Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 91,831,644 Issue: 177 | 11th day of Awakening, Y7
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Golden Eyed Friend

by who_caresxx


"Oh, Anri, your poem is beautiful. It sounds like you wrote this for someone, like a personal love poem or something. Did you?" Gaeia asked as she leaned on the counter. Her head sat cupped in her paws as if she were deep in thought or daydreaming while gorgeous gold eyes shone like they always did when she was in her contemplating mode.

     "No," Anri replied a few seconds later as if he had to think before giving an answer.

     "Really? Well it sounded like it was written for someone. Also you should submit this to the Poetry Spotlight, it will win," she said.

     "You know I can't submit my poem without my owner and she's never--," Anri began to say while picking up his poem but stopped in mid sentence. He felt Gaeia lay her Plushie paw on his shoulder and he turned to face her. Now her eyes were on him.

     "Jill loves you Anri. She may not be around to say it all the time, but I know when she comes back she'll let you submit it." Anri smiled. What Gaeia said sounded right, but when it came to these things wasn't she always? She just had that way of making him feel good about living in a half completed Neohome or how he had an owner who was never around, she never even hinted at his life being wore than hers although she was painted and lived in a Neohome in the Haunted Woods.

     Gaeia suddenly shrieked, "Oh no, I'm late, Big Sis' is going to be so angry." Anri glanced up at the Techo Clock on the kitchen wall which read 8:45. Big Sis', Gaeia's owner always wanted her home at 8:30.

     "Here," she said laying a piece of folded paper on the counter, "this is a picture I drew and you can look at it. I'm warning you though it's rubbish." She quickly picked up her cardigan, which up until then had been draped on the counter beside her, and ran out the door still shouting her goodbyes, which were lost in the heavily falling rain. Anri sighed, picked up the wadded paper and started walking to his bedroom. He'd look at it in there.

     Anri's bedroom was a room on the far side of the Neopian Central property and was off by itself, no other room was connected to it. So he walked through the rain getting his tail and feet muddy and his fur soaked. He was finally happy to get inside his cardboard bedroom where rain only came in through a small Petpetpet sized hole in the corner. After turning on the Nova Lamp Anri sat down on his Stone Slab bed still shivering from the rain.

     He carefully unfolded the paper, which he'd tried to stop from getting wet, and his stomach grumbled begging for food to digest. Anri was now starving, he longed for some food but Jill was to rich for the Soup Kitchen and of course pets couldn't get food without their owner. He wished Jill could come back, even if just long enough to feed him an omelette and possibly give him his Blue Aisha Plushie to play with.

     After finally getting Gaeia's picture unfolded, he held it up to the dim light cast by the lamp. It was a picture of them and it was quite good. To Anri though, it was perfect. Gaeia was on the right her plushie Acara face wearing a smile from ear to ear. On the right was Anri a scruffy looking blue Mynci who in the picture was also smiling, and behind his head Gaeia was making Cybunny ears. Above her paw were the words: Best Friends 4 Ever!!! Anri smiled. Gaeia always thought her work was bad even though always he thought it was perfect in every way, just like her.

     Anri liked her, but of course she could never know he did. She couldn't even know the poem he'd written earlier had actually been for her. His poem about a pet who was nice to those whom all others hated and ignored and who had gorgeous eyes of gold. Anri knew she liked the poem and he liked her picture.

     Later that night Anri fell asleep on the stone slab with his tail curled around him while his body shivered for lack of a blanket. He also laid there with his best friend's drawing clutched to his heart.


      Anri opened one eye and yawned. While doing so he took in a peculiar smell. A smell he hadn't experienced in a while, the smell of food. He sat up alert, tail straight in the air. Standing in front of him was a girl holding a blue picnic hamper in her hands. One clump of her short orange hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she wore long metal bands on her teeth.

      "Jill!" Anri shouted jumping off his bed and running to hug her.

     "Oh, Anri, it's good to see you again," Jill replied as she stooped down to hug him, "I know you're probably hungry so I bought a picnic basket. I also know I haven't been around much but today we can do some pet and owner bonding in the park." Anri smiled as he hugged his owner.

     "I'd like that very much."

     Jill and Anri enjoyed a nice day in the park. The sun was shining, even though it wasn't very hot, and the hamper was loaded with heaps of good food just enough for two hungry pets.

     In the evening as the sun was going down, Anri told her all that had happened while she was gone, noting to great, while saving one detail 'til last, Gaeia.

     "I also made a new friend while you were gone," Anri said while biting into some kind of fruity jacket potato.

     "That's great, what's his name?" Jill asked as she put another spoonful of Sundae into her mouth.

     "Actually it's a her she's a plushie Acara named Gaeia," Anri said looking down at his tail. Now he wished he hadn't mentioned it. What if Jill got him to tell her everything he and Gaeia had done? Like how he'd dared her to try a spoonful of scary soup which Gaeia said had quite a nice aftertaste of Faerie Pancakes. Or when they had dipped their toes, paws, in Big Sis's pastel perfection pond when she had told them not to. Then they'd pulled a harmless prank on the Fountain Faerie. That and other stuff was private. Something best kept between friends.

     "That's nice, Anri," Jill said even though she didn't make it sound like anything nice, "but I really brought you here to tell you something." She put down the cup her ice cream had been in and set the spoon down also. Anri stopped eating his Potato and looked at his owner. Jill was looking down. She looked neither happy nor sad, but worried.

     "What is it?" he said very quietly as if talking loudly would disturb her.

     "I'm taking you to the Pound and abandoning you," she said in such a straight forward way, so plain and outright.

     "Why?" was all Anri could choke out through his shock.

     "Because this isn't what I wanted," Jill replied in a high pitched and fast voice which she used like when agitated, "I wanted a nice Neohome in Faerieland, four beautiful painted pets that are all smart and intelligent and give me lots and lots of trophies. I want other Neopians to think I'm somebody. Not for them to think I own a Mynci a species I don't even like."

     Anri just sat there trying to understand what Jill had just said. There was moment of silence as they both collected their thoughts.

     "When are you going to abandon me?"

     "Now," was all Jill said as she got up and packed up the picnic hamper.

     Anri just sat on the park grass trying not to cry. Dozens of pets are in the Pound... it can't be that bad, Anri tried to tell himself for reassurance, but it didn't work. Jill was his first owner. She had created him and he had spent the first moments of his life with her. It's amazing, he thought, that over one little picnic the course of your life can change. Just like that.

     "I'm leaving now," Jill replied swinging the Basket over her arm as she started walking out the park.

     Anri obediently followed. He followed Jill out of the park, down some streets and around a few corners until she stopped outside a pair of rusting metal doors. They both went through the grimy doors and into a small room with white walls and a desk at the other end. One side of the desk had Adoption written in bold and the other had a sign reading Abandon in undersized untidy writing, behind both signs stood a Techo who looked old and exhausted.

     Anri stood right next to his owner as she walked up to the Abandon desk.

     "Are you sure you wish to abandon this pet?" the Techo asked.

     "Yes," Jill said.

     "To leave him to die?"


     "You want to leave him on his own?"


     "To fend for himself?"

     "YES!" Jill shouted impatiently.

     "Fine 250 NP," he said as Jill went through her pockets and laid a bunch of gold coins on the counter. The Techo picked up the coins and came out from behind his desk.

     "Anri, young lad you're coming with me," he said taking Anri by the shoulder and leading him through a door into the back. Before walking through the door Anri took one last look back to see Jill leaving and memories overcame him. He remembered when he was a week old and Jill taken him to Mystery Island. The sight of Kougras had first scared him. Anri remembered his first meeting with Pant Devil, who'd robbed him of a Rainbow Gun. Then Anri remembered Gaeia. He was going to be in the Pound now and would never see her again. We would never see his best friend in all of Neopia.

     The Techo cleared his throat. "I'm Dr_Death and this will be your new home. I know it's probably not what you are used to, but you will have to learn to like it." Personally, Anri thought the bare stone walls and the many cages lining them was better than his Neohome. Anri knew if he at least got fed at once a day, living here wasn't going to be that bad. Dr_Death led Anri along a few aisles and stopped in front of an empty cage.

     "This will be your new home. Every day you will get a bowl of food for breakfast and some small leftover morsels throughout the day. You will have one blanket, which I can only afford to wash weekly. Try to keep it clean. For entertainment you can converse with the other pets." The way Dr_Death recited this made it seem like he had to say this little speech quite a bit.

     Smiling feebly Anri crawled into the small cage. It was small and cramped but he could learn to like it. Dr_Death shut the cage door and walked away leaving Anri alone.

     Anri seeing a folded blanket in the corner of his cage grabbed at the dingy blanket and pulled it around him. He felt many other eyes on him and a sudden chill ran up his spine. The chill though was the chill that came with night. He remembered the events of today and yesterday and Gaeia's beautiful picture. Where was it now? He didn't have it. The only thing he had to remember his friend by, the girl he secretly liked, was now gone. He drifted off to sleep. Cold and alone which was nothing new, but now he didn't long for the next day.

     "Pssst," a shrill low voice hissed waking Anri who sat up and looked around his cage. He was still half asleep and a bit annoyed at being woken up.

     "Above you," the voice said again.

     Anri looked up to see a squinty eyed yellow Usul looking through her cage and into his.

     "You name's Anri right?" the Usul asked.

     "Yes," Anri replied rather impatiently. What could this Usul possibly have to say that was important enough for him to be waken up?

     "I'm Moonbeam and anyway some Acara's looking for you, came with an owner and a few other pets. She's asking all the pets if they've seen you. She's in Harold's row right now."

     "An Acara?" Anri said now fully forgetting his period of agitation. There was only one Acara he truly knew. Could it be?

     "Yeah, fur looks like some kinda cloth," Moonbeam said.

     "Gaeia!?" Anri shouted excitedly. "Are you here!!?" He heard other pets groaning in their cages, about some stupid newcomer waking them up.

     "Anri!?" an excited voice shouted in reply. He recognized that voice. Anri looked out the front of his cage to see a Plushie Acara tearing around the corners golden eyes as wide as Zurroballs. She was going to run past his cage when he stopped her. She turned around and he looked at her. Gaeia looked like she always did, only now she held a piece of paper in her paw and at the sight of Anri her ears perked up.

     "Oh, Anri," she shouted as she ran to his cage and looked in through the bars, "I went to your Neohome last night and I saw Jill was there stroking some Lupe. I didn't see you, though. And I snuck around looking for you but you weren't anywhere. Then Kiki told me she saw you being taken to the Pound. I knew I had to see if you were here at the Pound, but Big Sis' wouldn't let me come until today." Anri smiled as he listened to her fast speech which was the way Gaeia talked when she was excited.

     "And I found this," she said holding out the piece of paper she had in her paw.

     Anri reached and took it. It was the picture she'd given him two days ago.

     "You found it?"

     "Yes. Don't ask for details."

     "I won't. But why did you come? I mean, I'm in the Pound and your owner couldn't adopt me anyway--" Anri said trailing off knowing he shouldn't have said what he just did. He looked away. Now Gaeia knew he'd been thinking about possibly using Big Sis' as a way to get out of here, and Anri knew he sounded selfish.

     "You're... uh... right," Gaeia replied sounding like she was at a loss for words that being something which rarely happened, "I have three other siblings already, but I wouldn't want you as a brother."

     Looking at her Anri felt hurt. How could she have just said that? That she didn't want him as a brother. It was hurtful. Maybe what he had said right now jeopardized his chances.

     "And you know why I wouldn't want you as a brother?" Gaeia said.


     "Promise you won't laugh?"

     "Oh, Gaeia, I won't laugh," Anri said surprised she'd think that.

     "It's because secretly I have a crush on you," she whispered so that only he could hear. Anri's jaw dropped.

     "Me?" Gaeia nodded.

     "Wow, that's great," Anri said but he lowered his voice, "because secretly I like you too." Gaeia's face lit up and her eyes gleamed.

     "And you that poem I wrote two days ago? It was actually written for you," Anri said still whispering.

     "Really?" Gaeia asked and Anri thought her face looked slightly redder.


     "Why are you two whispering? I can't eavesdrop if I can't hear you," Anri heard Moonbeam's voice reply from above. Anri rolled his eyes.

     "Well anyway," Gaeia began, "Big Sis' is taking the family to Kreludor for a week so when we get back in seven days I'll come and visit you."

     "It's okay, you don't have too worry about me getting out of here. I doubt anyone will want me."

     "Just because Jill didn't want you doesn't mean every owner's like that."

     Anri looked away thinking about Jill and how evil she was. "But she got rid of me because I wasn't good enough for her," he quietly said, surprised he could admit the real reason Jill left him, "because she's evil."

     "No, Anri, she's not good enough for you if she doesn't see your potential. There's nothing wrong with an owner wanting intelligent and painted pets, and there's nothing wrong if she doesn't like Myncis anymore. Some owners just don't warm up to certain species. But if Jill believes that's all life is about, she's wrong. A lot of rich pets and owners may have everything they want, but still they're not happy. You know why?" Anri had never heard her sound this serious before. He looked up to see her gold eyes on him.


     "It's because they always want more, they aren't happy with having everything so they want everything plus 1." Anri thought on this. She was right.

     "You're right," he said. "Where did you learn all this stuff?"

     "Well I read a lot, and Big Sis' tells me some of this stuff too. Anri, in a way I'm saying she's not evil just because she put you in the Pound. But, I mean, to put a pet as awesome as you up for adoption, she just needs to get her priorities straightened out."

     Anri smiled. Then he heard someone shout.

     "That's Big Sis'... I guess it's time to leave," Gaeia said as she stepped back from the cage door, "Bye."

      She turned around and started walking away.

     "Bye," Anri said just after she'd walked out of earshot, "and have a nice vacation."

The End

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