A sequel to Princess Aratemese.
Aratemese stepped into the classroom. She quickly sat down in her seat. You have no idea how much she wanted to run out. Ara couldn’t stand this class.
“Please,” Ara begged to the clock. “Make it time for lunch.”
The clock didn’t listen. Ara sighed and slumped in her seat. She looked at her Striped Notebook and smiled. She opened it and peered inside.
A couple pages were ripped out, but Ara didn’t mind. Those pages were used for her essay about herself. It was the greatest true story she ever wrote. Ara was bound to get an A, or A+, or A++, or...
The teacher walked in. She sighed at the blue Tonu, agonizing over his presence. The first class she had with Mr. Meems was OK, but the next class was much worse when he made the class write about Meridell. Seriously, Ara thought, how can anyone think of a good idea that quickly? It’s not my fault all I could think of was their Potatoes!
Mr. Meems stood in front of the classroom. The room was silenced.
“I have graded your essays about yourselves,” he began. “And they were very nice.”
He looked down at the papers.
“Well, most of them were.”
He slowly passed each paper to each student. Ara wondered if he walked slowly for dramatic effect, or just to annoy them. He gradually passed them to the students in front of the Xweetok, with squeals and groans following.
Finally, he reached Ara’s desk. This is it, she thought. My A+ is in the bag!
Mr. Meems placed the paper on Ara’s desk. The Xweetok gasped. It wasn’t an A. It wasn’t a B, C, or even a D.
She got an F.
“When I say write about yourself, I don’t want you to write a fiction story,” Mr. Meems said, giving Ara the biggest frown she’d ever seen.
Aratemese fell back into her chair, and drummed her fingers on the wooden desk in annoyance. Mr. Meems had no idea that her ‘fiction’ story had actually happened to her. She really did used to be a princess, who was one day captured by pirates and escaped. She did swim all the way to a beach where Pretzel found the Xweetok and let her live with her.
Unfortunately, he didn’t believe a single bit of it.
Ara took one last look at her essay, and then shoved it into her backpack.
“What’s wrong?” Aratemese’s best friend, Carlos the Blue Grundo, asked.
Aratemese leaned against her locker and sighed.
“Mr. Meems gave me an F on my essay,” she said sorrowfully.
“I don’t blame him,” Carlos said, pulling out his textbook. “You tried to turn in some story about a princess being captured by pirates. Everyone knows that just happens in stories.”
Ara felt her ears grow warm. That always happened when she was angry; her ears turned bright red and they burned her fingers if she tried to touch them. Her best friend back at the palace, the maid named Violet, used to tease her, saying they were turning into volcanoes. One time, Ara actually believed it and dunked her head in the lake.
“Carlos, please keep your comments to yourself,” Ara said, with her paws clenched into fists.
Ara reached into her book bag and pulled out her essay. She snarled and threw it onto the ground in disgust. With the bell ringing, Aratemese stormed away.
The next morning, Beauty put on some red blush before heading to school. To Beauty, she thought she was making herself look gorgeous. To Aratemese, she thought Beauty looked like a circus clown.
“Will you hurry up, already?” Ara asked her older sister.
“Looking fabulous takes time, you know,” Beauty said, applying more Pink lipstick.
“Hurry up, guys. You’ll be late for school!” Pretzel called from downstairs.
Beauty sighed and grabbed her Faerie Backpack. The Uni trudged out the door, with Ara following with her Jeran Backpack. Together, Ara, Beauty, Dustin, and Zerpana walked out the door and to school.
It was a brisk Autumn day. The trees along the sidewalk were dotted with yellow and red, and the ground was covered in piles of leaves. Ara smiled. Today would be much better that yesterday. She could feel it in her heart.
Zerpana opened the door to the school, and her siblings walked in. She closed the door behind them.
Suddenly, someone shouted, “Hey, look! It’s Princess Aratemese!”
Laughter soon followed by the other students. Ara suddenly felt her stomach churn, and her heart revving faster. Her cheeks suddenly felt warm. What was going on? Was she... embarrassed? Ara was rarely embarrassed, so she found this shocking. How did they know about her secret? Was she dreaming?
Aratemese then saw Carlos, laughing so hard he cried. Ara’s embarrassment quickly turned to anger. Her ears turned red as she approached the blue Grundo.
“What happened?” she practically screamed at him.
Ara then saw a wad of paper in Carlos’s hands. She snatched it from him and unraveled it. She gasped.
“YOU TOLD THEM ABOUT MY ESSAY?”
“Well,” Carlos said, looking away from her, “you obviously imagine yourself as a princess, so I decided to pull a few strings and help you fulfill your dreams.”
Ara now just wanted to scream, she was so disgraced. She could never show her face at school again. She’d have to change her name and wear a bag on her head to go around unnoticed. She’d now have to sign her name on homework and tests, “Princess Aratemese.”
She ran away, with frustrated tears streaming down her face.
Aratemese groaned and plopped down onto the Straw Sofa in the Living Room back at home. A piece of straw poked her in the arm, and she yelped and hopped back up. She could faintly hear Pretzel cleaning dishes in the Kitchen. Oh no, Ara thought, I can’t let Pretzel know I came home from school early. She might punish me. Or worse, she might take me back.
With that thought, Ara shuddered and sat on the Functional Grey Chair. She kept her breathing quiet, so Pretzel couldn’t hear. Nothing would make her move...
Of course, Pretzel then came in and noticed the Xweetok sitting in the chair. Pretzel walked over to her.
“What’s wrong, Ara? Shouldn’t you be at school?” Pretzel asked tenderly.
Ara always felt better when Pretzel asked what was wrong. It felt almost as great as winning the Altador Cup. She could tell her anything.
“Carlos,” Ara admitted. “He told everyone about my essay. Now everyone’s going to make fun of me! I’ll have to change my name, wear a bag on my head...”
“I think you’re overreacting, Ara,” Pretzel said.
“How do you know?” Aratemese asked.
“Because,” Pretzel said, “everyone gets teased. Just ignore them, and they’ll stop.”
“That’s not all that’s bothering me,” Ara told her. “Mr. Meems thought I was making everything up in my essay, when all of that happened to me. Just because it sounds outrageous doesn’t mean it’s a lie.”
“He’ll never believe me.”
Pretzel placed her hand on my shoulder.
“I’ll believe you, and so will your siblings. That’s all that matters,” she said, smiling.
Ara couldn’t help it. She hugged her owner.
“Now, you better get going. School doesn’t end for another three hours,” Pretzel said.
Aratemese smiled. She ran out the door. Pretzel was right. It didn’t matter what Carlos thought of her essay. Neither did Mr. Meems’s opinion matter to her. What mattered was what she thought of her essay, and she thought it was pretty good. It was actually Neopian Times worthy! She should talk to Pretzel about that soon.
Even if the school makes fun of her forever, she’ll always be who she thinks she is. She’ll always be Aratemese.