It was the type of day that was almost too perfect to
put into words. The cerulean sky seemed to stretch on for miles and miles as
the spotless white clouds floated by with not a hint of rain among them. A cool
wind glided among the grassy hills below, rushing past a Blumaroo and her owner
who happened to be sitting in the middle of the quiet valley.
Ceritel was perfectly content upon that hill
with her owner. She had everything a Blumaroo could possibly want, maybe even
more. Beautiful butterfly wings that glistened in the sun, some of the best
weapons in all of Neopia, and a house that would make King Skarl's mansion cower
in comparison. But most of all, she had Tenlia, her owner, the best thing to
ever happen in her life.
This quiet hill was their spot, a place where
they went to everyday just to relax for as long as they could bear it. Sometimes
they would play under the sky (whether it was rain or shine), other times they
would have a quaint little picnic lunch. They would usually chat while they
sat on that hill, but every so often they would just sit and not say a word,
just enjoying each others' company throughout the silence. These were Ceritel's
"Hmm, it's getting a rather late," Tenlia said
as she slowly got up. Ceritel furrowed her brow in confusion. It was hardly
three o'clock! How could it possibly be getting late?
"I know, I know," her owner said, reading Ceritel's
confused expression. "But I have things to do. I hope you don't mind Ceritel.
You know I'd rather be here with you than… there."
Ceritel knew what 'there' was. She had heard
it as a whisper among other pets. It was a place they didn't quite know (or
understand), but knew enough of it for their tastes. 'There' was Tenlia's home,
an odd little place called Earth. She didn't understand why it had to
exist; as far as the Blumaroo was concerned Neopia was a perfectly fine place
for humans to live!
"I understand," the Faerie Blumaroo nodded, trying
to mask her disappointment. Tenlia smiled and hugged her pet as the Blumaroo
"I'll be back around seven tonight! I promise!"
she yelled quickly, sprinting back to town. Ceritel frowned and plopped back
down on the windswept grass.
She won't come back, she thought glumly.
Though she knew within her heart that Tenlia hated when she couldn't make it,
things had been popping up lately, keeping her owner busy on her own planet.
Things like 'Calculus' and 'Standardized Tests' (Ceritel often wondered what
they were) ate up Tenlia's time so that when she came to see Ceritel she was
worn out. Ceritel didn't care though, as long as she came then that was all
that really mattered.
That night Tenlia did not fulfil her promise,
much to Ceritel's disappointment. As Ceritel moped about the house, the next
morning, she found a note on the kitchen counter, quickly written in her owner's
unmistakable loopy scrawl. Ceritel was tempted to rip up the letter in a defiant
sort of anger, but the urge passed and she quickly opened up the letter. She
expected it to be a letter begging for forgiveness and explaining that she was
soo sorry… but it wasn't.
Meet me at our sport at 6:00 pm. I need to talk to you.
Your best friend,
The Blumaroo started to feel a fear grip
at her heart. Something was amiss in her perfect world, though she didn't know
what it was (nor did she want to admit it).
"Now you're just getting paranoid!" she
told herself sternly. "A nap will clear your mind," she continued to console
herself as she sat down on the furry Tyrannian couch in the living room. She
soon felt her inhibitions leaving her as she drifted off to sleep.
Ceritel was on her their hill waiting for her owner to arrive. She finally
arrived, but her hair hung disheveled around her face, blocking it from view.
The Faerie Blumaroo inched closer in morbid curiosity, when suddenly there was
a slam and the unmistakable sound of chink of a lock.
No longer was she in her beloved valley
but the pound. She quickly pushed her head through the cage bars and peered
around the filthy and overcrowded pound.
"TENLIA!" she screamed desperately, trying
with all of her might to squeeze through the bars. Ceritel turned her head towards
a door and, to her immense relief, saw Tenlia at the desk.
She's coming to get me out…like before! She's
coming to save me again! Ceritel began to cry with happiness, but then the
sounds of the conversation drifted over the cries of the other pets and made
it to her ears.
"Yes, I'm sure I want to leave her here.
I have better things to do than waste my time in this place," her owner said
in a voice very unlike her own. Ceritel's heart broke as her owner turned and
walked out the door. The Blumaroo fiercely clawed at the cage, desperately trying
to free herself.
"TENLIA! TENLIA! PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME!"
she cried, but she was gone, never to return.
Ceritel sat upright, clutching her heart
as it beat wildly in her tiny body. She looked around the room, as if checking
to see that it truly was her home. Something was amiss in her perfect world,
and she was now terrified by the thought of that.
She quietly waited out the rest of day
by preparing a small basket of food for the two. She wished that it was just
her owner's way of saying that her time wasters were over with and, with those
distractions gone, she could spend more time with her… but she knew that was
Ceritel slowly traveled to her quiet refuge,
only to find that Tenlia had arrived first. Ceritel was shocked to see that
her owner's happy face was hidden behind tears of sadness as she cried in her
"Ten-Tenlia?" Ceritel slowly approached
her owner. She didn't make a motion to stop crying, but simply turned her head
towards the frightened Blumaroo and motioned for her to sit next to her.
"Ceritel, you know that… that I'd never
abandon you, right?" Tenlia asked now starting to dry the tears off her face.
Ceritel nodded, not looking at her owner as she played with a blade of grass,
the dream still fresh in her mind.
"You rescued me from that awful place…
the pound," Ceritel said. Tenlia smiled and nodded, looking down at her Blumaroo
with her eyes still shining with tears.
"You were a mess," she said simply. Ceritel
agreed. She was a mess when she was in the pound. The Blumaroo had managed to
find a mutating potion, believing it was a Faerie Blumaroo potion (she constantly
scolded herself for thinking such a thing). When her old owner saw what she
had become, he dumped Ceritel into the pound without a second thought.
It was lonely in there, every pet being
either repulsed by her mutated face or just too depressed to notice her. Not
a single owner would look at her though those cages, every one of them disgusted
by her appearance… but not Tenlia.
"You saw through the mess, and saw my
heart," Ceritel said. By this time the sun had begun to set, changing the blue
sky to a rainbow of vibrant oranges and pinks. Tenlia beamed at Ceritel.
"Your heart? How cliché," she joked. Ceritel
could tell that she was trying to keep the atmosphere light, but she knew what
was coming. She was a clever Blumaroo.
"You're leaving me, aren't you?" Ceritel
said, not wanting to beat around the bush. She did not face at her owner, hoping
that if she didn't see her nod, then it just wouldn't happen.
"Have you ever heard of college, Ceritel?"
Ceritel thought for a second. College? It sounded familiar, kind of like she
heard it before. She managed to recall a faint idea of it.
"It's-it's like, a school… I think," she
puzzled, the thinking occupied her mind and managed to take it off her pain.
Tenlia nodded at her pet.
"On Earth… you know about Earth don't
you? Well, there are different types of schools. When you're little, you go
to elementary school. When you get older, you go to middle school and after
middle school is high school," Tenlia explained. Ceritel raised an eye. Elementary
school? Middle school? High school? What uncreative names.
"After high school is college, and in
college they teach you specific things so that you can get a job," Tenelia said.
"So, because you want to be a doctor,
then you'll study medicine in college?" Ceritel asked, starting to catch on
to the idea. Tenlia smiled and nodded.
"That's right! You're so bright Ceritel,"
Ceritel, however, was feeling liberated. College, was that it? Oh, it was simply
another school, nothing big! She would just be going to learn about jobs and
such… all this worrying over nothing!
"But… there's a catch,"
Ceritel's internal celebration stopped
"My college, it's not in my home town.
It's far away… it's in another state, and you have to stay there for a long
time. And if you're a doctor, you have to stay there a very long time.
You have to do a lot of studying and you barley get time to play. Even if I
could play, I won't have my own computer to play with like I do here at home…
Ceritel's heart sank.
"What... what do you mean?"
"…It means we have to say goodbye. It
means that… that I can't be here anymore," Tenlia but her hands up to her face
to hide her tears. Ceritel didn't believe it. No, she wouldn't accept it!
"Don't go! Just don't go!" Ceritel grabbed
her owner's blouse and clung. She felt as if she held on here forever then her
companion wouldn't leave her. Tenlia put her hands on her friend's paws, slowly
prying them off her.
"I have to go. But I'd rather stay here
and play with you," Tenlia said softly.
"DON'T GO BACK! You don't have to! You
can stay here forever! I promise! I'll make sure we can have enough money!"
Ceritel screamed desperately.
"It doesn't work like that,"
"HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT!? You haven't tried
it yet!" Ceritel pleaded, hoping that if she just begged enough her owner would
agree to it.
"Ceritel… I… I'm sorry," she said. The
beautiful sunset had long since faded, leaving the two in the dark night. That
night there was no moon, and the stars barley seemed to have the heart to twinkle.
Everything was black and sad, like Ceritel's poor heart.
"How long until you go to college?" Ceritel
asked, bitterly spitting out the last word. Tenlia sighed and wrung her hands.
"I leave tomorrow morning at nine o'clock.
I have to get on a plane and go," she explained. "I would have told you earlier…
a lot earlier, but I didn't want our last weeks to be depressing because this
was hanging over your head." Ceritel nodded though she didn't understand anything
that was going on, nor did she want to. Everything was far too much for her
to take. She wanted to cry, but something in her just reeked of a grief so strong
that was beyond tears. Tenlia noticed the small basket that Ceritel was holding
and nodded towards it.
"What's that?" she asked. Ceritel opened
up the basket and pulled out a container holding an odd red vegetable.
"I made you a baked Juppie. I know how
much you love them," she said, handing the container to her owner. She grinned
and looked down at it.
"Your cooking is the best, Ceritel," she
The two had a quiet snack, sitting side-by
side under the dark night. Both longed to start a conversation to ease the silence,
but the familiar quiet between the two seemed to contain all the thoughts and
feelings that they wanted to convey to each other.
Time went on as the two slowly started
up a conversation. They began to walk along the valley towards the town as they
had done countless times before. Retracing the steps they had taken in earlier
days. But time does not sit still for anyone no matter how much you will it
to do so, and the two both knew that with dismay as each second slipped away.
The owner and Blumaroo sat on a bench,
a cookie in each hand (Tenlia insisted on buying something from the bakery).
Tenlia's digital watch gave a sharp beep as it read 1:00 AM. It was time.
"Well I… I should really go now Ceritel,"
Tenlia said, as she stood up. The Blumaroo's eyes followed her; she didn't make
a noise of protest. The awkward silence floated in between the two, until Tenlia
gave a small ahem.
"This is for you Ceritel," the girl said,
handing over a key and a few papers. Ceritel looked at the papers and then her
owner with a quizzical look.
"They're deeds to the house, keys for
the safety deposit box and the vault… so you can access stuff," she said quickly.
Ceritel look at the key and then her owner.
"Don't go," she pleaded feebly.
"But I have to…"
Ceritel jumped from the bench and into
her owners arms and they both embraced.
"It's not goodbye forever, but it may
seem like it," her owner said softly. "I'll come back some day, you'll see.
Maybe I'll be so rich and famous then, and I won't have to work!"
"I'll wait for that day," Ceritel mumbled,
still hugging her owner as if hoping that if she held her tight enough, maybe
she wouldn't go.
The embrace soon ended and the girl looked
down the street sadly then back to her Blumaroo.
"Good bye Ceritel," she whispered, before
walking down the quiet street. Ceritel watched her slowly becoming enveloped
by the surrounding darkness as she walked away.
Finally, she was gone.
Ceritel stood there, long after she left.
She put her face in her paws, hoping that she could cry and vent out some of
her sadness. But those tears never came.
The Blumaroo looked on the seat next to
her on the bench, hoping to see Tenlia's smiling face… but there was something
in her place.
It was a quickly wrapped package with
her name written on it in Tenlia's loopy script. She carefully picked it up
and pulled at the string tying it together. As the paper fell Ceritel opened
the box to find a photograph. It was the photograph that Tenlia had taken just
after she had adopted Ceritel. The Blumaroo was still a sickly yellow mutant,
but the glow in her face as she hugged Tenlia completely masked the fact that
she was a hideous monstrosity.
Ceritel turned the picture over, looking
to see if something was there. Indeed there was…
You always said that I saved you on that day,
but the truth is that you saved me.
Thank you for everything,
The Blumaroo looked up to where her owner
vanished into the darkness. She gave a smile as the tears finally began to creep
from her eyes.
"No, thank you Tenlia… for everything."