One Big Happy Family: Part Three
"That's my toothbrush!"
"No, your toothbrush is the one with the little smudge on the handle!"
"What?! You can't be serious! You have the smudgy toothbrush!"
Sighing, Kayla folded up her issue of the Neopian Times and dropped it onto the floor beside her. There was no use in trying to read it with all that ruckus going on. It had been a week since Rfawn had arrived, and the two still could not get by for even an hour without having an argument. Despite all of Kayla's efforts, the Lupe and Eyrie continued to swipe at each other whenever they could. It was getting to be extremely tedious, and Kayla was seriously doubting the wisdom of bringing Rfawn home. Suddenly, Robasia burst into the living room while almost knocking down the Christmas tree in her hurry.
"Kayla-" she began, but Kayla cut her off.
"I really don't want to hear it, Robasia," she said wearily.
"Hmph," Robasia muttered. Stalking past her owner, the red Lupe opened the door and stepped outside into the garden. The seaweed waved in the wind, as if happy to see her there.
"You're the only ones who are," Robasia mumbled. Sitting on the ground, she wrapped her tail around her body and began rocking back and forth. And as she rocked, she began to cry softly.
She just wanted things to back to the way they were. Before all the fights. Before all the hurt feelings. Before all the nasty comebacks and Kayla's tired look. She just wanted that dumb Eyrie to leave. They were always fighting. Why couldn't they just stop it? But Robasia immediately knew why peace would not stay. Because she herself wouldn't let the fighting stop. She was usually the one to start the argument, and the last one to grudgingly apologize. She was the one that had been so nasty to Rfawn on his first night. She was the one who tried denying that her toothbrush was the one with the smudge, even though it really was.
I'm such a terrible Neopet. I don't deserve to have an owner or a home, Robasia miserably thought. I should just apologize to Rfawn for all my mean comments. Then we can all be happier. But the Lupe knew that would never happen. She knew herself much too well. A Lupe's pride was extremely hard to overcome, even by the Lupe herself. She would never be able to admit to Kayla and Rfawn that she was wrong.
Robasia sighed. As she was sitting there, she caught sight of a small Spyder crawling its way across the garden. As she watched, it suddenly came upon a stick on the ground and stopped abruptly. It peered at the obstacle in front of it, probing it with its small legs. And then with a heave it pulled itself over the stick. As Robasia watched the Spyder scuttle into the grass, a new resolve grew inside of her.
That Spyder overcame his obstacle. I will too. No matter what. I'll go to Rfawn and start out fresh with him. Robasia stood up. And on her face was the first smile in a long time.
Unaware of Robasia's new resolve, Rfawn stared intently at the puzzle he had found in Robasia's room. He stared at the piece in his paw, and then at the unfinished image of the Negg Faerie. With a sudden smile, he placed the piece neatly in its place. From there, it was a cinch to place the other pieces in their correct spots. Working quickly and quietly, Rfawn was soon looking proudly at the completed 500-piece puzzle.
Suddenly, he heard a knock on the door. He walked over to it, cocked his head and called, "Who is it?"
"Oh, come on in." As Kayla entered, she cast an eye over the completed puzzle.
"Nice," she commented, gesturing towards the puzzle. Rfawn ruffled his feathers proudly.
"So, Rfawn, I was thinking-"
"I know what you're going to say," he interrupted. "You're really sorry for how Robasia behaved, and you just want me to feel comfortable, and all that stuff." Kayla opened her mouth to say something but Rfawn interrupted again. "Well, I just want to say that it was kind of my fault too. The toothbrush incident, I mean. I didn't mean to lose my temper but it just kind of, you know, came out."
Kayla nodded. "I know what you mean. I can have the same issue sometimes." There was a moment of silence before Kayla said, "What do you suggest?"
"What do you think we can do to solve this problem?"
Rfawn shrugged. "I don't know," he mumbled, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. Usually he felt he could be himself around Kayla, but now he was feeling terribly warm under his feathers.
Kayla appeared to have sensed his awkwardness. "Well, I'll be in the kitchen if you need me, " she said softly.
After Kayla had left, Rfawn stood up and looked around the room. Out of boredom he walked over to the closet that he had never bothered to look into. Upon opening it, he found it empty and was just about to close it when something caught his eye. The closet wasn't empty after all. There was a small box sitting in the corner, just waiting to be opened. Rfawn reached in and grabbed it, disturbing a horde of dust that made him sneeze several times.
"Achoo! Achoo! Achoo!" he sneezed. After the dust had cleared some, Rfawn peered at the box in his paws.
It didn't seem too remarkable. But then again, unremarkable boxes often held remarkable objects in stories. So, the Eyrie opened it and to his surprise found several photos. And in the photos were faces he recognized. There was Kayla and Robasia, standing on a sandy and warm-looking beach. The next photo was of Robasia opening a gift, and the next of Kayla showing off a cake she looked very proud of. Kayla must have forgotten these were here, Rfawn mused.
As Rfawn looked through the memories, he noticed something. It was Robasia. The Lupe didn't have the mean little glint in her eyes that Rfawn had seen so many times. No, Robasia looked genuinely happy. Rfawn didn't realize Robasia could look happy. She always was so grumpy and mean towards him.
And then Rfawn realized that Kayla looked different too. She wasn't as tired looking, nor did she have the sadness in her eyes that Rfawn saw when he and Robasia fought. Both of them were so different before I came. They looked... happier. Rfawn put the photos back in the box and stared at the wall. He had ruined this family by coming here, he realized. Why else would the happy faces in the photos so sharply contrast the faces he saw today?
"Robasia was right," he moaned aloud, "I should just leave." He would have to live on the streets, or maybe even go back to the Pound. At least there he fit in and didn't make anyone miserable. With his heart heavy, Rfawn began to gather up what little he could call his own.
"Rfawn!" Robasia called as she walked through the living room, "Rfaaaaaawn!" Yet, no mass of blue appeared to Robasia. But she wasn't surprised. After all, the two were still not on good terms with each other.
"Kayla?" the Lupe asked as she entered the kitchen. "Do you know where Rfawn is?"
Looking up from the crossword she was trying to solve, Kayla raised an eyebrow. "Why do you want to know that?" she asked suspiciously.
Robasia looked at the floor in embarrassment. "Well... ummmmm. I guess... I just wanna... err... say sorry."
Kayla looked even more surprised, but this time in a happy way. "Really?"
"Uh-huh. Now do you know where Rfawn is?"
"Oh. I saw him last in his bedroom."
As Robasia disappeared through the doorway, Kayla gave a joyful smile. Things might just work out after all.
Meanwhile, Robasia entered the room and with dismay saw that it was void of any Eyries. She was about to turn around and go look somewhere else when something on the floor caught her eye.
It was a puzzle. A 500-piece puzzle of the Negg Faerie to be exact. And it was completely done. The Lupe allowed herself a long minute at amazement that Rfawn could so easily do what she herself had such trouble even starting. And then she saw the letter. Written in neat, small handwriting, it lay on the floor next to the puzzle. Puzzled herself, the Lupe picked up the letter and began to read it. And as her eyes went over the lines of writing, her heart sank lower and lower.
Dear Robasia and Kayla,
I've realized that I just don't fit into this family. Whether it's because of you or me it doesn't matter. All I know is that you are better off without me there to make life miserable. I've left the house. I'm not going to tell you where I've gone, because I don't want you following me. Please just try and be happy again. I'll be fine.
To be continued...