Behind the Smile: Part Two
“Suddenly, my vision was filled with a blinding yellow light, and I was transformed, drifting away on a transparent, silent wind. Oddly, I felt no desire to go back. I knew that Illey would be alright. The last thing I saw was her face, still smiling, but her eyes were staring in awe. I heard her gasp, and then I was engulfed completely by the brilliant golden light.”
The smiley sighed. “And the rest, as they say, is history. I guess I have you to thank for letting me relive these memories. I’ve never really thought about them since then. It is important that everyone knows their past, whether they be human, pet, or smiley. Until now, I’ve never realized the significance of what I did out of love for my sister. I just wish that I could at least remember my name, though. Thank you, Nancy.” The smiley smiled even wider than I thought possible.
“You’re very welcome,” I replied, smiling back. Then it hit me. “Hey! You did remember your name! You said that when Illey was cured, she said, ‘Thank you, Smil.’ Your name is Smil!”
“Whoa! You’re right!” Smil’s grin, to my utter astonishment, grew even larger. “Hey, I have an idea. From now on, whenever I am posted into users’ conversations, I’ll be alert for any yellow Acaras. I’ll double-check their names. Illey’s got to be out there somewhere!” The smiley’s high voice was filled with determination.
Suddenly Smil’s eyes widened. “Got to go!” With that, the little round smiley was gone with a small pop.
I looked over at Hy, who had been sitting patiently, meeting her dark brown eyes. “Ready to go?”
“Yep,” she replied.
As we walked home, Hy commented on the story. “That was quite a tale! Do you believe it’s true?”
“Well, anything’s possible, I suppose,” I answered thoughtfully.
“Smil and Illey,” she pondered aloud. “Smil Illey. Smililley. Smiley! Their names together form ‘smiley!’”
“Why, you’re right!” We looked at each other, grinning.
When we got back to our neohome, we were greeted by an anxious pet.
“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!” shouted Jr. “I thought you had been eaten by Turmy, or captured by Jhudora, or... or...”
“Calm down, sweetie. It’s alright. We were only gone for...” I glanced at the clock. “Five hours?! Holy Kau! You must have been worried sick. Did you get something to eat? Oh, my poor poor pets. I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay, Mom. We ate those neggs you had been saving. You know, those Wicked ones you had told us millions of times not to eat? Meta got a little hyper, though, and knocked over the petpet food and water. But I cleaned it up and gave them fresh water. You hadn’t changed it in three days anyway. Oh, and Gruslethunder thought the new expensive rug was a place to go to the bathroom. I didn’t think you’d like how it stunk, so I gave it to the Money Tree. Meta also ate half a wall of the chocolate room, then didn’t feel good and lay down on your bed. Nothing bad happened. I just missed you,” she said sheepishly.
We then heard a voice come from upstairs. “Mom... You’re home? Good. ‘Cause I just puked on your bed...” (Lovely pets of mine. X_X)
I sighed heavily. “You can go and get something to eat, Hy. You can do whatever you want afterwards. Jr., go help Meta to bed, then go to sleep yourself. It’s getting late. I’ll go clean up.” My pets scrambled away, slowly climbed the stairs.
Once upstairs, I examined the damage done to the wall. We’ll just have a... very large, gaping door. That’s it. Just a new door... With no wood, frame, hinges, or knob.
Once in my room, I cleaned up the stinking mess made by my charming blue Hissi, then headed downstairs toward the kitchen. I walked in to see Hy scrubbing away at the table.
“They made a huge mess. There were red bits of negg scattered everywhere,” she explained.
“Oh. Thanks, hun, for cleaning it up for me.”
I started toward the cupboard, ready to make us something to eat.
“No, Nancy. Sit down,” Hy demanded.
I collapsed into a comfy meepit chair, watching as my Lupess fixed us both a nice, hot meal. “This is delicious, Hy. Thank you.”
“My pleasure. You deserved it,” she replied sincerely. (Isn’t she a sweetie? ^^)
After the meal, Hy did the dishes, giving me a chance to get some rest. When I was finally in my room, I collapsed in a heap on top of my bed. I pressed my face into my pillow, and oblivion took me.
“NAAAAAAAAAAAAANCYYYYYYYYYYY, WAKE UUUUUUUUUUUUUUP! She isn’t dead, is she?” a voice asked nervously.
“No, she’s not dead. Let her sleep, Meta.” That was Hy’s voice.
Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I replied groggily, “Whaaaa...? I’m dead? What happened? Did a car hit me?”
“Um... Mommy, what’s a c-ca-caaar? Why would it hit you?” Jr. asked, confused and staring at me like I was from Kreludor.
“Ugh. I have no idea what a jelly-flavoured meepit is. Let me go back to sleep,” I yawned, burrowing my head under the pillow.
“Mom, it’s 1:30.”
That woke me up. I really had been out. No wonder Meta thought I was dead.
“Whoa. Give me a minute, then I’ll be down to fix you guys lunch, okay?”
“Okay, Mom!” they shouted, running out of the room. I quickly got dressed, then headed over to the stairs. I looked around to make sure that no one was watching, then hopped onto the rail and rode it to the bottom. “WOOT!” I zipped down the polished rail, somehow managing not to fall off. That would have been bad.
The landing wasn’t as fun. I landed with a thud and an “Ooof!” Too late, I quickly scrambled up and dusted myself off. I started to walk once more to the kitchen, trying to retain my dignity and make a normal entrance. It didn’t work out that way.
As I approached the door, I heard a slight rustling sound made by my pets rushing back to the table. As I entered, I noticed Jr. reseating herself in a flurry.
“Alright. What did you guys see?”
My answer came when they all burst out laughing. Meta flipped over her chair, she was laughing so hard. Hy was howling with laughter. (Excuse the bad pun.) Jr. was rolling on the floor. I couldn’t help it. I started laughing, too. My knees buckled, and I had to reach my hands down in order to stop myself from falling.
“Okay, okay. Now what do you want to eat?” I asked, after recovering from my laughing fit.
“Cheeseburgers!” shouted Hy.
“Pepperoni Power! Pizza!” yelled Jr.
“Chocolate Marshmallow Pasties!” screamed Meta.
“Meta, that’s more of a dessert. Let’s have cheeseburgers, since Hy cooked dinner for me last night,” I decided.
Hy grinned, while Meta and Jr. scowled at her from behind. I smiled at their childish folly, then turned toward the cupboard to get the necessary ingredients. Once the burgers were cooked, we all sat down to eat our meal.
“Mmmm. These are good, Mom, thanks!” praised Hy.
“Yes, they are,” Meta agreed.
“Juicy, cheesey, crisp, delicious. Compliment to the chef,” said Jr., taking a rather large bite.
I smiled, glad that for once they actually enjoyed one of my meals.
After lunch, Jr. went to her room so she could finish the book that she had been reading the day before. Meta sprawled languorously out on the porch, soaking up the warm sunlight like a sponge in Maraqua. Hy helped me clean up, washing off the table while I did the dishes.
“So... would you be willing to go back for another chat with some more smilies?” I prompted.
“Okay, then. We’ll go now, if you’d like.”
“Let’s go!” Hy jumped to her paws and padded eagerly out of the room, with me close behind.
Ten minutes later, we were walking into Smiley Central, when a familiar squeaky voice called out to us.
“Nancy! Hy! Guess what!”
We rushed over to where the happy smilies were kept. There were quite a few smilies hanging out around the edge of the cage, so we weren’t sure which one was Smil.
We looked in the direction of the voice, and sure enough, there was a single smiley hopping up and down, grinning wider than all the others.
“Hey, Smil!” I greeted the smiley, reaching through the bars to pat the round, bald yellow head affectionately. Hy stuck her muzzle through, giving Smil a big, wet, happy lick on the face.
“Hey, Nancy! I’m so glad that you’re here. You’ll never guess what happened!”
“What happened?” I inquired, starting to get excited.
“Over here!” the smiley said, looking at someone about seven feet to the left of us.
They came closer, and I was able to get a good look at them. She was the most beautiful yellow Acara I had ever seen. Her fur was thick and luscious, and her nose was a pretty little spot of light pink. Her eyes twinkled, and she had a permanent smile upon her sweet face.
“Illey?” I asked, shocked.
To be continued...