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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 23rd day of Swimming, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 113 > Short Stories > Loved


by skier_chic

Anna was a beautiful spotted Uni that everyone envied and loved. She could have anything -- anything but the happiness that she longed for. The beauty hid the sadness and the real her. She wanted to be free from the prison that she was confined in. But the prison was her self. This is her story…

     Anna walked out of her bedroom and down the stairs with her head held low as she usually did in the morning, but as soon as she hit the bottom step she quickly pulled her head up and smiled weakly. Her owner had spent too many Neopoints on her to see her frown.

     "Good morning, Sweetie. What would you like for breakfast?" Her owner looked at her and grinned. "Remember, your diet starts today. You have to look your best if you want to win the Beauty Contest."

     Anna sighed and replied, "Yes mom, I know. I think I'll just have a banana milkshake. I can still have those, right?" Her mother frowned but went to the freezer and pulled out one and sat it in front of Anna.

     "You know I disapprove of these. They are very high in fat. That is last one we have though so you'd better enjoy it. I am no longer buying unhealthy foods. You have to eat right, Anna." She choked down her milkshake and grabbed her backpack. "Bye Mom," she shouted through her house as she walked out the front door.

     When she got to Neoschool, everything seemed normal. The usual group of girls surrounded her and asked her questions like, "what shampoo do you use?" or, "is that red lipstick or pink?" Most of the time she ignored these questions because she answered them too many times before but something caught her attention.

     It was from a very tiny voice that sounded so sweet and was almost unnoticeable. Anna looked around her searching for the voice. Everyone looked at her as if she was crazy but she continued looking. It was hard to see with almost 30 other pets surrounding her.

     "Would everyone please take one step back," Anna announced as a statement, not a question. They all did as she asked and talked among themselves. Anna sighed and said, "And could you be quiet for a few minutes please?" Again, they did as told and began to be quiet. "Does anyone have a question for me?" They all began to talk again and she couldn't understand anything except 'I do.' With this, Anna left the group who was too busy talking to each other to realize she had gone.

     She walked down the hall for what seemed like hours until the bell rang. She ran to her classroom and quickly sat down in the very front. There were only two seats up there so she would only have one other pet bug her during the class. All of the other pets filed into the classroom slowly and began to sit down. As she watched everyone else, a baby Uni sat beside her. Anna didn't even realize that what happened until she looked to the right of herself. Startled, Anna jumped, and the baby Uni sunk into her chair. "You don't mind if I sit here do you?" At once Anna knew the voice. She looked down at the baby adoringly and smiled.

     "Of course I don't mind," she replied.

     Mrs. Roo walked in the classroom and shut the door behind her. She put her briefcase on her desk and opened it. As she examined the papers inside, Anna began to speak to the baby Uni. "What is your name?"

      The baby Uni replied, "Elana. I know your name, though. I've known it for years, Anna."

     Surprised, Anna looked away. She had never even seen Elana before today and somehow Elana had known her name for years. Embarrassed, Anna changed the subject and asked Elana what her question was. Elana looked up at Anna with big eyes that began to tear and said, "I need to know… if you could tell me… what is it like to be loved?"

     Anna's mouth dropped and she sunk into her chair. "Um, why do you ask? You look as if you are loved. You're painted beautifully and…"

     Elana stood up angrily. "You think that because you're painted like… like this that you are loved?" She glared down at Anna with her big blue eyes fill with tears. "I'd expect you of all people to understand this!" Before Anna could get another word in Elana walked out the door.

     Anna sunk even further into her seat as everyone stared at her and giggled. The truth was, Anna did know how Elana felt. She felt the same way everyday. No one knew her, not Anna. They knew the spotted Uni that was perfect. Not the Anna that messes up. Not the Anna that hides behind a mask. Not Anna at all! "Mrs. Roo," Anna asked, "May I go to the restroom. I'm not feeling so well." Mrs. Roo nodded and Anna ran out the door to the restroom. As soon as she walked through the bathroom door, she fell down in tears. "Why? Why… does it always go like… like this? Why can't anyone understand me?" Anna lifted her head and stood. She looked left then right and began to walk to the mirror. When she looked into it, she burst into tears again and ran from herself.

     She walked out the bathroom door and stood for a moment. She looked up at the clock by the cafeteria door to her right. "Only 7 minutes until lunch," she sighed. "Aren't I going to be the talk of the school. I can already see the school newspaper: Spotted Uni Becomes Psychotic During Class!" Anna shook her head and headed back to Mrs. Roo's classroom. She had to get her lunchbox even though she dreaded what she would find in it.

     As she walked into the classroom everyone stared. "What? I had to use the restroom. Have a problem with it?" Angrily, Anna went to her locker and pulled out her lunchbox. "Please excuse me from the rest of class, Mrs. Roo." Mrs. Roo nodded as she frequently did and Anna walked out. On the way to the cafeteria she stopped at the bathroom. She looked at her reflection in the mirror. Her swollen, red eyes affected her vision, blurring the image of herself in the mirror. She walked away from the mirror and out of the bathroom. Again she looked at the clock. "1 minute," she breathed. "I'm going to go into the cafeteria now. I need to eat fast today and get away from everyone else."

     She walked into the cafeteria and saw no one, except the cooks that fed the pets that didn't pack their lunches. She looked around and spied a place where she could eat all by herself. DING! DING! DING! "Oh no," she sighed. The bell rang and a wave of pets flooded the cafeteria. Anna quickly sat down and looked around. Everyone seemed happy except for her and Elana who sat by herself on the other side of the room. Anna looked down at her lunchbox and opened it. Inside she saw an apple, an orange, a banana, broccoli, and a carrot with a carton of skim milk. "Um… I think mom took my diet a little bit too far this time." She picked up her carrot and took a bite. "I'm slim enough for the Beauty Contest." She threw her carrot down into the lunchbox and put her head down on the table. "Why did I have to say that to Elana? I thought we could actually be real friends," she mumbled to herself.

     "But we can be friends." Anna picked up her head and smiled weakly. "I just thought you'd know what it felt like to be used for everything. You see, my owner only painted me baby recently. It is a stupid fad that makes me look very immature. But she said that I would have more of chance to win the Beauty Contest. All she wanted to do with me was win trophies. She never wanted to love me. She used me like you are used everyday to get popular by other pets."

     Anna nodded. "I didn't know what to say because I don't feel loved either. I know my owner loves me but sometimes I even doubt that. She has me diet constantly. She tries to perfect me. But no pet is perfect, not ever."

     Tears streamed down Elana's face. "I know… I know. I knew my owner didn't love me when she gave me up for adoption. It hurt really bad. She did it because I didn't win the Beauty Contest. I came in 2nd. I was actually proud of myself." Elana looked at her tiny hooves and then back up to Anna whose eyes were tearing. "I'm sorry I made you cry." Anna smiled and said, "It's only out of happiness. Finally, someone understands me."

     The bell rang once again announcing recess and the two got up together. They flew out the door and happily played together. It was great to finally know what it's like to be loved.

The End

Authors Note: This story is based on many true stories of owners that use their pets for trophies and popularity. Remember to treat your neopet(s) like you would treat a living pet. They need to be loved, too.

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