The Blue Blumaroo: Part Two
“Melissa, will you get the door, please? I’m out in the backyard watering the pebeanjay flowers!” Arielle, Melissa’s owner, called from the backyard.
“Okay, hang on!” Melissa, a pink Poogle, replied from upstairs.
“Now, please?” Arielle called again.
Melissa dashed down the stairs and sprinted to the front door, and beamed when she saw her two best friends, Kitty the white Cybunny and Gretchen the Christmas Kau.
“You’re looking happier today!” Gretchen said as they walked down their street, Neopia Avenue together towards the shops at Neopia Central.
“Yes; I bet you had a good sleep, am I right?” Kitty asked eagerly.
Melissa laughed and looked at them both earnestly. “I sure did; I had an exceptionally good sleep, actually.”
Melissa had agreed to join her two best friends on a shopping trip (the second in two days), not because she wanted to actually buy anything, but because she wanted to find a friend for her little brother Joey. It sounded completely bizarre, of course, but Melissa knew it was the only way for Joey to become happy. She wasn’t exactly sure how she would find that friend in Neopia Central as Joey wasn’t exactly a big fan of shopping; but Melissa had a good feeling about this and she was going to follow her intuition.
The three good friends sat on a bench beside the smoothie store, soaking in the warm sunshine while slurping on their mega super lemon grape smoothies. Kitty and Gretchen were busy chattering about a rumor of some mega sale at the Grooming Parlour at the end of the month, while Melissa was busy observing passersby.
A yellow male Bruce walked by with his owner, who looked quite disinterested in his surroundings of shops. He looked just about the same age as Joey, too. Perfect, Melissa thought and almost contemplated walking up to him until she realized how impractical her idea was. How weird would it be if she just walked up to another pet and asked him to become friends with Joey? Melissa shook her head and sighed. Well, she certainly had to think of another way...
“... and the music was so loud – I can’t believe you didn’t even hear it, Kitty! You only live two houses away from me. Anyway, we walked up to their house in the middle of the night in our pajamas and we had to knock about ten times until they finally heard us! Ten times! It was outrageous! Of course, they apologized, but still, how disrespectful of them!” Gretchen said, her paws flying up in gestures of rage. Obviously, their discussion from the latest bargains had shifted to something completely different. Melissa was intrigued by Gretchen’s latest statement and decided to join in and ask questions.
“Who are you two talking about?” Melissa asked innocently.
“Oh, the new neighbours. They live just opposite to us, you know, the Maurice house? You’re lucky you live about five houses away, I tell you!” Gretchen said and sighed dramatically.
“Oh, I’m sure it’s not that bad, Gretchen,” Melissa smiled and added teasingly, “you’re always exaggerating a bit.”
“Nup. According to Gretchen, they’re the most dreadful neighbours to have! Especially the red Scorchio, Tommy something or other; apparently he’s always playing music, right up until midnight,” Kitty said and added with a scornful look to no one in particular, “that does sound rather awful.”
Melissa nodded and tried to look serious, but in reality she was grinning from ear to ear on the inside. This was one of the many upsides of having friends who knew anything and everything about anyone. Melissa had finally found her perfect friend for Joey! Plus, she knew where he lived and what his name was. AND he loved music! It was almost too good to be true. But now that she had found her perfect candidate, she would have to find a way to get Joey and Tommy to meet somewhere and, with time, become the best of friends. But where? Joey hardly stepped out of his room, not to mention stepping out of his house. Melissa ordered another mega super lemon grape smoothie and prepared for another day of serious thinking and planning.
Joey turned up his speakers and allowed himself to soak into the sound of the Twisted Roses. Joey had received it for his birthday a couple of months ago by request and never got bored of its sound. It was so... unique and indescribable. He often imagined himself as the lead guitarist of his own band someday. But of course, this was merely a dream and he made himself believe that nothing of that sort would ever happen.
Although music was Joey’s greatest passion, and only passion for that matter, Joey just couldn’t kid himself anymore. He still had these dreams of becoming a talented musician, but he never dared tell anyone; not even Melissa, his sister, or Arielle, his owner, who he knew both loved him so much they would do anything for him to be happy. He knew if he would just say the word, Melissa or Arielle would buy him an electric guitar, but what if he let them down and realized he wasn’t good at it or didn’t like it anymore? He could always hire a private tutor, but Joey simply didn’t have the strength or the drive inside of him to go through all the trouble; plus, there was a good possibility of letting somebody down or losing his dream. Joey knew it was a weird way of thinking, but he wanted to keep hold of his dream of becoming a talented musician rather than losing it with the indignity of discovering that he couldn’t even play one single note right.
Suddenly feeling even gloomier than usual, Joey turned down the volume of his Twisted Roses speaker. When it was almost down to mute mode, Joey heard knocking and calling from the other side of his door. He presumed it was Melissa asking him to keep the noise down. Joey went to the door and opened it to find Melissa standing there. He wondered how long she had been there and immediately felt guilty.
“Sorry,” he mumbled sheepishly. “I didn’t hear you knocking.”
Melissa simply shrugged and smiled. “Don’t worry; it’s fine. I just wanted to ask something,” she said and paused purposefully. “Do you think you could do me a huge favour?”
Joey hesitated a little, and wondered if it had something to do with shopping. But of course, how could Joey deny his big sister of a favour after everything Melissa had done for him? Joey sighed inwardly and nodded. “Sure, what is it?” He prayed that she wouldn’t say shopping.
“Oh, nothing really. It’s just that I’m going to Kitty’s house with Gretchen soon and I need someone to take Flossie out for a walk. Do you think you can do that for me, Joey?” Melissa asked.
Joey almost let out a sigh of relief, but held it back. “Yeah, of course.” He had done it twice before and Melissa’s pet White Flosset was surprisingly easy to walk. Almost cute.
Melissa smiled. “Thanks, you’re a lifesaver!”
Melissa grinned to herself. This was it! Everything was going to plan. Just a couple of hours ago, she almost jumped for joy when she finally developed a master plan to get Joey out of the house; it was just so simple! She knew Joey could not deny her of a favor since he was really a nice and compassionate blumaroo at heart. Melissa almost felt guilty that she had lied to Joey; she wasn’t really going to visit her friends, she was actually going to spy on Joey to make sure that he actually met Tommy. Oh, and also to check up on her pet Flossie. Melissa picked up her faerie backpack (a prop, just in case Arielle became suspicious), and hid at the front of their yard behind a Yellow Eesa Tree, patiently waiting for Joey to come out with Flossie.
“Okay, Flossie, let’s go for a walk,” Joey said and waved to Flossie to come over where he was standing.
Flossie responded by hovering over to Joey and jumping up and down in excitement.
Joey opened the front door and it took him a while to adjust to the bright sunlight. It felt so strange walking out of his house after such a long time huddled inside a rather dim-lit room listening to gloomy music. It almost felt good. Joey shrugged off the strange feeling and began his walk down Neopia Avenue, gesturing for Flossie to follow after him. About halfway through his walk, soaking in the warm sunshine and almost enjoying the sound of chirping Beekadoodles, he heard a noise. Joey quickly realized it was the sound of the Twisted Roses. Had he left his speakers on really loud or did someone else in his street also have a love of their music? Suddenly curious, Joey tried to search for where the sound was coming from. After a while, he realized it was coming from the old Maurice house. According to what he had heard from Melissa and Arielle’s conversations, that home had been abandoned for years. Feeling even more curious than ever before, Joey decided to cross the road and see if anyone was home. Joey whistled for Flossie to come after him and she promptly did so.
Joey walked onto the porch up to the front door of the old house and knocked twice. He had no idea what he was going to say if someone did open the door, but he was determined to feed his curiosity.
A young red Scorchio that looked about the same age as Joey opened the door, looking a bit wary.
“Uh, hey. My name is Joey, I live just down the street,” Joey said.
The Scorchio’s expression suddenly shifted and he looked apologetic. “Oh, sorry. We’ve had at least ten neighbours come to our door and ask us to keep the noise down in the past two days. It’s just because I love this music, you know?” He shrugged and added sheepishly, “Sorry for giving a bad impression for my owner and me; we’re actually really nice Neopians.”
Joey laughed and quickly stopped himself. Had he really just laughed? He didn’t know if it was a dream, since it had just come so naturally to him. After being unhappy for almost his whole life, one little comment by a Scorchio he’d only just meant made him laugh. It was so strange, too; the sound of his own voice laughing.
“No, no, it’s alright. I love that stuff; the Twisted Roses. I play it all the time in my room and my sister hates it,” he said, surprised at his growing openness.
The Scorchio eyes widened. “You like it too? Whoa, I’ve never met another Twisted Roses fan before.” He paused as if he had just realized something. “Oh, sorry for being rude. My name’s Tommy.” Tommy extended his paw and shook Joey’s hand. “Please, come in. Your friend can come in too, if you like,” he said, smiling and nodding behind Joey.
Joey turned around and saw Flossie running towards a bush on the front yard. He was about to call and tell her to come back when he noticed that it actually wasn’t a bush, but his own big sister Melissa in a rather green and leafy disguise.
“Melissa? What are you doing here?” Joey asked, raising an inquisitive eyebrow.
To be continued...