Finding Kourage: Part Five
It was the clearest day of Maieben's journey by far. The
sky dazzled like a mirror for everyone to look into. It was so blue it was almost
invisible. There were absolutely no clouds and the weather was flawless. A gentle
breeze tugged at her fur and begged her to play and fly away from her duties.
The scent was thick and heavy on her shoulders; it smelled of salt, flowers, sunshine
and wet grass. It was so lovely; it almost seemed to put you to sleep…
But, instead it made Maieben sigh. She sighed
so roughly that it made a nearby Elephante trip from perplexity. She sighed
because she ached, not physically, emotionally. She ached for her empty space
to be filled with laughter, understanding, happiness and comfort. None of these
could be filled…unless a miracle happened. Unless Kourage showed up.
She trekked on in despair. Her mood was ugly
because she missed her friend. Her best, and only friend in the world. It had
felt good to make someone happy, it felt wonderful to be considered fun, it
felt amazing to make someone cry at your parting. It felt great to be needed.
For once, she wanted to feel that way more often.
At one point, when the sun was setting, Maieben
stopped. She sat…and cried. She cried for herself. She cried for all the times
she had been taunted. She cried for Reagan's loneliness. She cried for her own
loneliness. She cried and she cried and she cried. She sobbed until she wept.
She wept until she had used up all her tears. But, most of all, she cried for
Kourage; for his faith in her that she would never experience again.
Maieben cried one last time that evening. She
cried herself to sleep. The tears that raced down her cheeks were for those
who had been loved and then had to say good-bye. They were a symbol of a special
bond that is so powerful it can affect more than the person who gives it. Her
tears played a lullaby of hope, mourning and sorrow… a wet orchestra of sorrow
The next day Maieben got up early. She wanted
to start her final day of her journey quickly so she could get home to the other
person who loved her. She yearned for that feeling like a Peophin yearns for
She walked on and on and never stopped until
she saw her Neohome. It welcomed her with its yellow paint and pink shutters.
The homeliness was embracing and inviting. It beckoned her to dream and rest
inside its walls. It was a safe spot. A place where she could curl up and fall
She carefully opened the clean, polished, maple
door. It creaked like it always did. She smiled. Home. It sounded and tasted
so good on her tongue. It was like honey on toast: sweet and a perfect match.
She looked around the familiar room. Suddenly it dawned on her. Reagan. She
had forgotten all about her! Maieben had never left home before and she had
never missed school that long. She had a lot of explaining to do.
"Nothing, I repeat nothing gives you the right
to do what you did! You left home to find a stranger who a queer person told
you about, stayed there for a week, missed school, lied to me and what else
I don't know!" Maieben stood before a fuming Reagan. She was pacing the hallway.
She always did that when she was frustrated or….mad. Maieben sagged. This was
not the welcome she had imagined. So many things had gone wrong since her first
decision to go. But, a lot of good things had happened…
"What do you have to say?" Reagan crossed her
arms and looked at her pet menacingly. Her lips were pursed in expectancy. She
raised her eyebrows as a "hmm?". Maieben's lip trembled. She burst out in apologies.
She tried to explain everything so fast that all that came out was a lot of
Reagan's face softened. She realized she had
been too harsh. She picked up her Aisha and cuddle her. She did not interrupt
Maieben spilled out her soul into Reagan's ears.
She told her everything there was to tell and more. She added nearly every detail
and she spoke slowly so Reagan could comprehend all the events that had occurred.
At the end of the explanation Reagan spoke, "I'm sorry I yelled. Worry comes
so quickly, you know. It grabs hold of you until you can't breathe until you've
found your precious one. It can kill, I assume. I have to say I am very proud
of you. I knew you could do anything you set your mind to. You have a lot of
potential. I missed you." She broke off here. She stared at Maieben as if she
would never get enough of looking at the mastermind before her. She abruptly
grabbed Maieben and held her tight and close. They stayed like that for a long
time until Maieben said, "Loneliness can be worse than worry at times. I missed
you so much, Reagan. I love you."
* * * * *
The next day Reagan made Maieben go to school.
As much as she protested, Reagan still did not give in. she stated firmly that
she had to go. And so she went.
She walked slowly and grudgingly to school.
There was reluctance in her steps as she walked up the stone path to the Academy.
It loomed over her like a face full of fury. She proceeded up to the building
and managed to walk to her classroom. Maieben handed her note to Ms. Alabaster
explaining why she had been absent. Ms. Alabaster beamed at her when she looked
up from the note. Maieben edged towards the cloakroom as slow as a Turdle. She
was alone, again. She liked it that way…she was just thinking how she wouldn't
make it through the day when she heard a sound that seemed like muffled sobs.
She followed it over to the corner where there
was a heap of cloaks. She lifted them up and found…a small red Kacheek all curled
up. She looked up at Maieben and yelped, "leave me alone!" Maieben sat down
next to her and looked her in her tearstained eyes. "I'm Maieben. Are you new
here?" the pitiful neopet choked out, "Yes. I'm Eleng. Some of the other people
were making fun of me." She sobbed again, into her paws. Her little body shuddered
and Maieben put her paw out to pat her back as to comfort her. "They do the
same thing to me." Maieben told Eleng. The two looked at each other. Maieben
saw the hint of a smile form the red Kacheek on her wet face.
Maieben took Eleng into the classroom, her arm
around her shoulder. She whispered something to Ms. Alabaster and then she cleared
her throat. "Hi. Um, this is our new classmate, her name is Eleng and she is
from Terror Mountain. Can we please greet her like real Neopians do?" her class
murmured "Hello, Eleng" very un-spirited, but Maieben didn't really care. She
was looking at her new classmate; and her new friend.
2 months later………
Tap, tap, tap. Maieben tapped her pen on her
desk and looked out her picture window. She was debating what to right to her
favorite correspondence. She looked at his letter for an idea.
I am working on a novel currently. It is
about a very special character who you inspired that helps people understand
life better when they are very close to being entirely confused. It is called
'New Light' because that is what you brought to my life and it is what we look
for when we are in doubt. It is a symbol that not many can understand and it
means hope, happiness, comprehension, knowledge and love for so many. I hope
it helps someone realize there is a possibility and a chance in everything if
we can find it and take it.
I hope you are well? We just got a new Uni
named Cadora122. I think you would like her. She is different from the rest
of the group and she has the potential of a real leader.
I am sending you a rare item. It is a faerie
paintbrush…so you can be painted just like me.
Something to remember when you miss me: we
all see the same sun. So, look to the sun and I might be looking at it at the
same time…which means I am looking at you through the most powerful source of
warmth and light.
You are a true inspiration. You are a hero,
too. You may not know it, but you don't have to wear tights and a cape to make
something miraculous happen. All you have to do is change something. For you,
it was unexpected…and that's the best kind. You make us all want to be more
that we are brave enough to be. You venture on an unknown path, while we stick
to the same one all the time. This is because we are afraid. Of what, who knows?
Probably of being different. You're not…stay that way. Remember, it is okay
to be afraid. When you are it shows that you can take on challenges at your
own pace. By getting yourself through it shows you have trust in yourself and
that shows a lot. It shows you are a strong person and fear is foreign to you,
yet you overcome it by being…you. This is a wonderful way to do it. By trying
new things you show yourself that you can do it…and so you do. I encourage you
to do everything that you are faced with.
Let your face be an open book and let others
read it. Then they will know that you have accomplished a great thing: fear
and love. Two partners in making people do things they never knew they could
until they saw themselves do it.
Every day I think of you and every day I
smile because I know someone very special was saved…with a little help from
me and a world of help from faith.
Maieben knew what to write. As she picked up
her pen, she thought about all that had happened. She was contented to the brim.
She had everything she ever wanted and more. It all came from believing in herself.
So many lessons had been learned and so many were taught. Now she had some to
teach of her own…
She looked out the window and looked at the
setting sun. It was pink, flaming, mellow orange, the deepest yellow and a soft
purple. The ball of light dipped between the hills and lit the field on fire.
It said good-bye for that day. It was beautiful. She wondered if Kourage was
watching the sun disappear into its sea of colors and endless night sky just
as she was.
Everything seemed right. It never really is,
she knew, but for one glorious, elongated second she wasn't worrying or feeling
troubled. She was satisfied. Absolutely content.
She sighed. Maybe there was hope. Maybe there
was aspiration of the greatest, most evocative and prevailing desire. Maybe
there was something far away, that could bring a temporary peace of complete
understanding to everyone. She believed there was and that, is a great place
to start. But, beginning is one of the most difficult tasks ever tried. It can
be very hard to find a place to begin.
Maybe, just maybe, there was hope. After all,
it had gotten her through once before.