Revenge: Part Four
I knew it was stupid. I knew I shouldn’t have gone out in the storm, but how could I stay in there? How could I stay in that house when I knew that my owner was going to be just like my last one? The only difference between the two was in how they pronounced my name. My first owner, when she had created me, had squealed over it, claiming that I was such a “Cutie,” because that’s how you pronounce my name, isn’t it, if you say the ‘q’ like how you pronounce the letter? This new owner pronounced it better, saying, “Kuh-Tie”, and she actually got the others to call me that too, barely even trying.
Ever since I was little I had been infatuated with Yooyuball. I’d watch every match, not caring if I was viewing one that had my favorite team’s rival in it. I was fascinated with the way the players moved, practicing their actions on my own when nobody was looking, in case I looked incredibly stupid doing them. There was nothing else I could imagine in my future, and to show my obsession, my walls had been covered in posters of every team, and every kind of Yooyu they had to deal with.
My heart had broken when I was told I couldn’t play. My first owner was scared of letting any of us get hurt, even if it was something just as small as getting a scratch. We were lucky, to be honest, that she let us go outside in the first place, but that didn’t matter. She didn’t let me play Yooyuball.
I became the moody, distrustful child. My thoughts were that if I couldn’t be happy, nobody else could, and I went out of my way to make everybody’s life miserable. I didn’t do my schoolwork, I lied, I started arguments that I knew I was in the wrong but continued anyway... I even got to the point where I was considered the bully of the school, and most of the pets I’d previously been friends with started to avoid me.
My owner had given me an ultimatum several times, but she never pulled through with it, so when she had given me one the last time I didn’t really think anything of it. All I did was wave at her to show I had heard and went back to reading my magazine about Yooyuball. The next day, at school, there was a test, and for the hundredth time that week I got frustrated about my predicament, angry at my owner, and angry at everything I could think of. I tore up my test and stormed outside, and was shocked when my owner had pulled me out of school during the middle of the day.
She abandoned me.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much that hurt. It was as if she had stabbed me in back several times over, and the realization of what she had done brought me to tears that lasted the whole night, and possibly the next day as well. I can’t remember. It’s too much of a blur now. I had thought that no matter what I had done, she’d still love me and want to keep me in her home, but now I knew otherwise.
She probably hated me.
It was the most horrible thing in the world to be separated from my siblings. I missed my sister the most. Her name had been Saje, and she’d been the sweetest, shyest little pet you could ever meet. I regretted being so mean to her then, and that had only added to the pain I had felt right after I had been left with no owner. That was why I had treated Naqasa the way that I did. She was so much like my sister that it wasn’t funny, her eyes wide and trusting, the way she seemed to stick with only her group of friends, too scared to go out and make any others.
Maybe I would go and talk to the Trio. It was horrifying that she had come into my room when I was looking at the pictures of my family. I didn’t want anybody here to know where I came from, who my family was. That was private. That wasn’t to be seen by anybody other than me.
Still... she had seemed sorry for it. Should I have laughed at her when she fell in the mud? It shouldn’t have mattered too much, because the incident was a little funny, but she seemed to be mortified, and looked as if she was about to burst into tears as she was led into the building.
A small leaf slapped my cheek painfully, as if it were the wrath of the small Usul herself, and I imagined the howling of the wind to be her shouting at me.
I didn’t want to go back and apologize to her. I didn’t want to have to confront anybody about anything. I just wanted to walk, and sift through my head, and walk. I knew I’d eventually have to return home. I wasn’t foolish enough to think that I could survive on my own out here. I didn’t even know the first place to start if I wanted to live on my own.
Still, going home could wait... couldn’t it?
“Q’tai!” shouted a voice from behind me, and it was quickly followed by a couple of other voices. Great. Shadow must’ve sent her pets out to retrieve me.
To my surprise, when I looked to see them, I found the older two pets—Shei and Qin—as well as the girl rushing up to me. They all had varying degrees of relief and worry etched onto their faces, most palpable on the human’s. I frowned as I stopped for them to catch up. What was going on? If nothing else was wrong, there wouldn’t be any anxiety in any of their appearances.
“Thank goodness we found you!” said the girl, hugging me tightly. She crushed me so much that it was somewhat hard to breath. “I was so scared!”
“I’m... sorry?” I said, the word sounding strange on my tongue after so long not using it.
“Where’s Naqasa?” asked Shei, quivering as the rain poured down upon her coal colored pelt.
“Naqasa ran after you,” explained the faerie Grundo, adjusting his raincoat to help cover himself better. “As soon as she saw you were gone, she ran right out into this storm. We waited a while for her to return, but...”
I saw where this was going, and tears burned in my eyes as I closed them, biting my lip. Naqasa was gone? Guilt rushed through my body as I recognized the implications. It was my fault. She had left because of me. Despite my treatment, despite the way that I showed my complete distaste for her presence, she still cared enough for me to rush out into this storm to come after me.
“Where do you think she went?” I asked. It was hard to talk through this wind. Everybody had to make their voices louder than usual.
We were all going to be deaf when we got home.
“No idea,” said Shei, trying to squeeze some of the water out of the fur on her arm. “Qin?”
My new brother just shook his head, and Shadow looked downcast.
Earlier this evening, the Trio had come up to me and offered to help me find a way to get revenge on Naqasa. I had refused, because I didn’t want her to know it was me pulling a prank on her, and I didn’t want word to get back to Shadow of what I had done, in case she put me back in the pound before I got an awesome color from the lab ray. As I was talking, refusing them, I had noticed a small shadow leaping out from after a trashcan. It had a distinctly familiar shape, and it had taken me a few moments to realize who it was that was probably behind it. My refusal became even more vehement then, but I was afraid that I had become somewhat flimsy by the end of their persuasion.
Naqasa had heard us talking. What if she thought I was headed back to the school?
“Wait,” I said, and my family’s heads perked up to look at me. I cowered a little bit, under their intense stares. “I think... I know where she... went. We have to go to the school.”
Shadow nodded, and looked at all of us, waiting until everybody started running to come after us. The drops of rain stung as I ran, harder than it had when I was pacing, and I vehemently wished that we would find Naqasa soon. The small creature could easily catch cold out in this weather, and besides, what if something more horrible happened to her? After everything, I don’t know if I could bear it if we got to her too late. She treated me better than I deserved.
My heart sank as we reached the school, and saw nobody there. My chest tightened as I realized that my guess had failed, and my chin quivered. We all looked in every possible place that a small creature like her could’ve gotten into, but there was nobody.
Qin patted me on the back as we slowly walked home.
“It’s all right,” he said. “We tried.”
I shook my head. It was my fault. Naqasa was going to get really ill, and Shadow would blame it on me, and I’d be taken away, and...
“There she is!”
The human darted away from our group and over to a bumpy, gnarled tree. There, to my horror, was an unconscious little bundle of pure white fur and blue ribbons.
To be continued...