To a New Life
A hand launched forward and grabbed Mel’s. It pulled her forward and a voice said, “Onward! To a new life!”
There was a scream. Mel moved a finger and her whole body seemed to come back to her bed in a room in the adoption agency, back to reality. She slowly closed her fist, hoping to still be holding that warm, loving hand but grabbed thin air. The blue Cybunny sighed. The same dream, as always. But only a dream, never destined to become reality.
Sure, the first time Mel had dreamt this, she was sure a human would come take her away. But that was a month ago, and she had long since lost hope.
In the adoption agency, Mel was one of the oldest pets and her job was to help the little ones. Mel liked helping the younger ones with their troubles and worries, because it gave her hope too, she almost believed the “Don’t worry, someone will adopt you before you know it” that she always told them.
But there were certain young pets, like Jade, the Christmas Zafara, that thought Mel was a funny case, and not at all helpful. She walked about making fun of the ownerless pets and of the blue Cybunny, more confident and insulting ever since she found out that she was getting adopted.
“Isn’t that so funny?” laughed Jade. “Mel’s a Cybunny and I believe she’s the one who’s been here the longest? I think everyone wants a Cybunny... unless it’s her!”
Mel ignored the Zafara’s evil cackling. She knew that she could have been out of the adoption agency months ago. After all, who wouldn’t want a Cybunny? But unfortunately, that was the main reason the agency couldn’t find Mel a home.
Who wouldn’t want a Cybunny? Everyone wants you, Mel had been told. Everyone wants you, the blue Cybunny. We’re waiting for someone who will want you, Meleudorm. Days passed, weeks passed, and then even months passed. No one came and Mel desperately thought, I don’t want to be here forever. I don’t want everyone or someone. I want anyone to take me away.
“Mommy!” A scream broke through Mel’s thoughts and yearnings. “MOMMY!”
The blue Cybunny got out of her bed and ran down the stairs, across the corridor to the bright pink door labeled “Jenny”. She quickly opened the door and stepped into the pink room.
Mel tried to shield her eyes from all the pink: pink table, pink toys, pink rug, pink curtains and so on, as she hurried towards the pink bed. On it, curled inside the blankets was a baby Xweetok.
“Morning, Jenny,” Mel said softly. “Did you have another nightmare?”
Two terrified purple beads focused on the blue Cybunny. “Are you my mommy?”
Mel laughed. “No, Jenny, it’s me, Mel! But don’t worry, your mommy will be here soon.” And it was true. Jenny was going to be adopted, and her new mommy would come to take her away in three days.
“Oh!” The cute face brightened up at once. “When are you leaving, Mel?” she asked happily, unaware of the sadness she had just created.
“Soon,” Mel lied.
“Really? Then will you visit me in Faerieland? We could go on the Faerie Castle tour together!” Jenny squealed.
I wish I could, Jenny... I wish I could.
- - -
It was 2 o'clock. Time for all the humans to go eat lunch. Time for Mel to sneak into the office. She had to see for herself if all those neomails the agents talked about only cared about the limited pet, or if the agency only wanted to keep Mel as a decoration, ignoring those sincere neomails from loving owners.
Every week, as Mel slipped into the office, she feared that there would be no neomails for her, and she was always surprised to see a handful of neomails titled “Meleudorm”. All the neomails were open and every single one of them lay on the ‘Rejected’ pile. Mel grabbed one and reopened it.
Oh please! I’ve always wanted a Cybunny! They’re so cute! I promise I’ll take good care of it, I promise! Please, please, please give it to me!
Mel sighed. All of the neomails were written along the same lines. Some of them even tried to blackmail the agency. She was about to leave when she noticed a single neomails in the ‘Accepted’ pile. Her spirit soared. How could she have missed that? Why hadn’t anyone told her about that neomail?
When Mel turned the neomail round to see who it was addressed from, she understood why no one had ever told her: to spare her the sadness and disappointment. Across the front of the neomail were two words, written in red capital letters that were too painfully clear to Mel: DISABLED ACCOUNT.
Just then one of the agents came in. The girl named Neona took one look at the pile of neomails, at Mel, and the neomail in her hand and understood what was going on. She walked towards the blue Cybunny and hugged her.
“Sweetie, we’ll find you an owner,” she said softly. “An owner who’ll care about you and won’t even think of addressing you as an ‘it’. A person who will give you a real home and the true happiness you seek. It’s only a matter of time.”
Mel nodded into her shoulder, a single tear sliding down her white cheek. Of course it was: a matter of time. Good thing that that was what she had most. Time. Lots and lots of time.
- - -
It was raining. The wind was blowing against the tress and the leaves rustled involuntarily, weak and wet. Mel watched a single leaf being blown away from its branch, from the tree and into the darkness. Even though the weather was gloomy and the room noisy, since all the pets had to play inside, Mel found a kind of serenity in watching the raindrops fall on the street.
All the raindrops fell on different spots and consecutively, never at the same time. Yet they all seemed to become white dancing figures once touching the ground, and there were thousands of them. They all danced to the same music, drip drop drip drop. For a few moments, Mel spaced out; her mind and thoughts were completely focused on the dance. Her loneliness disappeared. She felt neither sadness nor happiness, only tranquility.
But the sound of heavy footsteps, as if someone were running for his life, brought her out of her daze, out of her quiet world. She shut her eyes and sighed deeply before facing reality once more.
The door of the room swung open and Neona ran in, a neomail clutched in her hand. Two other agents followed, both shaking their heads and watching the neomail disapprovingly. But Neona was smiling excitedly as she put the neomail in Mel’s paw.
“Read this, Mel, I think this is the person. The one we’ve been looking for. But you have to decide whether you want to spend the rest of your life with them or not.”
Mel, her paws trembling, read the neomail slowly. It sounded like it was written by a wannabe psychopath; no, maybe that was too extreme a word to describe the letter. But then again, so was the neomail. Psychopathic. The girl had gone on from introduction to the description of her whole family, which consisted of only one more member, a cake-loving baby Kougra who had been zapped against his will by non other than Boochi. She described their hopes and dreams (conquering Neopia? Get real.). Their home and habits, and her honest desire to have Mel (Mel, not ‘it’).
The blue Cybunny noticed that this person hadn’t once mentioned the words ‘Cybunny’ or ‘limited edition pet’. But still, it was crazy. She raised her eyebrows and Neona smiled. “Yes, Mel?”
All three agents stared at her. She turned her eyes back to the neomail, back to the crazy, yet somehow loving words and made up her mind. She raised her head and smiled. “Yes. I want to go with them.”
- - -
Neona smiled. “So much waiting and it was worthwhile, right?”
Mel smiled too but she didn’t answer. She had no idea what she was feeling. Was she happy or nervous? Or was she happy and nervous? But there was no time to wonder. The bell rang and Neona went to open the door. Then, before Mel could start wondering what her owner would look like, a human girl stepped in. She had long black hair, which had long strands of red and orange in it. She wore a happy face and her brown eyes glowed.
Neona introduced them and all the while, the girl smiled that unusual smile of hers. Mel smiled too, a weak smile that she hoped showed her gratitude towards the eccentric Zani D All-Blue for having adopted her. Finally, it was time to leave. Neona hugged Mel good bye and let go of her.
Suddenly, Zani threw her hand towards Mel’s paw and grabbed it. She turned forward, and gazed at the view before her. Then she raised her free hand and pointed forward.
“Onwards!” The dream, Mel thought. No... not a dream. This is real, this is really happening!
Her new owner swung round, her hair following the sudden movement of her head and falling down like a wave of curtain. She had a mischievous look on her face as she said, pulling Mel... “To a new life!”
Author's Note: Thanks again, Fyona, for letting Mel be part of my family~