“Milo! Milo, this isn’t fair. I give up. I don’t want to play anymore. Let’s play a different game,” Koda whined.
There was no answer. The frustrated baby Lupe looked behind a tall tree, frantically jumping back and forth in different directions, hoping to find Milo, but there was no sign of him yet. This game was growing to be less enjoyable by the minute. Koda sighed heavily and plopped down immediately giving up on the search.
“Fine, let’s play tag instead. You’re it!” a voice yelled suddenly. Koda jumped, startled and the voice and shoulder tap from the invisible Milo, at last out of his hiding place in what appeared to be a very unfair game of hide and seek.
“Milo! I don’t want to play with you anymore. You’re a cheater, I can’t see you, so you can switch hiding place whenever you please. And I can’t see you when we play tag either! If I don’t even know where you are, I’ll never be able to tag you. And all the other Neopets laugh at me because they think that I have an imaginary friend when we play!”
“I don’t cheat. I was hiding in the shed the whole time. I would never cheat; you know that. All the other Neopets don’t want to be friends with me because they don’t see me. But seeing isn’t important, we still have some great times together, right?” said Milo hopefully.
“I guess,” Koda admitted, ashamed for complaining about his best friend. They did have some amazing times together and they’d been friends forever.
“I got an idea,” said Milo. “How about you hide and I seek? That way we won’t have any problems.” Koda nodded and they continued their game, enjoying it once again.
The next morning Milo and Koda were walking together around Neopia, window shopping and gloating over the few yummy sweets in the windows. When a piece of chocolate caught his eye, Koda commented on its delicious looking coating to Milo. Just at that moment, Mikey the shadow Eyrie and Russo the red Jetsam, the two bullies on their block, were casually strutting by.
“Hey, look, Koda is talking to his imaginary friend again. What a loser!” insulted Mikey. The bullies both start to laugh. But this was Koda’s chance to finally prove Milo’s existence.
“Milo is not imaginary! He’s invisible, I told you before. And he’s the best friend I’ve ever had, right, Milo?” There was no reply.
“Milo? Hello? Answer, Milo.” There was still no reply. Koda’s face flushed, realizing Milo would not answer; he was no longer standing beside him. Mike and Russo began to laugh even harder than before at the poor baby Lupe’s expense.
“What a loser,” Russo mimicked Mikey as they started walking away, jabbering over their success in humiliating Koda. A few seconds later, two floating ice cream cones, one chocolate and other strawberry, appeared next to the embarrassed Koda.
“Hey, Koda, I got us some ice cream cones. I brought you Chocolate; I know it’s your favorite. Hurry up, though; it’s really hot out today.”
Koda’s head turned and he gave the two floating ice cream cones an angry gaze.
“Did you see what you did? You should never leave my side like that without telling me! I look like I’m bonkers when I’m talking to thin air; you know that. Mike and Russo were just here and you made a fool out of me.”
“I’m sorry, I wanted to surprise you. I wasn’t gone that long,” Milo explained, feeling very sorry for leaving Koda’s side.
“I don’t want to be friends with you anymore. You’re no fun anyway. I’m going to hang out with normal Neopets!” Koda yelled as he stormed away, leaving Milo and his two floating ice cream cones on the sidewalk.
A few blocks away from his outburst, Koda started feeling very guilty. Milo was his best friend after all, and he really shouldn’t have said all those mean things to him. And it really didn’t matter what anyone else thought. He was fun to hang out with. I’m going to apologize, he thought, turning back to start searching for his best friend. He returned first to the front of the chocolate shop where he left his friend, but Milo was probably already long gone, so he started searching elsewhere in all their favorite hangouts. He checked inside and by the neohome, the place they had been playing earlier, the shed, and all over Neopia Central, but much like their game of hide and seek, finding Milo was very difficult.
Tired and frustrated, very late into the afternoon he went back home and curled onto the couch, trying to hold back his tears, realizing he might never get to talk to Milo again, all because of his stubbornness and damaged pride.
“He’s probably really mad at me and may never want to see me again, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll never be able to apologize if I don’t know where he is!” he said out loud, wishing he had never acted the way he did. Now I’m really talking to myself, he thought. Suddenly the door to the neohome gently opened.
“Koda?” On the other side was an unfamiliar green Kougra with a very familiar voice.
“Milo? Is that you?” Koda exclaimed, not believing his eyes.
“Yes, I knew you were very upset, so I went to get painted, you see, so you could have a normal friend. I tried to bring the ice cream cones, but they melted soon after you left,” he replied, revealing his melted ice cream soaked paws.
“Milo, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say those things, I was just being horrible,” Koda said, rushing in for a hug.
“It’s alright, Koda,” Milo said returning the hug, “but now everything is fine. We can be regular friends.”
“But Milo, you love being invisible; you told me that yourself!”
“I really do, but if it upsets you, it’s not worth it. Besides, now we can play tag and hide and seek as much as we want! And I can hide and you seek and it won’t be as hard.”
“That sounds awesome,” said Koda, now feeling more guilt than ever.
Later the next morning Koda stood by their favorite spot with a wrapped gift in his paws waiting for Milo. When Milo at last arrived, Koda presented the brightly wrapped gift to him.
“What’s this?” he asked picking up the gift from his paws.
“I wanted to apologize for yesterday so I got you a little present. Don’t worry, it’s really nothing much.” Milo unwrapped the gift and opened the box.
“It’s empty, Koda.”
“No, don’t be silly; it's invisible!”
Milo placed his paw in the box and immediately realized what it was. “A paint brush? But why, Koda?”
“I know you like being invisible and all, and I don’t care if you’re invisible or green or any other color. But I kind of miss the old you. I want you to have it, Milo. You deserve it.”
“Oh, Koda, this is the greatest gift anyone has ever gotten me, thank you.”
“Aww, you’re welcome. When we get back from the Rainbow Pool, though, we should so play hide and seek again!” Koda exclaimed excitedly as they began their journey to the pool.