Ailemea Smiled: Part Two
There was wailing and then the large blue eyes opened. Sniffling, the tiny blue Xweetok stopped her crying and looked widely up at the teenage new-owner with brown hair. Brown eyes looked straight back with surprise. The remnants of a Xweetok egg were broken around the tiny Xweetok. She stared up at her new owner and slowly, ever so slowly, started to smile.
Someone was slapping me awake. I shook my head and sat straight up rather quickly. I was lying on my bed in darkness and my face was warm and I found it hard to breathe. Oh thank goodness. It was all just a horrible horrible nightmare. The movers, the Skunk Poogle, Jeanie saying that they were moving in...
“Aile?” a voice said. It was Isaerios. I tried to open my eyes, but found they were already open.
“Turn on the lights, Isaerios,” I said, my voice muffled.
“They are on – Haelee, get off.” To my surprise, at his words the thing covering my face peeled away and suddenly my lovely little Ditsy was sitting in my lap and staring worriedly at me. I looked at my brother. I looked at the Spyder Wardrobe and then the Peanut Bed in the corner.
“So it did happen,” I said quietly. He nodded solemnly.
“Jeanie was keeping the truth from us,” he said, sounding hurt. “She figured we’d freak out. But she didn’t want me to have a breakdown when some girls came to our house and I wasn’t looking my best, so she told me... the slightest truth of it. But not this.” He shook his head miserably. “Not this.”
“Where is she?” In reply to my question, something slammed against my door and I looked up to see all the wardrobes from our bathroom blocking both of the doors leaving my room.
“You barricaded us in?” I cried in surprise. Isaerios looked tearfully at me.
“You don’t understand, sis,” he said. “A Kougra is living in my room. He has an angelpuss. He is white. He doesn’t groom and he has no fashion sense and...”
“Easy, brother, calm down,” I said, patting him comfortingly on the shoulder with a paw. I suddenly noticed Teagy, his Snoogy, sitting quietly in Haelee’s petpet bed. “How’s Teagy taking it?”
“That Angelpuss is a DEVILpuss. She tried to take a bite out of him the second she stepped in the room. That’s when I came and... well, here we are.”
“How long have I been out?”
“Only a few hours. I dragged you in right after you fainted and then shoved Mhyme and Jeanie out. They were so shocked I was able to barricade the doors before they did anything.” At his words something else pounded into the door.
“Isaerios! Ailemea! Please open up – let’s talk!” Jeanie’s voice was muffled through a door and four wardrobes.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Ailemea yelled in reply. There was another pounding of the door. “Why do they keep doing that? They know they can’t get in!” Isaerios narrowed his eyes and looked around suspiciously.
“Maybe they’re trying to distract us. Maybe Oreh was zapped into a bird and is going to fly in through the window,” he said, strolling over to the window and looking out. I looked around at the doors and the cracks beneath them.
“Or maybe Oreh’s petpet is going to slide through under the doors and wardrobes and try and talk to us,” I said. Pants Mcgee slid out from the last wardrobe and looked up innocently at me. With a sigh, I rubbed the pile of soot around and it cooed pleasantly. When I finished, it gathered itself back together and its eyes looked sternly at me.
“Get out!” Isaerios hissed at it. I shook my head.
“No, Isaerios, he’s right. There are other ways to solve this.” I had made a decision. I looked seriously at my brother and he looked back at me in surprise. Slowly, the look turned into an evil smile that we siblings shared.
“Oh. I see,” he said. I returned the smile. I stood up and began to silently move the wardrobes away from the door. Haelee frowned her little Ditsy frown and was shaking her head.
“I’m going to start trying to get along with Mhyme,” I said, still smiling. I held the last wardrobe to the door as it was pounded once more. Then as I heard the figure back up in the room once more I slid it out of the way and grasped the doorknob. “Right...” I continued. I heard the running coming at the door. 3... 2... 1... “Now,” I said, and pulled the door open wide.
Mhyme flew in and did a few somersaults. She lay in a heap for a moment as Jeanie rushed into the room.
“Mimi!” she cried and helped the Skunk Poogle to her feet.
“Oh my, I’m so sorry,” I said dryly. Isaerios stifled a laugh and hurried from the room, Teagy close behind. Mhyme turned to me, flames in her eyes.
“What’s your problem?” she demanded.
“Nothing, dear sister!” I said with mock surprise. “I just wanted to meet you so I opened the door and in you flew!” She glowered at me and shoved her way out of the room. I smiled as she passed. So far so good. Jeanie was frowning at me and approached very slowly.
“Aile, please,” she said tiredly, kneeling in front of me. “Don’t do this again.”
“Again?” I was clueless.
“First Trohanex, then Isaerios, then Jenna – don’t make Mimi your fourth arch enemy,” she said.
“Nexy, Isaerios, and Jenna are hardly my arch enemies, Jeanie,” I said, pulling away and starting to push the wardrobes back into the bathroom.
“But they were. And during that time it was trying on all of us.” She stopped me again, still on her knees.
“You should have thought of that before you moved her into my room,” I said simply, standing to go. She stood also, her face turning cold with anger.
“There are other people and things in this world than you, Ailemea. It’s about time you grew up and learned that,” she said and left the room. I blinked after her then grimaced. Stupid Poogle. It was all her fault.
“Very well, Jeanie. I’ll try your little ‘happy family’.” Bitterly, I began to work the wardrobes back into the bathroom.
The dinner table was silent. Jeanie was eating her roasted Juppie fruit in cold silence while the rest of us ate ours raw. Even Nexy had ceased his meaningless jabber that only I, and I realized Kasinnia a little, could understand. I looked up and down the table at my new family.
Jeanie at the head of the table. Beside her, directly across from me, sat the Skunk Poogle that was now my roommate and sister. Shuibee the White Kougra sat next to her, just as Isaerios was sitting beside me. Kelesari the Green Flotsam was just across from Oreh – they looked as if they would have liked to be chatting pleasantly – I know Oreh has a lot of Flotsam tales from when he was a cute little blue Flotsam – but they felt the tension as well.
Nexy sat in his high chair at the end of the table, beside Kasinnia. The blue Chomby was the only adopted pet in the entire family, and she was staring sadly at all of us. I had met her earlier – she was very sweet. Apparently, Jeanie was going to paint her Baby as well sooner or later. Until then, however, she was going to be Nexy’s nanny. Trohanex seemed to like her. He kept reaching out and touching her tough Tyrannian skin with a little gasp of awe. She would smile and gently pushed his little paw back. This dinner reminded me distinctly of a little dinner party with Jenna_Leanna and her family.
Our petpets all stood in the doorway directly outside of the dining room. One of the rules of the house – no petpets in the dining room while we were eating. Haelee looked rather bored; she had told me that it was a rule with the petpets to all be outside the dining room at dinnertime, watching the family with piercing looks. Teagy was sitting beside her, looking bleary as usual. The two had become close friends since Isaerios had moved in, months and months ago. Aros – Nexy’s Blue Drackonack, surprisingly, wasn’t bullying anyone. He was curled up and sleeping soundly. Pants Mcgee was missing, as were Mhyme’s and Shuibee’s petpets. I hadn’t met either, but I had been told Kelesari didn’t have a petpet. Only Elaine – Kasinnia’s Wadjet – was there, wrapped snugly around Aros in sleep.
Awkwardly, I took a sip of water and then glanced between Jeanie and Mhyme. I pushed my plate away and stood up.
“Well, I think I’m ready to go up to bed,” I said quietly. Jeanie snapped out of her brooding silence and turned to me. I frowned. “Er... Mhyme, you want me to show you around?” Everyone around the table blinked. The Poogle looked at me suspiciously but nodded.
To be continued...