My Friends, My Family, and Me
"So. You are probably wondering why I, a once beautiful
red Acara, now dingy, unkempt, and dirt poor, am standing in line in the Soup
Kitchen. However, you should know, that I wonder why you, being obviously better
off than I, are even speaking to me. But since you are here, I will tell you my
My name is Cine. Say it with me-- Chee-nay.
I may be down in the dumps, but I still cannot stand people who do not pronounce
my name correctly. Basically, my life can be summed up in one sentence-I had
it all, and I threw it all away. I was gorgeous, well liked, I had a marvelous
petpet and owner, and a large Neohome to do whatever I wished in. One foolish
action made me lose it, and who knows when, if ever, I will get it all back?
And it was all my brother's fault. You will not understand me if I do not start
from the beginning, though, so at the beginning I will start.
I had a small family. It was only Val, my owner,
my twin brother, Rovik, and me. I suppose I should start back almost a year
ago, when Val first found the secret laboratory. Thankfully, she chose Rovik
to be the lab rat, so I was able to be my normal self. It was about five days
ago, however, that the real trouble started.
I woke up that morning to the sound of Rovik
brushing his teeth, very loudly, as usual. I can see now that the entire day
was terrible. For starters, I was late for Neoschool. Rovik, who was then a
green Wocky, had conveniently forgotten to wake me up on time. I rapidly got
ready and rushed downstairs, where Val told me that she had already put breakfast
up, and that next time I should make sure to be up on time. This led to an argument,
which, if I had been in a better mood, I might have admitted that it was my
fault, and so I left Val that morning on a sour note. However, that morning
was not nearly as bad as what happened at Neoschool…
'Hey, guys, how's it going?' I shouted across
the room to my two best friends, a split Aisha named Mica and a green Ogrin
who we called Jazz. Normally they would wave and shout out the number of the
table we would meet at for lunch, but today they ignored me and began walking
towards history class.
'Guys!' I shouted again. They kept walking.
Rovik came up behind me. 'They probably could
not hear you. I'm sure that you will get to talk to them later.' Rovik may be
a pain most of the time, but he can be a real encouragement when I need it.
This time, though, I was still worried. Mica and Jazz had always been able to
hear me in the past.
I'm sure they will talk to me during art,
I said to myself, trying hard to believe it as I made my way to Math.
Math seemed to drag on for hours, but finally
it was over. I squirmed through the door and down the hall, along with, say,
three million other pets who all just had to walk by Art class on the way to
theirs. I finally managed to squeeze in about a half a minute late, and as I
took my spot next to Mica, Mr. Lupert glared at me.
'I will see you after class, Miss Cine,' he
said, in a voice that he did not usually use. I should have taken it as a sign
that the day would go foul, because Mr. Lupert was most commonly very lighthearted
I would have enough time to think of that later,
though, so my thoughts turned to my friends, Mica, who was at an easel right
next to me, and Jazz, two easels down.
'Uh, Mica?' I hissed, hoping that Mr. Lupert
would not hear. I did not want to get in any more trouble with him.
'What?' she snapped. I was taken aback by her
reaction. Mica is normally very shy, and would never speak like that to anyone,
friend or no.
'What is going on with you and Jazz? You ignored
me this morning when I called for you.'
She glared at me. 'Just like you ignored us
'What are you talking…' My voice trailed off
as I realized what she meant. Mentally, I smacked myself in the head for forgetting
about our get together at the Soup Kitchen. I could think of nothing else to
say, so I lamely squeaked out, 'Oh.'
'Where were you, anyway? What was so important
that you would forget us?'
'Uh,' I was reluctant to answer her question.
'I went to, uh, the Library with Vatisha. Sorry.'
That was the straw that broke the Apis's back.
Mica blew up at me… in a quiet, inaudible to the teacher kind of way. 'Cine!
We were planning this for weeks! We were going to go help at the Soup Kitchen!
Jazz and I and all the others were short handed the whole evening because you
I had had it. Forgetting about my grouchier
than usual teacher, I burst into a shout, 'Look, I said I was sorry! What do
I have to do, get on my knees and beg for forgiveness? Lighten up, will you?
It was a mistake! A mistake!'
The whole class heard me, including Mr. Lupert.
He coughed and said, 'Is there a problem, Miss Cine?'
I blushed and said, 'No, sir.'
'Then I will thank you to please let the rest
of the class attend to their work.'
I returned to my work, but first glanced over
at Mica. I would have gotten a kinder response from a brick wall. Jazz's face
was icy, and she did not even look my way.
Inwardly, I groaned. I was going to be in so
much trouble when Val found out."
* * *
"Val had come at lunch to pick Rovik up and
take him to the lab. I don't know how he stands it, every day, having to leave
your friends and be zapped by some unknown bolt, not knowing what would happen
next. Today, however, I would have done almost anything to go with them. Instead,
I had to eat lunch all alone, while my ex-friends sat at a table with some others,
laughing, carrying on, and having a grand old time.
I remember thinking that that day could not
go any worse, but, then again, the day was only half over, and I still had not
been home yet.
As I opened the door to my home, I was thinking
of how comforting it would be to see Val, a friendly face that would always
be with me no matter what, and then I remembered the fight this morning… and
the school episode…
I was doomed.
I was already thinking of ways to block my hearing
so that I would not have to hear her scold me, when Rovik flew into the room
Wait a second… flew?!? Since when does Rovik
fly? I stared at him a moment, flabbergasted, not knowing what to do, say, think,
'The lab did something I like for a change!'
he exclaimed. 'I'm Faerie!'
'As if that were not obvious,' I scoffed. 'But
where is Val?'
I had barely gotten the words out of my mouth
when she burst inside from the back yard and said, 'Look what the Lab did, Cine!
Rovik's a Faerie now!'
'Coulda fooled me,' I mumbled. This was going
just perfectly. Now Rovik would get all the attention, and I would be the one
who was just shoved in a corner. I tried to make myself feel better by remarking,
'If I were you, I wouldn't be caught dead painted Faerie.'
Rovik stared a minute, shocked, but Val immediately
retorted, 'Faerie is a very nice color for Rovik.'
'But it does not look right on him!'
'Calling others ugly will not make you any prettier.'
'That's it!' I'd had enough. 'I cannot stand
this any longer! I'm leaving!' I stalked out of the house while they stood in
shock, realizing that those were probably the ten most idiotic words I had ever
uttered. Then again, I had never been this frustrated before."
* * *
"So, here I am," the red Acara finishes. "And
that's my story." She stares into space for a moment, as if reminiscing on what
could have been, until the nudge of a Gelert that signifies that the line has
moved up brings her back to reality. She moves up to the counter, only to come
face to face with a green Ogrin.
"Jazz!" Cine exclaims, cringing at the thought
of missing another Friday, and at the thought of another fight.
"Uh, Cine," she begins weakly," Can I talk to
"Sure… I guess."
The two pets walk out into the sunlight, and
for a few minutes they are silent. It is Jazz who finally breaks the ice.
"Um, I was talking to Mica the other day,"
"Yeah?" Cine replies, bracing herself.
"And, well, she told me that, uh, she wishes
that she hadn't blown up like that."
Cine sighs with relief. "Well, I was not exactly
being the best friend in Neopia, either."
"I could say the same about myself. I'm… sorry."
"Me, too." And she really is. Cine begins to
"Where are you going?" Jazz asks.
"Home," Cine replies, smiling. "I have some
things I need to settle with my family."
And that is exactly what she did.
My second publication! Yay for me! Keep an eye open for more, as I will
be *attempting* more often.