Up for Trade
Here I am, sitting with my owner - well, my temporary and soon to be former-owner, Hazel - by a place that looks to be a lemonade stand. However, we aren't advertising lemonade, we're advertising me. Hazel is trying to advertise me so she can get a "better pet" as she calls it. Her messy red hair is put into a bun, which bobs up and down as she turns towards me. She then frowns and looks around at the passing people, going to other stands advertising different pets that catch their eyes.
"Out of all species, why did I have to make the mistake of trading for a faerie Usul? I thought she would've been worth something," she muttered, probably thinking I couldn't hear her. But I did, and it hurt.
Ah, I was used to being hurt, however, I've gone from owner to owner, who thought it was cool to have a faerie pet for a little bit of time, but once they got bored, they went in search for something of more value. I don't get it though, since when did pets have to have some type of value in them? I clutched my worn out rainbow Usul plushie that I was holding already so tightly in my paws. The plushie brought back good memories of my first owner. She was nice and she cared for me so, always complimenting me and saying she was so lucky to have an amazing pet like me. Then, she found out about pet trades, and changed her view on me completely...
"Elliasah!" my very first owner, Lizzy called for me. Her dirty blonde hair was a mess and going everywhere, but she ignored it. I flew down the stairs, my emerald green wings shining in the light. She giggled looking at me. "You're so beautiful, Ellia!"
Ellia. I loved it when she called me that. It didn't matter to her that I wasn't the prettiest, and that my name wasn't the best either. Well, at least it used to not matter.
"Thanks," I said, returning the giggle. Lizzy then came towards me and started to brush my fur. She helped me into a casual outfit, a pink top with matching pink jeans.
"Pink really makes your wings stand out!" she said enthusiastically.
Lizzy always complemented my appearance, and made me feel better whenever I felt self-conscious when I stood beside neopets that had won the Beauty Contest multiple times. When I first heard about dreamies, I asked her what hers was. I was expecting her to say a plushie Draik or some really expensive pet, but she said: "You're my dream pet, Ellia."
Looking back on this, I now know she was just saying that to make me feel better.
Then that dreaded day came. Lizzy held my paw, and she took me to where I had never been before, the Neopian Plaza. I was so excited! We went to the wishing well, I made a wish for a paint brush. Any paint brush really, I wasn't so fond of how I looked, and was hoping I could get Lizzy a prettier one. However, she told me there could be no prettier colour for me. We went to the plushie shop, and I got an adorable rainbow Usul plushie. It was the colour I longed to be. I looked up at her and smiled, and said I would name it after her for she was an incredible owner.
We got school supplies for neoschool, and we even managed to snatch some free wearables from the Second-Hand Shoppe (which of course Lizzy said she would wash before I wore them). We then walked down the path, and I saw a place I've only heard stories about -- the pound. It gave me shivers. Sure, it could be a lovely place where you're looking for an adorable pet to adopt, but you were abandoned in the first place to be there. I tried to hide my scared expression from Lizzy, who I didn't want going to bad conclusions about how I might think she'd abandon me. There was something I never knew about, though. People sitting by the pound in stands with the abbreviations 'UFT' written on the top. Upset pets were looking at their owners and the people passing by. Whatever it was, it didn't look good.
"What does UFT mean, Lizzy?" I asked, my voice getting shaky as I see a pet with tears falling down their cheek.
"I don't know," she muttered. "Look at those poor pets! Perhaps it's as bad as them getting abandoned. Hm... let me ask someone."
The blonde haired girl took my paw and lightly tugged me towards a stand with a hostile looking brunette boy, and beside him sitting on his stand a zombie Aisha who looks just as hostile. I reluctantly followed her, hiding behind her as she asked the boy what UFT meant.
"What are you, some kind of n00b?" said the boy. "Who doesn't know what that means?"
She scowled at him, which scared me even more, for I had never seen Lizzy angry. "I just wanted to know what it meant! No need to be rude!"
He rolled his eyes. "Calm down. It means up for trade."
"You can trade pets?" she asked, shocked.
"You really are a n00b, aren't you?" he chuckled. "Well, now that you know, do you have anything to offer for my beautiful zombie Aisha? She's an expensive colour, you know, and on top of that, her name is Tara! She's valuable all right."
Lizzy then looked down at me and saw the worry in my face. She then glared at the boy. "Pets shouldn't have to be valuable! Good day, sir."
She then turned around to leave with me, and she nearly bumped into a blonde haired boy who was going to offer a badly named Draik for Tara.
"A Draik!" she said to herself as we were walking home from the plaza. "Draiks are marvelous!"
The next few days after neoschool she left me with the shopkeeper, who was also my babysitter, while she went out in Neopia. She never told me where she went, though, and I was started to get worried and suspicious. I then decided to ask what was going on one day, but she wasn't there. I saw a sheet of paper on the floor, and assuming it was a note for me, I picked it up. I've never seen something so terrible. It was a drawing of me, and on top written in crayon it said: 'Well named Faerie Usul UFT!' Lizzy was trying to get rid of me for a pet she thought was "better!" I felt dizzy, and soon enough I fell asleep in her room, holding the sheet of paper as if I was about to rip it up.
When she came home that night, she tried to explain. She was trying to do this without hurting my feelings, her plan was to get a great offer who she would trade later for a greater one and so on, until the pet she had was great enough for a Draik, and that Draik would be her permanent pet. But what about me?! I was her first pet, it wasn't fair! She said she was going to say she had found me a more amazing person to spend time with, and was hoping I'd go along with it. No, no, no! I wasn't going to go off with some stranger when I had all the best times with my original owner, my owner who was supposed to be the only one.
I was traded three days after, in exchange for me Lizzy was able to get a Maraquan Lupe. She said it helped that I was well named, and I glared at her as she waved and said goodbye.
"Don't forget me, Ellia!" she said. Well, I think it's nearly impossible to forget your first owner.
I was traded to a weird brunette girl with curly hair that went up to her waist, named Yolanda. I wasn't with her for very long, though. A month later she gave me to her friend, another brunette with a bob-cut, who in exchange for me gave her a fire Poogle. I never learned bob-cut's name, she was never in her neohome to look after me or the faerie Elephante she had. We had to constantly sneak into the soup kitchen to feel ourselves, it was horrible. When she stepped foot again in the neohome, after two months, the first thing she said to me was, "Hey, Usul! Somebody offered a baby pet for you, so adios!" I wished the faerie Elephante for luck and hoping she could get traded to an owner who would actually keep her and care for her.
It was Hazel who had offered a baby Ruki for me. I constantly hear her mumbling about how it was a big mistake, and after six months, which was the most time I'd spent with an owner, she gave up and decided to trade me, which is where I am today...
I sighed again, bringing the plushie up to my heart. "Why, Lizzy?" I could almost hear her laugh, her always saying, "Don't worry, be happy! Things always happen for a reason." Well what's the reason for this?
Hazel looked as if she was going to give up and come back tomorrow when all of a sudden somebody cleared their throat, they sounded like a boy. I turned towards them, and it was. Why did he look so familiar? Oh! I know, he was the hostile boy I'd seen with the zombie Aisha! Oh no... oh no... I hoped he didn't offer anything for me. But he did; he offered a Halloween Kougra, which Hazel thought was an over-offer, and greedily took it. Soon I was on my way to my new neohome with the mean looking boy. I tried not to talk to him, I didn't want to be yelled at or anything of the sort. It was silent until he decided to speak.
"I'm Richard," he said. "You're that faerie Usul I saw about a year ago, aren't you? You have the same timid expression as you did when you're old owner asked me what UFT meant."
I looked up at him with widened eyes. "H-how could you have remembered that?"
"Because, you were the kind of pet I wanted. I was hoping your old owner would offer you, but she didn't because she thought pets were priceless and not to be traded or something."
"Well, so much for that," I muttered.
"Don't worry about it," he said, giving me a smile.
"Why shouldn't I?" I asked, looking down at the ground. "I'm nothing but a pet who is constantly traded for a better one."
He tapped my shoulder, and I looked up at him. "I only trade pets in hopes to find permies, which are permanent pets who I'll never trade. People would think I over-offered for you, but personally I think I under-offered. You are now one of those permies."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Me, finally a permanent pet?! Tears of joy were starting to roll down my face. "R-Really?"
"Yes, really, and I think you'll like your siblings. One is a permie, her name is Rayna. Your other ones might come and go, though, but you will have all permie siblings soon."
And so, Lizzy's voice rang through my head again. "Don't worry, be happy! Things always happen for a reason." Well, I've finally found my reason.