The Usuki Singing Stars #2: A Surprise for Lola - Part Three
“Pounded!” Patricia and Sparkles exclaimed. Lola sighed and nodded. They couldn’t believe it. Why was Lola, the sweetest Cybunny in Neopia, being pounded? And to add to that, why was she being pounded on Christmas Eve?
Patricia felt sick at the thought of Lola being sent to the Pound. She knew something had to be done. “Do you know why you’re being pounded, Lola?” Patricia asked.
“It’s because my parents are worried for me,” Lola explained, her voice very hushed. “They think that pounding me is the only thing they can do to help me. They don’t think that the way we’re living now, under the Money Tree, is right for me. We’re slowly running out of food. We can’t go to the Soup Kitchen because my parents don’t believe in accepting charities. They already decided to move to Brightvale, but I’m not going with them. I’m still not sure why they chose Christmas Eve.”
“But Christmas Eve is only four days away!” Sparkles wept. She had already forgotten about her sparkly gift bag. “Oh Lola, you can’t go! We’ll take you in and ditch Sparklefrits! It’s the least we can do.”
“You can’t do that,” Lola assured her. “I‘m confident that some nice Neopian would pick me up right away and take me to a new home. I’m sure I’ll still be here next year.”
I don’t know, Patricia thought. The thought of Lola being pounded was bad enough, but thinking about Lola leaving was even worse! Patricia grew angry inside. Was there anything she could do for her friend? Suddenly, she was struck with an idea. “How about we help you find a new family!” she suggested.
“What do you mean?” Lola wondered.
“We’ll go walk around Neopia Central tomorrow and we’ll help you find a new family!” Patricia said eagerly. “I’m sure we can find someone who will adopt you! I heard Cybunnies are very popular.”
“But I’m not sure that will work,” Lola sighed. She was really confused about everything. “I’m just glad that I get to bring Mr. Porkers with me and maybe my Maraquan Usuki as well.”
Patricia and Sparkles tried to smile. Even though Lola seemed very optimistic, they knew inside that she was just as scared as them. When Borovan Day came to an end, Patricia waved goodbye to her friends and walked home. It snowed heavily while Patricia was inside. While she trudged her way through the deep snow, Patricia thought about her plan over and over. She decided to help out at the Soup Kitchen for only a few hours. The rest of the day could be spent finding a new home for Lola.
When she entered the house, Patricia saw a light flashing from the living room. It was their tree. Mother and Alan must have finished decorating it. They were both sleeping on the sofa by the fireplace. Patricia noticed that there were a few presents under the tree. As intimidating as it was, Patricia tried to restrain herself from touching them. She knew she still had to put her presents under the tree as well. She also had to find the perfect gift for Lola tomorrow.
“Enjoy your meal,” Sparkles said happily as she gave a hungry Lenny a bowl of soup. The Lenny thanked her and walked to a table. Patricia and Sparkles were actively volunteering at the Soup Kitchen. The girls were pleased that they were helping poor Neopians in their town. After they were done their shift, they took off their aprons and ran outside. Scary was waiting for them outside.
“You are so lucky that I’m wearing my Hannah coat today!” Scary exclaimed as she rubbed her hands. “If I froze outside while you guys wasted your time doing nothing, you two would be in HUGE trouble.”
“But we’re only helping those unfortunate,” Sparkles insisted. But Scary wasn’t caring. Even though she was told about Lola’s problem, Scary didn’t volunteer to help Lola. She didn’t even support Lola! As long as she wasn’t affected, Scary was fine with everything.
Patricia tried hard to keep her cool. Even though Scary wasn’t caring about anything, she knew she and Sparkles could help Lola by themselves.
“Are you ready, Pat?” Sparkles asked.
Patricia nodded. She then turned to a green Elephante that was walking right past her and asked, “Are you interested in adopting a yellow Cybunny?”
“No,” the Elephante replied as he walked away. Patricia nodded and decided to ask a white Uni the same question. Unfortunately, she got a no from her as well.
Sparkles also asked random Neopians if they were interested in adopting Lola. But sadly, she also got many no’s. Scary sighed and decided to ask a few people as well. When she got a no, Scary just shrugged her shoulders and decided to give up. She didn’t feel like helping anyway, which annoyed Sparkles and Patricia. Just as Patricia thought things couldn’t get any worse, a familiar brown Aisha approached her. She was giving Patricia a smirked expression.
“Hello, losers,” Aubri scoffed. “Asking stupid questions, I see. Well, whatever. I just want you all to know that my mother gave me a beautiful velveteen dress for Christmas. It’s from the NC Mall, so it's worth a lot!”
“How do you know you got a dress?” Sparkles asked. She also wanted to know more about the dress, but she decided not to ask.
Aubri laughed. “I did some snooping, duh,” she growled. “And besides, I know I look gorgeous in it. I’m sure my other twenty-six presents will be just as good.”
Twenty-six presents! Patricia thought. She didn’t even know how many presents she had under her tree, but she guessed that she had one. It made her furious to discover that Aubri was, in fact, only celebrating Christmas for her twenty-something presents! Patricia was proud of herself for actually volunteering at the Soup Kitchen.
“Bye, losers,” Aubri giggled as she walked away. Patricia growled. Her holiday season would be a whole lot brighter if Aubri wasn’t around! But it would also be allot brighter if Lola wasn’t going to be pounded in three days. Taking a deep breath, Patricia felt more motivated to find a good family for Lola. She knew Lola needed a new home for Christmas. What was Christmas like in the pound? Patricia shivered. That was a thought she hoped never happened in reality.
After a long day of asking random Neopians if they would like to adopt Lola, Patricia and Sparkles finally decided to give up. As they walked back home, Sparkles decided to stop by the NC Mall.
“I just want to take a peek,” Sparkles insisted. Scary and Patricia sighed as Sparkles ran towards the display window. But Sparkles was shocked.
“My dress is gone!” Sparkles exclaimed. Sure enough, the light blue ball gown that Sparkles had always wanted was now one. “My dress is... my dress is...”
“Gone,” Scary finished, “now let’s go. I want to see my presents again.”
Sparkles sighed as she stared one more time at the display window, hoping her dress would re-appear. But it didn’t the only thing she wanted in the whole wide Neopia was that gown. Now that it was gone, what would she do?
Patricia knew Sparkles wanted that dress so badly. She knew she would feel terrible and hopeless if someone took her Usuki play set. “I’m sure Christmas will bring something else,” Patricia convinced Sparkles. She was patting her shoulder while Scary tried to catch snowflakes with her mouth.
Sparkles sniffed and nodded. As the girls continued their way home, they were surprised to see a familiar Cybunny: Lola! Lola was holding Mr. Porkers, who was busy sniffing the air.
“What are you doing, Lola?” Patricia asked.
“Apparently our plans have changed,” Lola admitted. Patricia and Sparkles smiled with glee. Did this mean Lola wasn’t going to be pounded after all?
“Does this mean you’re not going to the Pound on Christmas Eve?” Patricia asked hopefully. When Lola shook her head, Patricia wanted to dance for joy.
“Nope,” Lola said simply, “I have to go there right now.”
”Now!” Sparkles exclaimed. “Why now? Why are you going right now??”
“And make it quick,” Scary ordered. “My presents can’t stare at themselves, you know.”
“Well, my parents decided that pounding me on Christmas Eve would be horrible for everybody,” Lola explained, “so they decided to pound me today. They already filled out the form and they already left for Brightvale. Now with no place to go, I have no choice but to move into the pound. But at least I can see you guys... sometimes. Sorry about the gifts. I was so busy with packing that I didn’t have time to find something for you guys. Please forgive me.”
Patricia and Sparkles couldn’t care less about their presents! They were shocked at the fact that Lola had to go to the Pound right now! Scary, however, was disappointed about not getting a gift from Lola. Patricia knew she had to do something.
“I’m coming with you,” Patricia declared.
To be continued...