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Dear Akira, Dear Rosetta


by taipeiss

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Also by sensei_fuzzy

Dear Akira,

     I can't wait until you come for a visit! Neopian Central is really different from Mystery Island, but I'm sure you'll like it. You're the first pen pal ever I've gotten to meet in person, and I know it's going to be just great. Where do you think we should meet?

     Yours truly,

     Rosetta

      Dear Rosetta,

     It sounds like you're as excited as I am about our meeting next week. This is a really big deal for me since, as I've mentioned before, I've never once in my life been off the island. I'm a little nervous about the big city, but I'm glad you'll be there with me... at least there will be a familiar face! Anywho, I think we should meet somewhere that's recognizable so I won't get confused... like maybe the smoothie shop or Pizzaroo.

     Peace! - Akira

     The days seemed to crawl before Akira was to visit, but a cheery ferry finally brought the Island Lupe to meet his pen pal for the very first time. The summer morning was pleasantly cool with the daintiest breeze to guide the way. Akira twiddled his thumbs and paced the ferry impatiently as they drew ever nearer to Neopian Central. He'd known Rosetta for two years, but they had never been face to face. Nonetheless, they were the best of friends, so why was he so nervous? A sinking pit of worry seemed to bog in his stomach, but quickly vanished as the ferry jolted to a halt at the dock.

     "Welcome to Neopian Central," the ferry attendant Peophin pronounced with a cheek-cracking grin, "and thank you for using the Neopian Ferry Service. A list of parting times back to both Mystery Island and Krawk Island is listed on the ferry kiosk to your right," she motioned, "and the ferry gift shop is to your left. Thank you, and have a nice day!"

     Akira stood rigidly at the rail, gripping it tightly so his paws turned pale. A Halloween Ixi bumped into him as she bounded off of the ferry, her Blue Bruce brother in tow.

     "Oh, sorry, Mister. Um, are you okay? You look all scareded and stuffs."

     Akira snapped out of his trance and looked at the Ixi. "Oh, um, no, yeah, I'll be fine. Thanks."

     The two pets shrugged and bounded away as Akira unlatched from the ferry's side and stepped onto the land. Pulling a map out of his pocket, he located Pizzaroo a few streets over and began to walk briskly. He soon arrived at the small shop and, taking a deep breath and smoothing his hair back, he reached for the door.

     ---

     Rosetta sat at a table in a corner of Pizzaroo, sipping a soda slowly as she nervously twirled locks of her dark brown hair. Every inch of her wanted to keep things the way they were and just run, but she was frozen to her chair. What if something went wrong? What if he met her in person and didn't think she was such a cool Aisha anymore? She'd hate to lose such a good friend.

     Before she could worry anymore, the door jangled open and an Island Lupe stepped in.

     "Akira," she whispered to herself, her eyes grown large with the sudden sense of time's halt. Rosetta watched as the Lupe's eyes scanned the parlor, and then suddenly locked on hers.

     ---

     Akira stood at the entrance as the air around him seemed to still. There she was, looking every bit like the pictures she'd sent him. Shoving a feeble grin onto his lips, he strode towards the table where the white Aisha waited and sat quickly.

     "Hi! Rosetta! It's... it's good to see you finally!" Akira cringed at the telling twinges of uncertainty that danced on his voice.

     Rosetta flashed him an overly-cheerful smile. "Yeah, Akira! You look good. I... I like your white markings. They look cool in person. Not, not that they weren't cool before, I just mean... well, you know..."

     "Yeah, thanks..."

     The two looked down and sat in silence. Rosetta fidgeted with the crimson and gold fabrics of her matching top and skirt, crinkling and straightening it over and over again. Akira, without noticing it, was also tugging randomly at his black shirt. They both stared in opposite directions for a while, fidgeting away, until Akira cleared his throat.

     "So, uh, you wanna order now or something?"

     Rosetta blinked. "Oh, yeah, right, sure."

     The two quickly busied themselves with figuring out what to order, then dove into eating once the piping hot pizza arrived. Rosetta was starting her second piece when she attempted to break the silence.

     "So, uh, Akira, how was the ride over?"

     "Oh, uh, not bad. Yeah, the ferry was pretty... cool."

     "Oh. Cool."

     "Yeah."

     "So um, how are you liking Neopian Central?"

     Akira gave a half shrug, still focusing on his pizza. "It's cool. It's a lot different from Mystery Island, but, it's, yeah, it's cool." He silently cringed at how many times he'd used the word "cool" in the last minute. Great job, dummy, he thought to himself, now she'll give you a thesaurus as a parting gift.

     Rosetta, whose mind had been racing with excitement for the past week, now too felt as if she'd been zapped into a stupor. He's been my best pen pal and best friend for how long, and all I've got are stupid chit chatty questions? Why don't I just open my mouth next time and say "So what's your name? How do you like the weather?" The Aisha chuckled softly to herself, but when Akira looked up, she blushed and looked back down.

     They sat and ate and stared and fidgeted in relatively awkward silence. It wasn't until they were almost through with their pizza when something interesting happened.

     The Chia Clown burst through the door of the shop, screaming and flailing frantically as his orange-hued wig succumbed to smoke and flames. Rushing into the middle of the pizza parlor, he snatched a pitcher of Neocola from a table and poured it over his head, dousing the fire. Relieved from his sudden emergency, he looked around at the bunch of Pets who now stared at him in silence, straightened up, and walked out the door as if nothing had happened.

     Akira and Rosetta stared with slack-jawed befuddlement, then inadvertently spoke in unison. "That's... not... weird."

     They turned to look at each other, then burst into rows of hilarity and laughter. All the tension from before lay shattered as they keeled over and shook with hysterics and guffaws. The others in the shop stared at them for a few moments before returning to their pre-Clown chattering states.

     When they stopped to give their aching stomach muscles a break and wipe the tears from their eyes, they sat back and looked at each other with genuine smiles on their faces.

     "I'm sorry," they both started at the same time, which spurred another bout of laughter. When they had stopped once more, Rosetta began.

     "Akira, I'm sorry I've been uptight all day today. I was so nervous about you visiting and getting to really know me and whatever that I thought maybe you wouldn't really like me anymore and we wouldn't be able to be friends."

     "Rosetta, don't even worry about it. I was worried about the same thing. But after that crazy Chia Clown thing, and we both said the same thing at the same time, I realized that we already know everything about each other. We think alike, we have the same reactions, and I have no idea why I was so scared to meet you for the first time. Well, I guess I do: our friendship is special to me," Akira explained, looking down with a smile, "and it's nothing I ever wanted to mess up or lose."

     Rosetta looked down too, a blushing smile spreading over her lips. She reached over the table and gave Akira's paw a squeeze. When the Lupe looked up, she gave him a grin. "Why don't we get out of here, hmm? Go do something fun."

     The two paid for their pizza and, linking arms, strolled out the door. Chatting as they made their way to the center of town, they implicitly decided to explore the Neopian Catacombs. The cool caves opened happily to receive them, and they spent their afternoon sipping coffees, viewing artwork, and disturbing the otherwise peaceful galleries by laughing and speaking loudly and nonsensically.

     When the sun finally began to set, they made their way to the harbor so Akira could catch his ferry home. The Island Lupe turned and grasped Rosetta in a tight, friendly hug.

     "Thank you," he grinned, "for giving me the best day of my life. I loved hanging out with you and seeing Neopia Central. I wish I didn't have to leave, but I'll be waiting for your next letter, okay?"

     "Okay," Rosetta whispered back softly as she wiped a small tear from her eyes. "I wish you didn't have to go either. We had so much fun! But I don't think I'll forget today any time soon."

     The best friends parted, and the ferry floated Akira away into the setting sun.

      Dear Akira,

     How was your ride home? I hope it went well. I really think we were insane for being scared about meeting, but I'm glad we got over it, aren't you? I loved spending time with you and showing you around. I know we'll both be busy for a while, but why don't we do this again next year?

     Your crazy Aisha buddy,

     Rosetta

     P.S. Oh yeah, about next time... NO PIZZAROO! :)

The End

 
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