Changes and Friendship: Part Four
Jenny pulled her chair over until it was right next to her Neopet, and fixed her with a stern look. Winkie hadn’t touched any of her food, saying that she was ‘not very hungry’.
“Now, listen here, Winkie,” she said firmly. “You haven’t touched your dinner, you’ve been silent since you came home, and you seem to be lost in some kind of dream world. I know something’s up. Please, Winkie, tell me what’s wrong.”
Winkie looked at her owner sadly, but she knew she should tell. Jenny would listen, and there was the slight possibility that she would...
She started speaking, not realising how tense and fast her voice was. “I met a very nice Neopet at school today. Her name’s Sadie. She was really kind to me, and talked to me on the way home. She’d had a difficult past – she been abandoned in the pound four times. I saw her home; it was just this kind of hut, run-down and everything, barely big enough for one Neopet. Then, when I went to buy the food for dinner, I saw her being abandoned at the pound again.” Winkie took a deep breath and bit her lip.
Jenny raised her eyebrows. “Are you saying that...?”
“Yes! Please! Do you think you could adopt her? She isn’t fussy, or mean, and we’ll be nice to each other...”
Jenny grinned. “This is someone you’ve only known for a few hours?”
“It doesn’t matter! Please, Jenny.”
Jenny sighed. “Honestly, Winkie... well, alright. Of course, we can’t go now... it’s much too late. But tomorrow afternoon, when we’re both back home, we’ll go.”
Winkie agreed, but in her mind she knew she couldn’t wait that long. She felt very disturbed as she went to sleep.
Winkie knew she was misbehaving, but she couldn’t help it. She wanted to look for Sadie, and make sure she was OK. She’d brought along one hundred neopoints – from what she’d heard, most Neopets in the pound cost around that much to adopt. She hoped she would be allowed to do this.
Winkie waved goodbye to Jenny like usual in the morning, but after walking a few steps towards her school, she flipped around and flew in the opposite direction, towards the Neopian Pound.
Everyone was rushing to school, the shops, the stock market or someplace like that, so Winkie wasn’t surprised to see the Neopian Pound with no-one looking to adopt or abandon. All the better – she was less likely to be in trouble. She held up a hand and knocked slowly, then entered.
Dr. Death was sleepily writing something in his notebook, and was very surprised to see a Neopet, without an owner, at this hour. “What do you want?” he growled, sitting up.
“I was wondering if I could adopt a Neopet.”
Dr. Death squinted at her for a long time. “You’re not an owner wearing a Halloween suit,” he said at last.
“No, I’m not. This friend of mine was abandoned last night, and I was wondering whether I could adopt her, on behalf of my owner. She’s a Yellow Aisha named Sadie.” Winkie took out the bag of neopoints, and handed them to Dr. Death. He, however, pushed it back, frowning.
“I’m sorry to disappoint you, but that Neopet managed to escape.”
“Escape? How? I didn’t know it was possible to escape from the Neopian Pound.” Sadie looked at the tightly locked doors around her.
“I didn’t, either, but she escaped. Found her cage open an hour ago. You’d best be on your way... to school.”
Winkie’s mind flicked, and in seconds she was out of the pound. Not caring that there were so many Neopians about that she could crash into, she soared over the roads and rushed towards her school. There was a possibility... she banged the door open, and hurried inside to her first class – Science. She was already rather late, although she hadn’t realised at first. Sadie was in her Science class. If she was there...
She burst through the door, surprising everyone and making her teacher drop the test tube she was holding – breaking it into a hundred pieces.
“Winkie!” gasped Miss Taily. “How could you...”
But Winkie didn’t care. Her eyes were on the back of the room, where she and Sadie sat yesterday.
The seat next to hers was empty.
Winkie flew around absent-mindedly that afternoon, continuously bumping into other Neopets and pushing them over. She didn’t care at all. All she cared about was Sadie. She could be in trouble right now, wandering the Neopian streets, alone...
She unhappily approached the door of her house. It was then that she noticed a letter in the mailbox. It had probably been there all day. The envelope was worn and old – probably one that had been found at the Money Tree. Winkie turned it over. She gasped as she saw the front of the letter. Could it be...?
The letter was for her, so she tore it open. Inside was one scrap of white paper, with the unmistakeable handwriting of Sadie on it.
Help. Meet me in Faerieland. Bring money.
For years after that, Winkie would wonder how she could’ve realised what a great friend Sadie turned out to be – and how she could’ve done such a daring thing for someone she barely knew. The truth was that Sadie and Winkie had a bond from the time they first set their eyes on each other. While Winkie had been spying on Sadie, she didn’t realise that, at other times, Sadie had been spying on her.
Winkie thought she was being really reckless at first. How could she just go to Faerieland? But she knew it was Sadie’s handwriting.
Fortunately, Jenny was still out of the house, so she had time to pack. She’d written a note saying that she was staying at another good friend’s house for the night, and would be back after school the next day. Hopefully she’ll fall for it, Winkie thought. She felt terrible. Sneaking off to the Neopian Pound that morning was nothing compared to what she was about to do – steal money, food, and supplies, then go to Faerieland by Uni Airlines. She frowned as she looked at the bag of neopoints in her hand. Would ten thousand neopoints be enough? It should be.
She was ready to go in a few minutes. A backpack over her shoulder, a bag of neopoints in hand, she rushed off to Neopia Central Airport. To her surprise, she was just in time for one of the flights.
Unis must be really strong, she thought. I could never fly all the way up to Faerieland, and they’re going to fly for the whole night!
The flight wasn’t really eventful. Winkie just stayed in the back, half-asleep the whole time. In her minds, one thought repeated itself over and over again –
Sadie, please be OK.
“Hey, wake up!”
“We’re here in Faerieland.”
Winkie rubbed her eyes and yawned. Then, suddenly, it clicked. She was in Faerieland. She was going to see Sadie. Leaping up, she zoomed off towards Faerie City, yelling “Thanks!” to the Unis as she went. Sadie had to be in Faerie City – how else could she have sent that letter? She felt a flutter of hope. She was flying so fast that she didn’t realise how many Neopets and Faeries she was knocking over.
It was Sadie! She landed slowly, a wide smile on her face. “Sadie!” She walked over and briefly hugged her friend. Sadie grinned. “Thanks for coming.”
“No problem at all! What do you need help with? Are you OK? Has more bad stuff happened?”
“Yes, I’m fine... more than fine... but I was wondering if I could ask a favour of you.” Sadie suddenly looked a bit shy. “I came to Faerieland because I wanted to find my old owner – as far as I know, she lives here now. But when I was looking around Faerieland for her, the Fountain Faerie appeared in front of me.” She took a deep breath. “She said that if I took her quest and found an item for her, I could get painted any colour I want in her fountain – even Plushie!” Her eyes lit up. “So I was wondering if you could help me, because I don’t have any money. After that, I’ll go back to the pound, and when I’m adopted I’ll pay you back twice as much as you...”
Winkie smiled and cut her off. “Sadie, don’t worry about any of that. I’ll buy the quest item for you, but after that we’ll go back to my house. My owner already said that she’s willing to adopt you. You can live with us, and we’ll never ever, ever, ever, EVER throw you in the Pound again. Do you want to come?”
Sadie looked at her with her and laughed. “Of course I do! But are you sure...”
“Of course I’m sure! Just come with me. Now, what is the item that you need? I’ve got ten thousand neopoints here...”
Winkie linked her arm in Sadie’s and the two of them walked along the path of clouds to a long period of friendship, happiness and adventure.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope I gave you something to look forward to every week! Now, how far would you go for a friend like Sadie?