Life Isn't About Waiting for the Rain to Pass
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass...
Robin stared out at the pouring rain, the rain slopping onto the sidewalks, the road, drumming on the roof. She couldn’t remember the rest of the phrase, that her mother had told her always to remember. She sighed; weather was always like this in this season, just pouring rain, much more than a couple bucketfuls.
Oh Mother, if only you were here...
The Christmas Pteri sighed again. Her mother could brighten up anything, she knew. She and her mother had used to live together on Krawk Island, but since that day, since that typhoon, long ago...
She didn’t want to think about it.
She could barely remember her mother now, so distant in the mists of her memories, which were now crowded up with foreign people and lands.
The typhoon had blown her away from her mother’s hands, all the way to Mystery Island. She was only a hatchling, then. Unable to fend for herself, defenseless and useless.
Then one of the island natives had found her, sprawled out on the beach, unconscious. He was a well-built Neopet, although well into his old age. He was an Island Zafara, the only one who cared for the strangely-coloured babe.
His name was Afraza, chief of Mystery Island.
She had woken up in Afraza’s careful and steady paws, confused and wondering where her mother was. Her mother’s smiling face was nowhere to be seen. She was about to cry, when Afraza’s soothing words caressed her and laid her to sleep:
“Rest little one, be calm and quiet. Do not panic, we will not harm you. You can trust us...”
But now, Afraza was long dead. Robin was a hatchling no more; she could now fend for herself, take care of herself.
She had resolved to find a way back home, to find a way back to her mother. She knew that the captains of the canoes knew the ways to anywhere, even to Shenkuu and Altador and Lutari Island.
She knew they cost neopoints. A lot of neopoints.
Robin had worked in a ramshackle shack, that was in the worst of conditions apart from utterly destroyed. Her job had been to advertise ‘the Wonders of Mystery Island’, to hand out pamphlets and maps on which restaurant was of highest quality, which fruits were the best, and whatnot.
The only reason she had taken this job was because of the pay- 300 NP per pamphlet or map taken.
She could see why the spot was untaken.
Neopets and owners passed by her without noticing the papers waving in front of their faces. Sometimes the manager would come out and beg for them to take a map, at least a list of the best fruit.
Nobody would heed them. The sympathetic wind would sometimes come along and brush away a paper, but that was it.
Once Robin had asked the manager why he so desperately wanted to sell the papers. He had not replied to her question; instead, he simply yelled for her to get back to work- “There could be a person who’s waiting for a paper, right now or in two seconds!” Then he’d return to his work, whatever work he was doing.
Then a Neopet came ‘round, and saw the baking Pteri out on the sidewalk, away from the shade of the manager’s office.
Robin had waved frantically a pamphlet in front of the Island Flotsam approaching her.
The Flotsam had taken the pamphlet, read the lists of places to visit, and subsequently threw it in the nearest recycling bin.
“What was that for?!” Robin had shouted, hoping her manager hadn’t seen.
The Flotsam glanced at the manager’s office, lest he was eavesdropping, then leaned forward to whisper in the Pteri’s ear. “These s’pposed landmarks ain’t nobody’s but the man’ger’s. An’ they ain’t as good as they seem, liddle lassie.”
Then he had left.
Robin abruptly ran into the manager’s office, slammed the papers down on the shocked manager’s desk, and bolted out.
So here she was now, jobless, in Afraza’s old home, staring out at the downpour of rain.
She would never get back to her mother.
Robin thought about her mother’s smile, gathering whatever fragments of her face from her memories to put together into a puzzle. There were pieces missing, pieces she had long forgotten since that day of the typhoon.
She could remember Afraza’s words:
“Your mother’s smile is all that is left? Little Pteri, then, remember this: Think about your mother’s smile every day, and remember her words. If you do, you will always have her with you, in your heart.”
But what if she couldn’t remember her mother’s smile, her mother’s words?
She had an incomplete smile, and only part of her mother’s most important words.
Robin tried to remember them now-
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass...
And what was the rest?
The Pteri flung herself onto the bed, sobbing.
Mother, what if I can’t get back to Krawk Island, what if I can’t get back home?
After a few more minute of crying, Robin raised herself from the bed. Where her head had rested there was a damp spot from her tears. She wiped the remaining tears from her eyes.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass,” she said aloud, and frantically searched for the next part in her mind.
Tears came to her eyes again, but she blinked them back. No use crying. She had to get back to Krawk Island, or at least remember her mother. She had to at least remember her mother’s kind, loving face.
She had to.
Robin sat at the foot of the bed. She needed a job, or some way to get neopoints for the trip to Krawk Island.
Perhaps she could steal a boat and sail to Krawk Island, or maybe fly to Krawk Island... But she didn’t know the way there.
Suddenly, the door burst open.
There stood the manager, soaking from the torrential rain, and his face as red as a cornupepper.
“Are you saying that you quit?!” he yelled.
That took a while to get to you, she thought.
Which is exactly what she said.
The manager’s face became so red in frustration that even a Tomato Chia would’ve been put to shame. “But you can’t!”
“Why not?” she challenged. She knew that if she pushed a little more than the manager would go on a rampage, and then the Mystery Island chief would arrive..
Why was she being so bold, so brave? This wasn't herself; normally she would submit to the manager's anger and get back to the manager's shack, with the papers in her wings...
But not today.
The manager looked as if he wanted to take a good swing- no, a couple good swings at Robin’s face. But he seemed daunted by the Pteri’s courage and boldness. Then, there were shouts outside the door, none too happy-sounding.
Instead, he took a step back, towards the door. “You... you impudent little Neopet, I’ll get you...”
The manager flung open the door, to reveal many owners and Neopets. None seemed to be very content, set aside having a smile.
There was a moment of silence.
Then, “We want a refund!” one Neopet yelled.
“Yeah! And we want our Neopets back!” shouted an owner from a group of Neopet-less owners.
“Er, y-you don’t under-understand!” the manager stuttered.
The group advanced on the shaking figure. The leader held a stake. “Give us back everything,” he said in a threatening tone, “or you’ll pay dearly.”
“Er... hey, look, it’s Pango Pango!” the manager gasped out desperately, and while the crowd was temporarily distracted, he ran for his life towards the canoes.
“Hey, he’s getting away!” a Neopet yelled, and the crowd surged towards the canoes subsequently.
Only one Neopet stayed behind- an Island Flotsam.
“Hey, it’s you!” Robin exclaimed, rushing out from the shack to meet the Flotsam who had discarded the pamphlet she had given him before.
“’Ey, it’s the liddle lassie from b’fore!” he replied, but obviously knew that she was in the shack. He stuck out his fin, tattooed with intricate swirls and designs.
Robin simply gazed at the fin before realizing that he wanted to shake fins/wings with her. Embarrassed, she bashfully took his fin with her chocolate-coloured wing. “I’m Robin.”
The Flotsam seemed to ponder something for a moment, then rapidly said, “’Ey, I know yous! You’s the one who’s wantin’ a job, eh?” He grinned at his own cleverness. “Oh yeah, name’s Borealis. I’ve’s got a shacks somewheres else. Come visit by t’days or t’morrow, anytime the lassie likes. See yas!”
And he was off, bounding back towards the crowd, who had caught the manager now.
Robin smiled. She had gotten not only a job, but also a friend.
Mother, I’ve gotten so far, I won’t turn back now! I’m closer to seeing you and home again!
Then, her smile grew even wider.
The Pteri, although so small in the whole of Neopia, might’ve had one of the biggest heart, with the largest amount of determination, courage, happiness, and love. She started laughing with joy in the rain, prancing about in the muddy and not caring about how filthy she would get.
She remembered her mother’s smile, and her words, which she sang in her fit of gladness and joy:
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass..”
Robin fell back into the mud, exhausted with happiness.
“..it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
If you're reading this, that means my first story entered into the Neopian Times was a success! Hope to write more!