Chet Flash wuz here Circulation: 114,369,520 Issue: 229 | 23rd day of Awakening, Y8
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Because It's Christmas, After All II


by lavendergoddess79

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Note: This story is a sequel to the story, "Because it's Christmas, After All," that was in the Christmas issue of the Neopian Times.

Makayla sat at the wooden desk inside her neohome, her chin resting in her hands. She stared at the Jhuidah Faerie Doll in front of her- the one that Laila had given her for Christmas. Sitting next to the doll on the desk was a small piece of paper. Though it was now crumpled up from being stuffed into Makayla's dresser, the note Laila had written on it was still visible.

      Makayla closed her eyes, trying to think. She wished she had done something the day she found that letter. She should have run into the crowds in the streets and looked for Laila. But no, she had simply returned to her neohome to celebrate Christmas with her three Shoyrus.

      Well Christmas was over, now. New Year's Day had passed, and Makayla had realized that she had missed her one and only chance to see her Aisha again. She should have chased after her that day. If she could go back in time to change things, she would have stayed out all night looking for her. But it had been Christmas Eve and, at the time, it had seemed to Makayla that the best thing to do was to spend it with her family.

      But Laila was her family. Laila had been Makayla's pet for years. Makayla wished more than anything that she could change things. She wished that she could see her first pet again.

      Makayla sighed as she gazed out her window, looking down from the second floor of her neohome onto the streets below. The roads were lit up by the lights in the shop windows, but were otherwise mostly empty. The shopping crowds of Christmas time had left, returning home to the towns they had come from. This left the streets much calmer, but at the same time, more lonely.

      Despite the lack of people, it reminded Makayla so much of Christmas Eve. She could even see tiny snowflakes falling when she looked in front of the lights outside her window. The scene was perfect, but it only made Makayla feel even worse. Somehow, nothing had been right since Christmas.

      Then there was a knock at the door.

      "Come in," Makayla said as she quickly shoved her doll and Laila's note into her desk in an effort to hide them. A yellow Shoyru entered the room.

      "Hello, Evan," Makayla said, turning to look at her pet.

      "Hi," Evan said in a quiet voice, "Makayla, are you feeling alright?"

      "Of course I am," she replied, quickly putting a smile on her face to prove it, "In fact, I've made a decision."

      "About what?" he asked, confused.

      "We're moving," she said. Evan looked at her for a minute in disbelief before saying anything.

      "What?" he asked, "Why?"

      "Well, I just think a change of location will do us some good," she said, "We're moving to Mystery Island."

      The truth was that Neopia Central just hadn't been the same to Makayla since Christmas Eve. Everything reminded her of Laila and made her feel lonely and guilty at the same time. She just wanted to be as far away from this place as possible.

      ~*~

      "Excuse me, but how much does this cost?" Laila politely asked the Chia working at the food shop. The Chia looked down at the pear that Laila had placed on the counter.

      "120 neopoints."

      "That's great," Laila said. "I'll take three of them. And I'll also get one of these ice cream cones." She lifted a chocolate waffle cone off of the shelf, setting a bag of neopoints on the counter. She then turned to leave the shop.

      Over the last month, Laila had been saving up any neopoints she could get. She was planning on going to Meridell, and wanted to be able to buy enough food to last the entire trip.

      Laila had made a decision the day after Christmas to go back to Hailey, the girl who had adopted her two years ago when she had been in the pound. It made Laila sad to leave Neopia Central, the one place that had always been her home, but she could think of nothing else to do. She would have to leave as soon as possible.

      As she stepped outside of the food store, Laila noticed for the first time that it was snowing. It was hard to tell in the dark, but she could definitely feel the tiny flakes landing gently in her fur.

      Laila stood still for a moment, trying not to think about Makayla and what had happened on Christmas Eve. But it was too hard for her to take her mind off it. She wondered if her owner had gotten the present and the note. She wondered if Makayla missed her at all.

      In an attempt to hide the fact that she was near tears, Laila quickly put her paws up to her face. She tried to make it look like she was simply trying to keep the snow out of her eyes, but she doubted it was working. She didn't like thinking about any of this, but she felt like she had to.

      Laila sat down in the snow at the side of the road, wondering what to do. She suddenly didn't want to leave this place, but she couldn't go on living in the streets. She would stay one more night, just one. In the morning, she would be ready to leave.

      ~*~

       "Are you done packing?" Makayla asked her pets. The three Shoyrus nodded their heads.

      "Good," Makayla said. "We'll be ready to leave in the morning, then."

      "I don't understand why we have to move," Evan calmly stated.

      "I told you," Makayla told him, "A change of setting will do us good."

      "I'm hungry," Eric, Makayla's green Shoyru, complained.

      "Yeah, go buy us food," his sister Sara said.

      Makayla looked out the window. The snow was really starting to pick up. The roads were completely covered by now, and the snow was only falling faster and faster. It would be a blizzard by tonight. She shouldn't go out to the store in this weather.

      "I think it's snowing a little too hard," She said. Eric and Sara looked as if they might cry.

      "But I'm hungry," Eric said. Sara muttered something in agreement. Makayla thought for a minute. Maybe it would be fine to just make a quick trip to the food shop.

      "Alright," she said.

      ~*~

      Laila shivered as she sat by the street. She looked like a snow Aisha by now with all of the snow that covered her. It was snowing harder and harder every minute. Finally, she decided not to deal with the cold anymore. She stood up, brushing as much snow off of her fur as she could.

      Laila ran into the food shop, shutting the door behind her. The place was empty except for the shopkeeper. Laila stopped shivering, thankful for the warmth of the shop.

      "Hi," Laila said to the shopkeeper, "I'm sorry to bother you, but, you see, I was on my way to my neohome when it started snowing really hard. I'm quite far away from my neohome, and it would be very hard to get back in this weather. Is it alright if I stay in here for a while until it stops snowing?"

      "That's fine," the Chia said. Laila smiled slightly. She had lied about her situation, of course, but she hadn't wanted to explain everything about herself. For now, she was happy to have a place to stay until the weather improved.

      ~*~

      Makayla trudged through the snow that deeply covered the ground. It was hard to get anywhere in this weather. Her pets were probably wondering where she was by now. She kept making wrong turns and getting lost because it was so hard to see through all of the snow. She had thought about going back, but Sara and Eric would be so upset. She had to get them something to eat.

      She kept walking. She had to be almost there. This time she was quite sure that she was headed in the right direction. Then, she saw the familiar burger shaped store in front of her her.

      Makayla pushed open the door to the shop, walking in. She quickly glanced around at what was in stock. There wasn't much, but she decided on buying strawberry ice cream cones. She picked them up, and started to walk forward, bumping into someone as she approached the counter.

      "Oh, I'm sorry," she murmured softly, not even looking at them. She would have been paying more attention, but her mind was on other things. She kept walking, and was about to pay for her ice cream when whoever it was that she had bumped into started to say something something. The familiar voice stopped her.

      "Makayla?"

      Makayla quickly turned around, nearly dropping the ice cream on the floor. She was shocked to see the cloud Aisha standing next to her.

      "Laila!" she exclaimed. "Is that you?"

      "It's me," the Aisha answered.

      "Laila, I'm so sorry," Makayla said. "I'm sorry about everything. I never should have left you in the pound. I thought I couldn't afford to take care of you anymore. I won some neopoints and I came back for you, but someone else had already adopted you. I've missed you so much, especially since this Christmas. I wanted to look for you that night when you left me the present. I got your present by the way. I love it. I have no idea how you managed to get it, but it's wonderful. I know you're probably mad at me for abandoning you. It must seem like I've forgotten all about you, but I haven't. I really miss you."

      "I've missed you, too," Laila whispered.

      "Where have you been lately?" Makayla asked. "I know you said in your note you were looking for a new owner. Did you find one? Are they nice to you? What ever happened to that girl named Hailey who they told me at the pound adopted you?"

      "Well," Laila began, slightly embarrassed "I ran away from Hailey's neohome. I didn't like it there. I haven't really had an owner since."

      Just then, the door to the food shop swung open, letting the wind blow the falling snow into the room. Three Shoyrus stepped inside, quickly closing the door behind them. Makayla recognized them as her pets.

      "Makayla, what took you so long?" one of them asked. "We were starting to get worried. So we flew over here to see if you were alright. Are you ready to come home, yet?"

      Makayla looked at Laila for a minute before answering them. Then she turned to face her pets.

      "Yes," she said, "In fact, I've changed my mind about something. We're not moving- I like it here. And I'm ready to come home with you, now, but first I have someone to introduce you to. Evan, Sara, Eric, I'd like you to meet Laila- your new sister."

The End

 
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