Oh To Be Beautiful!
I suppose it was natural for people to have a metaphorical comfort blanket and I guess I was his, a little escape from reality for him. James was a teenage boy who cared little for appearances but he had a lot of heart; he wasn’t interested in showing me off or proving he could earn a lot of neopoints. His friendship and mine was based on love, at first he’d come visit me every day, as most new owners do; he’d bring me an omelette or some jelly (although I was never quite sure where he got this from). Sometimes we’d go on an outing together to the soup kitchen, but it wasn’t long before we had too much money to go to the soup kitchen and I was slightly bored of omelettes and jelly. So he strived to make more neopoints only to feed me, and I ate more foreign and exotic foods.
Then he vanished.
For almost a month I waited in our almost bare neohome for his return. I’d lay my huge Acara head on my yellow paws and watch the door awaiting his key to turn in the lock. It wasn’t that I was stuck inside the house, not at all, it was just that I didn’t feel complete without his laughter running through my ears, the house felt bare without his presence.
It was those times I felt the saddest, when he wasn’t near me. It was almost as though a part of me was missing and I guess it was. Other owners had said we were like bread and butter, oh and we were. We were the perfect fit; the most amazing match.
Then he came back and everything was good again. He nursed me back to full health, (I’d contracted a nasty case of neomonia) and fed me until I was bloated once more, he spent time in the back rooms of our neohome, discovering things we’d long forgotten and we played for hours on end.
It wasn’t until the end of the night that I realised that something had changed within James; there just was something that wasn’t quite right.
‘Lucy, can I talk to you?’
I padded over towards him and sat gazing into his eyes. He looked really sad, but I couldn’t explain why. I nodded and sat in silence, assuming he wanted to talk.
After a few moments of silence, he continued. ‘I know I’ve been away a long time recently, but the truth is, I forgot all about this place; I forgot about you. I was happy, but when I’m not happy, I think of you. You make me happy because you don’t understand...’
He was right, I didn’t understand, but I didn’t want to understand either.
I was so confused.
‘At the end of the week, I’m going away again, I don’t know for how long, but I will be back. I promise. In the meantime I’m going to save up, and do the home up for you. There’ll be plenty of things to do in my absence.’
I nodded that I understood and left the sitting room to contemplate what he had said.
He’d told the truth about one thing at least; before he went he had made our neohome beautiful. Though now I questioned his other motives, as I lounged on our settee in front of the blazing fire I realised how long it had been since his departure; with every day it didn’t seem like he was going to come back at all, and day by day I started to believe this more and more in my heart. Was this going to be the end of our friendship?
I gazed from our window into the snowy streets outside; it was winter and pets were scurrying past with parcels and parcels to take back to their loved ones. I watched a family of fully painted pets as they engaged in a snowball fight amongst themselves and their young owner. I resented them.
That night before I settled down to bed, I looked in the mirror at my reflection. All that peered back was a lonely yellow Acara, lost in shadows and in the hope that one day her best friend would return, like he promised he would, so long ago. I wished I was beautiful, like those painted pets, because maybe then he wouldn’t have left me here on my own. I’d have been more than just a comfort to him; maybe I could’ve been a friend...
Spring came, and still no appearance of my owner, so I gave up. I took to wandering through the meadows and forests that backed onto my garden, through the daisies, with the buzzing bugs around my head. I sat for long hours, picking the flowers and braiding them into my hair, wishing for beauty although I was too blind to see that I was beautiful. I just wanted to be needed by somebody. I wanted to be loved so much...
Summer progressed from Spring, and the lazy days in the fields continued. I no longer waited for James to return, for I knew he wouldn’t. He was no more my friend than people I’d never met. I didn’t know anything about him anymore, although he had once confided so much in me. I was just an escape which he later left. He had been right when he said that I didn’t understand, because I didn’t, and I didn’t care that I might be alone for the rest of my life, because now I really, really didn’t want to understand why he left me. Instead, I preferred to hold back all feeling, because that way, I wouldn’t get hurt.
I guess that was the point where I became bitter. I became obsessed with my appearance, which had mattered so little to him. I sat for long hours in front of a mirror, wishing to be the most beautiful Acara in the world. I am not ashamed of what has happened to me, because it’s just the tragic tale of an abandoned pet, the wish of beauty and the wrong person hearing and answering that plea.
I was no longer even pretty to look at, but I felt beautiful inside. It didn’t matter that I had horns and gleaming red eyes, or even that the only garments that suited my fur colour were old, tattered sacks.
I had rough wings that protruded from my spine.
I felt like I’d been waiting my whole life for this destiny, and now it was placed right in front of me, to make others understand the true meaning of beauty, to look within themselves first and not just the outside of themselves.
I don’t want to understand why I was left, and I don’t want him to understand why I’m doing this. The fact is, if I saw him now, I wouldn’t recognise him, but neither would he recognise me.
I’ve left everything of my former life behind, because I trusted too much and my owner let me down. I became bitter and for that I’m sorry. But for showing you the truth about beauty, I am not.
I am Vira, and I’m beautifully happy.
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