The Yellow Gelert: Part Four
“Reg!” Dellayn stared at the Puppyblew huddled on her doorstep. “Come in. Where's Yenna? And Mrs. Fennel?”
“I ran away. They don't like me anymore. They don't give me any attention.”
Dellayn rubbed her eyes. She'd been having some problems of her own.
Pixie had brought home a green Shoyru, Zackarrie, and Dellayn knew what it meant to be all alone.
She'd just been building up her trust in Pixie after the shocking news that her owner had abandoned a Neopet before, but then she felt betrayed again when Pixie had suddenly brought home a new Neopet, without telling either Dellayn or Chezzanne about it.
Chezzanne was delighted to have another sister, but Dellayn was not. She was suddenly the outsider. The only one who wasn't interested in cooing over the tiny Shoyru.
“Come in,” she said finally. “It's cold out.” Dellayn led the talkative Puppyblew into the living room and gave him some Peppermint Cocoa.
Pixie and Chezzanne came out when they heard the door close, and Dellayn explained that the Puppyblew, whom she'd petpetsat, had run away because he felt unloved. “I'll neomail Mrs. Fennel,” she said, moving towards the neomail despite Reginald's protests.
“Hello-o-o?” the lady replied sweetly.
Dellayn gave the proper amount of explanation and then said goodbye. “She'll be coming to pick you up soon, Reg,” Dellayn said gently, then took Pixie aside for some serious discussion.
“She didn't even seem worried or anything! I'm not sure he's exaggerating.”
Pixie looked concerned, and promised to look into it. Dellayn wasn't sure she could count on anyone anymore, even Pixie, but she didn't see what else she could do.
Dellayn hugged the Puppyblew close. “I can't believe you're really mine,” she whispered. “I'll never ignore you.” I know how much that hurts.
Yenna had cruelly implied that she had a new petpet and had to move on. “Sure, you can have old Reg.”
Dellayn ached for the talkative little petpet. She wished that she could erase all the hurt... for her and for Reginald.
Zackarrie was nice enough, Dellayn had discovered, but Chezzanne and Dellayn were closer.
Pixie... Dellayn didn't know what to think about her owner. Pixie definitely had some problems, and Dellayn's innocent and admiring love had been totally shaken when she realized that her owner was not perfect. It seemed as if nobody was perfect, and this was an upsetting revelation.
She was still clinging to the hope that if only she was grey, Pixie would really, really, really love her. Everyone knew that grey was Pixie's favorite color.
Unfortunately, despite the many jobs Dellayn had tried, she still didn't have enough for a grey paintbrush. And she knew that as soon as her schooling started again, she would have no time to work. Then came an unexpected and unwelcome change.
“Dellayn, Chezzanne... I've decided to end the summer a little bit sooner this year,” Pixie announced a few days later. “Since Zackarrie's still new to reading, I thought she should get a head start. I have the reading list.”
For as long as Dellayn had lived with Pixie, her only schooling had been to complete a reading list. “After all,” Pixie had said, “improving your mind through reading is the best way to learn more.”
Now Dellayn could never be grey!
Dellayn thought of Ahnee, the red Kacheek who Pixie had abandoned, about Reginald who was unwanted... what if Pixie decided she didn't want a yellow Gelert anymore?
Pixie interrupted her thoughts by giving her a pink piece of paper.
Acaras In History
The Mighty Blumaroo
Little Book of Puzzles
Baby Moehog Stories
Gelert On Treasure Island
A Grundo Christmas
Kreludan Cookie Book
Quiggle Art Book
Dellayn sighed. She had been hoping that it might be shorter so that she could still have a part-time job; petpetsitter, maybe. But it wasn't shorter.
Dellayn counted out her money for the fifteenth time. No, there was not enough. Dellayn knew that her small sum was hardly enough for even a down payment; besides, people didn't do that.
“Dellayn,” Pixie called. “Come get the money for your books.”
Dellayn dumped her money back into the bowl she kept it in and went to the living room.
“Zackarrie, the way we do it is that I give you each 10,000 Neopoints and it's up to you to get the books. Of course you can share books, but no matter how you do it, you've got to read every one of these books.”
“What if we have money left over?” asked Zackarrie.
“Well, you also need to get a notebook and pencil so you can write the end-of-chapter summaries... maybe a pencil sharpener... pencil case... a folder...an eraser... I doubt you'd have leftover money then, but, well, I guess you can use it for whatever you want.” Pixie handed each Neopet a small sack of money.
Dellayn's brain was working top speed. If she shared books with her sisters and bought only the cheapest supplies, maybe she'd have enough for a grey paintbrush. Maybe.
The next day, the three Neopets went to the school supply store and bought their things.
Chezzanne bought a Sparkly Notebook, Tchea Eraser, Snuffly Folder and matching pencil case plus a sleek Mechanical Pencil.
Zackarrie, a wonderful trader, bought an Angelic Notebook, Blumaroo Pencil, Air Faerie Eraser, Starry Folder and Neopian Times Pencil Case.
Dellayn bought the cheapest things she could find: Green Lined Notebook, Basic Pencil, Kayla's Pencil Case, White Poogle Eraser and Snuffly Folder. Chezzanne accused her of being a copycat, but it was the cheapest folder she could find.
Dellayn still had about 8,000 Neopoints left, and her sisters had amiably agreed to share their books. In fact, they had decided to put their money together to buy them. This cut deeply into Dellayn's money, but she tried to remind herself that it would have cost a lot more had she needed to pay for them all by herself.
As the pets settled into their shared bedroom that night (they'd decided to share a room so that they could have a playroom in what used to be Chezzanne's room) they were quiet, all thinking their private thoughts. Dellayn's were the only sad thoughts.
She'd counted out her leftover money added to the money she'd made from her jobs, but she still fell short by several thousand Neopoints. Dellayn buried her face in her pillow and wept silently.
Time passed; Dellayn read by day and cried by night. Then the inevitable happened.
Pixie had a bad day.
Everyone gets them. But not everyone has a temper like Pixie's. Pixie was admittedly impatient, and though she tried to be calm, the counting to ten trick was not always successful.
The day started off bad when she found out that Chezzanne had finished off the Peppermint Latte. That was what she had for breakfast every morning, and she was not happy about the absence of her favorite drink. She was forced to have Kau Kau Farm Milk instead.
Because Zackarrie had had a bad dream the night before, Pixie hadn't gotten to sleep until midnight. Of course, she woke up later and didn't have time to take a shower, which made her frizzy red hair stick out in all directions. She brushed it fiercely and bundled it into a beanie.
Dellayn was fidgety, Zackarrie was pensive and Chezzanne stared at everyone with wide eyes in a most annoying manner.
“What is wrong with you?” Pixie snapped to nobody in particular as they all tried to read, but simply stared at the page instead.
Zackarrie shrugged, Chezzanne gave her another wide-eyed stare and Dellayn burst into tears.
“Why are you crying?” Pixie glared at her Gelert.
Dellayn sobbed harder and harder until Pixie was a little abashed. “I-I'm c-crying bec-cause I can-n't afford a g-grey p-paintbrush! An-nd now,” she continued, still crying, “y-you're mad at me, an-nd you–you might ab-bandon me!”
Pixie felt truly chastised now and was quite herself again. “What do you mean, dearest Delly? Stop crying. I can't bear it.”
Dellayn sniffed. “I know you don't like yellow, and I was jealous of Chez because she always got more attention. You like blue better than yellow, but I know you like grey best of all, so I thought if I was grey, maybe you'd love me more.
“So I got the jobs and saved my money and Neopoint-pinched as much as I could. Th-then I found out about Ahnee. Since you don't really like red, either, I figured my color idea was right and I worked even harder. But it's not enough.
“I–I knew that someday you'd get m-mad at me and abandon me.. and I think it might be now!”
Pixie gasped and buried her face in her hands. “I'm so sorry,” she whispered finally. “I would never, ever abandon you... or any other pet.”
“What about Ahnee?” pointed out Chezzanne.
Zackarrie, who knew nothing of abandonment, was trying to find the word in the dictionary.
“I made a mistake. A mistake that I regret... would take back if I could... and will never repeat. Never.”
“B-but I'm not grey. I'm yellow!” Dellayn wiped her eyes with her paws.
“Dellayn–I've always loved you. I never even thought of loving you less because of your color. I would love you the same if you were pink. Or even orange.” Pixie made a wry face as she named two of her least favorite colors.
Dellayn couldn't help but smile a little bit. “I'm sorry, too. Sorry for not trusting your love for me.”
Chezzanne, Zackarrie, Pixie and Dellayn all joined in a warm hug.