The Lupe Who Didn't Eat Chias
Luke found himself looking back at the clock as Mr. Blue, his teacher, droned on about Lord Darigan and his citadel. The words went in one ear and out the other. In reality, the topic was actually interesting. Who didn’t like to talk about evil and war? It was just the fact that Mr. Blue was discussing about it. Why is a green Techo named Mr. Blue? That doesn’t make sense, Luke thought to himself as he tried to find a distraction. He kept on looking at the circular clock with the red border that proudly stood at the back of the room on pale blue wallpaper. The yellow Lupe learned that the color blue made people less hungry. But even with the blue wallpaper, Luke’s vacant stomach growled. The neighboring student, a snooty pink Acara named Alice, giggled.
“Shut up,” Luke whispered.
“Why should I listen to you?” Alice answered, very stuck-up.
“Because your brain is an empty—” Luke began to retort.
“Lucas! Is there a problem? I’m sure what you are discussing is relevant to our Neopian History class,” Mr. Blue interrupted.
“Well, umm, you see...” Luke stuttered with embarrassment.
Just in time, the bell rang loudly throughout the school. Alice smirked as she stood up from her desk. Walking out of the classroom, heading toward his locker, he glared back at the snob. He turned into a swarming hallway, jostling the other students as he reached his locker, number 258. The flood of Neopets chattered noisily and obnoxiously as Luke turned his locker knob.
“25, 15... 20!” the irritated Lupe muttered to himself as the lock clicked open. He grabbed his brown paper bag, lumpy and crumpled, which contained his lunch. He clenched his lunchbag in his jaws as he trotted toward the cafeteria with a throng of Neopets.
He walked through the towering red doors into the cafeteria. He looked for his Lupe friends, who waved him over to their table. Taking his rightful seat and placing down his lunch, he looked beyond the crowded area of his friends, seeing other clans much like his. There were the Grundos, the “popular” girls, the Kougras, the straight-A students, and so forth. Everyone belonged to a clique, and if you weren’t in one, you were an outcast. Why can’t we all just be friends, he thought. But then again, some people just didn’t mix, like Alice and him. They just didn’t blend.
He snapped out of his thoughts as he heard his best friend, Jason, a brown Lupe, howl with delight.
“Jason, what in the world...?!” Luke shouted in alarm.
“Dude, look inside your lunch. You must be like, the luckiest Lupe in the world,” Jason responded, as if knowing what Luke was going to ask.
It appeared that Jason was nosing around in his lunch, like he usually did. What could be so great? His owner, Adeline, usually packed a simple sandwich, a cookie, and a can of Achyfi or NeoCola. Sometimes, if he was lucky, Adeline would be late for her job at the hospital and wouldn’t be able to pack a lunch. If that was the case, he would retrieve some Neopoints and he could quickly stop by the Neopian Plaza or Bazaar and buy a hotdog or pizza for his lunch. But today wasn’t one of those lucky, yummy days. So what could possibly be in there?
The curious Lupe picked up his lunch and emptied out its contents, each of them plopping down on the wooden surface of the table. The rest of the Lupes looked in astonishment as they saw the contents spill onto the table.
His lunch was a heaven full of Chia Treats.
There were the Chia Treats made especially for Lupes, Chia pops, Chia apples, Chia, Chia... Any Lupe could die for those treats. Every Lupe should know that a Chia Treat is the best delicacy there is... in the galaxy.
All of the Lupes except for Luke, that is.
“What’s so great about it?” Luke asked.
In fact, Luke thought the Chia treats looked repulsive. Who would want to eat a Chia’s face for lunch? He glanced at the Chia students who were eating their lunch, strangely, on the other side of the room, away from the Lupes. Was this just a coincidence?
All the Lupes gasped in horror.
Before they could explain, a blue Chia bravely walked by the Lupe table, as Jason tripped him, laughing hysterically.
“You better run, squirt. Luke’s gonna eat your face up right now!” Jason scoffed.
The Chia stood up, his lunch all over his face, as he scurried to the safety of his own table.
“What was that for?!” Luke exclaimed, angry.
“Dude, don’t you know that Chia Treats are like, a Lupe’s favorite food? You should really know this...” Jason replied. “Besides, that midget was a Chia.”
“That doesn’t mean you should trip him! What did he do?” Luke asked.
“Just take a bite of any of those Chia Treats and then you’ll see,” Jason continued.
Luke took a small bite of a Meaty Lupe Treat in the shape of a Chia. The thought of eating it was revolting, but he still managed to chew and swallow the coarse piece of meat. After tasting the assumed heavenly treat, he spit it back up.
“That... was DISGUSTING!” Luke yelled, “And you still had no right to hurt that Chia.”
All of the other Lupes looked at him as if he was a traitor, and began to whisper among themselves, then said something to Jason.
“Dude, even though you’re my best bud... you’re acting strange. I’m gonna have to say you have to leave until you make some sense. You’re a Lupe, Luke. This is what Lupes like,” Jason said slowly, as if Luke was too unintelligent to comprehend his words.
“Fine,” Luke said, furious.
He stood up from the table, picking up his lunch, and walked away to an empty spot in isolation. He was like an island. No one wanted to be around him. He was an outcast now, and all because of some stupid Chia Treats. He looked at his lunch in disgust. He then noticed a letter written to him from Adeline. It said:
Here are some Chia Treats! They’re really expensive, so you better like them! Actually, I’m not sure you will... I’ll explain after you come home.
Luke wondered what she meant with curiosity.
After school was over, he walked back home with his head down.
“Luke! I guess you read my letter...?” Adeline questioned.
Luke didn’t say anything, but Adeline knew what he meant by the silence.
“The truth is... well... you physically are a Lupe, but... you aren’t internally,” Adeline started to explain. “I transformed you when you were a baby, and I guess that’s why you don’t like those Chia Treats. In fact, you actually were... a Chia.”
Luke opened his mouth in awe. So all this time, this was why he felt like he didn’t belong. This was why he didn’t like this idea of grouping Lupes with Lupes and Chias with Chias. It all made sense. In reality, he was a Chia. His heavy heart lightened as he finally realized that he had discovered his identity. Not a Lupe, not a Chia, but what his heart was set to.
Your appearance does not show who you are.