That Summer: Part Two
A Christmas Uni, a brown Moehog, a red Ogrin, and two faerie Kikos splashed around in the swimming pool.
"Let's play water basketball!" Bliss said, motioning to the miniature hoops on each side of the pool.
"We can't," Roxxi said. "There's five of us – you, me, Maris, Paris, and Paint."
"Hey, Ves, we need ya!" Bliss called.
Vesta was sitting on a beach chair, still wrapped in her towel. She lowered her Jazzmosis shades as the red hibiscus flower clipped to her mane dropped to the bamboo floor. She had been drinking out of a coconut shell that rested on the round green table in front of the royal umbrella.
"Uh... sorry, I'm working on my tan," Vesta said.
"Look, chocolate face, you can't tan when you're wrapped in an ugly towel. Grow some confidence and get the heck in the water." Paris rolled her eyes.
Bliss whacked her with the Neopets beach ball, knocking her out of the float ring as her sunglasses landed at the bottom of the pool and her ice water spilled.
"Thanks." Vesta pulled the towel tighter.
"Vesta, Maris is an idiot, get in the water," Roxxi said.
Maris took the Koi bath buddy, filled it with water, and hit Roxxi in the head with it.
"Owwwww!" Roxxi shrieked.
"Wimp." Paris rolled her eyes.
However, Roxxi returned the favor (in other words the Koi bath buddy).
"Owwwww!" Paris screamed.
"Wimp," Roxxi said.
She imitated Paris's tone, so it came out more like, "whoo-eeeeemmmpp."
"Just get your – uh, bottom in the water," Bliss said.
"Fine," Vesta said.
She climbed the ladder to the diving board, let her towel fall behind her after spreading it out like a Korbat's wings, and gracefully dove.
"See, that's not so bad," Bliss said. "You're on my team with Roxxi."
"I wonder what's in here." Puddles opened up the Maraquan Zafara fridge.
To her surprise, there was a selection of tropical juices, fruits, vegetables, and seafood, none of which found in Maraqua.
A few minutes went by and there was a knock on the roof.
"Yeah?" Puddles called.
"Can you please toss me a corn ball?" Roxxi asked.
Puddles jumped up and launched the vegetable.
"Thanks," Roxxi said.
The Moehog went back to the pool, eating the corn ball along the way.
"How are we doing?" Roxxi asked.
"Well, since Paris had to open her big mouth, it looks like I'm doing horribly." Bliss snatched the vegetable away from Roxxi. "Ahh, it's good to have corn balls again."
"Vesta, get back in the – " Roxxi began, surveying the room. "Where's Vesta?"
"Pool shed," Bliss explained. "She's showering, and then she's probably gonna be in my room reading magazines or something. Stupid Paris knows Vesta's self-conscious. I was doing so good when I left for Maraqua – convincing her to eat more than health food and all. UGH!"
"Do I look okay?" Vesta asked, stepping out of the shed.
Her usual sunscreen was overpowered by Peophin shampoo from the pool shed. She was wearing a tank top and gym shorts.
"Are those pajamas?" Maris sneered.
"In other words, you look comfortable and casual," Bliss quickly added before launching the beach ball at Maris's head.
"Thanks." Vesta grinned, running out of the room.
"Are you kidding?" Paris asked. "She looked like – "
Bliss threw a beach ball.
" – she just rolled – "
A bath buddy.
" – out of bed – "
" – at three in the morning – "
" – and left the house – "
" – without freshening up at all."
"Will you stop throwing stuff at me?" Paris screamed.
"Quit insulting Vesta!" Bliss said.
"HEY, VESTA! YOU LOOK – " Maris shouted.
"That means she won't find it an insult." Bliss rolled her eyes.
"NEVER MIND!" Paris shouted.
After half an hour longer in the pool, the girls decided it was time to get out.
"Hey, wanna go see who's playing at the island arena tomorrow?" asked Paris.
"Sure, I'll take you to our newsroom." Paint grabbed the Kiko's paw.
Bliss entered her bedroom to grab her pajamas to find a large puddle coming from under the door to her bathroom.
"Puddles? Is this your room?" Bliss asked.
"Oh, sorry, it's me," Vesta called. "I wanted to use your superstar shampoo."
"Um... is my entire bathroom underwater now?" Bliss asked.
"No, but I was just about to wipe up the floor," Vesta said.
"Use your towel," Bliss said. "I need mine when you're through."
"Oh..." Vesta began.
"What?" Bliss asked.
"Well, I kinda left mine in the pool shed but I figured you wouldn't mind if I used yours." Vesta shrugged.
"Fine, I'll just use my spare," Bliss said.
"Oh, and you're out of conditioner," Vesta replied.
"Vesta, that was a brand new bottle," Bliss gasped. "How much conditioner do a mane and tail need?"
"Well, I was going to put the lid back on and accidentally knocked it over and it spilled," Vesta explained.
"Okay, I'll just use shampoo and I'll worry about conditioner later," Bliss sighed.
"Okay, I left you a lot of shampoo," Vesta said, exiting the room.
She was wrapped tightly in Bliss's fuzzy pink towel.
"So, did you have a nice time chilling out away from everyone and having fun?" the Christmas Uni asked sarcastically, hoping it would inspire Vesta not to ditch them again.
"Yeah, I read through a few magazines, reread one of my favorite Neopian Times stories, the usual," Vesta explained.
"See, you're doing great," Bliss said. "Now go get your pajamas on."
Bliss closed the bamboo door and stepped into the still-steaming tinted shower. It smelled like blue raspberry smoothie and just a hint of black cherry pudding mixed with a faint aroma of Vesta's sunscreen.
The steaming hot water hit Bliss quickly and she scrubbed superstar shampoo all around in her mane and tail. She went to get some for the rest of her coat, but there was none left.
Bliss groaned as she squeezed the weak substitute of Uni shampoo into her hooves and scrubbed her coat. The scent of red grapes blended in with her superstar shampoo.
"It doesn't smell half bad," Bliss said quietly to herself, "but it works terribly."
Bliss scrubbed harder, hoping to eliminate the smell of chlorine.
Bliss closed the shower door, wrapping her towel around as she pressed her ear up against the door.
The ice rink.
Bliss rushed down the hall and opened the door to the ice rink. Then, she learned her first summer lesson – never walk into the ice rink wearing only a thin purple towel, even in boiling heat.
"I t-t-thought th-tha-a-t-t y-you w-were g-going t-t-t-to the-the-the n-n-n-newsroom," Bliss shivered.
"Yeah, but we wanted to go skating," Maris said.
"Y-you d-don't even h-have f-f-feet," Bliss said.
"Hands, dummy," Paris rolled her eyes, "we just put the skates on our hands."
Paint whizzed past Bliss, her red scarf and Virtupets team beanie blowing in the air of the ice rink.
"Whoaaaa!" Paint gasped as she lost balance.
She kicked her feet in a hopeless attempt to gain balance, fell on the floor, and began bouncing around on the ice until she hit the edge. She wiped her red mittens on her black puffy coat and stood up as she glided back to the bamboo floor.
"Remind me to wear snow pants next time," she said before exiting, followed by the twins.
Bliss went back into her bedroom and pulled on her pink plaid shorts and white tank top with the pink bows on the sleeves.
Vesta was wearing similar pajamas, only hers were pants and the tank top was solid pink with no bows. She was resting on Bliss's old heart shaped bed.
"Do you mind?" Bliss asked.
"Huh?" Vesta asked.
"I need to sleep, too," Bliss said.
"Yeah, but see I've been having some spinal conditions, so the doctor told me I needed a mattress," Vesta said, most likely lying because spinal conditions were extremely rare, especially in Mystery Island.
"Fine, I'll be right back," Bliss said.
The Uni walked to the hall closet and pulled out one of the twins' air mattresses, pillow, and blanket.
"Here you go, a mattress, pillow, and blanket." Bliss set the things down on the floor.
Vesta didn't respond.
"Vesta?" Bliss asked.
When she walked over to the heart shaped bed, the Uni was asleep.
"Great," Bliss said, "my towel, my conditioner, most of my shampoo, and now my bed."
However, she slept just fine on the air mattress.
"Time to get up..."
"Time to get up..."
Maris covered her head with the pillow and pounded the alarm clock until it stopped.
"Let's go get Paint," Paris said. "She's gonna take us to see the Twisted Roses."
"Okay, let me just get my makeup," Maris said, grabbing the bag next to her suitcase.
"What the..." She looked inside. "Dang it, sis! That stupid dork took all of my makeup!"
"You can just use..." Paris began. "Aw man, she took mine too!"
"Hey, I saw her getting an airbed from the hall closet," Maris said, "that's probably where she hid all our stuff."
Sure enough, the girls took out their dark red lipstick, black nail varnish, red blush, purple eyeshadow, Twisted Roses shirts, and red skirts.
"We're ready," they said.
"Cool," Paint grinned, "and I have something I wanna get on our way back here."
"What's that?" Maris asked
"Ves, get up!" Bliss shook the purple Uni.
"Quit shaking me!" Vesta said. "I'm going back to the gym so I can – "
"Not until after breakfast," Bliss said, dragging her friend to the dining room.
They each pulled up a wooden chair at the classic dining table.
"Paint and the twins are having breakfast at this café by the arena," Hailey explained.
"What's for breakfast?" Roxxi asked.
"Pancakes," Hailey said.
"Yeah, I don't really think that – " Vesta started to say something, but Bliss shoved a forkful of pancake into her mouth and wouldn't let go until she swallowed it.
"Fine," Vesta sighed, clearing her plate.
"Now eat the rest," Bliss said, motioning to the cocoa juppie and bubbly twirly fruit juice.
"All right," Vesta sighed, "but tomorrow morning we're having candy."
As soon as her meal was done, she ran straight to the gym.
"Wanna play the Aisha board game?" Bliss asked.
"Sure," Roxxi said as they made their way to the gameroom.
"I'm sorry, but this concert is sold out," said an island Techo at the ticket stand. "Please come again the next time."
"How can it be sold out?" Paris asked. "Tickets went on sale – "
"Half an hour ago," said the Techo.
"I'm complaining for slow service at that café," Paris said, "they're making us miss the concert."
"Well, I hear that Gruundo is playing in Maraqua, and we can still make it to the noon showing," Paint said.
"And you said you wanted to get something there, right?" Paris asked.
"Then let's go! I've always wanted to go to Maraqua." Maris shouted.
"Can we have some air helmets?" Paint asked the Techo.
"Knock yourself out," he said, giving them three helmets.
"I don't need one," Paint said, then her voice switched to bragging mode, "my owner bought me a special patch."
"Good for you," the Techo said in his gee-I'd-rather-be-anywhere-but-here tone, "now leave."
"But what are we gonna wear?" Maris asked. "We can't go to a Gruundo concert in Twisted Roses stuff."
"Then we'll see the Roses," Paint said, "trust me."
Hailey rushed to the door.
"Do these three belong to you?" asked a yellow Chia security guard.
He was behind a red Ogrin and two faerie Kikos.
"What did they do?" Hailey asked.
"They tried to climb the wall into the island arena to see the Roses," the Chia said.
"Why didn't you girls just buy a ticket?" Hailey asked. "I gave you money."
"The café was too slow so by the time we got there they were sold out," Maris explained.
"Well, the Ogrin is mine, but the other two are just guests here," Hailey explained.
"Well, they're not in any real trouble yet, but if they try ANYTHING like that again, you're gonna owe us a looooooot of neopoints," the Chia replied.
As soon as the Chia left, Hailey slammed the door.
"Why didn't you just go see Gruundo in Maraqua?" Hailey asked. "You said you were going to stop there."
"We can't see a band if we're dressed to see their top competitor," Maris explained.
"Well, I don't care, but you can wait until tomorrow to go to Maraqua," Hailey said, "right now, you can go join Vesta in the gym, and if I hear that you insulted her even slightly, you can forget whatever it is you wanted to get from Maraqua."
"Fine," they sighed.
Vesta was busy in the gym using the jelly conveyor as a treadmill.
"What is she wearing?" Paint asked.
Vesta was dressed in a jester-style dress and a beret – not exactly the kind of outfit one works out in.
"Hi!" she called.
Maris crept over to the side of the conveyor and turned the speed to maximum.
"YAAAAAAAHHH!" Vesta screamed as she was flung against the wall.
"Who was that?" Puddles called from the next room.
"Sorry!" Vesta yelled.
"S'okay," Puddles called. "By the way, I hear Paint and the twins tried to sneak into the arena. Should I be concerned?"
"Not really," Paris called.
"Okay, have fun," the Flotsam replied.
"Give it up, Roxxi, I've beaten you a thousand times." Bliss slammed her game piece on the space marked 'finish'.
"Fine, let's go swimming," Roxxi said. "We'll get Vesta."
"Okay," Bliss said.
They wandered over to the gym.
"Hey, it's still lunchtime," Bliss said as she saw the twins. "Shouldn't you guys be at the island arena, or did you get back superfast?"
"Well, it seems that – " Vesta began.
"Vesta, I think they want you to go to the pool with them," Paint said.
"All right," Vesta replied.
On their way to the locker rooms, Bliss asked her question again.
"The café was slow so they didn't get to the concert in time to buy tickets. They insisted that they couldn't go see another band because they were dressed as their top competitor, so they tried to climb the wall and get into the Roses concert, but they got caught and they have to wait until tomorrow to get whatever it is they wanted from Maraqua. Oh, and they took whatever you confiscated because they saw you at the hall closet."
"Well, at least they don't have the air mattress from my bedroom so that I can have my own bed back tonight," Bliss said.
"Sorry." Vesta grinned.
"About what, sleeping in my bed or did you tell them the bed was in my room so they took it?" Bliss asked.
"Sleeping in your bed, I would never tell them that," Vesta laughed.
"So, what are you waiting for?" Roxxi asked. "Let's go swimming!"
"I like this so much better than the gym!" Vesta splashed.
It was the next afternoon and everyone except Paint and the twins (who were in Maraqua seeing Moehawk) were splashing around in the pool. Oh, and also Puddles was absent, due to the fact that she could not leave her underwater room.
"Let's play Mynci Poogle!" Bliss shouted "Not it!"
"Not it!" Roxxi shouted.
"I guess I'm it," Vesta said, closing her eyes.
"MYNCIIII!" she called.
"POOOGGLLLEEE!" Roxxi called.
"POOOGLEEEE!" Bliss shouted.
"Got you!" Vesta grabbed Roxxi's hoof.
She started to swim again.
"MYNC – AAAAAHHH!" Vesta screamed as she bumped into something.
"Ow!" Bliss screamed.
"I got you, too," Vesta laughed.
"And you screamed in my ear," Bliss replied.
"Sorry," Vesta laughed.
"Hey, did you hear that?" Bliss asked.
"Yeah," Roxxi said, "it sounds like... like..."
"We're ba-ack," said an island Koi with a water helmet, stepping into the pool room.
She was followed by a Maraquan Uni with a water helmet, a faerie Wocky, a red Ogrin, two faerie Kikos, a shadow Lupe, and a blue Uni.
To be continued...