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Winter Wishes


by illinata

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'Dear family,

      'I hope you do not take this the wrong way, but I won't be visiting you very much anymore. I've found a new main account, so I will be doing my dailies on that now. It's not that I don't love you all anymore, it's just that I need a fresh start.

      'I will visit every now and then, so don't think that I've completely deserted you. I won't ever forget about how each of you have, at one point, saved me from danger and/or grief.

      'I do ask one thing of you all, though. Please do not show Leia this letter. I could not handle coming there and seeing her sad face. It would break my heart. That is all I ask.'

      'Much love,

      'Hayley.'

      "Ughh!" Dominique exclaimed. It had been about the millionth time that he'd read the letter that his owner, Hayley, had sent almost a year ago. Since she sent it, she'd only visited once, and that was six months ago. Not that he'd been counting or anything..

      The Darigan Shoyru crumpled up the letter, tossed it at the wall, and plopped down on his bed. He still couldn't take the fact that she would just calmly send them a letter, telling them that she wouldn't come around anymore.

      He remembered the only warming part of the letter. 'I won't forget about how each of you, at one point, saved me from danger and/or grief.'

      She was right. Each of her pets had once saved her from something. Dominique himself had, as a passerby, pushed her out of the way just as the Pant Devil had swooped down. He would never forget how grateful she seemed.

      Dominique's stomach growled, snapping him out of his deep thought. He got up and walked into the kitchen.

      His older sister, Annabelle, was still sitting at the window, still waiting for Hayley to walk up to the front door. She had been waiting there ever since Hayley last left six months ago.

      Dominique noticed how she had really let herself go. Her normally long, shiny hair was greasy and snarly. Her glamorous, Royal Kyrii dress was wrinkly. And her usually manicured paws were dirty and gross. She hardly ever ate, and slept at the table. It was quite sad, really.

      Dominique sighed. Maybe Ciadra felt like cooking something. She had always cooked for the family, even before Hayley left.

      He found her in the living room, reading the large novel that she had picked up a week ago. She said it kept her mind off of the recent events.

      "Ciadra, what's for dinner?" Dominique asked.

      The Faerie Ixi looked up from her novel. "Dunno. I'll find something later. I'm on a really good part," she replied, then stuck her nose right back into the book.

      Dominique rolled his eyes. That had been the excuse all week. Dominique sometimes had to pry the book from her hooves just to get her to cook something. The rest of the pets usually ended up going for days without food.

      He decided to leave her for now, and bother her later.

      Dominique walked out of the living room and back into the bedroom area. Walking down the long hallway usually cleared his thoughts, somehow.

      All down the hallway hung portraits of a happy looking family. One held a photo of Ciadra getting handpainted Faerie. Another held one of Annabelle getting her first manicure with Hayley, while a few feet to the right held a picture of Leia playing Usukis with her friends. But the one that hurt the most to look at was a family portrait taken three years ago. All of these photos were dusty and not taken care of. It just hurt so much to even glance at them.

      Everything had changed since their owner left. Annabelle never left the window, Ciadra procrastinated, and even he had found that he had begun to be more bitter. It was awful, inhumane, it was-

      "No, no, Dolly, we don't hit. Bad Sara! Go back to the castle!"

      This snapped Dominique out of his deep thinking. He was standing right in front of Leia's wide-open door.

      Her floor was covered with different Usukis, Usuki sets, and Usuki clothes. She had two Usukis in hand and was apparently having a great time. Hayley had said in her letter that she didn't want Leia to know that she was leaving them, and obviously Leia hadn't found out since. Dominique wondered what kind of excuse Leia had thought of that would explain Hayley being away for so long.

      Leia looked up. "Oh, hi, Dominique!" she greeted cheerfully. Dominique couldn't help but smile at the Baby Aisha, for she seemed to brighten up everywhere she went.

      "Do you wanna play?" she asked him, holding up a Fun in the Sun Usuki.

      Dominique chuckled. "No thanks, Leia," he replied.

      Leia merely shrugged and put down her Usukis. "I'm getting hungry." she said, getting up. "Maybe I can talk Ciadra into making us some Cheese Omelettes!" She skipped past Dominique and headed toward the kitchen. Dominique followed quietly.

      "I sure hope Mommy's coming home for Christmas," Leia said. Dominique only smiled meekly. "Me too, Leia, me too." He wondered briefly what Leia would be like if she did know about Hayley. He decided that it would break everyone's heart to see her sad, and not just Hayley's.

      As Dominique entered the kitchen, Annabelle looked up at him with red, tired eyes. "Dominique, it's starting to snow," she said quietly.

      Dominique walked to the window. Sure enough, small white flakes were falling from the grey sky. Christmas was getting closer, and soon it would mark seven months since they had last seen Hayley.

      Dominique would cry, but he wouldn't do that in front of Leia. He was the only boy in the family, so he would have to be the toughest. It was just in his nature.

      Suddenly, he heard the familiar 'clink' of the mail slot. They didn't get many Neomails, so this was certainly odd. He went to the front door and picked up a single, snow covered letter. He gasped at who it was addressed from.

      It was from Hayley.

      He opened it quietly, not wanting to draw attention from the other room.

      'Family,

      'Life couldn't be worse here at this account. The pets hate me, the Neohome is small, and the Pant Devil comes by at least once every week!

      'I've decided to come back where I truly belong, and that's home. I hope you can find it somewhere in your hearts to forgive me for leaving you.

      'Take care, and I'll be home by Christmas.'

      'See you soon,

      'Hayley.'

      Dominique couldn't believe his eyes. Hayley, his owner, the owner that had left for a year and a half, had finally realized that she needed to be here. It was a dream come true.

      He hadn't noticed that Leia had come into the room until she spoke up. "Who's it from? What's it say?" she asked, trying to jump up to read the letter.

      Dominique turned to her, eyes sparkling and a small smile on his face. "Let's just say, Mommy will be home for Christmas."

The End

 
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