Happiness Served With a Meal
The wintry air nips at my face that is hidden in my endless white coat, covering my body with warmth. Why did I choose to live in a place like Terror Mountain? I ponder to myself for a moment, standing outside of my Neohome. It's freakishly cold here; I could have lived anywhere, yet I chose Terror Mountain. What have I gotten myself into? I chuckle to myself as I shake my head, my short black hair whipping at my face.
I turn around and nearly jump out of my pale skin. "Rayne!" I chuckle to myself in a hoarse voice; I guess the cold is making me lose my charming voice. Ha-ha.
Rayne, a faerie who lives with me (you didn't think I lived alone, did you?), jumps back as if she's excited to see me. "Sorry, Taelia. Didn't mean to scare you. It's just..." She drops her eyes to the crunchy snow beneath us. Something's up; I just know it.
"Rayne?" I ask, looking at her. It's so hard and unbearable to see someone as beautiful as Rayne, with her shoulder-length black hair and almond black eyes and matching pale skin, be so harmed.
She looks at me with tears filling her eyes. "It's nothing." She turns around and walks away swiftly with such grace that is nearly impossible to be matched. I watch her go off, my brain absorbing her weird attitude.
I go on with my own way into my Neohome where no one else is. Weird, Rayne usually is here with all of her friends. I shrug off my white and blue coat and stand in my white knee-short dress. I make my way into the kitchen, hungry for nothing in particular, just wanting something to ease my mind.
I notice there's nothing in there but a slice of chocolate cake, a bitten red apple (one of Rayne's friend's leftovers), a wedge of triple mustard cheese, and a glass of tea which is only half filled, thanks to Rayne.
Sighing, I know what must be done. I pull on my coat again and pull the hoodie over my hair, not wanting ice cold snow on my hair. Outside, it must've dropped at least five degrees, it's so much colder now. Nevertheless, I have a quest for some helpful Neopet to complete.
I don't have to wait much, before too long, a yellow Aisha comes by filled with smiles and happiness. I point a finger at her and she makes her way my way; I ask her, "Do you mind doing a quick favor for me?"
She's confused, I can sense it. She must be just new, a few hours old; I will tell her what needs to be done and how. I tell her that I need certain foods and she's all ears, surprisingly. Some Neopets just say a quick "no" and walk away without looking back, leaving poor me behind with hunger making my stomach ache.
She nods and says, "I'll ask Kelley, if that's all right?" I suspect that Kelley must be her owner and I nod, but I tell her to make it quick. Soon Rayne will be home and goodness know's she will be even more depressed if there isn't a warm meal in front of her.
She turns and shouts, "Kelley!" and races straight ahead toward a girl with light brown hair and deep blue eyes, beautiful, but nothing like poor Rayne.
After a few moments, not very long, the Aisha comes back with smiles again all over my face. Goodness, she must be very happy with her life; too bad it's not all fun and games here in Terror Mountain.
"Kelley says I can do it, but we only have a few Neopoints, so the items can't be anything too expensive, if that's okay." The Neopet frowns; she must be embarrassed about her income.
"That'll be fine," I lie; it totally won't work. I mean, I don't want just any meal to make up for today's sorrow for Rayne. Rayne deserves a helping of Kelp food products if you ask me, but I have nowhere near that type of Neopoints on my hands. I continue anyways, "Mind fetching me Celestial Salad, Cocolatte Fruit, and Black Cherry Ixi Drink?" The Aisha nods; I'm pleased with how much she should be spending, just a little above three-thousand Neopoints.... maybe.
I go back inside, hearing someone sobbing in distress. I make my way down the narrow hallway before me and knock on the very last door at the end of the hallway. The walnut door creaks open at my knock and I see through the slit that the door leaves me that Rayne is the one who's crying. My heart drops a little at seeing this sight.
My beautiful younger sister is crying; this hurts me. I hated seeing her as a child, crying at a skinned knee or whenever our older sister, Leigh, would push us around because she thought that since she's the oldest of us, that she would have the right to do whatever her cruel heart wanted (which isn't very right). But seeing Rayne now, as an adult, leaking salt tears from her almond eyes, is enough to haunt me for the rest of the night.
I decide to leave Rayne alone to wallow in her own torture and walk back outside. It's been a half an hour and still no sign of that yellow Aisha anywhere. She better hurry up before Rayne's tears fill up her empty stomach.
"Excuse me?" a voice says behind me. I remember the voice quickly; it's from the yellow Aisha. I turn around and force a smile on my face.
The smile isn't returned. The Aisha says in a sorrow tone, "We managed to get the Cocolatte Fruit that you asked for, but the others... we cannot afford. We're so terribly sorry." She drops her head and watches the snow beneath us as if it's more interesting than the situation.
I'm utterly angry; how could she fail me like this? Her family cannot even afford a simple salad and drink? I shout, "I asked you to do me a favor, you said you'd do it, so where are the rest of the items I need?" I notice my voice sounds a little like Leigh's when she's pushing Rayne and me around, but I don't feel guilt.
The Aisha cries, "We tried our best! We really did!" She looks back at Kelley, her owner, and Kelly looks scared for her life; her eyes are wide and full of fright.
I point at Kelley and yell, "This is your fault! If only you would earn some Neopoints and pay off what your Neopet wanted to do for me!"
Kelley shakes her head as if she isn't the one who gave this Aisha permission to fulfill my wants. She says in a shy, soft voice, "We apologize. Really, Taelia, we tried."
I sigh and ask in a calm of a voice I can produce at the moment, "Can you please just finish my request?"
Kelley shakes her head and gives something in a wrapped brown paper towel to the Aisha. She looks at me and says, "We did enough." The Aisha hands me the package and I unwrap it; it's the Cocolatte Fruit that I asked for. Suddenly, guilt boils in my blood.
"I'm sorry for how I-"
"No need for your apologizes," Kelley interrupts me. "We've had enough today, isn't that right, Jehilahsa?" The Aisha nods, her head still turned to the snow. "We best be on our way now, please to work with you." And off they are, leaving.
Guilt doesn't leave my bloodstream as I ask another Neopet, this time a Starry Lupe, for the rest of the items I want. She fulfills them without request. Guilt still boils in me as I make dinner for Rayne and me as Rayne sleeps on her faerie bed in her bedroom, snoring slightly with stress in her body. Guilt doesn't budge when I wake Rayne and tell her, "Dinner." Guilt doesn't bother leaving me alone for a minute while I eat dinner with teary-eyed Rayne.
But after dinner, with a help of my magical powers, Rayne is all new again, happy and smiling all the way. She hugs me and thanks me for a pleasant meal and says, "Whoa, I've never felt so good in my life!"
I chuckle and think, Just a little magic added in your drink, my dear.
At night, when Rayne is already asleep again but with a smile on her face, I can't sleep. Something won't leave me and it's not the guilt, that hatched and skidded away moments ago, but maybe it's because no wonder people don't bother help me with my quests sometimes...
Rudeness takes a person down the long path to nowhere and that's where I was heading. Hopefully Rayne won't ever travel down that road herself. Goodness knows she has the real happiness in this family.