happen. Debra can never know the real me.' Dexter thought to himself as he wiped away the first tear that fell from his eyes since he was just a toddler.

That night Debra went to sleep in Dexter's room again. She slowly crept towards the bed with her arms full of her blanket and pillow.

"Dexter are you awake?" Debra whispered.

"No." Dexter said groggily.

"Okay." Debra said as she sank to the floor and got comfortable.

"Dexter?" Debra whispered again.

"Ugh. What Deb." Dexter said annoyed.

"Why are you allergic to dogs?" Debra asked curiously.

"I don't know maybe my real parents are allergic and I got it from them." Dexter said not thinking about allergies, but the… feelings he gets.

"Yeah, maybe. So if you were my real brother we could have gotten a dog. I wish you were my real brother." Debra said longingly.

"I'm sorry Deb. I wish you could have kept your dog."

"It's okay. If I could only have you or a dog I'd choose you anyway." Debra said honestly.

"Gee thanks Deb." Dexter said rolling his eyes.

"You're welcome." Debra said not picking up the sarcasm.

"What if I did something bad? Would you still want me for a brother?" Dexter asked curiously.

"What like eating cookies before diner?"

"Something worse than that." Dexter said.

"Like breaking my toys?" Debra asked.

Dexter let out a sigh. "Yeah Deb what if I broke all of your toys on purpose?"

"Well… I would call you a giant poopy head and probably push you, but I think I would still want you to be my brother." Debra said seriously.

Dexter laughed at his little sister hoping she would never have to find out what he was really trying to ask her.