I am Aqua: Part One
I can’t believe it.
This was a dream,
A dream from which I would never wake up...
I have to face reality,
I have to admit this was the truth.
I have to face the fact she was gone.
I have to understand she was stripped away from me.
And I have to learn to know,
I have to learn to know she loved me.
I have to learn to cope with the facts.
The fact that my mother is gone forever...
I opened my eyes sleepily, and then shot awake as I took in my surroundings. The bed was firmer than my usual expensive and comfy Air Faerie Canopy Bed. But then again, my old ceiling was bright blue and the carpet was supposed to be soft and cyan with tiny flowers dancing around. There should’ve been a clock above my head with a Pizza work design, its hands ticking to a friendly beat, tick-tock-tick-tock. I should have seen my pink Aisha bookshelf by now, with all my favorite novels lined up in alphabetical order, my favorite one lying on the top. I should have been awakening with not a care in the world under a fuzzy and comfy pale blue blanket.
But that was my old life.
Now the ceiling was hard, rough and was plain white. The bed I lay upon was much firmer and the blankets were scratchier from the numerous times they were used and washed. And instead of a colorful bed, it was plain blue and white striped. The pillow was itchy and the mattress itself was ok, but a little hard, but somehow made me sink as its springs bent down painfully. There was no sound in the room but my roommate, Dolphinoras, who was a sea neopet like me, but a blue Flotsam. She currently was dozing, her mouth wide open and drooling, shifting every now and then. It was funny to see her randomly mutter something like, “Pass the cookies please,” or, “I don’t like relish!”
I was a happy, young and carefree green Peophin.
That’s the key word.
Now I’m a hopeless, plain green Peophin with no hint of specialty about me.
More than a million times that scene flashes before my eyes. There was Ellen, her red hair tied up in a curly mess and loose strands hanging over her bright green eyes. She was so hopeful, so intent on making my future perfect. She tried so hard, she got sick. I clenched my teeth, bristling. I don’t want to remember it. Yet my mind forced me to, flashing images and words before my eyes.
She had tried much too hard. I told her one day, I wanted to be painted Faerie. I wanted to fly with gorgeous wings and have luxurious, perfect lavender skin. I wanted my mane to be silky smooth and my hooves polished to perfection. It was a mere wish and hope, something normal for my age.
But that simple wish turned my life upside down.
Ellen made my wish into her obsession. She worked extra hard, trading in her sleeping time for time spent working herself off at the arcade. For an hour a day, she came home. Her hair would be limp, dirty and in a mess and her eyes portrayed a tired soul who yearned for rest. But when I tried to guide her to the showers and her bed, she would merely say a change of clothes was fine. After an hour passed, Ellen left again feeling a little more refreshed. She worked so hard, she almost neglected me, though once she realized that, guilt hit her like bullets. Then she fed me the most gourmet foods ever.
Tears began to roll down my cheeks.
That drained her funds about halfway. She panicked then, and worked even harder in the same amount of time. She seemed to have lost her youth. I begged to get her to stop, to at least give her a day of rest. But she refused; she loved me too much to make me go long without a perfect color and perfect food. I was home alone mostly, but when she came home for that short one hour, she loved me and cooked for me and gave me a bath. For ten minutes she even read to me. Then one day as I awaited her return, someone knocked. I froze. We never had visitors anymore, I was allowed to travel anywhere and all of Ellen’s neofriends left her, claiming she had let this obsession take over her life.
I wanted to make it stop.
But I couldn’t.
The memories rushed back at me like waves from the ocean during a storm.
I blinked back more tears, but they overflowed and tumbled down my face.
I recalled looking through the peephole and seeing an elderly green Kacheek. She wore a business-like suit and had reading glasses perched like a canary at the bridge of her nose. Her eyes were like tiny, black diamonds from behind her glasses. In her hands, folded together tightly, was a set of pale yellow papers with a seemingly haunting aura about them.
“Dearest, please let me in; it’s about your mother.” She had spoken in a tenderly voice, but also dripping with sadness.
I was not sure on how to react to this, but quickly responded that I was not allowed to open the door to strangers. She adjusted her small glasses, then shifted the papers to a more comfortable position. She looked at me through the glass window and I instinctively grasped my gold chain with a single gold letter, A. It was given to me by Ellen as a birthday present the day I was born. No one could come in without the family code word; Ellen ensured tight security. I had to press a button after scanning something to allow the door to unlock.
“It’s me, Ms. Anderson, your Insurance Company agent.”
My blood froze. Why was she here? Clearing my throat, I remembered asking for the password. Desperately, I hoped this was just some prankster dressed up as an old lady in a business suit. My mother was fine; she had to be. I looked up at the clock. It ticked past five. I realized my mother was supposed to be home half an hour ago. Worry began to flood my chest and I dropped to the floor, stunned.
The Kacheek knocked again, bringing me back up to look through the peep hole.
“The code word is Kindness,” the Kacheek said, and I knew instantly this was someone I had to speak to.
Grimacing, I rested my hoof on a scanning pan, then pressed a green button. The door swung open.
I collapsed on the ground, my tail quivering ever so slightly. I didn’t want to look into her eyes filled with sorrow. She was going to tell me something horrible, I knew it. I had a feeling. What was it that she needed to say to me that was about Ellen? Dread filled my heart and I automatically gripped the chain around my neck. I was grasping it so hard, I had a slight fear it would break in two.
“Are you Aqua_1919191919, daughter and heir to Miss Ellen?” the Kacheek asked in the same business-y and sad tone as before.
I hesitated; should I really be giving out info like this?
Well, she was our Insurance Agency agent.
I nodded slowly.
“Dear...” Her tone was the saddest it had ever been to me. “Your mother collapsed in the Arcade room. She’s in critical condition. Apparently, she’s been... suffering, from stress and exhaustion, including dehydration and lack of food... She will be leaving Neopia Central to go to a place where they will give her therapy to lapse back into a normal life. She won’t be able to live here...”
This wasn’t happening.
I wanted to stop the memories, but I flailed, helpless, as the rest of my past unfolded.
I remembered gripping my necklace tightly as I processed the information.
And my necklace broke in two.
The A slipped right off the chain and onto my hoof, and upon closer examination I saw the chain had broken cleanly in two, the chain had cracked. “No...”
The Kacheek continued to speak. “She has suffered very badly and may not return to Neopia Central for a very long time. She sends her love to you and we are forced to bring you to the Pound. Even Miss Ellen cannot stop the Neopian Laws. You cannot stay here; it is for your own good.”
”No!” My voice was unsurprisingly high-pitched and extremely shrill. “My mother is not sick! She’s coming home right now- she probably got caught up in a game!! YOU’RE LYING!” My voice hurt and I began to rasp. “Go away! You’re trying to fill me with lies!!”
The Kacheek gave me a knowing and sorrowful look. “Dearest, please, admit the truth... You need to go the Pound.”
Sobbing, I remembered I had given up, collapsing in exhaustion and panic with the pieces of my broken gold necklace clutched tightly in my hooves. The last thing I saw was the fading image of the Kacheek who was beginning to pack up some of my stuff, taking a few of my books and shoving into an old bag of mine.
Right before I blacked out, a single whisper escaped my lips.
It was my entire fault.
I shouldn’t have made a wish.
I should have been happy green.
And I shouldn’t have taken my frustration out on my necklace.
That one gold chain that gave me the love and hope I needed in times of desperation was gone. The bits left were crumbled heaps of gold strings and a single A glittering all alone with no chain to rest upon. I had awoken in the Pound, its ceilings bare and the walls stripped with nothing but a large Yes Boy Ice Cream poster. There was a Flotsam beside me, Dolphinoras, and I recalled seeing her glittering wet and soaked. Water dripped off her blue toned horn and onto my head, pulling me fully alert.
“Who are you? What’s your story? I’m Dolphinoras, suiting name, huh? What about you? Oh, I’m sure we’re going to be best friends! I never had friends in my old home, my owner was just trying out Neopia and I was alone in this room until you came! So yeah, I’m pretty excited! I HAVE SO MUCH TO SHOW YOU!!!” The Flotsam didn’t even seem to breathe in between her quick and speedy babble.
I recalled staring at her in a stunned expression. “Who are you??” I blurted out, clutching my necklace’s remnants even tighter.
“I’m your Pound roommate. Welcome to my world!” she exclaimed joyously,
My heart sank all the way down to my tail. “W-what?” I stuttered.
“You’re in the Pound, you’re my roommate. Now get up and let me show you around!” The Flotsam yanked me up and I groaned as I looked closer into my situation.
I was alone.
I was abandoned.
And Ellen was torn away from me.
And now I was living with a crazy and insane Flotsam.
To be continued...