Allker's Important Lesson
"What a waste..." I sighed and fell onto my sofa.
It was the first rainy day we'd had all summer in the Darigan Citadel. I was so sick of the sun and the heat- and I couldn't even enjoy the view of the rain from my own room, since I had no windows.
I couldn't go outside to enjoy it, either. I was the one stuck with watching our little brother while our sisters were out running errands. Our other brother, Ver, went out to get the cure for Lovo's Sneezles and left me in charge. Since Lovo was so sick, he couldn't come outside to let me know if he needed anything.
"It's just a stupid, stupid waste!" I kicked one of the chairs in my room out of frustration. I felt awful about it for a moment, but then I remembered that it was an inanimate object and couldn't feel pain.
"What's a stupid waste, Allker?" A voice echoed in the hall outside of my room, followed by a sniffle. I gulped, hoping Lovo wouldn't suspect that I was mad at him. I stood up, walked to my bedroom door, and opened it. Sure enough, the Royal Lutari was standing in the hallway with a confused look on his face.
"Is everything alright?" I asked him. Lovo shook his head.
"I heard you shouting when I was outside of your room. Did I do something wrong?" Lovo looked like he was about to cry. I started to feel sorry for him- it wasn't his fault that he was sick. The poor guy was probably just as miserable as I was.
"No, you didn't do anything wrong. I'm mad about something else."
"Are you sure? I'm not bothering you?"
"Nah, not at all. Come on in and have a seat." I gestured towards my coral chairs, "If you'd like, we could even play a game or two of Kacheekers." Lovo's eyes lit up, but then he shook his head again.
"It's okay. I actually wanted to ask you something." I looked up at him, surprised.
"Go right ahead." I sat back in my Techo Sofa and tried to look relaxed, but I was secretly concerned since I had no idea where he what he was going to ask me.
"Do you miss Maraqua?"
"What!?" I almost jumped out of my seat. Out of all the questions in the world, why in Neopia would he ask me that one? It was a rainy day in the middle of a hot and dry summer- of course I was going to miss Maraqua.
"I'm sorry! I shouldn't have said anything! I was just-"
"You didn't do anything wrong. That's actually just part of the reason why I'm so upset." I interrupting him.
"You're mad because I asked you a question?" Lovo looked at me, baffled. I tried as hard as I could not to laugh- my little brother might have been kind, but the poor Lutari was dumber than a pile of dirt.
"No, I'm upset because I really do miss Maraqua. The rain's making me homesick."
"What was it like there, Allker?" Lovo eagerly leaned forward in his chair to listen, "Were there giant petpets and scary creatures everywhere in the city?"
"Of course not!" I actually did laugh this time, "Those are just silly rumors. You don't have to worry about anything like that unless you're far away from civilization."
"It's basically cities and towns. Civilization is life," I explained.
"Oh, okay. What did you like to do in Maraqua?"
"I'd swim around, talk to others down there, have races... Just everyday stuff." I sighed, remembering everything that I used to be able to before I became Stealthy.
"You know, Lovo, everyone should paint themselves Maraquan for a day. There is nothing better than relaxing and floating underneath the harsh waves of the ocean, and letting the current choose one's destination."
"Aren't there suits for that kind of thing?"
"Suits? No, those aren't enough. You have to have actual fins, and be able to breathe underwater without having to worry about drowning. I tried going back to Maraqua once with one of those suits and it just wasn't the same. I almost want to buy a paint brush and go back down for good, you understand what I mean?"
"I guess I do." Lovo didn't really seem phased.
The conversation had paused, and I didn't want to talk about Maraqua anymore. I tried desperately to think of a new topic.
"That reminds me- you're not from here, either. Do you miss Lutari Island sometimes?" Lovo shrugged.
"I don't really think about it. The storm drove me and everyone else away, so I don't think we'll ever be going back."
"You mean you don't miss it at all?" This time, I was the one confused.
"No, not really." He sneezed, and then continued, "Besides, even if the storm didn't hit us, I never would've come here and I never would've met you guys. I wouldn't have a family that cares about me like I do now. I wouldn't give up my family to go back to Lutari Island, even if the storm went away. You're all too important to me to leave."
"That's an interesting way think about it." I was about to talk again, but then I started to reflect on Lovo's words. After what he said about us, I instantly felt stupid about being negative.
Lovo had a point- even if I was depressed about leaving Maraqua, there's no way I'd actually leave everyone behind to go back there (though with this summer, I did think about it often). Unlike me, Lovo lost everything in the storm that hit Lutari Island. I didn't leave Maraqua because of a natural disaster and could go back there to visit any time I wanted. Lovo didn't have the same luxury, even if he had wanted to see his home again.
Just then, I heard the front door open.
"Hello?" someone's voice called out. "Allker? Lovo? Where are you two?"
"Sounds like Ver's home," I remarked. Surely enough, the Darigan Hissi slithered into my room, holding a Magic Cookie. He looked at both of us, and seemed somewhat surprised.
"Did I interrupt you two in the middle of something?"
No, we were just talking a bit." I turned to look at Lovo. He was staring at the cookie with hungry eyes, and I expected him to start drooling any minute.
"Is that to make my medicine taste better?!" He started jumping up and down on my sofa. "You're the best Hissi brother ever!"
"Well, then you'll be even happier to know that this cookie is actually your medicine. These get rid of Sneezles." Ver handed the ecstatic Lutari his cookie, who promptly gobbled it up in two bites.
"Thanks, Ver! I feel so much better!"
"You might feel better, but you're still going to bed. We don't want you to get sick again, now, do we?"
"Awwww..." He looked to me, pouting. "I'm fine now! Tell him, Allker! Tell him that I'm okay to talk some more!"
"Sorry, Lovo, but I think Ver's right about this one." I patted him on the shoulder, "But if you can't sleep, just listen to the rainfall. It'll help, I promise."
"Okay! I'll do that!" He stood up and started to walk out of my room, but then turned around to face us.
"By the way, you guys are the best brothers ever! Good night!" He waved and left before either Ver or I had a chance to thank him. Ver chuckled, and sat down next to me.
"Sounds like you two had a good time today. While you were nice and warm in the house, I had to run through that stupid rain without an umbrella! I'm still cold from that!" He shuddered.
"Thanks, Ver, for going out and getting that cookie for him. Lovo and I really had a good talk."
"Wait, what? You were complaining earlier about being stuck with him, and now you're telling me that you two had fun together? Are you sure you're not coming down with something, too?" He placed his wing on my forehead.
"I'm fine! I'm just glad he and I could spend time together, that's all."
"Alright, then. I'm going upstairs to my room. If you or Lovo need anything, feel free to come up and ask me." He got up and left my room just as quickly as he had arrived.
Now that I was alone again, I started to think more about what Lovo and I talked about. I realized that he was important to me, as were Ver and my sisters.
I then realized that I had never looked at my siblings that way before. Sure, we all had gotten used to seeing each other every day and would get tired of each other, but I couldn't imagine leaving them for good to go back to Maraqua. They needed me, and I needed them.
Suddenly, I didn't feel like going out in the rain anymore.