The Secret Diary of Mitsy Black
M-I-T-S-Y. Mitsy, that’s me. I am around 3 months old, and a green Aisha. Nothing special. There is absolutely nothing special about me.
I belong to the pound, as of 8 days, 4 hours, and 12 minutes ago. It feels so much longer, though, especially since I have yet to make any friends, the food is terrible, and I watch Neopet after Neopet being taken home with their new owners. It wasn’t fair, but they deserved it as much as I do. After all, I am completely ordinary, and there are the rare painted pets here that get snatched up at any chance.
I missed my family... my brother and sister. Zach, who was the funniest Tuskaninny you’d ever come across in years of living, and Dani, my younger Kacheek sister, who just learned to say my name the day before I left. I think about them day and night, and pray for them by my bedside that they would not be sent here, in this lonely cage, counting down the days to a new home.
And then there was my owner. I had always gotten the feeling that I was second hand to her, like the ugly stepsister or something. She would keep telling me, “The name Mitsy Black certainly does suit you...” She did love me though, no matter where I am now, there was love for me in her, somewhere. And yet I wonder, why she gave me up. She gave me up because she gave up on herself. She gave me up because she thought that she could no longer help me, but in her act of franticness, made me worse. She gave me up because I had come down with a terrible case of the Jitters. We were not wealthy, but not poor enough to be hospitalized and taken care of by the soup faerie. She couldn’t afford to get me the medicine, and as the days passed on, and I got more and more sick, she started to get tired of it. Tired of my moaning, my hunger, tired of me.
She dropped me by the pound door this Monday morning, pouring cold rain outside, and ran off without saying goodbye, or even opening the door. I could have run off then, into the dark of night, maybe to go over to a friend’s home for help, but I was too scared. Too mortified and confused that my owner would do such a thing. So I sat there, the rain sopping me wet and cold, sending my Jitters farther than I have felt them go. I felt so sick, so ill, I wanted to give up on myself like my owner did, but I heard a door open behind me, light spilling out from the pound.
I turned around, and faced the beautiful pink Uni who runs the adoption center. It looked as though she was going to leave for the night; she had her coat on and her purse in hand.
I didn’t say anything, just let the sound of rain smacking the pavement count in for noise.
“Oh my,” she said again, and took me by the arm, bringing me in.
The adoption center smelled like cleaning chemicals, so much it made my nostrils burn. The walls were plastered with posters of sad looking Chias, or the photograph of a happy owner, and his brand new and adorable Kau. I didn’t want to be a part of this, any of it; I just wanted to go home.
“Honey,” the Uni said, bringing me back, “were you left here by your owner?”
I didn’t answer her. I was still feeling horribly sick and was in shock of what just happened. I couldn’t breathe.
“Honey, are you... abandoned, dear?”
“Yes,” I said at last, feeling the sting of that word on my tongue. I felt the prickles in my nose, and could feel I was going to cry.
She lowered her eyes to me, and had this look on her face, as though she were thinking, “Not another one.”
“You don’t look well, dear. Are you sick?”
I nodded. She felt my head and made a ‘tsk’ noise with her mouth a couple times, and led me into the adoption center.
So here I am now, eight days later, sitting on my bed in the Neopian Pound. The first day had been so long and lonely, and I was crying in my bed until noon, when the beautiful Uni gave me another visit, and gave me this notebook. She told me that if I wrote in it, all of my thoughts and emotions, I would feel better, and the days in which I was here would seem to melt away as fast as ‘ice cream on a hot day’ as she put it. She was the only one here capable of putting a smile on my face, but it left after she disappeared through the orange curtain, and returned to greeting people who walked into the pound. I do feel a whole lot better now, after scribbling away furiously in this green notebook, which almost matches me perfectly.
I feel a lot better physically too. To those of us who are sick, they try to take care of us as much as they can. I am not completely healed, but far better than the night I was abandoned. It even hurts to write the word. It sends lightning bolts through my stomach and thumbtacks in my hand. I had to get used to it, though.
Today is Saturday, 9:30 in the morning, the “Owner Rush” as I have learned it’s called. We all stand by our beds, side by side, for owners to look at us and decide who they want to take home with them. Home; it was such a kind word. I hoped that this wouldn’t be my home forever. It was all a competition here, each Neopet primping their selves up for the big morning, combing their long fur, and bathing outside in the pond. It wasn’t ever a competition of who wanted it more; everyone wanted it just the same. It was presentation, which saddened us all.
“This is my third month here,” an Acara said in her nasally voice. She hadn’t said it with any regret in her voice, nor sadness. But with maybe, a bit of boasting. “So don’t you all think your going to be going home today. It’s my turn.”
“Hurry, dears! They’re coming in!” the Uni called from behind the curtain, sticking her head in.
We all assembled at the side of our beds, standing tall and straight, smiling like our teeth were rubbed with Onion Balm. I have gone through this process once before, but I was still getting used to the feeling. The feeling of the owners watching you, and evaluating your presence, touching your nametag wrapped around your neck to read your name.
“Here we go again,” a Techo muttered behind me.
The owner walked through the curtain, wide-eyed and pretty, with sharp curls in her hair and a blushed cheek.
“Hello,” she said to us all. “I’m Alina.”
There was no response from the rest of us, just the silence that we were used to. She nodded anyway, and began down the line.
“Oh my,” Alina cooed, looking around. “You are all so beautiful. I can’t possibly choose just one!”
I could feel the many responses or sarcastic comments jumbling around in everyone else’s mouths, just by the shifty looks on their faces or how they looked around at each other.
My heart almost stopped when she came to me, and picked up my nametag gently, reading it with her fantastic brown eyes.
“Mitsy Black. That’s a pretty name... not one you hear every day, huh?”
“No, I- I guess not.”
She looked behind me, over to my bed, where I had accidentally left my notebook out and opened with my pen over across it.
“What’s that?” Alina said kindly.
I panicked. I didn’t want her to see it, and I didn’t want anyone to see it. It was private. “That’s... my diary.”
“Oh, I see.” The pretty girl nodded, still smiling at me, and I looked to the others with their defeated looks struck across their face, and I suddenly felt guilty.
She gave me one last smile before looking over the rest of the abandoned pets here. I wondered what she saw in me, what made her stop by my bed and say my name and ask about my diary. It was my first boost of confidence, an insight to the rest of my life. Alina left that day with no pet to take home, as she was far too overwhelmed to take just one of us, and left with a tear in her eye regretting the fact that she could not help us all.
I made friends after this, with many of the pets I shared a room with. It was no longer intolerable or painful, because this was my new family. And for the moment, this was my new home. I got more frequent visits from the pink Uni, who gave me another notebook when I had filled my first one all the way up, and it began to get tatty and over used.
I still lie awake at night, though, thinking of my brother and sister, and missing them with all my heart, and having to endure this heartache I feel, the noisy silence, like cold rain smacking the pavement.