My First Day in Neopia
Today I entered the world of Neopia. No, I’m not a newly created pet or brand new item that’s just been released. I’m a newbie, and this is my story.
It was so overwhelming when I first got here! I first found myself in the crowded welcoming center, smashed against one of the walls. I didn’t stay long, because after fifteen minutes of not moving an inch, I figured that I wasn’t going to learn anything worth the wait. So after squeezing out the front door and leaving the chaotic masses behind me, I found myself in the Neopian Plaza.
Of course I didn’t know it was called that immediately. I was too terrified to move from my position in front of the welcoming center. I thought the welcoming center was crowded! People were sprinting down the path, weaving in and out of each other in a complicated design I couldn’t make heads or tails of. From shop to shop they’d run, sometimes talking to somebody in passing, shouting above the rest of the noise.
When I finally found a break in the madness, I dove in without thinking, only to be pushed and shoved out of the way by others until I found myself sprawled on the grass on the opposite side of the path. Dusting myself off, I warily picked out the least crowded shop of the bunch and stepped inside.
The school supply shop only consisted of a few citizens browsing the shelves. A blue lizard-type creature stood behind a shelf, urging customers to buy as much stuff as possible. The only money I had was a thousand neopoints that had somehow found its way into my hands during my stint at the welcoming center, along with a bag of items labeled “Newbie Pack” I still hadn’t opened.
I tried talking to the creature behind the counter, but he studiously ignored me, tending only to potential buyers. Annoyed, I grabbed the cheapest thing I saw and thrust it towards him.
“I want at least 371 neopoints for this great item,” the shopkeeper said to me, glancing down at the Red Notebook I had shown him so fervently.
I counted out all 371 neopoints and handed them to him. I was about to ask him a question about where I should go, but he had promptly turned away from me and moved on to the next customer. The anger must have shown on my face, since a kind woman next to me said, “They only ask for your payment; they don’t tell you anything else, unless the item is sold out or something.”
“Oh, thanks,” I replied in surprise. “I’m new here,” I explained.
She nodded knowingly. “I see; do you need some help then?”
I nodded eagerly, glad to have a friendly presence. She told me I was in the Neopian Plaza, and that next I should probably earn some neopoints, create a neohome, and create or adopt a pet. I listened carefully, sometimes jotting down notes in the notebook with a newly-purchased basic pencil. After she finished, I thanked her profusely, and then set off to do as she advised.
First I went to the arcade, where I played the game Kass Basher three times, which was the game the woman advised me to play because it was easy. Once I had made about a thousand neopoints from it, I set off towards the neohomes. I created one in Neopia Central, since I wasn’t sure how to get anywhere else, and paid 1,000 neopoints for the land, and then 500 neopoints for one room of wood. Afterwards, I only had about 100 neopoints left, so I decided to head to the pound.
The woman explained I could either adopt a pet that had been abandoned in the pound, or create a basic colored new one. I chose the adoption route, even though she warned me I wouldn’t be able to adopt any expensive painted pets. I don’t care, though; what’s the difference really?
I adopted a blue neopet whose cage was labeled with a stiff index card that said krix182 the Blue Flotsam, and her face was downcast and positively depressed when I looked into her cage. I adopted her immediately after the pink horse-looking neopet told me she had been in the pound for almost two and a half years. She told me nobody seemed to like her name, but I found it beautiful. Her name was so unique, and I couldn’t believe nobody else thought the same thing.
“Hi, Krix,” I greeted her brightly as we wove through the hectic crowds I was finally beginning to successfully navigate. “I’m Avery.”
She snorted. “Great, I’m finally adopted, and it has to be by a newbie,” she replied sarcastically, her tone spiteful.
I was stung by her words. “What’s wrong with that?” I asked carefully.
“Well, you’re probably not going to feed me or keep me happy or even give me a bed to sleep in. I’m just going to rot, unhappy and unfed while you probably leave Neopia in a few days time. Then I’ll just have to wait until I can finally go back to the stupid pound and start the process over again.” She said all this angrily, staring at the dirt path she floated above.
“Has that happened to you before?” I asked quietly, peeking at her face out of the corner of my eye. It had gone from angry to desperate in the few seconds I had figured out what was wrong.
“What’s it matter to you?” she replied defensively, her face going back to angry.
I didn’t answer her question, only stated “we’re here,” when we left the crowded shops behind and reached my neohome. I opened the door, only to be faced with an empty room. My face reddened in embarrassment, and Krix clucked her tongue knowingly before flopping on the floor.
“Um... you stay here, and I’ll do some shopping. You hungry?” I decided I needed furniture and food, fast. No matter how many games I had to play, I’d prove Krix wrong about her opinion that all newbies are the same.
“Dying,” she stated carelessly, tracing her fin in patterns on the floor.
“Ok... bye.” I shut the door behind me, jogging back to the arcade where I played as many games as I could manage. By the time I finished, I was at ten thousand neopoints. I clutched the now-bulging bag of neopoints to my chest proudly, setting off to find where I could get some furniture.
It took me twenty minutes to find the furniture shop in the bazaar, but luckily I was able to get directions from a passing shopper. Once inside, I browsed through all the selections. There weren’t many, so I figured I’d probably have to wait for somebody to restock the shop again. I sat in a Functional Grey Chair to wait, trying not to breathe in the scent coming off the flight of Dung Stairs. Luckily my neohome was only one story high, so I didn’t have to open that can of worms.
After nearly a half hour of waiting, the shop finally restocked. A group of users swarmed around the new items, buying out almost half of them. I waited patiently for them to leave, and once they did I saw the perfect items. First I bought a Dried Bamboo Bed, along with a matching table, shelf, two chairs, and a mat. They were all cheap and made out of the matching dried bamboo. I then bought two plates, three pairs of forks, knives, and spoons, and a pair of cups. I lugged my cargo behind me, hope blossoming in my chest that Krix would be happy.
I almost forgot to buy food, but managed to remember while I passed the food shop. When the shopkeeper saw my empty neopoint bag, I was quickly redirected to the Money Tree. There I managed to snag a carrot, a bag of neo crackers, a sausage and pepperoni omelette, a pumpkin pie, orange chicken, a carrot and pea omelette, a mashed potato, and a book titled Ogrin Warrior. I also managed to pick up a Strawberry Milkshake that somebody had left on the ground on the way home. I don’t know how I even got home with all that stuff, but somehow I managed.
“Krix, I’m home!” I called needlessly, since the neohome was only one room anyway. She was sitting the same place I left her, tracing designs on the ground. She didn’t look up, and I set up the furniture on my own.
I set the bed in the far corner, vowing to build a bedroom for Krix later. Next I set the table in the middle of the room, placing a chair on either side. The mat sat in front of the door, and lastly the shelf was attached to the wall. On top of the shelf I placed the neo crackers, carrot, orange chicken, pumpkin pie, and mashed potato. Then I set the plates, utensils, and cups on the table. On the plates went the two omelettes, and in the cups went half of the strawberry milkshake in each. I was feeling pretty proud of myself by the time I finished.
“Krix, it’s time for dinner!” I called, setting the Ogrin Warrior book on the new bed for Krix to read later.
She sighed, lifting herself up and dramatically sitting in the chair that had been pulled out for her. “I’m a vegetarian,” she whined, glaring disdainfully at the pepperoni omelette in front of her.
“Sorry,” I said, my patience wearing thin as I switched the pepperoni omelette with my own carrot and pea one. She didn’t utter a word after that, even when I tried to make small talk by asking what she did that day. I finally gave up and followed her lead, eating the rest of the meal in silence.
When we were both finished, I took down the pumpkin pie and set it in the middle of the table. “Dig in,” I smiled, cutting two pieces out with a knife and setting them on our plates. Krix didn’t say anything, and my smile faltered briefly before flickering out altogether.
We were both in a bad mood by the time the sun was beginning to set. I didn’t have a sink yet, so our dishes sat on the shelf, still dirty. I didn’t snap until Krix sat down on the bed and said simply, “I hate this book.”
“What’s your problem?” I yelled, whirling around toward Krix. “I get furniture, food, and even a book for you, and you don’t appreciate any of it! No wonder nobody wanted you in the pound!”
I knew I had crossed a line when her lower lip began to tremble. “You want to know why?” she screamed right back. “You want know my sad, pathetic sob story of a life?” Tears had begun streaming down her face, and I felt guiltier than anything.
“I do,” I murmured softly.
“Ok,” she cried sarcastically. “Well, I was created by a newbie, kind of like you. She was fun, happy, and wanted the best for me. She played so many games, trying to earn enough neopoints to care for me. She bought furniture for our neohome, and bought nice food for me to eat. I was so happy, and so was she. Of course, it didn’t last, though.
“One day, she just disappeared. I didn’t know where she went, but I was sure she’d be back soon. Days passed, then weeks, and soon years had gone by. One day, I heard a knock on the door. When I opened it, there were two officials who had told me I was going to the pound, because my owner had been away too long. I refused to go, so determined that my owner was going to come back! But the officials dragged me way, kicking and screaming.” Krix shuddered and took a deep breath before continuing.
“Now I was still sure my owner would come back and take me from the pound. I acted horrible so nobody would adopt me, so my owner could still find me. Almost two years went by, and then you came.
“You reminded me of her, everything you did was almost exactly what she would’ve done. That’s why I’m angry and sad all the time.”
By the time she finished, her tears had stopped and her eyes had hardened. My heart went out to the poor thing, abandoned and alone. “I’m sorry, Krix, but you have to move on,” I told her. “I don’t think your owner is coming back.”
“I know,” she admitted.
We stayed quiet for a long time, and it was dark before we finally looked up at each other. We moved towards the one large bed and sat down, an unspoken agreement seemed to be almost tangible in the air between us.
It was my first day in Neopia, and I had already learned more than I could ever have imagined.