No More Waiting
If there was one thing Jai hated, it was waiting. Of course, there wasn’t just one thing that Jai hated. She also loathed lateness, mess, inefficiency, rock music and daydreamers. Without her, the adoption agency in which she lived would not be half as organised if she wasn’t there. Jai helped to sort through applications (though she wasn’t allowed to see any for her), look after baby pets, break up fights and make sure everything ran smoothly. It was sometimes a little claustrophobic, and so she would escape to the field behind her house and sit for a while, alone. On the whole though, it was a nice place to be.
However, as we have already mentioned, Jai was not in the habit of waiting for anything. She was not the type of Cybunny to sit around and wait for her fate to be decided. Instead, she took matters into her own hands. One bright and sunny morning, whilst the other pets were playing outside and her foster-owner, Miranda, was out at the shops, she snuck into Miranda’s office. There was a filing cabinet inside that contained all the applications Miranda had received and, with bated breath, Jai crept towards it.
She knew, of course, she had little chance of being caught, with everyone else so far away and occupied. That didn’t stop her from feeling nervous, however- not to mention a tiny stab of guilt. She quickly brushed away these feelings and pulled open the draw labelled J-M. Her folder was rather bulky; Jai was a very attractive white Cybunny whom everyone wanted to adopt. There was a list of names and addresses at the front of the folder and Jai picked it up. All of the names were crossed out except three- Tom, Sophie and Beth.
Tucking the piece of paper into her bag, Jai left to find the first person on the list. She wasn’t going to let anyone else decide who she went to live with- she would decide herself! She had few belongings besides her toothbrush and battered old saxophone so, with these in tow, she set off to the Haunted Woods.
It took her a little while to find Tom’s house, within the dark and twisting paths of the forbidden forest, but she eventually did so with the help of a friendly mutant Bori. The house was well-kept and a decent size, and though Jai was not all too keen on its location, she deemed it a place she would be happy to live. It was fairly large, but not as ominous as she had expected. It was made of dark brick and had a very shiny brass knocker on the door. She knocked.
A Darigan Kougra opened the door and looked at her suspiciously. “We don’t want to buy any cookies.”
“I’m here to see Tom. He’s thinking about adopting me.” Jai refused to be intimidated.
The Kougra snorted. “Adopting you? A girly little pet like you? I bet you don’t even battle, do you?”
“No,” said Jai, a little disheartened “but I do play jazz really well.”
“Listen to me, little runt.” The Kougra leaned towards her. “Tom might think he can adopt other pets, but the truth is, this is my house, and my house alone. Tom has spent all of his neopoints training me up to be one of the fiercest battledome pets in the world, and I will not have a silly jazz-playing Cybunny living in my house. Good day to you.” And with that, he shut the door.
Jai was a little shocked and bristling with anger. How dare he! Fine! She didn’t want to live in stinking Haunted Woods anyway, everything was disgusting there! Sniffing disdainfully, she turned around and set off to find Sophie and the hopes of a much better home.
Sophie lived in a vast white mansion in the middle of Faerieland. Exotic plants grew all round her front garden and her doorbell was made of pure gold. Jai was rather excited about the prospect of living with someone so rich- perhaps she could get painted a fancier colour?
The door was answered by a pretty young girl with perfectly curled blonde hair.
“Ohmigosh, Jaaaaaaaaaaai!” she squealed “I’m Sophie! Ohhh, please come in, we’re just about to have a party!”
Jai was quickly ushered into a huge reception area, where about twenty other pets were already chatting, eating and dancing. There was a huge assortment of colours and species, though most of them were rare, ranging from a pink Draik eating fondue to a faerie Gnorbu trying to start a game of wingoball.
“Make yourself at home, darling!” Sophie smiled and then dashed off to talk to the other guests. Jai busied herself trying the food (it was delicious) and making some new friends. Once the party began to come to a close, she stayed behind to help clean up and have a chat with Sophie.
“Of course, when I saw you on the adoption page, I just had to apply!” Sophie told her “Cybunnies are a dreamie of mine and you are just SO adorable.”
Jai blushed. “I’m definitely thinking living here would be pretty cool! Which of the pets from today are yours?”
“Ohh, all of them, darling, plus a few more who couldn’t make it.”
All of them? Jai hadn’t bargained for that; it would be even more chaotic than the adoption agency! She liked Sophie, but she got the feeling she wouldn’t get to spend much time with her with over twenty other pets around. If the third owner wasn’t great, Sophie was definitely her best option- but did she really want to be lost in the shuffle? Jai left feeling downhearted.
The final person on the list lived on Mystery Island, not quite as interesting as faerieland, but warm and peaceful. Her house was a little cottage on the edge of the beach, not far away from the island mystic. After all she had been through that day, Jai knocked a little tentatively.
The door was opened by a pretty royal Usul. On seeing Jai, she smiled instantly. “You’re Jaizzei, aren’t you? My owner told me she was applying for you! My name’s Liffy, come in! My owner was just making some tea.”
She lead Jai into a small but cosy kitchen where a young girl sat at the table. She jumped up.
“Jai! What are you doing here? Does Miranda know where you are?”
Jai had the grace to look at least somewhat ashamed. “No, she doesn’t. I snuck out to see what my potential owners might be like.”
“Ohh dear, she must be worried sick. Sit and have a cup of tea with us and then we’ll take you home.” Beth poured her a cup of tea and ushered her into a chair.
“Thank you,” said Jai. “I’ve travelled a lot today, and haven’t sat down once!”
“You travelled all that way on your own? That’s really cool!” Liffy looked excited. “I used to live in Brightvale, but I ran away here and I found Beth. You’re not running away, are you?”
Jai shook her head. For a moment, they sat in comfortable silence drinking their tea until Beth said, “Is that a saxophone sticking out of your bag? I love the way they sound. I wish I could play something but I’m hopelessly unmusical.”
“Yes, it is!” Jai picked it up and began to play, with Liffy and Beth listening attentively. No-one told her that she wasn’t wanted and with only one other pet there, she got plenty of attention. When it was time to go home, Jai was disappointed but also excited at the thought of telling Miranda something:
She had found a home.