In Perfect Harmony: Part Three
“So, how was the party?” Ali’s owner asked as the tired Yurble walked into the living room with Mat, who had picked her up from Lea’s house to bring her home.
“It was alright,” she replied, sitting down on a chair as Rose came running in, “I had fun overall; Lea sure knows how to throw a good party!”
Mat shot a look at his sister. “You sure don’t seem that enthusiastic, Ali. Is anything wrong?”
Ali shrugged. “Lea wanted me to sing in a singing contest she had at the party. I really didn’t want to, but I participated for her sake.”
“That was very kind of you.” Ali’s owner hugged the Yurble. “I’m proud of you, dear. Sometimes it’s nice to do things for others even if you don’t want to do them.”
Rose stood in the center of the room, listening to the conversation. “Wow, Ali, you sang in a contest? How come you wouldn’t enter that singing contest, then?”
Mat shushed her, letting the Shoyru sit on his lap. “She didn’t want to,” he whispered in her ear.
“Why not?” Rose responded loudly. She turned to address Ali, “You love singing, Ali! I really don’t get why you won’t enter this contest; it would be so cool if you won.”
“What contest are you referring to?” their owner asked.
Before Ali could respond, Rose jumped up. “It’s a new contest in Neopia Culture where you have to put a video of you singing on Neovision with a certain title and stuff and if you win you get to perform anywhere you choose!”
“Well, you sure seem very excited about this,” Mat laughed, “I don’t know about Ali, though. I assume she would be the one entering this contest if anyone in the family entered at all?”
“Yeah!” Rose exclaimed, “But Ali won’t enter it and she won’t say why.”
Ali rolled her eyes. “I already told you, Rose: I don’t plan to be a singer when I’m older, so why enter? I never liked performing; honestly, I try to avoid it. So why enter a contest that gives you a chance to perform?”
“Whatever,” the Shoyru sighed.
“If Ali doesn’t want to enter, you need to accept that, Rose,” Mat said. “Since it wouldn’t be you entering, why are you making it such a big deal?”
“But it would be so cool if Ali won,” Rose explained, “and she’s so good at singing; she could totally be a singer in a band like Usuki Star.”
“She doesn’t want to, Rose,” their owner stated firmly. She glanced at the clock. “Oh, you three should really be in bed by now. Go get ready, it’s late.”
The Neopets walked to their respective bedrooms and prepared for bed. As Ali changed out of the outfit she had worn to the party, Rose sat on her bed not getting ready.
“I’m sorry,” the Shoyru apologized to her sister.
Ali turned towards Rose and smiled slightly. “Thanks, Rose.” She paused. “You should start getting ready; Mom will get mad at you. I’m surprised you were even allowed to stay up this late.”
“It’s Friday, so it’s not as big of a deal. And I wanted to see you when you came home, anyway. I guess that was okay with her.” But Rose obeyed Ali’s suggestion and began to get ready for bed.
* * *
Ali was woken up by Rose’s shouting her name. The Yurble rubbed her eyes, annoyed to be awake at such an early hour on a Saturday, and sat up. She sleepily drifted out of bed.
“What is it, Rose?” Ali yawned, obviously uninterested in whatever Rose would answer. All she could think about was how good it would feel to go back to bed.
“You won’t believe what I found!” Rose pointed at a video she had up on Neovision.
Ali rolled her eyes. “I hope you didn’t wake me up for some silly cartoon story like the one you insisted on showing me last week,” She started to walk back to her bed. “I’m going to sleep again; it’s Saturday and I want to sleep late. You can show me whatever this thing is in the afternoon, Rose.”
“Please, Ali!” Rose began to pull her sister away from the bed. “It’s not a waste of your time, I promise you. It’s not a cartoon!”
“Fine,” the Yurble grumbled, “But I hope it’s short, because after this I’m going back to bed. I don’t see why you couldn’t wait.”
Rose did not respond, but instead started to play the video that was up. Ali gazed in wonder: this was certainly not a cartoon. Before her eyes was her singing in Lea’s singing contest. She could not believe it; who had put this on Neovision? And why would someone do such a thing when Ali was the one who had been singing?
When the video ended, Ali’s mouth dropped open. Rose giggled when she saw her sister’s reaction. “So, what did you think?”
“I don’t care, Rose; who would put me on Neovision? This person didn’t even ask me if he or she—whoever it was—could do that!”
“You’re so mad,” the Shoyru pondered gloomily. “I knew you might not like it, but I didn’t think you would react so harshly.”
“Of course I’m mad! I wouldn’t have known this was up here if you hadn’t told me,” Ali cried.
“I’m sorry,” Rose muttered disappointedly.
Ali sighed and hugged her sister. “I’m glad you told me, Rose,” she admitted, “I’m not angry at you; I’m angry at the person who put this on Neovision.”
The Shoyru whimpered. “Okay,”
At that moment, the owner of the three Neopets walked into the bedroom. She gazed at the two Neopets and rubbed her eyes. “What are you two doing up so early? I heard some commotion in here, and I wanted to make sure you were alright.”
Ali gazed out the window. The sun was now visible behind the rolling, green hills of the faraway countryside. It had now become a reasonable hour: farmers were pushing carts down rough, stone paths; families that lived nearby were making trips to nearby shops and the marketplace; young Neopets were rushing to fulfill quests for the Faeries, in hope of receiving something nice for their families.
Minutes passed before the owner received an answer from either Neopet. Finally Rose began to explain, “I found a video on Neovision of Ali singing last night at the party she went to, so I showed it to her.”
The owner nodded but said nothing.
“I’m not sure who put that video up,” Ali continued, “But I am so mad, Mom!” The Yurble ran to her owner and buried her head in the owner’s robe.
“I’m sure it will be fine,” the owner whispered comfortingly. In a stronger voice, “Does it say who put this video on Neovision, Rose? I don’t believe you are allowed to do something like that without permission.”
Rose grimaced. “There’s a name, but I don’t know how that helps.” The Shoyru pointed at the name and the owner followed her finger.
“Jenny.” The owner closed her eyes to think.
“Oh, Mom!” Ali yelled, nudging her owner. “I know who that is! There was a Chia who came up to me after I sang and she was completely nuts about my singing; I’m pretty sure her name was Jenny, so she’s the one who probably put this video up.”
“Well,” the owner laughed, “you knowing this Neopet saves us a lot of time. Could you ask Lea for her address so I can go speak to her?”
“Sure,” Ali responded excitedly, “I’ll ask her on Monday when I see her at Neoschool. Lea doesn’t have a great memory, but she’ll probably have it written down somewhere in some book.”
Ali started to climb back into bed, signaling that there was nothing more to discuss. Their owner began to leave the room, but stopped when Rose shouted, “Wait!”
Both the Yurble and the owner turned to face the innocent Shoyru. “There’s something else I forgot to tell you,” she admitted bashfully. “Judging from the title the video is under, it looks like this Jenny entered you into the Neopia Culture contest.”
Ali closed her eyes. “I can’t believe this,” she moaned.
“Now this is taking things a bit too far,” the owner lamented. “Hopefully I can speak to Jenny’s owner as well. I can’t believe someone would do such a thing without asking permission.”
“They have to disqualify the entry, though, since Jenny didn’t have my permission to submit an entry for me into the contest. And it’s not her singing, either,” Ali pointed out.
“That’s true, Ali.”
Rose looked miserable during the entirety of the conversation. When all was silent, she weakly said, “I’m sorry.”
Ali patted her sister’s head. “There’s nothing to apologize for, Rose.” But the Shoyru hung her head and walked out of the room, heading towards the kitchen.
* * *
Monday was the first rainy day in Neopia Central in weeks. Since early May, the weather had been pleasant each day, satisfying its citizens that summer had practically arrived. But after a sunny weekend, the sky became cloudy and dark. Soon raindrops were gliding down from the sky lightly, and Neopians gazed upwards in awe, as if they had never seen rain before. After recovering, everyone resumed their daily affairs, assured that tomorrow would bring the summer weather back.
Despite the wet roads, Ali raced home from Neoschool, her siblings anxiously attempting to catch up with her. When the Yurble finally reached the door of her home, she hastily entered, waving a piece of paper above her head.
“Mom!” she yelled as loud as possible, “I have the address!”
Her owner appeared from an archway leading to the kitchen and took the paper from the Yurble. She glanced at the scribbled font and nodded.
“Can we go visit now?” Ali pleaded.
The owner laughed. “If you don’t have much work to do, then yes.” She paused. “I Neomailed Jenny’s owner earlier; the poor girl had no idea such a thing had occurred and sent her apologies for Jenny causing trouble. I told her we got their Neohome address from Lea and that we would want to stop by, so anytime this afternoon should be fine.”
“It’s nearly the end of school,” Ali responded. “So I don’t have a lot of work. Let’s go, Mom!” She dropped her book bag on the ground in the corner of the room and clapped her hands excitedly.
The owner grabbed the Yurble’s hand and said a quick goodbye to Rose and Mat, who were in their respective bedrooms, and they left for Jenny’s house.
To be continued...