Perfect Lives and Little Sisters
My life was perfect. Not perfect as in I was rich, powerful, and spoiled rotten (because I wasn’t), but because I was happy. I only ate jelly and omelette, but I ate. I didn’t have a Snowickle or a Kadoatie, but I had an Angelpuss. I wasn’t queen of the Battledome, but I had trained a little. And for a while, my life was perfect.
Until Loraine burst through the door on that fateful day.
“Yay!” my owner squealed. “Ten million neopoints! I’m going to get a Draik Egg!” Loraine then broke out into a series of gesticulations that I knew was a “happy dance”. My heart dropped, and bumped into my stomach abruptly. The day had finally come. My owner was getting a new pet.
One of us was getting abandoned.
I turned away from Loraine’s writhing body, meeting AshleyAsh12412's eyes. My sister’s mouth was gaping. I lifted an ear, listening to the music blaring in Cornydog11112’s room. My brother was blissfully unaware. My gaze fell on the tiny red Aisha asleep on the couch. The baby of the family wouldn’t even understand what it meant.
I wish I didn’t.
“Sweeties,” Loraine began, hugging each of us. “I’m off to the Trading Post. I’m making an offer.” We both nodded mutely. Penny62673 stirred fretfully on the sofa cushions, the only person in our family who was still afraid of Sludgies and drew pictures of magical castles. I couldn’t bear to lose her. Or reckless Corny, who blushed when girls talked to him. At least Penny was safe. Everyone loves Christmas Zafaras.
Or what if it was me?
My mind spiraled out of control, picturing my own self as one of the sobbing pets in the pound. It could happen. No one would want to hold on to Dana_xo2008 the Lupe, when they could have a beautiful Draik. No more trips to Hubert’s Hot Dogs with Loraine. No more laughing at the snobs who told her she had badly named pets. “At least none of mine are named ‘PrincessGloriaofWerlington’!” I could still hear her say.
The front door of our modest Neohome slammed shut.
“Emergency pet meeting. Now,” Ashley finally whispered. Leaving Penny on the couch, we climbed the stairs to get our brother.
“Ashley, Dana! What gives? That was Chomby and the Fungus Balls’ best song!” the green Gelert complained.
“Corny, it finally happened. Loraine’s getting a Draik,” Ashley said calmly, twirling the cord to Corny’s stereo.
“That’s impossible. Loraine already has four pets, crazy.” He dismissed her knowingly.
“Hence the problem, genius.” She sighed sarcastically.
“But no user can have five pets,” he said, brow crinkling in confusion.
“Listen, Corny,” I intervened. “4+1=5, and you’re right, no user can have five pets. But (4-1)+1 is four, and that’s completely fine.” Math was the simplest language for Corny.
“Oh,” he mouthed. “Who?”
“That’s the simplest and most complicated problem you ever came up with.” I moaned. “Probably not Ash, she’s painted. Me, I guess.”
“But I’m badly named,” Ashley pleaded. How twisted. The Pound was the last place any of us wanted to go to, and yet we were begging to go there. What horrible self-sacrifice.
“We all are,” I moaned.
“What about...” Corny gestured downstairs.
“No. Penny’s barely a toddler,” I said, horrified.
“All the more reason for it to be her. I bet Loraine thinks she wouldn’t remember us. It’d be more humane. And Loraine is always humane to animals,” Ashley practically spat, her voice bitter.
“Can it, Ashley. Loraine never thought of us as animals,” I said, more to myself than to my siblings.
“She never thought about abandoning any of us either.”
“Listen to us!” Corny laughed grimly. “We’re already speaking in past tense.”
The silence that followed was as cold as ice.
“Aaaah! I can’t take this. I’m going to my room,” Ashley snarled as she stormed away. Eventually I left, too.
By the time I had closed the door to my cramped bedroom I was already crying. It was kind of funny in a sick way, how I had once hated my claustrophobic room. Now I couldn’t let it go. The tattered bedspread, prison-like gray walls, and pictures of Loraine and me smiling had become cherished mementos. Was my time here ending?
After a few minutes of sobbing into the soft fabric of my much-abused Blue Ixi Plushie, I heard the front door open. “Hello? Anybody home? Did the Pant Devil steal my pets?” Loraine giggled.
Sure. Laugh before you maim our family.
Then she chuckled again, probably at the sight of Penny asleep like a log.
I listened intently for the sound of my brother or sister’s feet on the stairs. There was none.
Okay, so I was going to be the first to hear who was going to go. No big deal.
Everything felt so surreal. I even doubted the plod of my paws down the stairs. It was like a dream, a nightmare. Any second Loraine would shake me awake, telling me I was late to Neoschool.
She never did.
“I did it!” she proclaimed proudly. “I made an offer on a Yellow Draik Egg.” She pointed to the enormous (but empty) sack that must of held a hefty sum of neopoints. “And...”
“Who?” I cut her off.
“Who what?” she questioned, as confused as I was when Jeran was mysteriously saved by that Air Faerie when I thought he had spiraled to his death.
“Who are you abandoning?!” I screamed, tears pouring down my face again. “Who are you going to throw out in the cold for a new pet, or should I say new fad?! Who, who, who?!”
My tantrum took a second to register with her.
“You... you thought... you thought I was abandoning one of you?” Her pale blue eyes widened.
“You have to!” I wailed.
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do!”
“Dana, look at this.” She held a large card in my face. ‘User lookup: lorainydayz2' was the title.
“What is this?” I demanded.
“My new side account,” she said quietly. “I’m not giving up any member of my dream team.”
There was a fleeting pause.
Then I was hugging her, and she was hugging me, and I was crying like a fountain.
“I would never abandon my tiny Penny, my wild Corny, my graceful Ashley, or the only Lupe in history that could flood a house with her tears,” she assured me.
“Mom...” I croaked, then stopped. I never called Loraine ‘Mom’.
“Let’s go tell Corny and Ash.”
“Yes, Loraine. Save me from this ‘awwww’ moment.”
My life was perfect again.
Exactly two days, sixteen hours, thirty-nine minutes, and six seconds later...
“Loraine! Loraine, wake up! Ashley says there is a package on our doorstep from the Trading Post!” I practically screamed at my snoozing owner.
“Grrrrfaway...” she snored. Well, at least she heard me.
“Whatever you say. Anyway, I’m sure the Pant Devil would just LOVE to nab a valuable-looking package off of our doorstep...”
“Alright, alright! I’m up. Let’s go get it.”
I grinned. I knew her so well.
Neopia Central was covered in a thin mist. “Poor Neopia doesn’t deserve to see me so early in the morning,” she grumbled. I secretly agreed. Nothing was more frightening than Loraine in a bathrobe with no makeup on. Not even Jhudora.
“Wow, it’s so heavy,” Loraine said, carefully lifting the heavy yellow egg out of the parcel. “Oh, my gosh! What if it’s really just a Chomby egg?”
“Calm down,” Corny said. “I’ve seen pictures. This is one hundred percent real.”
“Well, what are we waiting for?” Ashley moaned, frustrated. “Let’s go hatch it.”
We then ran in synchronization, as fast as our feet and paws could carry us, all the way to the Draik Nest. Once there, the egg cracked and cracked, finally hatching.
“Hey, little guy!” I said to the tiny yellow head that peeked out of the shell.
“Good gracious. Can’t you see I’m a girl? Heavens above,” were the first haughty words Taylor1112345 said to me.
Don’t tell anyone, but she’s been the best little sister in my perfect life ever since.
WOOHOO! MY FIRST SUBMISSION IN THE NEOPIAN TIMES!!! :D