Do I Know You?
This is the sequel to 'Who Knew?'. What better way to introduce Kelsey_k49, my fourth pet? Enjoy!!
“Forrest, down,” I said for the bazillionth time. “Go bother Dilly for HIS pancakes!”
“Hey!” said Dilly from across the table. “He can eat some of Tamerick’s. Nurano already stole some of my pancakes.”
“I fail to see how something that lives in a fishbowl could steal something from you,” I said frankly. “But fine. Forrest, go eat Tamerick’s pancakes for him. He’ll be too busy READING to notice.” I emphasized that last part so my Ruki brother could hear it. But he made no indication that he had been listening and kept on with his Neopian Times Issue 3.
My petpet scurried over to Tamerick’s place at the table, but he couldn’t reach the plate with the steaming hot pancake on it. So I reached across the table, grabbed the flapjack and tossed it to the floor.
“Maja!” Tamerick looked up from his old newspaper. “I was eating that.”
“Was not.” I stuck out my tongue at my brother. He grabbed an apple from our fruit basket.
“I like fruit better anyway,” he shot back, taking a big bite.
My owner Darth walked into the kitchen. We’d gotten to be friends again right after that first day Dilly was here. It was like the whole transfer thing when I was really mad at her had never happened.
“Ok, guys, time for Neoschool,” Darth said happily – too happily. Something was up.
Tamerick saw nothing unusual in Darth’s behavior, good quiet Ruki that he is, but Dilly and I shared a look. My older Flotsam brother and I had become good friends also. He understood me really well.
“Uh, ok, D,” Dilly said. He usually calls her ‘D’ instead of Darth. “See you later.”
My brothers and I grabbed our backpacks and headed out the door. Dilly was the last to come out. He stopped in the doorway next to a little nightstand of a table that we have by our door. We usually just put the mail on it if we use it at all. Dilly picked up a form that lay on top. I hear him turn and talk to Darth, who was gathering up our breakfast dishes. I could hear my owner talking, then Dilly, then my owner again. I could tell who was speaking, but not what they were saying. Tamerick and I continued down the sidewalk.
“Hey, Dilly, we’ll be late!” Tamerick called.
There was a pause.
Dilly came out of our house and joined us as we walked down the street. Nobody lived on that pretty little street but us. I liked it there – the Roo Island grass was always emerald green and the sun seemed to always be brighter there.
Of course, now the perfect grass was blanketed in snow, but that was just as pretty. When my brothers and I came to a fork in the sidewalk, everything was normal gain and we went through our routine.
“Ok, Maja, see ya,” Dilly said. “Have a good day.”
“Don’t miss the ferry,” Tamerick warned, as usual. “And don’t let that Pyon out, will you?”
He looked at my petpet carrier.
“Alright,” I agreed. “Later, Tam. Later, Dilly.”
Dilly and Tamerick are older than me, so they go to the Roo Island Neoschool that’s for older pets, while I take the ferry over to Neopia Central, where my school is. When I got over to the dock, the usual crowd of classmates was there waiting for the Roo Island S.S. Express to arrive. I knew that there were exactly twelve people that waited there each morning, including me. I did my usual head-count. I have this habit of needing to know for sure things like what’s going on and whose here.
“11... 12...” I counted, satisfied. “...13. Wait, 13?”
There was a shy-looking blue Xweetok wearing a woolen cap on the edge of the crowd, standing a little apart from the chatting other pets. She looked afraid and unsure of what to do. She held an S.S. Express pass in a sweaty palm. She looked friendly enough, so I walked over. Maybe she wouldn’t be as shy since we were both Xweetoks.
“Hi!” I said. Then I poured out questions all at once. “Are you new? Are you going to Central Neopian Neoschool? What’s your favorite color? Do you have a petpet? I’m in Ms. Larken’s class, what about you? Do you live on Roo Island? I like your hat. Do you like the Lost Desert? I LOVE the Lost Desert. What do you want to be painted? Where are you from? What’s your name?”
She looked confused and completely surprised.
“Uh... um...” She stuttered. “Yes, I live on Roo Island. I’m going to the Central Neopian Neoschool. It’s my first day. I’m in Ms. Larken’s class, too. I guess I like the Lost Desert. I’ve never been, though. I always kind of liked the Faerie and Cloud paint brushes. I do have a petpet, yes...”
A Gobbler poked his head out of the Xweetok’s backpack. Shyly, the girl continued, “His name is Kelso. And my name is Kelsey.”
I stuck out a paw. “Kelsey and Kelso, then! I’m MajaLeone. Call me Maja.”
She shook my paw gently. “And answering your other question, I’m from... the Pound.”
“The Pound!” I gasped. “What was it like?”
“Horrible,” she said quietly. “My owner just picked me up this morning. I haven’t been home even. She thought I might be able to make Neoschool today, so we rushed right over here.”
“I bet you’re glad you’re finally out of there,” I said.
“I am,” she said. “I thought I would never be free again. I’m just lucky Kelso was with me that whole time. A lot of other Pound pets didn’t have anyone to keep them company.”
She looked down at her Gobbler. “He’ll have to stay in my backpack, though, I guess. I didn’t have time to drop him off at my house, and refused to go with my owner. He just needs time to get used to her.”
“You’re in luck,” I said. “It’s petpet day at school. I brought my Pyon.”
I opened the metal door of my petpet carrier and set it on the ground. Cautiously, my Lost Desert petpet crawled out.
“Oh, he’s so cute!” Kelsey cried. She crouched down and put out her paw for my petpet to sniff. I was surprised she knew to do that instead of just reaching out and petting him. She was a lot gentler than other pets.
Well, my Pyon certainly noticed too, because he adored Kelsey.
“His name is Forrest,” I said. “I don’t know why I named him that, since he’s a Lost Desert petpet.”
Kelsey stood up again. “I like that name,” she said. “And I’m glad it’s petpet day. I don’t know what I would’ve told the teacher when I brought a Gobbler into the classroom.”
We laughed. I couldn’t believe my luck! I had friends around Roo Island, sure, but they don’t go to the same Neoschool as me. I just usually sat around by myself at lunch and recess. Now I had someone who related to me completely! And she lived on Roo Island, too!
As we talked some more, the ferry rolled up to the pier. “All for Neopia Central, come aboard!” a sailor cried.
“That’s us,” I announced. Kelsey and I found seats together on the boat, and then talked even more. We had so much in common, it was hard to believe!
When we were at Neoschool, we pretty much stuck together the whole day. Lunch time came around, and so we sat at the same table by ourselves. It felt weird to have somebody to talk to during lunch.
Kelsey took out her sandwiches from her brown paper bag. “Oh no!” she gasped.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, worried.
“My owner stopped by the Bakery to buy some sandwiches for my lunch,” Kelsey explained. “I didn’t have time to tell her that I had a couple of food allergies. She bought a Purplum and Cheese Sandwich – I’m allergic to Purplum!”
“That IS bad,” I said, thinking it through. “I know! Wait... you aren’t allergic to TeaLeef, are you?”
“No,” Kelsey said.
“Then since I love Purplum, we can trade sandwiches!” I proposed. “I have a TeaLeef sandwich.”
“Oh, Maja, thank you!” Kelsey said. “You’re great.”
And so we did a lunch exchange and went on with the rest of Neoschool. Finally, that afternoon, the bell rang, and Neoschool let out. Kelsey and I walked to the pier and got on the ferry.
“Ok, Kelsey,” I said at the docks, when we’d gotten off the S.S. Express. “See you tomorrow!”
“Got it,” she said. We shook paws, and I started to walk home.
I hummed to myself some of the Day of Giving songs I’d learned to play on my flute as I walked down the snowy paths. I looked up at the white trees and smiled. I loved wintertime. I guessed that would have to change if I ever got painted Desert like I wanted to.
“No,” I thought. “I’ll never stop liking wintertime.”
I walked some more, blowing on my hands to make them feel warm. Already the sun was getting lower in the sky. I didn’t especially like winter’s short days (less time for exploring), but that was a minor flaw. No season can be perfect, I guess.
After a while, I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. Forrest started to glow purple in his carrier. He does that sometimes – when he hears something.
I stopped. “What’s wrong, Forrest?” I asked.
I whipped around to see the small brown-blue figure of Kelsey. Her Gobbler stood by her side, enjoying the winter scenery.
“Kelsey,” I said. “Are you lost?”
“No,” she replied.
“Ok,” I said suspiciously. “Bye, then. I’ll see you at the pier tomorrow.”
I turned around and began to walk again. I heard no more footsteps behind me.
I got to the fork in the road and took the path to the right, as always. Tamerick and Dilly would be home already, since their walk was shorter.
I started onto our street. I couldn’t see my house yet, but I wasn’t far.
“Don’t worry, Forrest,” I said. “We’ll be home soon, I promise.”
One area where my petpet and I disagreed is about snow and the cold. He wasn’t used to it, so he didn’t like to go out a lot. Snow fell softly now, and Forrest ducked inside his petpet carrier to make sure none of it touched him. My furry snow boots separated my paws from the frozen sidewalk.
Something slipped on the sidewalk behind me. I turned around again, this time with a good idea of who was following me.
“Kelsey!” I exclaimed. “Kelsey, WHY are you following me?”
“I’m... erf... not following you, Maja!” Kelsey insisted, getting up off the ground. “I’m going home.”
“Kelsey.” I stopped, and looked at her, cold and hard and serious. “I am the only one that lives out here. Me and my brothers and my owner and I. That is IT.”
The small, shivering blue Xweetok looked at me for a moment. Realization came into her eyes and she opened her mouth to speak, but I cut her off.
“I am going HOME, Kelsey,” I said as if it was set in stone. “I am going to my house, and you are going to your house. Now GO!”
I turned and started to walk away.
“STOP FOLLOWING ME!” I screamed, scared now of this harmless little pet that was my friend earlier, and ran fast.
Kelsey started to sprint after me. She was a lot faster than she looked, and she was catching up every second. I finally saw my front porch just a few yards ahead when Kelsey’s paw reached my shoulder to stop me. I stopped running and whirled around. I couldn’t see Kelsey’s expression in the shadows of the bushes that lined our sidewalk.
“Maja, listen to me, I...”
“NO! THIS IS MY HOUSE! GO AWAY!” I shouted, and I shoved the Xweetok to the icy ground. I ran as fast as I could to our porch. The welcoming yellow porch light flickered on as I tried the door. Unlocked!
I burst into our house and dropped Forrest’s petpet carrier as gently as anyone can when they’re scared and in a hurry. Dilly was just a few feet from the door, reading that same form again. He turned as soon as I came in, but didn’t have time to say anything. I ran over and hugged him, and felt safe again now that I was in my house with my family. But I was still crying a little, and I wasn’t out of the woods yet.
“Dilly!” I cried. He hugged me back, confused.
“Maja,” he said. “Maja, what’s wrong? What’s happened?”
I blurted out my story, eyes fogged with tears. Nothing would come out straight.
“There was the Xweetok... and, and, a woolen cap and a Gobbler... and Purplum sandwiches, and, and, the ferry... and following me, and Forrest and snow and she wouldn’t leave... and the Xweetok with the blue fur and...”
Dilly stopped hugging me and looked to the door. He immediately started to open it, going outside. “That must be...” he murmured.
He came off our porch and looked down our sidewalk. Kelsey still was on the ground, supporting herself with her arm. She was sniffling and crying, and Kelso was worriedly nudging at her, trying to comfort his owner.
“Kelsey!” Dilly cried as soon as he saw her. My brother ran over to the small figure and helped her up. Kelsey looked at him, sniffled and said, “W-Who are you? How do you know my name?”
Dilly ignored her questions and led her up the porch steps and inside.
“C’mon,” he said. “Let’s get you cleaned up and into bed. This will all make sense in the morning.”
“I sure hope it’ll make sense in the morning,” I thought. “I’m just as confused as Kelsey is.”
I dragged myself upstairs and went to bed, still with no clue what was going on. Darth, Tam and Dilly were all occupied trying to make Kelsey comfortable.
“Ok, Kelso, ok, fine,” I laughed. I tossed the Gobbler a handful of Kadoatie Puffs. Forrest came over to my seat and begged.
“Forrest,” I said frankly. “You know as well as I do that you don’t even LIKE Kadoatie Puffs!”
He sighed, defeated, and crawled back to his petpet bed.
“Keep that Gobbler away from my cold cereal,” Tamerick joked. “I’m eating today.”
Darth had been right: Everything was clear in the morning. She sat down with me in the middle of the night and explained that the form Dilly had been looking at was an adoption form. She had been walking down to the Bakery the week before and passed the Pound. At one of the windows she saw a sad-looking Xweetok looking out and immediately thought, “Maja!” But it wasn’t me. It was Kelsey.
She decided that she couldn’t leave that Xweetok there. So she walked right in and paid the Pound fee, then filled out a lot of forms. She couldn’t pick Kelsey up until the week afterwards, since there was still so much to sort out.
Then the day Dilly discovered the form, when our story began, it was time for Kelsey to be picked up. Early that morning, Darth had gone down to the Pound and gotten her, then rushed to the Bakery and the school supplies store. They were back on Roo Island before Darth had realized she could’ve just brought Kelsey straight to the Neoschool. So she took her down the Dock, which is where I came in, and you know the rest.
It was a pretty big shock to find out that Kelsey was my sister, but even more than surprise, guilt and shame lay heavily on me. I had gotten so mad that Kelsey had been following me home, and I had shoved her to the ground, while all the time she had just been going home. And she must’ve been so confused that I was angry – since she didn’t know that she was the only one who lived in that section of Roo Island. I had apologized again and again, and Kelsey had forgiven me and we’d decided to be friends again. So in the end, we were all happy.
I guess it’s sort of a cliché ending to say, ‘And they all lived happily ever after.’ But we did! So if it’s true, I can say with the utmost confidence:
And they all lived happily ever after.