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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 28th day of Awakening, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 32 > Short Stories > Memories


by tklotl

"Oh, come on, Mum!" whined Kistaki. "Do I have to?"

"Yes, you do. Lemura is an old friend of mine, and she'll be leaving Neopia soon. I promised to help her pack, but I'm busy right now, so you need to go."

"Can't Rhaiie do it?"

"Rhaiie's off at the Haunted Woods. I'm not dragging her back here to do a simple job. It'll only take a couple hours, maybe even less. Just go to this address and help her! Lemura is a nice person, you'll like her."

Grumbling, Kistaki picked up Tikala, her Wadjet, and walked out the door into the front lawn of their Mystery Island NeoHome. Her mother had a lot of 'old friends'. Most of them lived in small, three-room NeoHomes in Neopia Central, with one NeoPet. Mum had never liked to talk about them, but always helped them if she could. Kistaki had found a scrapbook up in one of the incomplete rooms on the second floor of her house, filled with old pictures of smiling people and pets at various places. One of them (her favourite) had a teenage boy in it, surrounded by a Zafara, a Meerca, an Acara, and an Eyrie, in front of the Snowager's Den. They didn't look happy. They looked tired, worn-out, and sad. The Meerca was crying. That picture was the only one where the boy and his pets showed up.

Walking along the dirt path, Kistaki eventually reached the local port. Getting on a ship headed for Neopia Central, she pulled out the piece of paper that told her where Lemura lived. A zip code, a street. A reminder that she wasn't to flaunt her painted fur, her PetPet, or anything else. Her family wasn't rich, but they could afford things like that. Apparently Lemura couldn't.

Once the ship docked, Kistaki leaped over the side, and started running out of the landing dock as quickly as she could. The place was packed, and she hated being confined.

It wasn't hard to find Lemura's house. It was small, made entirely out of wood, and-as she had expected-only had three rooms. There weren't any flowers or plants on the lawn. The windows and door were plain. Kistaki was a little nervous as she walked up to the front door. Mum had said Lemura was leaving Neopia. Where would she go? What about her pet? And why had Mum looked so strange when she said that?

The door opened. A girl, probably in her late teens, greeted her. "You must be Kistaki. TK said you'd be coming over. Come in. This is Cyete." Cyete was a green Eyrie. Both of them looked tired and worn-out, much like the boy in the picture. "Uh-hello," stammered Kistaki, remembering her manners. "Yeah, I'm Kistaki. Nice to meet you, Lemura, Cyete."

As she walked in, Kistaki noticed that the rooms were sparsely and cheaply furnished. A Straw Chair, a Stone Table. Candles. No carpet, just ordinary wood. Plain, bare walls. Cyete silently moved off to another room. Lemura beckoned Kistaki to the remaining one.

To her great surprise, this room was filled with items. Stacks of food, piles of plushies, Battlecards and Neocards loosely clumped together. In the middle of the crowded room was a wooden table, and two Stone Chairs. Several cardboard boxes stood in one corner, looking empty and unused.

Lemura noticed Kistaki's astonishment. "Most likely you are wondering how someone as poor as I could own so many items. I've collected things over the years, and some friends gave me things they no longer needed. I couldn't sell them. They're not worth much. Well, maybe they are. But they bring back so many memories. Take this one, for example."

Sitting down on one of the chairs, Lemura picked up a Fun In The Sun Usuki. "This was the first Usuki I ever bought. I gave it to Isabeau, she liked them so much…"

Kistaki interrupted. "Who's Isabeau?"

"She was my Cybunny, long ago. When I had four pets, a nice bit of money, and a lot of friends… I also had a Shoyru named Mali, a Meerca… I think I had a Meerca. And another one. I'm not sure. It's hard for me to remember." Kistaki was shocked. How could anybody forget their pets, no matter how long ago they existed?

"I had to disown them all. Times were tough, my money had run out. All my friends were leaving….I felt so empty inside. Mali and Isabeau. They're all I can remember. I had to get a counsellor to deal with my grief….I didn't want to disown them. A few months ago, my counsellor made me get Cyete. She helps me forget. She's so nice, so polite… when I leave, I don't know what I'll do with her. Disown her. Try to forget…."

Kistaki's shock had been replaced with sorrow and pity. Lemura was little more than a basket case, a person who had lost their life without dying. But it seemed that once, when she still had her pets, she had been happy. With Cyete she could at least stay out of a suicidal depression. But what of when she left Neopia? Maybe Lemura would quietly fade away, in a different world, where no NeoPets lived.

Lemura spoke again. "My memories hurt sometimes. It would be better if we just started packing my things into the boxes. Some memories I can tell you... some stories."

Weeks passed. Every day, Kistaki would come to Lemura's house, to put some items away and listen to stories. She heard how Mali had saved every Neopoint she earned for some Battledome weapons, and placed a Forest Hat and a Million Degree Sword into a box. She learned about what had happened when Isabeau caught a strange disease, and put a pair of Ultra Rubber Gloves in a box. She listened to tales about vacations in Tyrannia, and lifted a Trilo Bite into a box.

It seemed to Kistaki that Lemura and Cyete grew happier with her around. They laughed sometimes, and smiled more often. Cyete liked to play with Tikala, and Lemura enjoyed hearing about Rhaiie's frequent expeditions to the Haunted Woods. Both of them gasped when they heard about her Mum's recent acquisition of two extremely rare Black Roses for the garden. Occasionally Lemura would bring out some food from the piles, and they'd eat lunch together. Whenever Kistaki left, she'd wave goodbye to Cyete and Lemura, who waved back in reply. Those weeks were good ones, pleasant ones, ones that Kistaki knew Lemura would never try to forget.

But one day, the room with all her items in it was empty. Everything was packed into one of the boxes. For the first time since Kistaki had came, Lemura looked sad. "I'm all done. I don't need your help anymore, Kistaki. I'll be leaving today. First I'll take Cyete to the Pound. Then... I don't know. You can take the boxes from my house. I won't be needing them. Tell TK that I've gone. Go home, Kistaki. I'll miss you."

Kistaki shook her head. "No way! I'm coming with you. These last few weeks have been the best days of my life, and I'm not just going to go home and forget. I'll take the boxes home, but only after I've seen you leave."

Lemura smiled. "Kistaki, you're a wonderful NeoPet. TK must be glad to have you. You can come, and so can Tikala. Just... try not to cry. I don't know what'll happen, but it might not be easy. Thank you, Kistaki. Even for a brief time, you made me happy."

They walked to the Pound in silence. Cyete quietly went to the front desk, handed over 250 NP, and walked into a room full of cages. Lemura and Kistaki left the building. Kistaki felt sad-not to see Cyete go, but sad to know that Cyete and Lemura would never be together again. Somehow, she felt that they belonged together.

They were in a secluded place, all alone. Nobody noticed them there. Lemura raised her eyes to the sky, and smiled. "I know what to do now." Dust motes swirled around her, beams of light shown. Closing her eyes in ecstasy, Lemura whispered, "My friends..." and vanished.

The End

Author's note: This is a true story. There really is a Lemura, and I know her. She had a Shoyru named Mali, a Cybunny named Isabeau*, and disowned them. Later she came back to NeoPets and created Cyete. Recently she decided to leave Neopia for good, disowned Cyete, and gave all her items to me.

*I have, however, removed the numbers from their names. And there were other pets too, it's just that Lemura couldn't remember what she called them.

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