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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 30th day of Gathering, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 37 > Short Stories > Chocolate Box

Chocolate Box

by nidoramy

A beautiful day.

"Of course, it's always a beautiful day on Mystery Island," Benekah thought to herself. She had never felt this comfortable before. It was bliss, to sit on a creaking porch swing and sip a Lemon-Blitz Large under the tropical sun. She watched with a hint of a smile on her face, though it seemed that the smile was more of a sad one. She lived in paradise with a successful family and great friends. What was missing?

In the front yard she watched her friends play and laugh. The extended families of Litanime and C.D. were over. They were her closest friends. Why wasn't she down there? Because she was such a lazy bum? Nah, though she could always use it as an excuse. She watched with slight amusement to see Sheraw the white Kougra yell in loud protest when Earthsky, a red Kougra, playfully yanked at his tail. An easily noticeable red Shoyru, as she was the loudmouth of the group, was chasing her silver Shoyru brother.

Looking past the activity, she spotted two yellow Shoyrus snuggled up next to each other and talking quietly, partly hidden by the shade the tree they were sitting under was giving. Benekah looked on and sighed. One was Deraxyl, her little brother, and the other was Ghardi. Her owner was C.D. They had been together for a while, and there was something so special about them... something that she almost envied.

Benekah suddenly didn't feel so hungry anymore and stopped sipping at her smoothie. Leaving it on the porch swing, she lightly leapt onto the porch and trotted briskly through the door.

The fragrance of bamboo and Tigersquash hit her like a wave the moment she entered the house. She was used to the smell; for some reason she noticed it today. She seemed to be noticing a lot of things lately.

No. She had to push these weird thoughts into the back of her mind. She was supposed to be happy. Conversation could be heard from the living room as she passed it--some of the pets had stayed inside, not in the mood to play. After gathering some NP from her savings, which were safely hidden in her room, Benekah walked silently out of the house to go shopping. Maybe it would take her mind off things for a while.

Going through the front yard was a great hassle, but she finally managed to do so. She knew Amy, C.D., and Litanime were out shopping as well, so she had to keep a good lookout and try to avoid them. She didn't know why, but she just didn't want to meet up with them at this point in time.

She had almost made it out onto the street that led to the Marketplace when a yellow Shoyru swooped over, landed in front of her, and eyed her suspiciously. "What're you up to?"

Benekah sighed to herself. She had almost made it without her little brother noticing...

"I'm going to browse the Marketplace."

"Why don't you stay with us?"

"Don't feel like it," she mumbled, and quickly brushed past him, wanting so bad to run but knowing that it would confirm Deraxyl's suspicions that she wasn't feeling normal today. He didn't follow. She knew he wanted more to stay with Ghardi then to see what she was up to, which was perfectly fine with her.

At the Marketplace, Benekah didn't even really look at the items. An odd feeling possessed her, and she wished that it would go away and leave her alone. She walked along the path, ears drooping, when a kindly voice made her stop.

"'Scuse me, dear."

Benekah turned her head to see a blue Nimmo shopkeeper behind a stand where different kinds of tantalising chocolates were on display. She weakly smiled back, not knowing what to say.

The Nimmo's smile grew wider. "You look awful unhappy. Here, have this for free. Perhaps it'll cheer you up." She handed the confused Aisha a plain box of chocolates and winked. "Enjoy 'em."

"Umm... thank you," Benekah answered shyly, and quickly ran away from the stand.

***

A while later, after walking around the Marketplace with a chocolate box tucked under her arm and finding nothing interesting, Benekah finally stopped to sit on a bench. Sighing, she opened the box.

The chocolates were all perfectly lined up, looking brown and shiny and delicious. She was about to take one when she was interrupted by two Aishas who had just made a place on the bench. The two seemed to be sharing something silent and wonderful, and Benekah realised they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Her heart sank as she watched the white female lean on the striped male, the two holding each other lovingly.

Benekah stared at the chocolates inside her box, and realised what was wrong. She was lonely. She had friends, she has family, but... she didn't have someone to love in a different way. She had had to spend days watching Deraxyl and Ghardi holding paws and enjoying each others' company. She wanted to feel that.

Questions began to sprout in her mind as she closed her chocolate box and slid off the bench to let the Aisha couple be alone. What was love like? Why did she feel like the only pet in Neopia who didn't have someone to love?

After some more walking and thinking, Benekah found another bench that she hoped would remain her own this time. After making herself comfortable, she opened the chocolate box again and took one.

She recalled what someone had told her a long time ago, she couldn't remember who, that what was inside a chocolate could interpret things to come in someone's love life. Benekah closed her eyes, and feeling very foolish, took a bite.

A horrible taste came to her mouth and she spit it out onto the ground. "Yuck! Coconut!" So much for a love life.

A yellow Grarrl passed at the exact same time and gave her a look of disgust.

"Arrgh!" Benekah tugged at her longer ears in frustration. She wasn't having a very good day.

What better time than to stuff yourself with chocolates?

She took the next chocolate and carefully took a bite, not wanting another coconut. A flood of good strawberry flavour entered her mouth, and she sighed with relief.

The strawberry taste reminded her of when she was quite young, after Amy had just adopted her. She had put herself into a shell at that time. She hadn't spoken a word after she was abandoned... Amy had been poor, and could only take her to the Soup Kitchen. The first time she went, the Soup Faerie slipped her a strawberry lollipop along with the bowl of soup. After they left the kitchen that day, Amy had randomly picked her up and hugged her.

That was the first day she felt loved.

Benekah swallowed the chocolate, smiling at the memory. Things had changed so much since then.

Next chocolate. Weird, creamy white-mint stuff.

It reminded her of Happy Valley, when she had to take Deraxyl on his first trip. He was still quite young, and hung onto every word she said. She was his god. That day seemed like the most annoying day ever to her, but now... now he was an independent Shoyru, with someone to love for his own. And his own thoughts and beliefs. It almost made her sad. She missed her little brother.

Next chocolate. After next chocolate. After next chocolate. It was an odd thing... how they mysteriously reminded her of things... of all the times in her life, when people loved her. Her family, her friends, kind strangers.

Benekah finally picked up the last chocolate in the box, amongst the crumpled up wrappers, and took a bite.

It was immediately her favourite. A lovely chocolate cream, with a mix of some strange but lovely flavour she couldn't identify. Into her head came the image of her future, a future with an Aisha who she would deserve, who would love her for who she was. A new hope emerged at that moment.

She would have someone to love in that way someday, and it would be well worth the wait. For now, she knew she could be content with the others who loved her already.

Filled with joy, Benekah closed the empty box and headed through the Marketplace towards home. Someone stopped her as she passed the chocolate stand.

It was the Nimmo shopkeeper, smiling kindly. "Enjoy your chocolates, dear?"

Benekah smiled back. "Yes, I enjoyed them very much. Thank you."

"I am glad." Benekah sighed with contentment and walked some distance when she heard the Nimmo call out again. "Oh, and dear! Not all people dislike coconut!"

The End


Author's Note: Benekah currently has the empty chocolate box in safekeeping, ready to give it as a gift to her future love someday. :) Much thanks to chibivenus1 for the encouragement and suggestions on this story.

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