Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 109,226,905 Issue: 218 | 2nd day of Celebrating, Y7
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The Loyal Bank Skeith


by literalluau

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At one o'clock in the morning, your poor Baby Zafara comes down with a bad case of the Neoflu. You hurry over to the Neopian Bank to withdraw some neopoints for that cure that will make her feel better in an instant. You throw open the door to the bank, and he's there with those reassuring words, "Good evening Madam. It's great to see you again. What can I do for you today?" You withdraw your neopoints and hurry out the door to the pharmacy, not even noticing as he waves good-bye.

The next day, you and your newly cured Zafara take a stroll to the bank to collect your interest and get some neopoints for the day's grocery shopping. That loyal Green Skeith is still there, his business suit freshly ironed. The bank is busy, but he waits on you with patience, even while you deliberate whether to withdraw just enough for groceries or a little extra to spend on the merry-go-round. When you leave, he waves good-bye again before turning to his next customer.

Yet this poor Skeith has gone relatively unnoticed in Neopian life. Most of us visit him three or more times a day, but never really pay attention to him. For most of us, he's just another green face in the crowd. We take him for granted, never realizing how much he means to our lives and our bank accounts.

Last Sunday, Aldridge and I went down to the bank in need of some last minute neopoints. While he was counting out my neopoints, my mouth suddenly took on a life of its own and I blurted out, "Don't you ever leave this place?" I immediately gasped, realizing how mean that must have sounded.

But he just chuckled. "Nope," he replied in low, husky voice.

"So you've never seen Neopia? Terror Mountain, the Lost Desert, Kreludor…" my voice trailed away in shock.

"Oh, yes, I have. Don't be silly. I was joking, partially. I leave the bank every once in a great while for a short vacation and leave my trainee in charge. He still has a lot to learn, however, as sometimes he refuses to let anyone deposit or withdraw neopoints. Maybe if he didn't sit in the back room all day playing with plushies--"

At that point, he was interrupted by a holler from the back room. "They're not plushies, they're important historical collector's items!"

"We have customers that need help out here," the Bank Skeith hollered back kindly. "I'm going on break. Would you mind terribly…?"

A Red Kyrii came stomping out from the back room and took his place at the teller desk.

"Thank you very much, Arnold. I won't be long."

Arnold the trainee rolled his eyes and turned to the first customer.

The Bank Skeith chuckled again and turned his attention back to us. "I spend most of my time here," he concluded with a meaningful glance toward Arnold. "Let's move into the back room, shall we?"

After stepping over piles of multi-colored plushies, we settled into three chairs in the corner of the room.

"What's your favorite slushie?" Aldridge piped up, being the silly, crazy Mutant Jubjub that she is.

"That's a tough one," he answered. "Probably the rainborific slushie because I always dreamed of being a Rainbow Skeith. Unfortunately, that's not very professional and rainbow is such a hard color to match a suit with."

"My favorite is the grapity slushie. I love how it dances. Whenever I get one, I start dancing." At this point, she got up and demonstrated her favorite drink's dance, hopping from one foot to the other until she fell back into her chair, exhausted.

He let out a kind laugh and turned to me. "Why so curious?"

"I…errr…uh…" I stammered. "I see you every day and yet I know nothing about you. It seems like you don't get a whole lot of recognition. How does that make you feel?" (Yes, I realize I went a little reporter on him for a minute. I was honestly just trying to ask without getting too personal.)

"Not a lot of recognition? I don't know what you mean. I have all the recognition I need: a wonderful stamp that was made after my likeness. I also must say that whoever drew the picture was very talented. It looks so much like me!"

"So you like your work then?"

"It has its days. We get robbers quite often, but we always have enough helpful Neopians around here to keep the robbers at bay. Other than that, there's no place I'd rather be than right here at this bank. I'd say close to 99% of Neopians visit me at some point, and many of them come several times every day. I get to see the coolest new styles and the cutest petpets. That new Pirate Albat is really something, isn't it?"

I had to agree that it is. Suddenly, I realized there was something important about him that I didn't know. "What's your name, anyhow?"

He rolled his eyes good-naturedly and pulled a nametag from his jacket pocket. "I'm supposed to wear this thing, but I'm not wild about it, so I don't." He slapped it onto his lapel: William.

"That's a nice name," I told him.

"You think so?"

"Yes. Much nicer than 'The Bank Skeith.'"

He let out a long, loud chortle. "I suppose that's true. I never thought of that. Maybe I don't dislike this nametag so much after all."

At this point, Aldridge bounced up from her chair. "Don't you have a family?" she asked quite innocently. I tried to shush her, but he just smiled and answered that he did.

"Well, wouldn't you like to spend some time with them?" she prodded.

"I do. I spend all day every day with my family."

"Well, where are they?" she asked, trying to peer into the back room.

I was curious, too. I'd never seen anyone hanging around that I thought looked like his family and I didn't think he'd keep them in the back room with his trainee, Arnold, playing with plushies all day and night.

"My family is all around," he told us, leading us to the door to look into the bank. "Each one of these Neopets and each of their owners is a part of my family. They come in here every day and share their stories of adventure in the Haunted Woods or of sorrow after being attacked by the Pant Devil. They're content to talk and I'm content to listen. I help them when they need neopoints and they help me to make days that would otherwise be monotonous exciting and memorable." He sighed deeply, looking out at the bank lobby and the customers patiently waiting to be served. "It's been so nice talking to you both and I know I'll see you again soon."

Knowing that he had to get back to helping the customers so Arnold could continue playing with his plushies, we left the bank and took off in the direction of the food shop.

There you have it, folks. Next time you go to the bank, please be sure to thank William for all his loyalty and hard work. He's truly one of Neopia's most unsung heroes.

 
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