Friendship, My Foot
|Mandelini sat down at her lunch table with her friends,
and opened her Lupe Warrior lunch box. She smiled at the food inside: a flaming
super hot pasty, a delicious, juicy orange, a small bag of Crispies, a can of
NeoCola, and a tiny, gold-covered chocolate Moehog coin. There were only three
days left until Christmas, and the starry Uni was HAPPY. Singing "Donna Rest Ye
Merry Cybunnies" under her breath, she leaned back onto her parka with her sandwich
in her hoof and chewed meditatively- (have you ever seen a pet chew and sing at
the same time? It's DISGUSTING.) -while looking around at the lunchroom. Out of
the huge windows, Mandelini could see heavy snow falling onto the grounds of her
school. Across the room, she watched and chuckled as her enemy, Hilary, slipped
on a wet bit of the floor and spilled her borovan and baked beans all over herself.
Switching to 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Ixi', Mandelini
sat up, gulped down the rest of her lunch, and ran outside to play in the blizzard
with her friends Luna, a starry Ixi with whom she was super-close to, Elemental,
a purple Aisha, Nashi, Elemental's sister and an Island Aisha, and Kathryn,
a dramatic disco Shoyru. The four friends made up a clique, and were super-tight.
So that's why Mandelini was in no way prepared for what came next.
Humming a traditional Christmas song, Mandelini
made her way across the snowy playground, past Neopets in snowball fights, past
a group of freezing-looking Techos, and ending up at the usual place where the
little group met on most days. They weren't there. Hmm, Mandelini thought,
and scanned the yard looking for her compatriots. She saw them WAAAY across
the field, talking with Hilary, the still-legume-covered Faerie Gelert and her
little gang. They were giggling and having a right little good time, which was
broken up as Mandelini came striding across the field, wearing her winter clothes
and a waspish expression.
"Where WERE you guys? I've been looking all
over. And why are you with-"
Mandelini trailed off as her friends gave her
a dirty look and turned away. The Starry Uni stared at her once-friends and
then quickly grabbed Luna's jacket. "Come on, guys. Why are you so mad at me?"
Nashi rolled her eyes and said tartly, "Don't
play dumb, Mandelini. You KNOW why we're mad at you. You KNOW what you did."
Mandelini was bewildered. "I seriously DON'T!
Come on, guys, tell me. What DID I DO?"
The little group turned away and whispered among
themselves. Finally, turning around, Kathryn said, "Fine. Since you say you
"don't know" what you did, we'll tell you. You CHEATED in kickball today, and
Miss Stryke let you get away with it."
"WHAAT?" Mandelini half-yelled. "As a matter
of fact, I DID NOT cheat! I didn't even get to play! I was at third base again,
and the players in our gym class are so bad, most don't even make it to first!
That one kick that Danielle got past me was NOT legit! I told Miss Stryke that,
and Danielle got out. I DID NOT CHEAT."
The little group of pets turned away and whispered
again, and then turned back around.
"I'm sorry, but none of us want to hang around
with cheaters. So, goodbye. Find new friends. Have a nice life, because WE surely
won't be a part of it any more. Come on, Hilary. Let's go play." Kathryn delivered
the final blow, and with that the gang turned on their heels and stalked off.
Mandelini was on the verge of tears. This type
of thing had never happened to her. "Fine," she told herself. "Fine. I'll go
find new friends, that's right, I will." She wandered off, in search of different
* * *
However, Mandelini found, getting new friends was not as easy as it sounded.
She wandered around the playground, stopping to check if anyone wanted to play
with her- she asked Mel, a Rainbow Kougra from her History class, but she was
too busy writing to care much about others. She saw Natasha, who was busy playing
with her best friend Destiny. David and Liz were too busy playing,(Liz was thwapping
David on the head as he threw snowballs at her), and Chip and Ryan were telling
dumb jokes. Frustrated, Mandelini just let the day go by on autopilot, but she
was still busy thinking. What if I have no friends forever?
The next day, Mandelini came to school prepared
to have no friends. She kept her head down in class rather than volunteering
answers, was deliberately antisocial, and ate at an isolated table at lunch.
No friends, so close to Christmas! What a horrible life.
When lunch recess came around, she meandered
outside, meaning to sit on a bench and watch as others had fun, but was ambushed
almost immediately by Nashi, Luna, Elemental, and Kathryn. They walked her over
to a spot by the fence, and Kathryn began talking.
"Look," she said. "The whole 'cheating' thing
was a joke, all a joke. We really do like you still. We want to continue being
friends, we really do."
Mandelini felt rather brave for the first time
that day. "Well, if that was 'just a joke', then, why did you do it? What kinda
idiotic spirit possessed you to be quite so cruel? Huh?"
"Look, I'm sorry. WE'RE sorry. That moron Hilary
dared us to do it, saying we were 'a bit too close' and wanted to see us have
a fight for once. I hope you can forgive us, I really do. We all do. PLEASE
Mandelini stared at Kathryn's pleading face,
and the rest of her past-friends, and snorted. "You really think that I'll warm
up this little cold shoulder of mine? After what you did? If you do, well, you've
got another think coming. I see no reason to continue my friendship with a load
of JERKS like you. No. I WILL find my own friends. You'll see." And with that,
Mandelini strode off into the snowy crowd.
Sitting on a bench, under a snowy tree, Mandelini
wondered why she had done it. Given up four close friends. Then she realized,
they obviously WEREN'T her friends if they had played such a petty trick on
her, dare or no dare.
"Hi. I'm Trish. Want to play with me?"
A tiny pink Kacheek looked up at Mandelini,
smiling. The Starry Uni returned the grin, jumped down from her bench and walked
away with Trish, to begin a new friendship and a new part of life.
(Author's note: This was based on a true story, caricatures and/or overdone
traits of real people may NOT be coincidental. I appreciate all comments and/or
compliments, if you've got any, Neomail me!)