The Different Uni
"Psst. Hey, Star."
I looked up from my work to see my friend Neo_Sarah_Katie, the starry Uni, staring at me. She smiled.
"Tomoyo's having a special Uni Day sleepover tonight. Only Unis can come. You think your owner will let you?"
I forgot the introductions, didn't I? Well, you can expect me to do that.
My name is StrikeStarQueen, and I am a cloud Uni.
What's strange about me is, I hate makeup and dresses and everything girly. Well, I actually do enjoy a sleepover once in a while, but I prefer sleeping in my own home. The closest that I'll do to look good is to be painted the way I am.
I have three of the best sisters you could ever meet. First, there is my owner's first pet, WishuponastarGirl the blue Kacheek. She really is a true genius. She's older than me (I'm the youngest pet), and is shy and kind. However, she is the complete opposite when it comes to the Battledome. One of our lead battlers, she and my sister Devie are great when it comes to fighting. But she took a solemn vow that she will only use her abilities if it is completely necessary or if she is in the Battledome. Wish's dream colour is island.
PVDevilHorns2 is a newly painted Christmas Ixi. She once had a story about herself and her life as a Pound pet in the Neopian Times. She's also gone through some major stat changes since then, and Mom tells us that she's saving to paint Devie either Darigan or faerie.
My newest sister is a blue Tonu named ayesha_16. Mom found her in the Pound, crying because she was constantly told how ugly she was, and she longed for a loving family. She feels insecure because of the way she looks, as it was the reason that she was abandoned. Mom is currently saving to morph Ayesha into a Xweetok.
You could never ask for a more loving owner than Katie. Although a bit absent-minded and clumsy, Mom is fantastic. The whole reason I'm cloud is because she thought that the Uni looked best that way. She's fantastic at making money.
Oh, you want to hear more about me? Well, I enjoy Yooyuball, and every once in a while I fight in the Battledome. I have the cutest little Plushie Angelpuss! Her name is Sweetie. I'm hoping that once the cloud Angelpuss comes out, Mom will let me buy a Cloud Petpet Paintbrush to paint Sweetie with, so that I'll have a matching Petpet!
Anyways, enough about me and my family. Back to the story.
"I'll ask her when I get home. I'll send you a neomail if I can come."
* * *
"Please, Mom! You always tell me to try new things and make new friends! Why can't I go?"
"I didn't say you couldn't go."
"So I can?"
Mom looked thoughtful. "Well, you girls have been rather depressed since we moved from Roo Island to Faerieland. Sure, why not?"
I grinned. As I ran back to my room to pack, I called over my shoulder, "Oh, and by the way! It's tonight!"
Mom frowned. "Tonight?"
I froze. "Oh... i-is that a bad time?"
She shook her head. "Well, tonight I was planning on taking you guys to Mystery Island... but we can do that some other time. Go ahead and have fun."
I grinned. "Okay. I told Sarah that I would neomail her if I could come."
Sarah and I had set up that if I could come, she and her owner, Melian, would come and take me to the party. I quickly wrote a neomail telling her that I would be coming.
"Okay, Mom! Sarah and Melian are gonna be here soon!"
"They are? Where are you going?"
I turned around to see Ayesha. "I'm going to an all-Uni sleepover hosted by Tomoyo. I think that it'll be a great way for me to meet new people."
Ayesha's expression changed to a scowl. "Tomoyo...?"
"Yeah. What about her?"
"Well, Star, we both know that she's not the nicest Uni..."
That was true. The students at our school are all scared of her and her group. However, a lot of the other Unis can't help admiring her, and Sarah is one of them. I just want to be part of the popular crowd without wearing dresses, makeup, or being rude to other students. The whole reason that I was going was so that she would like me. I explained that to Ayesha, but her scowl remained on her face.
"Does Katie know that the sleepover is being held by Tomoyo?" she asked. I nodded. Ayesha sighed.
"Star, I think that you should know something." she said in a low voice. "You know how Wish has been feeling down lately?"
I nodded. "She said that she was being bullied at school. I know what's going on in her life. We're a day apart in age."
"Well, what you don't know is that... Tomoyo is the bully. She's been picking on Wish because she's so shy, and that Wish wears un-trendy clothes."
I was surprised. And angry. Nothing could have described my anger then. "What?! How could she say that?! Wish gets her clothes at the NC Mall!"
"And, she one time saw Devie training behind the school. She laughed and challenged Devie to a fight."
I gasped. Devie had one time come home with bruises and a limp...
"She was downright cruel. Devie hadn't even gotten a chance to fight back, and..."
By then I was downright furious. "What did that Meepit do?!"
Ayesha was taken aback. "Whoa! I've heard some pretty nasty insults, but... to call someone a Meepit? That is evil! Anyways, what she had done was steal Devie's Petpet."
I couldn't believe it. Why would she steal a Plushie Abominable Snowball? Devie was a blue Ixi back then, and was very attached to her Petpet, a Plushie Abominable Snowball that she had called Plush. Then, one day, we were allowed to bring our Petpets to school. Devie was happy, because she could bring Plush to school. When we were leaving, she told us that she would stay after school and practice her fighting. That must have been the day that she was beaten by Tomoyo...
"So, are you sure that you should go?"
"Of course! I've got quite a bone to pick with Tomoyo!"
The doorbell rang just then. "That must be Melian and Sarah. I'll be seeing you. Tell Mom that I left."
Ayesha waved her hoof. "I will!"
* * *
"Ah, loyal subjects, welcome to my sleepover!" Tomoyo exclaimed. I sighed. Tomoyo was a desert Uni who was used to getting everything that she wanted.
"Tomoyo really does rule the school..." I whispered to Sarah.
She smiled. "I know. Isn't it great?"
I turned around to see Tomoyo as the main focus of attention. Unis were crowded around her, saying things like, "Oh, Tomoyo, I love your pajamas!" or "I can't believe you're being repainted!"
Eventually, she got up on her couch and said, "Okay, let's start this sleepover. May I ask you what the main idea of a slumber party is?"
I raised my hoof. "To have fun, and make new friends?"
Tomoyo's face broke into a grimace. "Ew, no. It's so you can give people makeovers and gossip about how nerdy some kids are at school! Now, while we paint each other's hooves, does anyone have some juicy gossip?"
No one said anything.
"Oh. Well, then I guess that I might as well start. Star, do you want a makeover while I tell everyone this piece of gossip?"
I was amazed. Could she tell that I didn't usually brush my mane, and that I had no makeup on?
I shook my head. "I don't enjoy makeup or fancy clothes. Oh, and-"
"Why don't you like girly things? No Uni is that way."
I shrugged. "I just don't find them interesting. In fact, to me they seem quite repulsive."
She frowned. "Well, anyways, let's start."
I sighed. I figured that I wouldn't be getting a makeover, so I grabbed my copy of A Tale of Two Lupes and sat down. It was when Tomoyo started talking about Grundos and Ayesha that I was disturbed.
"Did you see that ugly Tonu Ayesha at lunch today? She sat with the Grundos. Well, I guess that it fits that they sat together. After all, they're all so ugly!" Tomoyo said, laughing.
My anger was coming back, and I remembered why I was there. But Tomoyo started talking again, so I listened.
"And by the way, I saw Ayesha and one of her Grundo friends after school today. They were writing 'PRINCIPAL TARREN IS STUPID' on the wall behind the school."
I dropped the book. "What did you say?" I asked her. Tomoyo turned around.
"I said that I saw your sister and one of her friends doing vandalism behind the school. You must be so mad at them, Star..."
"I'm not mad at them. I'm mad at you."
She stopped, dead in her tracks. "What do you mean?"
"Ayesha walked home with me after school. You can ask Sarah. She came with us."
Everyone's gaze turned to Sarah. "Um... well... S-Star is telling the truth," she said nervously. I smiled.
"In fact," I continued to spit at Tomoyo, "I think that YOU did the graffiti! If you ask me, Grundos may seem dim-witted, but they're smart enough not to do that! After living with Sloth, they know what punishment is."
I didn't know how I knew that. I just did.
Tomoyo's face turned red. Surely, no one ever had the courage to do what I was doing to Tomoyo.
"I'm tired of you picking on everyone, especially my sisters! Just because someone isn't that smart, or looks different doesn't mean that they deserve to be picked on! The only reason that they haven't stood up to you is because they're afraid that you'll spread rumors about them. In fact, Ayesha stood up to you, didn't she? You're not the leader of the popular crowd. You're the leader of the stupid crowd."
Tomoyo looked furious. "Get out."
I smiled. "Gladly."
I grabbed my stuff and walked out the door. It was raining, so it was a long walk home. About halfway there, I heard someone calling my name.
"Star! Star! Wait up!" I turned around to see Sarah rushing up. Her mane was drenched, and her coat was dirty.
"I thought about what you said back there, and you're right. No one deserves to be bullied, and it was dumb of me to worship Tomoyo. Plus, being really girly is stupid."
I smiled. "Well, we know that your owner doesn't like to be woken up. Why don't you stay at my place tonight?"
Sarah smiled. "I'd like that."
* * *
The next morning, I told Mom what had happened, from Ayesha's confrontation to that morning.
At the end, Mom stared down at her cup of Borovan. "Is something wrong?" I asked.
She sighed. "Star, I have a confession. You weren't born as a Uni."
"I got you as a Grundo from the Space Station the day after Wish was born."
I gasped. No wonder I had known about the Grundos, and that I hated girly things. I couldn't believe it.
I hugged Mom.
"Mom..." I said, tears welling up in my eyes. "I love you..."
She wrapped her arms around me. "I love you too, Star..."
* * *
The next day, I walked to school with Sarah, Devie, Wish, and Ayesha. I was worried about what would happen.
"Oh, I can't believe it... I'm gonna be made a laughing stock..."
"It's okay," Wish said. "Whatever happens, we'll be there for you."
I smiled. "Thanks."
At lunch, I pulled out a Faerie Baked Potato and other various items, when I looked up to see a group of students standing in front of the table.
Some of the Unis from the party.
A Speckled Uni stepped forward and asked, "Can we sit with you?" I nodded.
Day after day more and more Unis sat with us. Some other species came too. Neopets who didn't sit with us called us "The Difference," because we each had an individual trait that made us different, and we would use it to try and make a difference. Mine was that I didn't enjoy makeup or anything girly.
And it reminded me, I wasn't the average Uni.
I was different.
I was StrikeStarQueen, The Different Uni.