Preparing Neopia for the Meepits Circulation: 110,013,549 Issue: 158 | 20th day of Gathering, Y6
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The Sky is the Limit: Part Four


by tolkienlordofthering

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Darren stood timidly in front of Harry and Anthony, shuffling his feet and studying the ground. "I'm really sorry about everything I did. If there's any way I could make it up to you, I'd like to do it. I know you probably don't want me in your class anymore though, and I understand. Here's 50,000 Neopoints to cover in equipment damage."

     Harry looked at Anthony. "Just one moment please," he said to the Vernax, grabbing Anthony's arm and pulling him back a few steps.

     "Tony, I think he's truly sorry for what he did. If it's okay with you, I'd be willing to accept him back into this class," the Mootix whispered.

     "It's up to you, my boy," Anthony said, shrugging. "If you want to deal with him, that's your decision."

     Turning back to Darren, Harry put on a stern face. "I will let you rejoin the class under one condition--that you stay after class and help me put away equipment."

     Darren nodded, his eyes gleaming. "I'll help. Thanks so much!"

     ***

     Once the class was over, Darren helped Harry clean up like he promised. When everything was put away nice and neat, the two said goodbye until the next week.

     Anthony smiled at Harry. "You were right about him, eh? He acted like a mature Vernax today, wouldn't you agree, Harry?"

     The Mootix smiled. "Yeah, I was surprised. I hope he acts this well for two more weeks."

     "Yes, just two more weeks. For a first time instructor, you are doing wonderfully. If you don't mind my asking, how long have you been skydiving? You're a talented young lad," the Moach complimented.

     "Thank you," Harry beamed. "I've been skydiving for quite a while now," he lied. "Can't remember exactly how long. A few years maybe? I've always loved being up in the sky, ever since I was a kid." He winced at all his lies. Before he began skydiving, he had been terrified of heights.

     "I'm sure some day, you will be a very successful and famous skydiver, eh?" Anthony smiled, patting the Mootix on the back.

     "Yeah, I suppose," Harry responded, flashing an uncertain smile. "Well, I'll see you next week." Without another word, he turned to leave, his heart pounding viciously.

     When he reached his house, he shut and locked the door, as if to stop someone from finding out his secret. He slumped down by his wall and frowned. He would tell Anthony the truth. He WOULD. He just had to wait until the class was over.

     ***

     The next week, Harry dreaded going to teach skydiving classes. Although he didn't see how it was possible, he was sure Anthony somehow found out he had been lying to him all this time.

     Much to his dismay, his fears were confirmed as he saw Tila walking away from Anthony. The Moach's eyes were fierce with inexplicable anger, and his lips were set in a firm line as a nervous Harry approached him.

     "So, uhhh, you know Tila? Yeah, uhhh, she's a really good friend of mine. Actually she was a very good friend of mine, but now--" The trembling Mootix stopped speaking abruptly and looked at Anthony.

     "So, you had never been skydiving before that time I asked you to teach my class?" he barked.

     "No sir, I--"

     Harry was cut off by Anthony. "Do you know what danger you put my students in?" He got no answer, as Harry only hung his head in shame. "Well, DO YOU?" he demanded, his fist clenching and unclenching at his side.

     "Yes, I do sir. I'm very sorry, and I--"

     Once again he was interrupted. "As a grown up Mootix, I would expect better of you! You have thoroughly disappointed me, young Mootix," Anthony chided him, as he would a young child guilty of uprooting up a newly potted flower. "I don't want you teaching my last two classes. Please leave, Harry. And take these Neopoints. You don't deserve them, but it would be wrong of me not to pay you for your time," he said, shoving a bag of Neopoints in Harry's face.

     Taking the Neopoints, the Mootix swallowed the horrible lump in his throat and nodded, not able to speak. Humiliated, he walked away slowly, his shoulders sagging, the angry instructor glaring after him.

     ***

     As Harry walked home, he recalled seeing Tila leave right before he had been fired. As he trudged slowly home, he kicked every little object that was in his path, angrily watching them bounce here and there.

     Just as he was about to kick what seemed to be a rock, his leg stopped in mid kick, and he bent over to pick up the object. It was a shiny pink gem, like something off a Neopet's collar or hair clip. He picked it up and put it in his pocket, then ran to his house.

     Searching around his messy office, he found a piece of paper and a pen, and began to write. When he was done, he folded it and slipped it into an envelope, along with the shimmering pink gem.

     Strolling out his door, he sealed the envelope closed and walked over to his neglected flower bed, picking the most beautiful pink flower he could find.

     When he was satisfied with his choice, he started walking determinedly to Tila's house.

     ***

     Anthony stood in front of his class of skydivers, who all wanted to know where Harry was. "I'm afraid Harry wasn't really a professional skydiver, and wasn't fit to teach you wonderful students," he said regretfully. "So I will be teaching you this week and the next. I hope this change doesn't inconvenience any of you."

     There were a few raised eyebrows and questioning voices as students exchanged glances.

     "But why?" one student spoke up. "Harry was a very good teacher."

     "Yes, he was quite exceptional, but you must understand; Harry was not skilled enough to instruct you correctly," the Moach explained.

     More murmurs of dissatisfaction rose from the students, and they began voicing their opinions all at once to the bewildered instructor.

     "I know you are all disappointed, but getting upset with me will do you no good! Everybody be quiet and cooperate. I'm teaching this class now, not Harry."

     Everyone grew silent, and Anthony began to instruct.

     When the class was over and almost everyone had left, Darren approached Anthony. "Tony?" he said. "I know Harry messed up, but do you think you could give him another chance? It is only next week, after all. I know I didn't deserve another chance, but he gave it to me anyway."

     Anthony sighed as he wrapped up a rope. "I'll think about it. Now you run along home, eh?"

     "I promised I'd stay and help clean up after class. You don't mind, do you?" Darren asked.

     "I suppose that would be all right, my boy," the Moach said, almost smiling in spite of his difficult day.

     The Vernax grinned and set to work.

     ***

     Harry knocked timidly on Tila's front door, and stood waiting for her to answer. When she did, he began to speak before she had a chance to say anything. "Tila," he started, "I'm really sorry about everything. I was very wrong and foolish to go this long without apologizing. Here, these are for you," he said, handing her the flower and envelope with a timid smile.

     Tila hesitated, then opened her door wider. "Come on in," she said. "I'm sorry too. I'm sorry for not accepting your apology the first time, and I'm sorry for telling the instructor." The Cooty sat down on a chair, and Harry sat down across from her.

     "You shouldn't be sorry for telling Tony... I should've told him long ago. In fact, I think you probably did me a favor," Harry said.

     "No... I shouldn't have told him. I told him for the wrong reasons; I was mad at you and wanted you to get into trouble. I'm terribly sorry," she responded.

     "It's okay, really. Well, are you going to open the envelope? I hope you'll accept them. I've been a horrible friend."

     Tila gasped when she saw the gem in the envelope. She took it out and admired it, smiling at Harry. She read the note he had written her, and her grin grew even wider. "No, you're not a horrible friend. You're the best friend I've ever had, Harry," she said. "And I missed you so much."

     "Me too," the Mootix said.

     Tila stood up and hugged Harry. "You wouldn't want to go on a skydiving jump by any chance, would you?" she asked coyly.

     "Would I!" he exclaimed. "There's nothing I'd like more right now. Best friends always know these things."

     "Of course they do! Well what are you waiting for then?" Tila giggled, tearing out the door. "Last one to my plane is a rotten omelette!"

     Harry grinned, racing out after her as fast as his short Mootix legs could carry him.

     At long last, Tila and Harry were finally friends once again.

To be continued...

 
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