(Note from the owner: This story may be viewed as the sequel to the story, Forgotten. The pets in this story are based off the pets in my account, but they have matured since their last appearance in Dinner. Please don’t view the pets’ lookups until after the story. It will make the story more enjoyable if you do so. Thank you. I hope you like it.)
“Now tell me, Lavalilly...” I glanced down at my blank piece of paper, hoping to fill it up with words of interest for the Neopian Times readers. “Why are you so annoying?” I asked my faerie Pteri sister.
“I’m not doing your stupid interview, Silver!” my sister only squawked back.
“Aww... come on. The readers will eat it up,” I whined, trying to be convincing.
“No. No. I think you don’t understand.” Lavalilly rose from the ground and started flying away from me. She continued to talk, though, so I took the paper and pen in my mouth and trotted after her. “The readers are going to eat up you. ‘Oh Silver. Isn’t he such a wonderfully handsome Island Kougra?’ they will say. But me! I bet you’re going to twist all of my answers around. The readers would be so mad at me that they would want to pluck my rainbow tail feathers!”
At this time, I didn’t even want to listen to Lavalilly going on about how she didn’t want to be interviewed. I didn’t see the harm in it at all, and I wasn’t here only for her to convince me otherwise. So finally, I turned my back and headed to visit my older brother, the mutant Gelert, Misha.
Misha wasn’t a mutant for very long. He had been stressed out because he has been going through “big life experiences” lately. These included going through the lab ray. My owner, Czenko, regretted ever making him go through the ray and eventually gave him a potion to turn him back into a Gelert, but little did we all know that it was a transmogrification potion. In the end, though, Misha liked his new appearance and decided that he looked stronger and scarier than before, which worked out perfectly for him.
I headed upstairs in our Neohome up to Misha’s room. I placed my pen and paper on the floor in front of me after I approached him. “Hey, what’s up?” I said.
“Oh, it’s you. Well, nothin’ much is ‘up’,” he replied. He was only looking out the window, watching the Neopets go by. He played the guard Gelert in the family, which I find a very useless role.
His petpet, Jinx the white Anubis had been jumping around, barking like mad the second I had gotten into the door, and since she was beginning to scratch up my legs by jumping so much, I rubbed her belly with my paw to get her to calm down.
It was silent for a few seconds after I managed to calm Jinx down. These seconds felt like forever. Misha’s voice was very low and he was normally blunt, using little words when he speaks. This normally causes others to go silent in his presence.
“I heard Lavalilly shouting,” Misha finally said. “You were trying to convince her to do an interview again.”
I nodded, but didn’t say anything.
“And my answer is ‘no.’ Don’t even try, Silver.”
“I... Ugh! Fine!” I slammed the door behind me on my way out, completely forgetting that I had left the pen and paper in his room. I then ran back downstairs. Somebody had to be willing to do an interview with me. I needed an interesting story for the Neopian Times, and my family was absolutely no help.
I made my way to the front door to go out into the streets to maybe find a more interesting story than what I could find at home. I could not imagine writing a story about my own family. The newest headline: “How Silver Couldn’t Get an Interview.” Like that would ever make it into the press.
I opened my front door and started making my way out, but I bumped into something and fell to the ground. “Ah!” Immediately my face was against the wooden floor. What I ran into had an interesting smell and feel when I had made contact with it. It felt soft and furry. It smelled like it had slept in dirt and twigs that night.
I looked up only to find big yellow eyes looking back at me. These eyes shook in fear just as my own eyes did (which coincidentally are also yellow). These yellow eyes I saw belonged to a young skunk Usul. I had never him before in my entire life, yet I run into him at my front door.
“Are you okay!?” my owner yelled. Apparently, she was home too. Czenko ran over to help me up, or so I thought. Instead, she grabbed the Usul by the arm and dragged him back up to his feet. With her hands, she swept away some of the dirt from his coat. “I’m sorry. Are you alright?”
I stared at the Usul suspiciously, but he didn’t say a word. He only stood there and shook. He was obviously very frightened, but I didn’t know why.
“Czenko, who is he?” I asked my owner. I was still sitting on the floor.
“Oh hi, Silver,” she started before answering my question. She looked from the Usul, to me, then to the Usul again. “You see, this is Naninhah. I found him sleeping under a bush. He was really cold. Must have been because of the storm last night.”
I nodded in understanding.
“I had a good amount of neopoints on me, so I took him for a bite to eat and gave him a paint job at the rainbow pool. He used to be red. I even got him a petpet.”
It wasn’t until now that I realized that Naninhah had a plushie Huggy in his paws. “Wow. That’s incredibly generous.”
“Sometimes I’m just in one of those moods.”
I nodded again.
“So I decided to keep him.”
This was the point where it was too weird. My owner? She just found this pet that won’t even say anything? He was in the streets and she decided to just take him home? Here?!
“What?!” I shouted.
Naninhah was startled by my shout and tightened his grip on his Huggy. My owner noticed how startled he was. She petted him on the head. “Calm down, Silver. You’re frightening him.”
At that moment Misha came running down the stairs. He apparently heard me yell. “Hey, hey. What’s wrong?” He then saw Naninhah and jumped back. “Whoa!” He sniffed the air, probably to get a whiff of the new pet. He then looked over at me. We exchanged looks. Misha had a look of concern. I had a look saying, “She has to be kidding.”
“Well, Czenko brought a skunk home from the street,” I said as if it was the worst thing in Neopia.
Misha rolled his eyes. “You can’t be serious.”
“And she’s keeping him!”
“This is just as bad as when Czenko brought you home,” he said in the same tone of voice as when his owner asks him to clean the bathroom.
“I completely agree,” Lavalilly chirped in from the kitchen. She apparently had been listening to the conversation the whole time. She flew in and perched up on the couch. “But now it’s worse! Know why?” I really didn’t care why, but of course, she continued anyway. “Now there are four pets. Now there is no way we can get any more. So you know what? I’m stuck with a family full of boys! No girls to keep me company!”
Whenever Lavalilly comes into the conversation, the room becomes a lot louder than it did in the first place. Her loud squawking didn’t get to me this time. I was thinking about how my own family hated me too. They hated me when my owner first brought me home. I couldn’t remember what had happened. It was so long ago. I was only a baby, but they disliked me? They... hated me? And now to think this exact same thing is happening again with a new pet.
“But guys. You don’t hate me now, do you?”
“First of all-“ Lavalilly started, but Misha cut him off.
“Woof!” Misha barked. “Lavalilly, shut up.” His face was completely humorless. “Silver, we love you now and all, but you can be a pain.”
“Well... well... Lavalilly’s a pain too!” I argued.
“Hey!” Lavalilly jumped.
“Maybe so, but I’ve known her my whole life. The point is that we had to adjust to you, and now, we have to adjust to the new pet,” Misha said. It was a wise statement. At times like these I think it is amazing how much Misha had grown up over the years. When he was a little pup he was so joyful, carefree, and kind of stupid. Now that time has passed, he says stuff that actually has some value.
“Well said, Misha,” Czenko said. At this time, Naninhah was hugging Czenko’s leg. He seemed more terrified than before. Czenko bent down and took one of his paws. The other was holding his Huggy. “Naninhah, I want you to meet your brothers and your sister. This is Silver,” she pointed to me, and the frightened yellow eyes of the Usul turned to look into mine. Czenko’s finger moved over to Misha, “This is Misha.” The Usul looked at Misha. I could tell his legs were just itching to run away. He was a scary pet. “Don’t worry, Nanin. He’s very nice.” And then she pointed at Lavalilly, who was looking at the ground, sulking. “And this is Lavalilly. She sure is pretty, isn’t she?” This caused Lavalilly to brighten up.
Naninhah looked at us, but he didn’t say a word. He was only scared. I couldn’t have been that scared when I was adopted. He was kinda cute, though.
“Naninhah doesn’t have a home yet, so I’m going to leave and see if I can get somebody to build an extra room onto the house for a reasonable price.” Czenko let out a sigh. “I’ll be back.” Czenko was still crouched down, holding one of Naninhah’s paws. “You try to get along with the others until I get back,” she said sweetly. “And you,” she spoke much louder and firmer this time. She stood up, directing her attention to all three of us older pets. “Please be good to Naninhah. He’s very shy.” Naninhah let out a whimper, but by the time he did that, Czenko had already slammed the wooden door behind her.
Things were silent for a long time. Nobody said anything. Nobody made a move. I was sure that all of us were shocked by the past few moments. “Well then...” I said, trying to break the silent. That did the trick.
“I’m going back to my room,” Misha said, already starting up the stairs.
“Yeah. I’m going to go... do stuff.” Lavalilly then flew in the opposite direction of Misha, toward her own room.
Both my older brother and sister left in a hurry. I’m sure they didn’t want to stand in the same room with a creepy skunk Usul that wouldn’t say a word. After they had left, a staring contest had begun between the Usul and I. We stared into each other's eyes. We were both probably lost in thought. I know I was.
I thought about the Usul I was looking at. I wondered how he had gotten into the streets. I wondered why my owner wanted to bring him home. I wondered why he didn’t say anything. There were so many questions that I had to ask.
Then it came to me. I had just been doing interviews before the Usul had rudely interrupted me. Maybe he would answer me in an interview. “I’ll be right back,” I told Naninhah. I then ran up the stairs and barged into Misha’s room.
“Excuse me?” he said. Of course, he was just staring out the window again.
“Nothing,” I said and took the pen and paper in my mouth and ran back downstairs.
There Naninhah was. His body was still vibrating like it was freezing in the room. His fluffy tail was wrapped around his body when I returned. I dropped the pen and paper in front of me. “So, Naninhah. I have an interview for you.”
My brother and sister must have amazing hearing, because a second after I said that, my brother and sister both shouted from their bedrooms in unison, “Don’t do it!”
I shook my head. “Please, just don’t listen to them. Let’s just start.” I cleared my throat. “Naninhah, what’s the name of your original owner?”
I paused for an answer. Nothing. I decided to just move on.
“How did you end up in the pound?”
Nothing happened. He kept the same expression on his face.
“Did you have any brothers or sisters?”
Then Naninhah’s eyes were starting to water. Slowly tears began to trickle down his face.
I then went silent. I didn’t know what made him cry. I couldn’t tell. I had to show sympathy for the kid, though. I couldn’t help it. He was obviously hurt. “Hey, Nanin. It’s okay.” I moved up to him slowly. I wanted to give him a hug, but Naninhah was hugging his Huggy so tightly, I didn’t find it possible for me to. “It doesn’t matter now.” This was hard for me to say. I was curious. “We’ll be your family. Czenko’ll be your owner. We’ll be good to you. I was once an abandoned pet too, ya know?” This only made him seem to cry more. He was now sniffing up his tears and he had lost his breathing pattern.
I felt bad for him. I felt bad for him, and he wouldn’t even talk to me. Maybe if I could at least have him say one word. One word was all I wanted. It would tell me something about his voice. Him. I just needed one more question. I looked at the Huggy that Naninhah held so tightly in his arms, as if he would never let go of him even if his life was threatened to be taken.
“I just have one more question for you. Please, just answer this one and I’ll never interview you again.” I took a deep breath. I was definitely desperate to say that I would never interview him again. He was bound to have an interesting story, and I really wanted to give him maybe five more interviews.
“What is your Huggy’s name?” I asked. My final question.
Naninhah looked down at his Huggy with his large, yellow, frightened eyes. Then he turned them to me.
“Unforgotten,” he said in a shy, sweet voice, but it was lower than I had imagined. He then closed his eyes and pressed the Huggy’s head against his cheek. His Huggy seemed to comfort him some.
Unforgotten. I don’t know how, but that one word seemed to tell his story. That one word was all the information I needed. I knew now I was going to treat my new little brother with respect even though he may never say a word to me ever again. He deserved my respect and he deserves to be in somebody’s mind and heart, because I know now that he was in nobody’s heart. Maybe I could make room for Naninhah. That’s what I’ll set out to do.
“Okay,” I whispered. Then I cleared my throat and talked normally. “Then it’s settled. No more interviews for Naninhah.” I started walking toward the kitchen. “You must be hungry. Let’s go to the kitchen and I’ll whip something up for you.” I gave him a small grin as I slowly made my way toward the kitchen.
It took Naninhah a few seconds for his legs to budge, but he soon followed me into the kitchen, where we shared a plate of pancakes and a pitcher of lemonade.
I think I’m making progress.