It Has Always Been Right in Front of You
They stick with you, some more than others. And there is one that I just cannot seem to get out of my head, no matter what I try to distract myself with. Finally, I give up trying not to think about it and put down my favorite book, unable to concentrate on it. I review the dream again, trying to figure out what makes it seem so... important.
I am running. Sprinting, actually. I am sprinting and twirling, and I feel more alive than I ever knew I could. I am flying.
And so I am laughing as I run and spin. I throw out my arms and lift my face towards a sky I cannot see. I am surrounded by trees, and the canopy of their leaves is my sky now. I am so busy avoiding the trees that I do not notice a cliff, one that I am headed towards. I run off of it before I even realize it is there.
And then I am falling. It is exhilarating, but once I look down at the ground that is rapidly rising to meet me, I start to panic a little. Turning into a pancake was not on my to-do list today, you understand. So, I do the only thing one can do in my situation- I close my eyes and I wish more than I have ever wished for something before that I could just be somewhere, anywhere, else.
There is solid ground under my feet. How did that happen? I cautiously open my eyes, afraid of what I will see. I am no longer in the woods, but I do not care. I am somewhere better. It is perfect- there is a natural fountain, and a rock slide. Colorful flowers bloom around trees that are draped in ivy and vines. It is all so bright, my eyes need to adjust so that I can look at it without squinting unattractively. Looking around here is like looking into the sun. Nevertheless, I am hesitant to leave. I do not even know if I know how to leave, so I stay a little while. Eventually, I know I must go home and, feeling foolish, I shut my eyes and wish I can be back in the woods, by my cabin.
When I open them, that is just where I am. I cannot decide if that is good or bad, and I do not have time to. Mother is calling for me.
Of course, none of that could have ever possibly happened. I am a Pteri, you see, so I have wings. They are beautiful and purple and unforgettable. I am also exceptionally observant. If I had ever accidentally run off of a cliff, I would have just flown. Honestly, I prefer flying to walking most days, anyways.
But still, this dream has been really bothering me. I just cannot shake it.
Finally, I decide to consult my big brother, Altome.
“Aydellia,” he tells me, “you know you have not always been a Pteri, right?” This is news to me, and I have to take a seat, wrinkling my lovely purple dress. I do not care right now, because all that is on my mind is the need to know if this is true.
“What do you mean? Of course I have always been a Pteri, Al. You are just messing with me,” I protest. Surely, he cannot be serious.
“Sure. You know, Mum and Dad adopted you. You were a red Kacheek back then. They felt bad for you, because you were all alone. They decided to make you more like us, so they took you to Kauvara...” Altome explained, trailing off.
Well, now I just have to find out the rest of the story. I question him until he snaps at me to go find out what happened, because he does not know what Kauvara did. Thus begins my great quest.
The best place to start is obviously with Kauvara. She lives very far away, all the way in Neopia Central. Luckily, her uncle Klum lives in Meridell, quite close to our castle. I rush off to his shack and knock on the door.
“Hello! What can I do for you today, Princess?” Klum greets me.
“Please,” I ask, “call me Aydellia. I was just hoping you could help me find Kauvara. I would very much like to speak with her.”
He looks thoughtful for a little while, and then speaks again. “Well, Aydellia, I guess I can take you, if you would like. I have been meaning to pay her a visit. She jinxed me a couple of weeks ago, and it is payback time. Let us just see how she likes it when I use my newest creation, the Stream of Light potion, so that she cannot see!”
And so I find myself standing outside of Kauvara’s shop with Klum. I try not to stare very much, but he must have used a very powerful spell to get us here.
“She is not the only one who can do magic, you know,” he tells me with a little smile when he catches me looking at him.
We go inside and see Kauvara standing at the front of her little shop. I try to figure out the best way to ask her about my past, but it turns out that I do not have to trouble myself.
“Aydellia! I was wondering when I would be seeing you again,” she greets me. I try my hardest not to look surprised that she knows who I am.
“Now, I suppose you are here looking for me to tell you about your past?” she asks me. I nod, hoping she will just tell me what happened without my having to pry. “Sweetie, I do not think there is anything I can tell you that you could not figure out on your own.”
“Please, Miss Kauvara, would you tell me what you know,” I plead. How could I know my past, when no one ever told me about it?
“Just try to tell me. Let us see what you can figure out on your own,” she insists. I sigh, but think hard.
I think, and I think, and finally I realize that the answer is simple and has been right in front of my beak. “You gave my parents a morphing potion, and then they painted me royal,” I conclude. Kauvara nods and smiles at me like I have just solved one of life’s great mysteries.
I thank Kauvara politely and rush back to Meridell. As soon as I get there, I tell Altome what a fool I have been. As my brother, he is quick to agree with me on that score.
“Yes, that is something I noticed a long time ago,” he tells me.
My feathers bristle unflatteringly. “What is?” I demand, hoping that he is not talking about me being a fool.
“No one ever notices what is right in front of them. They get too caught up in the moment.”
“Oh.” And then I think about what he said. I have just proved him right. I need not have gone to see Kauvara at all to figure out what happened all those years ago. Besides, what does it matter now? I’m happy with my life as it is.