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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 19th day of Hunting, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 101 > Short Stories > Thanks For Everything

Thanks For Everything

by laurensama

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 favorite moments.

     "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 hugged back.

     "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,            

Tenlia

     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.

     "NO!"

     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 not it.

     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 heads.

     "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 at once.

     "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… so… I..."

     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 smiled.

     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…

Dear Ceritel,

     You always said that I saved you on that day, but the truth is that you saved me.

Thank you for everything,

Tenlia

     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."

The End

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