Summer's Stories: My First Mystery - Part Four
I stared out at the throng of Neopians gathered in my kitchen. Cynthia was whispering to Millie, who pointed at my Wizarding Apprentice Robe. They both let out a stifled giggle. Aaron was stuck in the middle of the crowd, looking bored, as always. Mariah kept glancing expectantly at me, then to Cynthia, then back to me. Lauren was cradling Elise, who was confused, yet unperturbed. I cleared my throat, and watched as seven sets of eyes focused on me.
“Hello, everyone,” I said, trying to start my announcement in a pleasant way. “As you know, there has been a robbery. Cynthia and Mariah’s Grey Faerie Doll has been stolen. Today, I have come to a verdict. The thief is...” I was about to say Mariah, but then, something hit me. It was a piece of information that I had overlooked. One of the potential thieves had a horrible alibi, but a very good reason to be a suspect. That suspect was...
“Aaron,” I declared, pointing at the Fire Ruki.
Millie and Cynthia gasped. Mariah and Lauren put a hand over their mouths. Elise looked around, trying to find the source of all the commotion.
“How... how do you know that?” Aaron asked, cringing. He tried to look angry, but it came out looking very nervous.
“Well, Aaron, I know you dislike me,” I explained. “I just didn’t think you would steal to get me in trouble. You see, when you told me about how you enjoy rock climbing, it all made sense. You climbed up to Cynthia’s room with your rock-climbing gear, then broke the window (your head was protected with that Ruki Hard Hat of yours), stole the doll, and got back into your room. Because you have four feet, you can move pretty quickly. The only thing left to say is why you stole the doll, and I have a pretty good idea of that.” I looked deep into his eyes. They begged me not to tell the reason why. I glanced away, adding, “Unless you want to confess and tell everyone why, Aaron.”
Aaron’s cheeks slowly turned as red as a Strawberry Gummy Flotsam. “I do admit to stealing the Grey Faerie Doll.” Running out of the kitchen, he added, “But you can let your new detective tell you why!” I heard the clunking noise of four feet go up the stairs. A door slammed.
Everyone turned back to me. “Why did he do it?” Lauren asked, her eyes brimming with tears.
“I’m not positive, but I think it was because....” I trailed off, looking down at my feet. “I think it was because... he was jealous.”
“Jealous?” Lauren repeated, dumbfounded. “Jealous of what?”
“Of everything and everyone,” I replied, still staring at the ground. “He was jealous of Elise, and of Millie, and of Cynthia. He was especially jealous of me.” I began to tell why, but decided that that was something Aaron should say. “Maybe we should go talk to him.”
The mass of Neopians ascended the stairs, whispering, gasping, or, in Lauren’s case, crying. Millie knocked on Aaron’s door. He didn’t answer. She knocked again, and she kept knocking until he opened the door and snapped, “What?”
Lauren stepped in front of Millie and said, “Aaron. I know you took the doll. Just... please tell me why.”
Aaron sighed. “If you really must know, I was sort of jealous of everyone else. I mean, Millie and Elise always get everything they want! Then Summer just waltzes in here and gets a beautifully furnished room! It’s not fair! I’m your second oldest pet, and you don’t even care about me!”
“Oh, Aaron,” Lauren exclaimed, pulling him in for a hug. “Why would you think that? I furnished Millie’s room and Summer’s room before I got any of you! I was just about to give you a nice room when I got Elise, and she really needed a room because she’s just a baby. I was going to give you your new furniture yesterday, but then this whole robbery thing happened and things got out of hand.”
Aaron smiled weakly. “Thanks.” Then, turning to Mariah and Cynthia, he added, “I’m really sorry about all this. I have your doll right here.” He handed Cynthia the Grey Faerie Doll.
Mariah grinned. “It’s okay. This is a really heartwarming moment.” She patted Cynthia’s head.
Cynthia was smiling, too. “Gee, Aaron, you really know how to stick up for yourself.” She glanced at the doll in her paws. “Don’t worry about the whole doll thing. I have another Grey Faerie Doll. I just like this one because the real Grey Faerie autographed it.” Everyone stared at her, mouths hung open. “I won a contest,” she explained.
That was that. Aaron had confessed, and Mariah and Cynthia had their Grey Faerie Doll back. The crowd dispersed, my neighbors going home, my family going to their rooms.
I stood there in the hallway, glancing down at my feet again and feeling very awkward. Aaron stood there, too, doing the same thing I was doing. I decided that this silence wasn’t going to last forever. I spoke up.
“Um, Aaron?” I said, still staring at the ground. The carpet wasn’t very interesting anymore, so I looked up.
“Yeah?” Aaron nervously glanced at me.
“I just wanted to say that I’m sorry if I embarrassed you today. I didn’t mean to,” I blurted out.
“It’s okay,” he replied. “I was wrong to be angry at you for simply coming to the right place at the right time. I’m not mad at you for solving the mystery of the robbery, either. It’s not my fault that you’re an extremely good detective.” He smiled at me, and I grinned right back at him.
As I went to sleep that night, I thought of the case, and how, even though Aaron had done something wrong, he learned from it. Just as I had decided earlier that day, I would learn from mistakes.
To prevent any more unknown crimes, Lauren bought us each a Petpet. She said it would make us feel better about ourselves if we knew we could face the responsibility of a pet.
Millie received a Pink Mazzew. She immediately squealed at how cute it was, and named it Madeline. Such a nice name for a demon in disguise. That little pink thing seemed to think Darigan Rules! T-Shirts were fun to chew on, and soon, my pyjamas had holes the size of Skeith teeth in them. Lauren was constantly replacing them with her endless supply. Millie often brought Cynthia (who has an Orange Hasee) over for a Petpet play date. It was disgusting.
Elise’s new Petpet was a Blue Snowbunny named Puff (very original!). They both crawled around and played together. They even shared snacks together, both of them enjoying a few Baby Carrots now and then. I didn’t really mind Puff, because she didn’t bother me a lot.
Flame (another original name!) the Fire Noil was Aaron’s Petpet. It was an energetic little fellow, keeping Aaron on his toes (if he even has any). Flame would often bound into my room and run around, causing me to try to catch him as a tired-looking Aaron searched for him in other areas of the house.
My Petpet present was a Darigan Angelpuss. I took one look at her and loved her. She was so malevolently scheming, so cocky and bold. She was like me, in Petpet form, minus two ears. I named her Debbie. Millie wouldn’t let her precious Madeline anywhere near my Angelpuss. I agreed that we should keep it that way. I wouldn’t want to see the damage Debbie would do to that pink beast.
Over the course of a few days, things became more relaxed and normal. Mariah and Cynthia no longer scoffed at my presence. In fact, Cynthia and Millie sometimes took me shopping with them at the NC Mall. They forced me to buy a Charming Bathing Suit and a matching Flowery Bathing Cap (at least it’s purple and not some really girly color, like pink!). Now, when we dive into Cynthia’s pool, we can pretend to be synchronized swimmers, because they have the swimsuit, too.
Lauren is giving me cooking lessons. Even though I’m horrible at cooking (evident in the charred ashes of my Aisha Chocolate Cheesecake), Lauren is an amazing chef. It’s no wonder that we eat gourmet foods all the time.
Aaron has a large collection of books that he lets me borrow to read. I want my intelligence level to be high, but I don’t want anyone to find out about my reading, so I only read in my room, with the door shut. If Millie ever found out about my love for novels, she would most definitely call me a bookworm or a nerd, and that Mazzew of hers would most definitely “magically disappear.”
I baby-sit for Elise a lot, which is no easy task. You have to constantly run across the room, taking her down from dangerous places, trying to get her to eat her baby food (I actually had to try it for her to show her how good it would taste. Now I know why the kid doesn’t want to eat that stuff!), and attempting to not get Baby Acara fur on yourself.
I’ve settled into my new family pretty quickly. As sappy as this may sound, I know they love me and they always will.
I can’t wait to see what crazy stuff Millie, Elise, Aaron, Lauren, and I will do next.
Comments and constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated. ^_^