One Big Happy Family: Part Two
When Kayla first saw Rfawn, he was sniggering over some joke with a spotted Grundo, chocolate decorating his beak in such a way that it looked like modern art. Kayla immediately took a liking to him.
"So then," Mauro continued with his story, "This Ogrin starts shrieking and running around the room. And the whole time, this Slorg is just clinging to its head. Everyone was just dying of laughter!" Rfawn chuckled at the thought of such a scene.
"I wish I'd been there." He smiled as he took another bite of his chocolate.
"Yeah..." Mauro sighed. The two friends were silent for a second before Mauro reached under his bed and pulled out a red ball. He slid off of the bed. "I have to go return this to Keno," he said. "I'll be right back."
" 'K," Rfawn answered. As Mauro disappeared through the door, the Eyrie popped the last bite of chocolate into his beak and then peered into the small box in hopes of finding another tidbit of food to nibble on. All of a sudden, a wave of whispers and pointing fingers (or hoofs or wings or paws) spread throughout the dormitory. Rfawn looked up briefly and immediately saw the source of this commotion. It was an owner.
There was always a certain excitement about the Pound when a potential owner came in. Neopets of every kind would lean forward as the person went down the aisles of the dormitories, trying to look their best. They knew that these owners were their ticket into a home, and they weren't about to give up an opportunity to be adopted.
Rfawn and Mauro however, along with their fellow Pound veterans, had long ago given up serious speculations of being adopted. Accordingly, Rfawn continued with his search for chocolate. However, he failed to notice that Kayla had worked her way through the dormitory so that she was soon standing right next to him, amusedly watching as he remained oblivious to her presence.
"Hi there," she eventually said. Startled, the blue Eyrie looked up quickly at the stranger. He was unaccustomed to actually having to interact with these owners, and the boldness with which the girl confronted him was even more unsettling.
"Err, hello," he mumbled. He glanced quickly over the human's long, dark brown hair and her equally dark eyes. "You here to adopt?" he asked, though the answer was painfully obvious.
"Yeah. I'm Kayla by the way," the girl said, "What's your name?"
"Oh." Kayla tucked a stray wisp of hair behind her ear. "You've been here a while?"
"So what sort of things do you like to do?"
"Oh, I don't know." Rfawn shrugged. "I'm a sucker for puzzles."
Kayla smiled. "Really? I am too. I'll spend hours on a puzzle, though Robasia can never seem to get into them."
"My Lupe. She's really nice. She likes to read. Another favorite pastime of mine."
"Me too." The Eyrie smiled. "Have you ever read that one about Zombies? The one they gave out from the Advent Calendar?"
"Yeah. I thought it was sort of strange though," Kayla answered. As the sunlight shining through window dimmed with the sunset, many Neopets curiously watched the Eyrie and girl as they talked eagerly about many different things ranging from books to paintbrushes that would be amazing to have. Then, many ears perked up as the owner said something that held much power in the Pound.
"How would you like to be adopted?"
Rfawn stared at Kayla, this person that he had known only for about five minutes. And now she wanted to give him a home. He blinked. This was the sort of thing that happened to lucky Neopets in books, not in real life. And most certainly not to him. Rfawn couldn't even imagine life outside of the Pound. What was it like? Were the stories really true? How could he go through with this? And yet, somehow, he found words slipping out of his beak.
"That would be really amazing."
A few minutes later, Rfawn found himself packing his few meager possessions into a sack as Kayla went to the front desk to deal with the technicalities. Mauro arrived from his visit and stopped short, stunned, as Rfawn tied the bag up. Could Rfawn have...? No, it wasn't possible. Or was it? It was then that Rfawn saw his friend staring at him, several emotions flicking through the Grundo's large eyes.
"Hey," he said weakly, not sure as what else he could say.
"When are you leaving?" Mauro asked heavily, guessing what had happened in his absence.
"As soon as Kayla finishes filling out the adoption papers," Rfawn answered.
"Kayla," the Grundo said, trying the name out on his tongue. "She taking you home?"
There was silence, and then Rfawn sighed. "I'm sorry, Mauro. It's just that, well, how often do you get a chance to actually have a home?"
Mauro looked down a minute before looking up and giving a genuine smile. "You're right, Rfawn. What did I tell you this morning, huh? Anyway, be sure to write me. We ought to keep in touch."
The Eyrie laughed, glad that he and Mauro could part ways in good spirits.
Robasia awakened with a start. Blearily looking up, the Lupe heard Kayla's voice calling. "Robasia! We're back!" We. With her heart in her mouth, Robasia slowly got off of her bed to meet this new addition to the family.
When Robasia entered the room, the first thing she saw was a big blue mass of feathers and fur. Then she saw Kayla follow the blue thing into the house, closing the door behind her.
“Hey, Robasia!” she said cheerfully, “This is Rfawn.”
Robasia turned to inspect this Neopet named Rfawn. The blue mass she had seen before was actually a blue Eyrie, and a big one at that. The Eyrie was looking around the room, his eyes wide with curiosity. When he turned to look at Robasia, she saw something in his eyes, something like hope. Hope for a better future perhaps? The Lupe wasn’t sure.
“Hi,” Rfawn said softly with a slightly embarrassed tone in his voice.
Robasia didn't answer. The two Neopets looked at each other for an uncomfortable moment before Kayla tried to break the ice.
“So! I need to go and get dinner ready. Robasia, why don’t you show Rfawn around the house? I’ll call you when we’re ready to eat.” Kayla turned and made her way quickly towards the kitchen. Sighing, Kayla glanced through the doorway at the Eyrie and the Lupe that were still looking uneasily at anything but each other. They just need to be alone together for a little bit, she thought. They’ll warm up.
Meanwhile, Robasia was stealing glances at Rfawn, wondering why he was looking so interested at everything. Hadn't he ever seen a house before? The blue Eyrie cleared his throat.
"Err, I'm Rfawn." He tried to smile.
"I knew that," Robasia said coldly. "Kayla already introduced you."
"Oh." Rfawn looked down at his paws.
"So? Do you want to see the house or not?" Robasia asked impatiently. "You might as well know your way around here. You'll be living here now anyway." She hoped that the bitterness in her voice didn't show.
"Ok," Rfawn replied, wondering why the Lupe sounded so bitter. He hadn't done anything offensive yet, but she seemed to be determined to be nasty. Nevertheless, he listened to Robasia as she began talking.
"This is the living room, and there's the couch and Christmas tree, and-"
"Why do you have a Christmas tree at this time of year?" Rfawn interrupted.
"Kayla says that nothing cheers a room like a Christmas tree," the Red Lupe shrugged, "So we keep one up all year."
"This is my bedroom," Robasia said as she moved to the next room.
"Nice," Rfawn commented. He looked around the still sparsely furnished room. "Not much of a theme, huh?" he tried to joke. Completely to his surprise, the Lupe turned angrily on him.
"What did you want? A deluxe royal bedroom? If you've got a problem with it you can just move back to where you came from!"
Shocked and angry, Rfawn stared at Robasia. What was wrong with her? This wasn't at all the 'happy home' atmosphere that he had heard so much about.
"Well, I guess someone as ugly as a Slorg would want an ugly bedroom too." It wasn't a very good comeback, Rfawn knew, neither was it very nice. But anger was relentlessly coursing through the Eyrie's body, and he was having trouble keeping it in.
Now it was Robasia's turn to stare at Rfawn. That big ball of feathers had just called her ugly! It was bad enough that he had come and shoved himself into her life, but now he was insulting her too! Seething, Robasia tried to splutter out a reply. But nothing very good came out.
"You... you... brute! I wish you've never been born!" However, before Rfawn could answer, Kayla came storming into the room.
"What in Neopia is going on?!" she cried. Immediately she was bombarded with several shouts and accusations, all involving something like 'He called me ugly!' or 'She yelled at me for no reason!' Kayla held up her hands, and the shouting stopped. "I want you, Rfawn to go to your bedroom. Just go through this room to the right and then to the right again. Robasia, I want you to stay here. If we're going to live in this house together, we can't have this fighting going on. Got it?" Silence. "GOT IT?"
"Yes," Rfawn and Robasia mumbled. Slowly, the Eyrie left the room. He easily found his bedroom. Looking around, Rfawn could only feel contempt for the Lupe who seemed so determined to make him feel miserable. Spotting some stationary on his desk, Rfawn felt compelled to write his first neomail to Mauro. Picking up a sheet of paper and a pencil, Rfawn began to write.
I'm afraid having a home isn't all it's cracked up to be...
To be continued...