Abandoned But Not Forgotten
The cold rainwater was dropping lightly from the sky as I watched from the pound windows. Even though our rooms were indoors, I could still feel the chill wind through a few cracks in the plaster. “Alayna, what are you doing?” a voice behind me asked. I turned to face her, a pale blue Blumaroo in a sweatshirt and a denim skirt, her brown hair in waves down her back. That was Katt, my best friend. We had known each other for maybe 5 months, the amount of time we had spent here in the pound.
“Nothing,” I murmured, and then walked over to the back of the room, where Katt waited.
I’m Alayna. I’m an Aisha, painted red, nothing special. I have brown, wavy hair that goes to the middle of my back. My second pair of ears curve down, so they hang to about my forehead, which, quite frankly, knows how to get on my nerves.
I have one simple outfit, the one I’ve had since I entered the pound, in the middle of June, 5 months ago; a pair of comfy jeans and a T-shirt, with small tennis shoes. The pound lady, a kind Elephante named Nora, offered to get me more clothes, but she had so much to do, so she never got the chance. Which meant borrowing necessary clothes (used boots, sandals, a coat, etc.) from the back room.
I leaped onto my bed, hoping that it wouldn’t collapse. The room was made of one large, solid wall in back, and from the sides, mesh-like walls with curtains to block out anything, anywhere. It was pretty simple, and uneasy, but hey, somebody’s gotta live this life. And apparently I fit the bill.
Katt grinned, and flopped onto the bed right beside me. To our left of the wall, a small, pitiful Acara, named Lami, frowned as yet another Neopian passed by her, pointing to a green Lupe and smiling excitedly. The Elephante caretaker came over and opened the door to the pet’s mini-room.
“Look,” I pointed out to Katt. “Mikkey is getting adopted!” Katt immediately ran to the wall from which she could view the Lupe clearly.
“Oh, my gosh. It’s been what... 4 months, am I right? Four months since he was left here, in the pound?” the Blumaroo asked.
I nodded. “Yeah, I think so.”
“Good luck, Mikkey!” I heard Katt call, and I added, “Good luck!” The lucky pet turned towards us, waved a paw, and said, “Thanks, guys.” While his owner paid the required neopoint amount, he went around saying goodbye to all his friends.
Soon, his owner was calling to Mikkey, motioning him to follow her. He trotted out, shouting a few last goodbyes. As he left, I saw his new owner stop walking to give him a large, loving hug.
I wished I could be that lucky.
A while later, quite a few other pets were gone from their cages, with huge smiles cast upon their faces as they walked out the door. The small red Acara in the room next to us was sitting on her bed, swinging her short legs back and forth.
The Acara leaped up from where she was sitting and noticed I was talking to her. “Oh, uh, hi Alayna.”
“Yeah. How’s it going? Are you still holding up?” I asked her.
“I guess so.”
“Listen, Lami, you really shouldn’t worry about being adopted and stuff. You’ve got friends here. You’ve got Katt and me. You’ve got me.”
“Thanks,” she said, smiling slightly. A few wet drops trickled from her eyes, down her face. I stuck my paw through the wire to hers, and we shook.
I noticed that Lami looked a lot happier after that.
Maybe a day passed after that. I don’t know; I lost track. But it must have been morning (or maybe afternoon...?) when I woke up, because the rays from the sun were beaming down through our window.
“Everyone, may I have your attention please!” the Elephante in charge called, raising her voice to fit over the noises of the awakening pets. I shook Katt’s shoulder, trying to wake her up. She popped up, and then noticed that there was a large commotion.
“Huh? Oh... uh, okay, okay. I’m up,” Katt blurted, sounding dazed.
“EVERYBODY QUIET!” boomed the Elephante, and within seconds every pet went silent, turning to face the shouting yellow giant. “We have a new pet coming into our wonderful pound.” (I mentally shook my head in disagreement.) Her name is Zielle, and she’s a Zafara, painted blue. Please treat her with respect. She will be staying in room... ” she referred to her notes. “... Room 312.”
I looked around the pound, trying to find room 312. For some really weird reason, everybody was staring in my direction. Oh wait. I’m IN room 312. Somebody called out, “Hey look, it’s the new girl!” We all turned to see.
Entering the pound was a blue-painted Zafara, dressed in one of the strangest outfits I had ever seen: a red colored tank top with a silver star on it, a bright purple belt, and sort of tan-colored shorts. Her hair was dark red, with the slightest streaks of silver, like little stars in her hair. Slung on her shoulder was a dark gray bag, decorated crazily with glitter.
She walked in, looked up from a card, and saw room 312. And soon enough, she was standing outside of our room, all smiles.
“Hi! I’m Zielle!” she said excitedly, and unlocked the latch outside of our cage. The Zafara walked it, peering around our room with interest. “Wow, this looks nothing like I thought it would look like.”
“Hi, I guess. I’m Alayna,” I said.
She grinned. “I like your name. It has a nice ring to it. Uh-layy-na.”
“Um, thanks...?” I answered, sounding slightly confused. Then, within a few seconds, Zielle noticed my friend, sitting on her bed.
“I’m Katt, plain and simple. Nothing fancy to my name,” said Katt. Zielle sat on the bed, right next to the Blumaroo, and bounced slightly. Katt nudged the Zafara with her shoulder playfully, and then bounced slightly higher. It was hilarious. The two kept at it for three minutes straight.
“So, this is my room, huh? It’s a little bit drab, but oh well.” Zielle leaped off the bed, and pulled open her satchel, which was filled full of stuff. Within a few seconds she had out a small pillow with pink and purple hearts.
I realized that it was already evening. Already. I peered at my watch, seeing that the time blared 7:23 p.m. I took my plain pillow out from under my bed, a small white pillow and a sheet.
Katt and Zielle immediately settled in for bed. The pound had no exact closing time, but there was still an agreed bedtime. And since some of us had lived in the streets before coming here, we were light sleepers. So, if say a Neopian decided to come adopt one of us in the middle of the night, we would be awake to see if we were chosen or not.
I could already hear Neopians crowding into the pound, dropping off a frightened or sobbing pet, or rushing through the door to adopt one of us. The noise and clatter was endless.
Of course, I got hardly any sleep. Again.
The night seemed utterly endless, with Neopians coming in and out of our pound. Creaky gates opening, leading happy pets to new homes.
All except for me. What a surprise.
I saw Lami, sitting on her bed and waving to the passing Neopians. A large smile was across her face. And one Neopian stopped right by her room, peered in, and saw the cheerful red Acara.
“I’ll have this one,” the girl said, pointing to Lami. Surprised, the Elephante in charge hurried towards the Neopian and asked her to pay a small fine of 73 neopoints. Once finished, the girl unlocked Lami’s cage door. Lami looked towards me, and squealed.
“I’m being adopted!!”
I grinned, feeling kind of jealous inside. “Good luck. Keep in touch! And good luck!” I called out.
Zielle and Katt awoke in time to shout, “Have fun, Lami!” And then, after waving her goodbyes, Lami left the pound... permanently.
I sighed, then went back to sleep.
Morning. It came fast, and when I woke up, I looked around for Lami, thinking that what had happened last night had all been some crazy dream. But next to me, there was no red Acara, but a new yellow JubJub, still sleeping.
“L-lami?” I squeaked. No answer whatsoever.
“Alayna, room 312? You have a few neomails,” the Elephante lady, Nora, said as she approached. “Here you go.” She handed them to me, smiling.
I pulled one open, and it read:
Thanks for helping me out and being my friend back in the pound. You were amazing. My new owner loves me a lot, and she got me a ton of new stuff and delicious foods. Still, I miss you. Respond soon.
The next one was a bit shorter than the first.
How are Zielle and Katt? I miss all three of you so much. Hope to talk to you soon.
Picking up the letters, I woke up Katt, shaking her shoulder and hissing, “Katt, wake up, dang it. I want to show you something.”
Eventually, Kat got up, and I showed her the neomails. She nodded. “I miss her too. Hey, let’s show Zielle.”
Zielle was already awake, waiting for her breakfast. “Zielle, look at this,” I said, holding out the two letters for her to read. She scanned over them, doing what looked like a combination between crying and laughing.
I had noticed something about Zielle during the past two days: she made the pound exciting and fresh. She had a totally different style, and was always really kooky. I know it sounded sappy, but it was true.
From under my bed I found a pencil, and I began writing.
It sounds fun to have a wonderful owner who loves you so much. You are so lucky. Zielle, Katt, and I haven’t been adopted yet, but we are fine all the same. I miss you. Talk to you soon.
“Uhm, Miss Nora? I have a message that I want to send,” I called to the Elephante caretaker. She walked over, and asked, “To whom?” I was about to tell her that it was none of her business, but Zielle cut in.
“It’s to Lami, of course. Whom else could it be for?”
After Nora walked off with my neomail, I smirked. Zielle said to me, “Oops. Was I supposed to tell her that?”
“Uh, no, I was. But it’s okay.” I shook my head with a smile, and waited by the door with Zielle and Katt for breakfast.
After our meal, we sat on our beds, smiling to the Neopians that passed us by. Occasionally, some of them would pass us little treats, like candy or a bit of a cookie, which I accepted gratefully, gobbling it up with gusto.
There were a few Neopians that Zielle, Katt and I thought would be nice owners, There was a guy who would pass all the cages and give each of us a small treat, smiling kindly. Then there was a girl. She looked about twelve or thirteen years old, walking by the cages and waving to everyone, and when she came to our room, she stopped.
“Excuse me! Miss, uh, Nora, is it? How much for these three?” the girl shouted, trying to be heard over the noise of other adopters. My eyes widened, and I looked at Zielle and Katt excitedly.
The Elephante, who was in the middle of a mob of loud people, pushed her way over to the girl, and asked, “Which room?”
“Room...” she checked the tag on our cage. “312.” Miss Nora pulled out her clipboard and located 312 on her list.
“For all three, it would be 341 neopoints. Are you sure you don’t just want the Zafara, or the Blumaroo or the Aisha? Three can be quite a handful.”
“Well, I don’t want to split them up, since they all look like very good friends with each other. Here, I have enough to pay for them.” The girl dug around in her pockets, found three hundred and fifty neopoints, and placed them on the counter.
“Okay. Here’s the key to room 312. Have fun with your new pets. Return the key once you are done with it.” Miss Nora passed over a gold key to the girl, and then returned to helping other customers.
The girl walked over to our room, unlocked it, and smiled, giving us a huge hug. “Hey, you three. I’m Pins. Gather up your stuff, 'cause you’ll never see the inside of this place ever again.”
If anybody is reading this, then it's my first time in the NT, and expect more to come from me! Any mail is accepted. :)