The Ties That Bind: Part Three
"So you're just not going to talk to her or anything?"
"Eh... I don't know. It's just weird, you know?"
"Yeah, I understand," said the Island Zafara to Mel. The two were on their way to school, and they could see the large building in the distance as they walked down the snowy road. Their boots crunched against the snow, and their teeth chattered as they tightened their scarves and pulled their jackets closer to keep warm.
Mel had been debating what to do about Sam. Should she go back to hanging out with Sam and pretend that they were still good friends, or should she ignore her and give her some of her own medicine? Mel had been hurt when Sam stopped replying to her neomails, but she still felt guilty for getting angry with Sam and basically saying to her face that they weren't friends anymore and that Kelsie, the Island Zafara, had replaced her. The Usul sighed, deciding it was best to just ignore Sam for the time being. Maybe Sam would get tired of not being in the spotlight and say she was sorry.
Mel grinned. She knew that eventually Sam would give in and come crawling back to her, apologizing and begging her to be her friend again.
Little did she know, however, Sam was brewing a similar plan.
"What's going on up there?" Kelsie pointed a finger toward the school. She squinted her eyes to try and get a better look. Mel looked up from the ground, where she usually looked when she walked, and her eyes widened when she saw a giant mob of pets crowding around the front of the school.
Mel shrugged, quickening her pace a bit. "I don't know, but come on. I want to see what this is all about."
The two friends jogged toward the school and slowed down to a walk when they got closer. There were other pets walking around, whispering to each other and looking like they had just seen a celebrity.
"What's going on?" Mel asked a Kacheek who was walking by with a friend.
The Kacheek grinned, looking back over at the mob of pets. "Haven't you heard?" she said excitedly. "Sam's here! You know, that one faerie Uni girl!"
Mel's eyes widened. Her jaw dropped. She stood there, frozen; the Kacheek walked away, exchanging weird looks with her friend. The Usul's body started to shake.
"Mel, Mel, calm down!" Kelsie said, patting the Usul on the back. "It's okay. Why are you getting so mad, anyway?" The Zafara frowned, looking over at the mob of pets. Some were pushing each other around just so they could get a look at Sam, who wasn't visible from where Mel and Kelsie were standing.
Mel took a deep breath, fanning her face with her paw. "Oh, you don't know Sam. You haven't met her yet. So you don't know, do you?" She grinned maniacally, steering Kelsie toward the crowd. "I'll show you."
"Hey, what are you doing?" Kelsie demanded as Mel pushed her into the pack of pets. "She can't be that bad!"
Mel shoved Kelsie into the middle of the swarm, squeezing her past numerous pets that sneered at them for so rudely pushing their way in.
Mel and Kelsie reached the core of the crowd, and they were now only a few feet from Sam. Since it was the first time she had ever seen Sam, Kelsie was automatically stunned by her overwhelming beauty.
Sam was the prettiest, coolest-looking pet around, and now it was obvious why everyone was making such a big deal about her return. The faerie Uni's mane was the silkiest and shiniest Kelsie had ever seen. Her hooves were newly polished, and her emerald green eyes were mesmerizing.
Mel noticed that standing next to Sam was none other than Garret. The two were chatting casually and every once in a while they'd start to laugh loudly and obnoxiously. Sam didn't even notice that Mel was two feet away from her until a random pet in the crowd poked Sam on the shoulder pointed it out.
The Uni looked over at Mel, raising an eyebrow. She then pointed her nose up in the air, smiling to herself, like she was the Queen of Terror Mountain.
"Oh," she sneered. "It's you." Sam folded her arms across her chest and narrowed her eyes at Mel, who did the same. The pets around them all became quiet, watching the scene intensely.
Mel was quite puzzled as to why Garret, one of her best friends, was standing beside Sam, laughing and talking to her like they were great buddies. She flashed a nasty look at the yellow Eyrie, who just gave her a guilty frown in return.
"Say, Mel," Sam began, smirking mischievously. She put her arm around Garret's shoulder and hugged him close to her. "Garret and I have been hanging out lately. We've gotten really close. Jealous?"
The Usul shook her head, gritting her teeth angrily. "What are you doing here, Sam?" she asked, her voice shaking. "Why don't you just go back home to your island where you belong?"
Sam glared, stomping her hoof on the ground. "I would, but my best friend Garret wants me to stay here! Imagine that!"
Garret slowly inched back into the crowd, trying to escape before he had to succumb to the wrath of Mel. But Chad and Mikey, who were standing right behind him, pushed him back into the center, laughing at him.
"Garret, stay here with your best friend Sam, you idiot," Mikey told him, wondering why he wasn't getting attention from Sam, who had once been a great friend of his. Why was she all of a sudden so obsessed with Garret, the dim-witted birdbrain?
Mel grunted angrily, giving Garret another cold look before pushing her way back out of the crowd. Kelsie followed closely behind, worried about her.
"Mel...?" Kelsie murmured as the yellow Usul stood with her arms crossed and her back turned to the Island Zafara. "Are you okay? Listen, you shouldn't be so upset over all of this. I mean, it's a free... uh, world; she can come here if she wants--"
"I KNOW!" Mel shouted, spinning around hastily. "It just bothers me that she's stealing Garret away from me! He's my friend! He never liked her! He never has, and he never will! So why is he acting like her friend?!"
Kelsie shrugged, patting Mel on the shoulder. "I don't know. But come on; let's get to class. The bell's going to ring any second now."
They both walked past the crowd of pets still marveling at Sam. Mel, though it was difficult, managed to fight back the urge to run right in the middle of it, tackle Sam to the ground, and punch her in the face.
"Dude, you're so lucky. I can't believe it. This is like, a revolution. Since when are you and Sam friends?" Mikey asked as he and Chad buzzed around Garret. It was lunchtime, and Sam had been allowed into the cafeteria as a school guest. She had to wear a nametag, though she didn't really need one. It was likely that every single pet in the school already knew what her name was.
Garret turned away from Mikey, getting annoyed by all of this sudden attention. All he did was pretend to be Sam's friend, and all of these guys were lining up around him, trying to talk to him like he was the next-best thing. The Eyrie looked longingly over at the other side of the cafeteria where Mel and Kelsie were sitting alone, glowering at Sam while they ate. He had never seen Mel this angry.
Well, okay, that was an understatement. But he hadn't seen Mel this angry in a long time. Actually, ever since Sam moved away, he couldn't remember Mel getting seriously mad about anything. Mel was still quieter and less outgoing nowadays, and she had never been quite the same since Sam moved. But overall, she seemed like a girl with less problems when Sam wasn't in Terror Mountain.
Garret's ears perked up as a light bulb went off in his head. Was this why Mel had an angry childhood full of tears and sadness? Yes... it had to be.
Sam was ruining Mel’s life.
The Eyrie looked over at Sam, who was eating a Tigersquash sandwich and chatting with some random girly wannabes. If he wanted to make Mel happy, all he had to do was get Sam to go away! But how would he do that when she was trying to make him act like her best friend all of the time?
"Garret? Garret? GARRET!" Chad and Mikey shouted, tugging at the Eyrie's wings. "Snap out of it!"
Garret blinked rapidly, shaking his head as he turned around to face Chad and Mikey again. "Wha? Sorry..."
"You were totally spacing out, man..." Chad said, swishing his Lupe tail around as a sly smirk spread out on his face. "Anyway, Sam's calling you. Go see what she wants! Go see what she wants!"
The Shoyru and Lupe pushed Garret towards Sam, who had finished her Tigersquash Sandwich and was now drinking a can of Neocola. The Faerie Uni looked up at him happily as he approached.
"Garret! Hello! Guess what? There's this girl, who is a friend of Kelsie’s, who you know is friends with Mel. Well, this girl -- she goes to another school, but that doesn't matter -- is holding a huge party at her mansion on Saturday. I just heard. Now, it would be so boring for someone to throw a party while I'm in town and not have me there. So I'm leaving it up to you to get us both invitations. I know Mel and Kelsie are probably peeved at the both of us, but you'll find a way to get your claws on a couple of invitations, won't you? Thank you, Goober! You're a lifesaver!" Sam squealed, without waiting for a reply.
Garret groaned, glancing back across the cafeteria at Mel, who was still glaring at Sam. He'd never be able to persuade her and Kelsie to give him invitations... Not after his performance as Sam's best friend in the whole wide world. Mel probably wanted him dead.
To be continued...