Thank you very much to reggieman721 for helping me out with my story!
Sacha sighed unhappily as she looked down into the Wishing Well in Central Neopia. She decided that she would donate all of her week's payment towards the wishing well in hope for getting what she had always wished for; a baby paint brush.
She knew that her chances of ever getting one were slim, though it didn't discourage her at all. Sacha had been going to the Wishing Well for as long as she could remember, but never had she gotten anything. She dumped her mere savings of about fifty neopoints into the well and wished with all her might.
Her friend Laika came trudging over the hill in the distance. Laika worked at Uni's Clothing a little ways away. Sacha and Laika would always meet next to the Wishing Well and then would walk home together. Laika had often nagged at Sacha to stop throwing all her neopoints into the wishing well and to try to earn a baby paint brush instead, but Sacha wouldn't listen.
Laika and Sacha were one of the few unpainted pets in Central Neopia. Sacha a red Kacheek; Laika a blue Uni.
Sacha ran to greet her friend as she came into view. She could tell something was wrong the minute she saw Laika's face, though she decided not to ask unless Laika brought up the subject.
They walked in silence for a few minutes before Laika spoke. Sure enough; it was bad news.
“I got a job offer in Maraqua,” she announced glumly.
Sacha's jaw dropped. It was every pet in Central Neopia's dream to visit Maraqua. Laika was so lucky, but here she was looking sad and depressed.
“Well, what's the matter? You should take it! It's a wonderful opportunity!” exclaimed Sacha.
“Is it?” mumbled Laika looking surprised.
“Of course it is! The pay is excellent, a wonderful view, everything there is to want down in Maraqua!” squealed Sacha.
“But... it would mean I would have to leave you,” Laika whispered softly, tears springing to her eyes.
“Oh. Well, yes. I suppose you would have to,” muttered Sacha, the thought suddenly striking her.
A sudden gloominess spread all over Sacha. She had never thought about it that way. I could probably still visit, thought Sacha, though even as she said it, she knew it was ridiculous. How could she ever earn that many neopoints to travel all the way to Maraqua and back, just to see a friend?
“I'm happy for you,” she said truthfully. “You deserve to go to Maraqua. You're the best friend I ever had.”
“Oh, Sacha!” cried Laika, hugging her friend tightly, tears pouring down her face. “Whatever am I going to do without you?”
“Don't worry, I'll write lots. You'll be great at your new job,” encouraged Sacha, feeling sadder and sadder as she let it sink in that her friend was really leaving. Leaving Neopia Central, leaving Uni's Clothing, leaving her home. Leaving Sacha.
As they rounded a corner, Laika's house came into view. She dried up her tears and tried to smile bravely at Sacha. This is it, she thought, my one big chance to see the world. She sniffled goodbye to her friend and trudged into her house to get ready and to pack for her big move to Maraqua.
* * *
Sacha sat in front of the fire in her warm cozy kitchen, gazing into the flames sadly. As the fire danced around the logs, she thought hard. She knew that she should be delighted that her friend had a great opportunity at a new life, but somehow she couldn't seem to look at the situation that way.
She thought about what Laika had told her for a few more minutes before falling asleep comfortably in her squishy chair.
* * *
Laika gazed up at the big steam ship standing tall and proud before her. Laika glanced nervously at Sacha who nodded encouragingly. Laika looked around at all the other passengers around her who were boarding the big steamship to sail to Maraqua. They would sail to Mystery Island, then board a submarine to go to the depths of Maraqua. She hugged Sacha tightly smiling with anticipation.
“All passengers please board the ship,” boomed the loudspeaker to all the passengers.
Laika nervously trotted up the gangplank, waving to Sacha as she reached the deck. She looked around eagerly for any familiar faces, but found none.
The ship started to sail smoothly away from the dock, taking off gracefully towards its destination. Laika turned and took one last look at Neopia Central. She saw Uni's Clothing where she had once worked. It seemed like a lifetime ago. She saw all of Neopia Central in front of her, seeming so small and distant. She saw many things, but one of the things that she did not see, was the image of her friend Sacha, tears streaming down her face. Her childhood memories flooded back to her like waves rolling up a beach as she looked over Central Neopia. She blocked them out of her mind. For better or for worse, she was starting a new life and there was no going back. Laika confidently strode below deck, her head full of new thoughts for her future life.
As Laika walked away, she left Sacha wondering if this was possibly the last time that she might ever see her friend. They had been through so much together, and now Laika was leaving; maybe forever. Sacha slumped her shoulders and headed back to her small house in the valley; trying to sort out her confused emotions. Laika had been her best friend since... well, forever. Will Laika remember me in Maraqua when she has a new job and new friends? she thought miserably, entering her warm little house in the small valley behind the woods.
* * *
While Laika sailed towards Mystery Island, with a confident smile painted on her face, Sacha was completely miserable. She kept thinking of all the childhood memories that herself and Sacha had been through together. When they had spent all their neopoints when they were little to buy a baby paint brush plushie, only to realize that they couldn't be painted with it. When they had played together all those times in the Chocolate factory. When they had bought each other their first petpet. The times they had helped each other when they had diseases. All of those memories poured down on Sacha as she glanced at the picture of herself and Laika when they were small, grinning up at the camera with chocolate all over their faces. Sacha closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
* * *
Sacha sighed as she sat down in her old squishy armchair beside the fire. It had been forty-two years since she had last seen Laika. She gazed at a picture on the mantle of herself and Laika that had been taken all those years ago. Sad memories flowed over her. The day Laika had told her the terrible news. The sad morning Laika had boarded the huge steamship. And not once, in all those years, had Laika ever written. Sacha had written many times over the years, without any reply, until one day, a thought struck her. Laika had moved on in her life. She was no longer Laika anymore.