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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 9th day of Eating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 50 > Short Stories > Po, Omni, and Tikano - Unbreakable

Po, Omni, and Tikano - Unbreakable

by polayo

EVERY WEDNESDAY MORNING, Tikano--or Tika--would get up with the sun, wake us all up and keep herself busy all day, checking the news page every five minutes. In addition to that, every Wednesday night she would cry all evening in my arms, and cry herself to sleep, wake up sluggishly the next morning and be in a depressed mood all day. And Wednesday she would renew her usual spunk, only to have it stolen away for another week.

     "You don't need it," I told her after seventh or so, give or take a few, week like this. "Petpet Spotlight isn't all that matters. Look at me! I've been trying to get into Pet Spotlight since I was a kitten, and I've gotten nowhere, except for The Neopian Times, so far. We have each other, we don't need shiny trophies to show it."

     I hugged her close and her sniffles slowed. She nodded remorsefully and hopped out of my arms. Being the end of yet another disappointing Wednesday, I knew that tonight would be yet another night of the little faerie Babaa crying herself to sleep, and I, PO, her only comfort, helping her through it.

     But no matter what I say, she always feels the same.

***

"Omni," I said solemnly as I plopped down in a chair in front of her, listening to the muffled cries in my bedroom just down the hall. "We need to do something about Tika. She's falling apart. Collapsing. And, as she's my pet, I need to do something about it. But I don't know what! You've helped me through every disappointing Monday, but what can I do about Tika?"

     Omni put down her book. "You were a lot easier than her," she said. "You always knew there was next Monday, another chance. Oh, PO!" She reached out her arms and pulled me close. "Sometimes owning you seems like a chore, but it's only for a few seconds. And then you're with me again, and I forget every regret I have. You're special in my eyes, and everyone who knows you knows your special. Anyone who thinks you're not special doesn't matter. An author in my land, Dr. Seuss, once said: 'Act how you want and say what you feel, because anyone who minds doesn't matter, and everyone who matters don't mind'."

     "I guess we'll just have to wait, PO And in the mean time, show Tika why we love her. We're a family, you me and Tika. However small, we're still a family. And these things come and go, but always we're together. "

     I was touched by how honest she was being. I'm not saying Omni wasn't honest, but usually we spend our time teasing each other or laughing. This wasn't like that. This was something serious. I really hoped Tika would be okay.

     "Tika," I said the next morning at breakfast, "how would you like to take a walk with me today? I have a few errands to run, and I wanted to show you a few things."

     She shook her had sadly.

     "Oh, Tika, come on! It'll be great. We'll have a great time together, just you and me, and maybe we'll meet Omni at the Catacombs when she can make it. Please come with me, Tika?"

     She made a soft "baaing" noise which I knew meant 'yes.' I smiled and pushed her toward the room. "Go get ready for a great day!" I grinned. Omni and I had planned it the night before, and we hoped it would up Tika's mood and self-esteem. A few minutes later, Tika came out of the bedroom, looking exactly the same.

     "Come on," I said. "Get ready for a great day!"

     We walked into the streets of bustling Neopia Central. After haggling for a few apples and one Starberry, my favourite fruit, I turned to Tika.

     "There's something I want to show you," I said, and carried her, although she could have flown just fine, into the petpet shop. It was chaos, hundreds of pets filing in and out, some cuddling their expensive prize and some crying to see the same high prices they'd seen the day before.

     "Look at this, Tika," I motioned my paw towards all the petpets with price tags on them. "These pets don't have someone to love or someone that loves them. They don't have a family. They're treated like things, not like living beings. They don't have best friends, like you and Taikou, Ev's Bluna. And, although someday they may bring a profit to the owner of this shop, they aren't special. Only once and a while a petpet is made with an intelligent mind. Like you. You have spunk, you have potential. You're special, you're wild, you're free and you will be forever. Everyone who matters knows that, and everyone who doesn't-they don't matter."

     I hugged her close to my body and we walked out of the store into the bright sunlight again.

     Then, something I wasn't planning on showing her but decided now I surely would, fluttered by us on our left. I turned, and pointed, showing Tika.

     "See that?" I said, pointing to the young Wocky holding a pink Angelpuss in his arms. I listened to his words, and cringed, feeling horribly sorry for the little Angelpuss-who was probably older than him-that he owned.

     "Angelpuss are the most popular species of Petpet in Neopia!" The Wocky boasted, smiling proudly and snottily at his friends. "And I even got her painted!"

     "See that?" I repeated. "He doesn't care about his Angelpuss. All her cares about is winning, being on top. It's sick, inhumane. But he does it, anyway. He treats her like a thing, not like a being, like many of the petpets in the Petpet Store will." I could fell my eyes tearing up, so glad this wasn't happening to Tika.

     I bargained for another ten Apples, and I took a detour down Soup Kitchen Alley. I hate to say it, but from experience I knew that was where the less fortunate lived. One house, a one room house with only a rug, couch and fireplace, was a house I came to often, leaving little presents and surprises. So today, as I left the little cloth bag of apples in the window frame, I motioned through the window, and Tika flew up so she was level with it"This Neopian family is very, very poor. I leave them gifts that help them survive. But one thing I've noticed all along is that, no matter how poor this family gets, they never abandon each other. It's just one owner and one pet, like it is for me and Omni, and then they have one petpet. Although they are so poor, they managed to save up for a petpet, and the Shoyru this house encases loves that petpet with all his heart, completely the opposite of the Wocky we just saw.

     "And you might think, Tika, that sine his family is so poor that they'd buy the cheapest petpet they could and make it expensive, because even with the pet they have they wouldn't care what other people would say. No, Tika, they saved up enough to get a faerie Babaa. That's how much they care." I squeezed her and rapped once on the window to alert the homeowners that I had left them there, but ran back into the main market place before they could see me.

     "Come, Tika, we're going to the Catacombs."

     We walked to Neopia Central and took a detour into the Catacombs. There was Omni, waiting for us in the coffee shop. After I got a saucer of milk with Snowberry powder for Tika and a mug of Snowberry Tea for me, and Omni was sipping at her borovan.

     "So how was your day?" She asked casually.

     "I had fun," I said, glancing at Tika. I cringed, seeing her attitude had only changed a bit. She still sat depressed, even though there were so many ways I tried to make her feel better.

     "Tika," Omni began, but I shushed her.

     "Tika, look at me," I said. She turned her little head and fluttered her wings softly. "Did you hear anything I told you today? Because if you did, you'll know this now. You're my favourite, and Petpet Spotlight wouldn't change the way I feel about you. Nothing can change the way I feel about you. We stick together no matter what. We're unbreakable, you, Omni and I. Petpet Spotlight is a trophy, but you're a real, living thing that can't break. I never regret having you and I never will. Never forget that, Tika, never."

     After a night of a constantly rising mood until Tika did once again have her usual spunk back, she practically floated for the rest of the week. She felt, for once after the Petpet Spotlight had come out, like she could be her self again.

     I wasn't even sure if she knew that next Wednesday was a Petpet Spotlight day, she slept like she normally did (late), went about the house like she normally did (lazily), and only checked the news when Omni and I did.

     And that afternoon, as I was checking the news page, I saw a sight I thought I might never see. Never taking my eyes of the page, I smiled ecstatically. "Tika? I think you should come here. You might want to see this..."

The End


Author's note: All right, all right, so Tika hasn't won Petpet Spotlight yet, but she's back to her normal self and that's all that matters. Who knows what the next Wednesday might bring? Ever since she returned to her normal self, she's been somewhat of a role model to me. She's taught me two things which I thought I was teaching her. But really, it was the other way around. Never give up, and never take no for an answer. It all really works out the way it should in the end...

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