The Usuki Singing Stars #2: A Surprise for Lola - Part Four
Lola gasped. “Why do you want to come with me to the Pound?” she asked. “Aren’t you also afraid of Dr. Death?”
Patricia had never thought about that. But she quickly nodded. “I’m one of your best friends, Lola,” she explained. “And besides, you were always there for me! I can care less about Dr. Death. And long as I’m there for you, I can face anyone.”
Sparkles nodded with agreement. “I’m coming too!” she assured Lola. “There’s no way I’m letting our Lola get hurt on her first visit!”
Scary was the only one who refused to go. “There is no way I’m going to the Pound with you guys,” she assured them. “I am so not going to see Mr. Freaky and actually stay there for you, Lola, just because you can’t suck in your girly feelings.” With that, the purple Bruce walked away from the others.
Patricia and Sparkles decided to take Lola themselves. They figured that leaving Scary was a good idea, since Scary might slow them down and torture them with non-stop complaining about not wanting to go. Besides, Lola didn’t mind.
When the girls reached the Pound, they knew they could only go in with Lola. They couldn’t actually go to her room, or cell, and stay with her for the night. To Patricia, the Pound felt cold and dark. The front office was decorated with a casual theme, but she still felt uneasy. As soon as they approached the front desk, Dr. Death looked up from his Neopian Times issue and smiled.
“Hello, Lola,” the yellow Techo hissed. “Come with me. Barbara will collect your things.” Lola nodded as she obeyed Dr. Death. Before she went to her room, she quickly ran to her friends and hugged them very tightly. The two girls hugged Lola and sobbed loudly. Dr. Death just rolled his eyes, as if he was sick of seeing this every day.
“Come along now,” he hissed angrily. “You can write to them tomorrow.” Lola nodded with agreement as she followed Dr. Death through the forbidden doors. Patricia and Sparkles cried harder. As they saw Lola walking away farther and farther, they sucked in their tears and walked out of the pound with bold ambitions. But they were still sad. Now their best friend was surely gone forever.
“She’s gone forever!” Sparkles sighed. She had completely forgotten about the ball gown she had wanted for Christmas. “Oh, Pat! What are we going to do now? Now we’re just stuck with... with... Scary!”
“Gee, thanks,” Scary scoffed. She was getting pretty annoyed from Sparkles’ constant sobs. She found them embarrassing, especially in public. The girls were by the Money Tree, where a crowd of Neopians were gathering. Scary was afraid they might see Sparkles crying like a baby Bruce. Even though Patricia was wiping her own tears, Scary just stood in the snow as if she were an ice sculpture.
“I guess we have to try harder,” Patricia sniffed. It was already Christmas Eve. Tomorrow would be Christmas, so Patricia’s mission would fail if she couldn’t find the miracle she needed to help Lola. Suddenly she gasped. “I still need to get a present for Alan!” Patricia exclaimed. She had been too busy worrying over Lola to remember Alan’s Christmas gift. Even though she knew Alan wasn’t going to give her anything in return, Patricia still wanted to give him something.
“You can help us later,” Sparkles suggested. She tried hard not to sob anymore. “We’ll meet you by the Hospital in a couple of hours, okay?” Patricia nodded and ran towards the Toy Shop. Sparkles grabbed Scary’s arm and dragged her to a crowd of Neopians.
Sure enough, the Toy Shop was filled with Neopians who, like Patricia, were doing last minute Christmas shopping. Patricia tried hard to squeeze through the crowd. When she finally found an open spot to breathe, she looked around the store frantically. All the toys that were displayed on the many shelves were now gone. The only things that were lying on the shelves were broken toys and rejected plushies. Patricia sighed as she squeezed her way out of the Toy Store and ran towards the Plushie Palace.
On her way to the store, Patricia slipped on frozen puddles of ice and snow. But that didn’t stop her! Patricia just got up and ran faster. The Plushie Palace was also very busy, but not as busy as the Toy Shop. There were still a few plushies on the shelves. Patricia grabbed a stitched up Shoyru plushie and decided to buy that for Alan. It was kind of cute, right? After she made her purchase, Patricia decided to go on her ‘mission’ again.
I have to find them by today! Patricia thought. She was hoping for a sweet, little family to run by her and ask her if she knew any yellow Cybunnies up for adoption. Patricia laughed at the idea. It was a bit impossible, but the point was that just one Neopian had to be interested in adopting Lola. But it couldn’t be just anyone. It had to be someone who was kind, compassionate, sweet and a bit wealthy.
For the next hour and a half, Patricia ran around Neopian Bazaar. She was asking Neopian after Neopian the same question. But no one was interested. Some Neopians claimed that they already had too many children. Others just said no and walked away. Patricia grew frustrated and tired.
When she met Sparkles and Scary at the Hospital, Patricia felt relieved when she saw their disappointed faces.
“No one was interested in adopting Lola,” Sparkles huffed. “But I can see that you have found a present for Alan. Congrats!”
Patricia nodded. She was too tired to talk. When she finally caught a breath, Patricia told her friends about her experience with the mission. She also told them about the rush she saw at the Toy Shop.
“We have to get Lola her present,” Patricia huffed. “Who knows what kind of a Christmas she’ll have in the Pound!”
Sparkles shivered, but Scary just smiled. “I heard that pounded pets get crummy Christmases,” Scary told Patricia. “They don’t even get presents! They just get extra gruel and a little tree that is too small to see, and it's super cold in there because Dr. Death likes to eat frozen pet-sicles on Christmas Day!”
Sparkles shook her head in disbelief. “Lola will get a fine Christmas,” she insisted. “I’m sure she’ll be very content. Nothing bad can ever happen to out dear Lola.”
Except getting pounded, Patricia thought. She believed that Lola didn’t deserve to get pounded. She wasn’t the worst pet in all of Neopia, unlike Aubri. Just as she was going to say something, Sparkles and Scary decided to call it a day. Sparkles hesitated to stop, but Scary didn’t. She convinced Sparkles that it was the right to do on a freezing day like today. Finally Sparkles agreed and decided to go home.
“We’ll see you tomorrow!” Sparkles shouted. She sounded happy, but Patricia could tell she wasn’t happy inside.
Patricia waved good-bye and quickly ran home. Once she ran up the stairs to her bedroom, Patricia quickly wrapped up Alan’s gift with the extra wrapping paper she had and placed it under the tree. Alan was busy too. He was leaving a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa before he went upstairs. Patricia giggled and, without anyone looking, took one of Santa’s cookies and quickly ate it.
That night, Patricia had a horrible nightmare. Her dream took place in the Pound, where she and Sparkles tried to get in to see Lola. They only wanted to wish her a Merry Christmas, but Dr. Death didn’t care and kicked them out anyways! Patricia tossed and turned as she heard Lola’s cries for help.
“Help me!” Lola cried from a window. “Help me!”
Sparkles tried to throw a rope to Lola, but it didn’t go up. Lola’s room was too high. Patricia suggested climbing up the high tower to free Lola, but neither she nor Sparkles offered to go first. So they decided to give up.
Patricia woke up immediately. She breathed heavily as she looked around the room. It was bright. It was also morning. Patricia yawned as she got out of bed and walked towards her dresser. The sand sculpture Lola gave her last year for Christmas was now standing there. Patricia grabbed the heart shaped sculpture and watched as the sand inside moved up and down. Up and down. Up and down.
“I wonder what Lola would have gotten us this year,” Patricia wondered. She then shook her head. Although it was hard, she tried hard not to act or think selfishly. It was the Month of Giving after all. Not the Month of Receiving.
But then another thought struck Patricia. She quickly stared around the room and gasped again. It was really morning! It really was reality! But... it was also Christmas. The day Patricia had feared.
To be continued...