Looks Don't Matter
It was a normal day in Neopia Central. Slightly windy, with a small chill. My sister, Rodie, and I were walking down the street.
“I am going to be a Battledome star in a week! You just wait! I'll beat everybody I see!” I said. She rolled her eyes at me. I was a Fire Jetsam, and she was a Faerie Draik.
Yeah, I was, or at least I thought I was rocking it in those days. I was at level 101 with 250 hit points, I had beat the mess out of the Space Faerie in battle, and I had been asked to be traded 401 times. I loved every second of it.
“You think you're so big and strong,” Rodie mumbled.
“Well, I am! I am big, strong, and protective of my baby sister,” I kidded her.
“Whatever!” She ran into Unis Clothing.
I finally got her out of there, and if I didn’t, my sister probably would have gotten us bankrupt. Why do girls have to love shopping so much? I guess it’s a legend, like the Loch Ness Monster.
We walked down the path, almost passing a bush, but I heard ruffling noises coming from inside.
I just knew that the Pant Devil was going to come out and steal Rodie’s new stuff, so I stood in front of her and protected her like the big brother I was. I loved looking so strong.
“Moe! Get out of my way!” It was totally unfair that her name was Rodie, and I was Moe_4921.
“No, listen.” I put my flipper up.
We heard a small giggle, and out stepped a little baby Bruce.
“Aw!” Rodie said from behind me.
What is going on? Why am I so small? And why am I wearing a diaper? I thought in disgust.
I stopped thinking and started yelling at the little creep. I listened to myself; I wasn’t calling him a little creep, either. I was, I was, I was crying. Why was I crying? I put the puzzle pieces together in my mind.
Oh sweet Fyora, Boochi had zapped me into a baby! All my hard work, down the toilet! Oh! The pain! The horror of being a baby! Every Neopet in Neopia seems to want to be a Baby, oh, but not me! And every Neopets wants to be the active one, just in case Boochi comes and decides to zap them baby, AND HE DECIDES TO PICK ME.
I cried for a while, then, oh spare me, then I spit up. All over myself. It was as if I had no self control. Why would anyone want to put their Neopet through this torture?
The day before the whole episode, our owner went to Altador to participate in the Altador Cup. She would be gone for a while.
Which, of course, that was perfect. Because that gave Rodie plenty of time to earn money for the lab map...
“Pictures! Pictures with this adorable little Baby Jetsam! Only 1000 Neopoints a picture!!” Rodie called out on the streets of Neopia Central. It lasted all day. We made about 100,000 Neopoints off of that, surprisingly.
“Why don’t we just buy a Fire, Fire, Your Pants On Fire Paint Brush?”
“Because the lab also does stats, and if I’m going to be a Battledome star, I’m gonna need the extra stats,” I said.
“Well, right now I just want to get you back the way you were.”
The next day we did the picture thing for a while, then we sold our junk in the Trading Post.
“All of these items are worth at least 50,000, people!” my sister cried out to the crowd.
Some big, know it all looking Darigan Lupe walked up. He offered 2,000 Neopoints and a Starry Paint Brush Plushie.
“Sorry, but that’s not what we are looking for,” my sweet, innocent sister said.
“What do you mean, little missy?! I have a Starry Paint Brush, PLUS 20,000 Neopoints.”
“Um, sir, the Starry Paint Brush is a plushie, and you didn’t offer 20,000, you offered 2,000. Offer rejected.”
“Do you have an IQ of -200?” He got so close it looked like he would crush her if he moved an inch closer.
“Hey! You leave my sister alone!” I cried out in a surprisingly squeaky voice.
“Aw, does the little Jetsam want to protect his big sissy?” the Lupe growled.
“No. The not so little Jetsam wants to take you down! Battledome, not tomorrow, but the next day, 2:30 NST.”
“You're on, little baby!” And he walked away in anger.
Rodie gave me an annoyed look. “We had plans to go on a gaming spree, remember?”
“I’m sorry, Rodie. I just want to protect you from all the creeps of Neopia, sorry.” I gave her a cute sorry face.
“Aw. It's okay.” She hugged me, and we went home. It was, it was, *sigh* it was naptime.
By the next day we had enough for the lab. We both sold our Morphing Potion collections that we had worked on for two years. But it was well worth it.
Until Rodie decided that she wanted to get zapped, too.
“Rodie, you are an Unconverted Faerie Draik. You're not getting zapped.”
“Aw, come on, Moe! I’ve been the same color for years! Can’t I get a little change?” Maybe she did have an IQ of -200.
“No! You have no clue how rare you are! Not to mention, you might not even get a color change. You will probably get stats. So let's get started.”
“You know, I could sneak away in the night and get zapped.” She was getting a little out of hand.
“What do you want?” I knew she wanted something.
“Promise me something,” she said.
“I promise on my Ghost Spardel.”
“Ok. You just promised me that you would stay on the first color/species change that you get.”
“Oh, Moe” -she giggles nonstop- “I’m not kidding.”
“Come on, let's put this baby together!” I rubbed my little hands together.
“Remember, you promised!”
“I do, I still promise.”
We put the map together, and we went to the lab.
I got zapped, hard.
The bright light faded; I opened my eyes. Rodie sat there, her jaw nearly touching the ground.
“How do I look?”
“You're going to wish you never made that promise.”
“How bad is it?” Boy, was I nervous now.
She handed me a mirror. I looked, and I didn’t see a baby Jetsam, or a Fire Jetsam.
I saw the worst thing that could possibly ever happen in all of my life, in all of Neopia, in all of time.
I was a pink Cybunny.
A PINK CYBUNNY.
I had to hit someone, anyone, anyone at all. I felt like killing myself. Seriously? A pink Cybunny? Did the world hate me?
We walked, well, Rodie walked, and I hopped home in silence.
I went to my room, slammed the door, and didn’t come out the whole next morning.
“Moe? Are you okay? I made you some breakfast. You can zap yourself again.” Rodie slowly made her way into my room.
“I made a promise and I’m keeping it. And I’m not hungry.”
“You didn’t eat any supper, though, are you sure you're okay?”
“No, Rodie, I’m not okay. All I ever wanted to be was a star Battledomer. That’s all. I wanted to be special, like you are. But then, that cursed little Boochi just had to come along and ruin every little aspect of my whole entire life.
“Then we just had to get me back, and I got zapped into a girlie species! I will never be able to show my face in the Battledome again.” I poured all my feelings out.
“The fact that you aren’t a Fire Jetsam is a very stupid reason to give up your dream, Moe.”
“No, it isn’t. Could you show your face in Unis Clothing as a Darigan Lupe, like the creep at the Trading Post? No, I didn’t think so.”
“I remember, when I was little, our owner was going to try and buy a Faerie Paint Brush for me. And you told me this: ‘If she can’t get the brush, don’t worry. You're beautiful the way you are, and looks don’t matter.’ Those are perfect words for now! Looks don’t matter!”
“Yes, but, Rodie, I knew that she already had the brush! So I knew you were going to be painted! I just said that for the big brother effect.” Immediately after I said it I knew she was hurt.
“So if something were to happen and I was to turn into a Darigan Lupe, I couldn’t tell myself looks don’t matter, because they do?” She started to cry.
“Aw, come on, Rodie!”
“Looks don’t matter, Moe! You need to feel good about yourself. That’s what I always tell myself when I feel bad, because you said that to me so long ago.”
“I’m starting to get it, now. Thank you, Rodie.”
“You were always such a good brother, now it's my turn to be the good little sister. You need to feel good about yourself! Come on, get up, and let's go to the Battledome, the place where your you.” She pulled me off of my bed.
We walked out of our Neopia Central home, and surprisingly, I wasn’t embarrassed when people looked at me.
We walked into the Battledome.
Home. I thought.
I challenged that Darigan Lupe that was a jerk that was at the Trading Post. He thought I was a girl so he went waaay easy on me. I kicked his butt! Rodie cheered me on and I did what I was best at.
I challenged a lot of other people, and I beat them all. I had the time of my life.
And, not being way too proud of how and looked, and not feeling totally bad about the pink Cybunny issue, I did a lot better knowing that I felt good about myself the way I was.
I guess that Rodie was right; looks don’t matter.