A Valentines Day I Will Never Forget
Valentines Day; I hadn't even noticed that it had arrived.
I was too busy doing important things, like thinking about what kind of important
things to do. It seemed like it had only been a couple weeks since Christmas.
I had passed most of the time knitting huge sweaters. I liked to keep to myself;
wool was so much more interesting than other pets. Wool couldn't be mean, or
tell bad jokes, and it would mold just how I liked it. My paws weren't the most
dextrous of things however, so I ended with scratchy wool pullovers that could
fit even the plumpest Elephante. I had taken to wearing them around the house.
RasorRasour had asked if I was an old Maraquan emperor. Kate asked if it was
Halloween. I decided that even though I loved my family, this red Kougra needed
"I'm going back to school," I commented quietly
one afternoon at lunch. I hoped that they wouldn't hear me.
"What!?" the entire table crowed. Kate, my Grundo
sister, accidentally knocked over her smoothie in her surprise. I suppose they
all thought that I had been completely content after Christmas, that I would
want to stay with them forever.
"Listen, I need a bit of a break from vacation.
Anyways, I miss the Techo Master. He was a good friend to me. He would sit by
the beach with me. We would talk about philosophy and haikus. You know it is
Valentines Day." I don't know why I lied like that. I don't really like the
Techo Master; it was just the first thing that came to my mind. Maybe I did
subconsciously like him. My horoscope said that I would begin to realize my
true feelings this month. If that was true, Sloth was female.
"I didn't know that you and the Techo Master
were good friends. I always thought that you..." Kate began smugly, however
a well placed glare from my left eye quickly silenced her. I looked bonkers
I supposed, the right half of my face grinning wildly and the left half glaring.
"The Techo Master and I go waaaaay back!" I
exclaimed waving around one paw. I wasn't very comfortable with this topic,
and I hoped to wrap it up quickly. I tipped over a vase that broke on the table.
"I'll get that," I ran quickly to get a rag to clean it up. Soon a couple of
flowers were standing haphazardly in a stained borovan cup.
"I can't like, believe it. You're, like, leaving
us. Oh my gosh!!" Galwvin, my red Wocky sister, tipped over her glass of milk
in her distress. The table was beginning to look like a third grade Neoschool
art class decided to use food as a medium.
"Amazingly I can," I remarked sarcastically.
"Play nice," Cliché ordered.
"Dude, can I come along I have some business
I need to take care of? That would be so groovy," Rasor, my Eyrie brother, remarked,
not really paying any attention. I don't know why he wanted to come along, it
really wasn't that interesting. I didn't want to upset my family more than I
already had, but like my good friend Bernie says, "What's done is done."
I turned to face Rasor. "Why do you want to
go to Mystery Island?" I really didn't want this to be a family trip.
"Well dude, you see I'm trying to figure out
if the Tombola Man is fact or fiction," Rasor mumbled, his head again jerking
to the window. There was nothing outside, just Rasor being a spazz again. I
wish my family were more like Bernie. Bernie is like a grandfather, a nice brother
all rolled in one. He only talks about important things, always has a bit of
wisdom to share and can make light out of any situation.
"Oh. My. Gosh! I want to like, come too!" Galwvin
jumped up her paws on the table.
"Erm, Galwvin? Is there any particular reason
you want to come?" I could barely contain my disgust. They were like Mootixs,
my family, clinging on and never letting go.
"Umm, like, ummm, makeup?" Galwvin hurriedly
explained. I could see in her eye the admiration for me. It reminded me of Kate.
Kate had once looked up to me, but then she realized "what a jerk I am". She
would follow me everywhere. I'm not a jerk, I just tell the truth.
"Ehh right," I commented raising one eyebrow.
"I'm coming too; the author of Fantastic
Jhudora Stories is going to be there. I am so exited," Kate exclaimed with
false happiness. I know that she just wanted to see me forced to pay homage
to the Techo Master. Which I would probably have to do since that originally
had been my excuse, oh joy. Can't you just taste the happiness?
Welcome to the Association of Horrible Liars,
I would like to introduce to you our president Amorada. The Vice President is
Kate, the secretary is Galwvin. Rasor is our executive philosopher. The HQ is
our house, and the unofficial nickname for the group is our family. "I kind
of wanted to give him a valentine." Maybe they would get the hint that I wanted
to go alone.
"Ooh me too," Cliché cried. I don't know why
Cliche wanted to come. I suppose she just wanted to look over things, but I
really expected some darker reason. She was always doing things to supposedly
better the family. Most of the times I ended up looking really stupid and mean.
I expect too much.
"Wait, but I still have to make my valentines.
I have to give one to Betty, Beatrice, Kate, Amorada, Cliche and oh Rasor!"
Galwvin was now prancing around the kitchen like a cross between a rabid Meepit
and an insane Babaa.
"I really think I should go," I said, slowly
edging my way to the door. I like my family I really do, but Galwvin and glue
bottles don't mix well.
"No dude, we're like gonna like make valentines.
Oh yeah!" Rasor had unconsciously began to flap his wings, toppling over the
"I think we need to clean this up first," I moaned.
A couple of hours later, we were all sitting
around the kitchen table (which was now covered with a thick plastic table cloth).
Galwvin was crouched over her small pink card, squeezing a bottle of glitter
glue as hard as she could. Rasor was using his talons to cut a large pan of
cookie dough into small hearts. Cliché was writing a poem. I was observing it
all. Whenever someone would look my way, I would pretend to be working on a
valentine for the Techo Master. Really though I wanted to make one for Bernie.
I didn't know why I couldn't, but I suppose that I didn't want someone to see
it. I could write one later, I would have time.
"Guys, I finished it!" Cliché squealed excitedly.
I merely rolled my eyes at her.
"Do you want to hear it?" she questioned eagerly.
"Sure," I agreed skeptically.
Cliche took a deep breath before beginning. What
she said is too horrible to describe, her rhyme was like nails on a chalkboard
and her word choice was often so confusing that I thought she was referring
to me, a red Kougra, when really she was talking about a scooter. "Well it's
really been wonderful in all guys, but I think it's time for me to go," I squeaked.
The repulsiveness of Cliche's poetry was so offending to my ears that that they
were trying to convince my mouth to go on strike with it.
"Don't you mean us?" Kate asked skeptically.
"Well about you coming along…" I trailed off
looking upwards to the sky, hoping for some intervention from Sloth, Fyora,
"No," Cliche stated firmly. For whatever dark
deep reason, maybe she thought it would be a good time to bond, or she wanted
to personally embarrass me, or thought that we needed a break from the harsh
Neopia winter, we were going. She was in owner mode now. She was going and bringing
the family with, and that was final.
"Well, let's get this over with," I mumbled to
myself. At least I would get to go to flightport, it was more a home to me then
either the Training School or my Neohome. I spent quite a lot of time there.
I liked it there, even though it was a bit gauche at times.
"What?" asked Cliche, knowing exactly what I
"Nothing," I murmured.
It was always a large affair getting our family
out of the house. First, Glawvin had to wrap on scarves that made her as big
as Skeith. Kate as always wore nothing, so she was already waiting impatiently
by the door for us to be ready. Rasor was adjusting his shades and grooming
himself meticulously. None of this was holding Cliché up, however as she ceremoniously
gathered everything we could ever possibly need, and many things we didn't.
"Okay I got the winter coats," she huffed.
I knew Cliche was a bit odd in the head, but
winter coats? We were going to a tropical island for Fyora's sake. "Winter coats?!?!"
"Yeah, in case there is a snowstorm," Cliche
I looked everyone up and down, my eye catching
Cliche's huge backpack. It seemed to pulse with life. The seams could be heard
ripping from miles away. "Can you even move with that thing on?"
"I've got it!" Cliche huffed, tugging along
the backpack behind her like an extra limb.
I shrugged and we were on our way. When we arrived
the flight port was strangely empty. Huge displays of papier-mâché hearts took
up most of the space rather then pets or humans. Long gaps of space and silence
filled it, but left me feeling strangely empty. A large grumpy Skeith was at
the entrance. "Name please!" she barked out.
"The Original Family," Cliche answered pertly.
"Go right along then," she growled glancing at
us through one squinted eye. She looked about as big in my house, and most of
her weight came from around her middle.
"So you lead the way, Amorada," Kate said, subtly
inserting her way into the conversation.
"Right," I said nonchalantly, still a little
disconcerted by the Skeith. "So I think he's down in the east wing now." We
walked for a while. Galwvin excitedly would point out this display or the other.
Kate and I didn't say much and Cliche had enough trouble lugging around the
I didn't want to tell them, but we had already
passed the east wing. We had already looped around the entire flight port. Bernie
wasn't there, I was about ready to give up and find some other flight service,
when I saw the big purple banner. A feeling of warmth spread through me at the
site of it. I felt like I was home. It read: High Flyers: Live the Adventure.
Under the banner though, instead of my old pal Bernie was a tall emerald Eyrie
"Hey!" I yelled, searching for Bernie behind
The Eyrie turned towards me. "Excuse me Miss,"
he proclaimed to the empty flightport. Too soon for my tastes he was right by
my side, "Hello Miss, Leroy at your service. Anything you might need?" Following
his hasty proclamation he made a deep bow.
"I don't need your services, sir. I just want
to know where Bernie is." I offered him a raised eyebrow for his pathetic efforts
at customer service.
He began shifting uncomfortably, and cast his
eyes to the ground. "I'm sorry miss, Bernie has passed on. He went in his sleep,
and it wasn't painful at all."
"What?" I let out a startled choke. My eyes
grew wide, allowing a couple of stray tears to slip through. He was dead. Not
Bernie, why just last Christmas he had offered me a free ride. I hadn't even
told him thank you. Not Bernie, he couldn't be dead. What about that Valentines
Day card I had made him. It was probably in my suitcase somewhere crumpled up.
"I think you are mistaken sir, now about that ride?" I hissed coldly. Kate put
a comforting hand on my shoulder, I shook it off.
"Yes Miss, of course. That will be five hundred
Neopoints," he replied hastily. I quickly dug around in my purse for spare Neopoints.
I hastily threw them at him; he quickly scanned it counting it. I had given
him too much but, he didn't say anything for fear of upsetting me further.
The ride was a smooth one. There was something
missing though, maybe it was the purple flutter of wings below me, or the idle
chatter. Whatever it was it was gone and would be gone forever. I was startled
out of my reverie by Rasor, shoving me roughly. "Come on we're there!"
And we were. Mystery Island stretched beneath
us like a sandy beach towel. The golden sand marred by the dotting of deep jade
colored forests. I put Bernie out of my head for a moment and looked down at
its splendor. Galwvin had to ruin it by yelling the obvious. "Oh my darn pigglesnapper,
look Leyroy it's Mystery Island!"
I almost chuckled at Galwvin's antics. "Pigglesnapper?
"I'm Leroy, and I'm afraid the little lady might
be picking up some of my vocabulary," the green Eyrie mentioned, blushing slightly.
Nothing more was said for the rest of the trip and we landed and parted ways
Mystery Island was mostly pink. Bottles of pink
sand had been spread across the beaches, and everyone seemed to be wearing variations
on the color red. I felt like a tourist, even though this was my home. "Let's
get out of here," I whispered, eyeing the crowds suspiciously. I never did like
the gregarious manner of the natives.
"But, this is such an interesting portrayal of
marketing; let's see if they actually buy the cheap plastic souvenirs! I mean
dude this is like lame, let's go," Rasor pondered, a crazy grin on is face for
a moment. I hauled him by the wing tip away from the flight port. No one said
anything; they all knew I was in a bad mood.
When we arrived at the training school I showed
everyone my bamboo filled room. They all commented on how I needed new furniture.
I told them it came with the tuition, which was quite high. Cliche gave a sigh
as if remembering how large her bank account once was.
I gave them a tour, showing them the beaches,
but avoiding the training rooms. I knew that they would make me give that card
I had made for Bernie to the Techo Master. I would need to validate my excuse.
As we walked through the halls we saw all the
students standing about soberly, did I look like this too, just standing around
moping constantly? Bernie would have brought a smile to my face. Bernie, no
I wouldn't think about that, at least not now. Then I saw him, the Techo Master.
He was crouched over reprimanding some students, just like he reprimanded me.
"It's the Techo Master, Amorada. Didn't you
have something you wanted to give him!" Kate cried manipulatively. She, unlike
everyone else was quite aware that I didn't like the Techo Master and was going
to use it to her advantage. The Techo master whirled around from his meditation
pose, looking quite startled.
"Erm Hello," I mumbled awkwardly, shifting from
paw to paw.
"Yes, Amorada?" he questioned serenely. Now all
of the students that had been milling around turned to look at me.
"I just want to erm, give you this." I thrust
out a purple and pink card at him. I hadn't made the card specific, but when
I said how much I appreciated him, I obviously wasn't talking about the Techo
"I have to go now!" I yelled before scuttling
off. I could here the suppressed smirks behind me.
Today had just been terrible. First there was
Bernie, but I wasn't going to think about that. Then Kate made me suffer the
humiliation of giving him the card. I was alone for a while, sifting through
the crowds. I was looking for Bernie, for some reason I thought he would be
here. He would give me a smile and a pat on the back. Then it would all be all
right. The tears came then, washing over me, cleansing me of my grief. My throat
became like a wall, closed and thick. I let myself be consumed by it. I was
no longer myself but I became a puppet, controlled my tears. This time it wasn't
a few stray tears, this time I cried an ocean. I cried for everything that wouldn't
be all right again. I cried about Bernie. About how I hadn't even said goodbye,
hadn't even sent him a valentine.
"What's wrong?" Galwvin's voice was soft and
"Go away, it's not like you understand!" I shouted,
attracting some odd looks from a passerby.
She sat down next to me, looking me over. "You
should, like give me more credit. I may not sound all that smart, but emotions
aren't that hard to understand."
"Listen Galwvin, you really don't understand,
so I suggest you stay out of it," I replied coldly.
"I understand a lot more than you might know,
Amorada. Anyways, remember that time Joey didn't come over? He hasn't come over
since." Galwvin's tone was hushed now.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have been so quick to
assume. Galwvin, I didn't even tell him goo-" I couldn't finish the sentence,
tears filled my eyes. I let them fall, wash down my cheeks.
"I think where ever Bernie is he knows how much
you loved him."
"I loved him like a brother, like a friend,"
I whispered softly.
"Well, now you will always remember him."
"Yeah, this will be a Valentines day I will never
forget." Then instead of crying I laughed. I laughed at the world, because that
is what Bernie would have wanted me to do. He was gone, but I can remember those
good times we had together, by just laughing.