Golden Eyed Friend
"Oh, Anri, your poem is beautiful. It sounds like you wrote
this for someone, like a personal love poem or something. Did you?" Gaeia asked
as she leaned on the counter. Her head sat cupped in her paws as if she were deep
in thought or daydreaming while gorgeous gold eyes shone like they always did
when she was in her contemplating mode.
"No," Anri replied a few seconds later as if
he had to think before giving an answer.
"Really? Well it sounded like it was written
for someone. Also you should submit this to the Poetry Spotlight, it will win,"
"You know I can't submit my poem without my owner
and she's never--," Anri began to say while picking up his poem but stopped
in mid sentence. He felt Gaeia lay her Plushie paw on his shoulder and he turned
to face her. Now her eyes were on him.
"Jill loves you Anri. She may not be around to
say it all the time, but I know when she comes back she'll let you submit it."
Anri smiled. What Gaeia said sounded right, but when it came to these things
wasn't she always? She just had that way of making him feel good about living
in a half completed Neohome or how he had an owner who was never around, she
never even hinted at his life being wore than hers although she was painted
and lived in a Neohome in the Haunted Woods.
Gaeia suddenly shrieked, "Oh no, I'm late, Big
Sis' is going to be so angry." Anri glanced up at the Techo Clock on the kitchen
wall which read 8:45. Big Sis', Gaeia's owner always wanted her home at 8:30.
"Here," she said laying a piece of folded paper
on the counter, "this is a picture I drew and you can look at it. I'm warning
you though it's rubbish." She quickly picked up her cardigan, which up until
then had been draped on the counter beside her, and ran out the door still shouting
her goodbyes, which were lost in the heavily falling rain. Anri sighed, picked
up the wadded paper and started walking to his bedroom. He'd look at it in there.
Anri's bedroom was a room on the far side of
the Neopian Central property and was off by itself, no other room was connected
to it. So he walked through the rain getting his tail and feet muddy and his
fur soaked. He was finally happy to get inside his cardboard bedroom where rain
only came in through a small Petpetpet sized hole in the corner. After turning
on the Nova Lamp Anri sat down on his Stone Slab bed still shivering from the
He carefully unfolded the paper, which he'd tried
to stop from getting wet, and his stomach grumbled begging for food to digest.
Anri was now starving, he longed for some food but Jill was to rich for the
Soup Kitchen and of course pets couldn't get food without their owner. He wished
Jill could come back, even if just long enough to feed him an omelette and possibly
give him his Blue Aisha Plushie to play with.
After finally getting Gaeia's picture unfolded,
he held it up to the dim light cast by the lamp. It was a picture of them and
it was quite good. To Anri though, it was perfect. Gaeia was on the right her
plushie Acara face wearing a smile from ear to ear. On the right was Anri a
scruffy looking blue Mynci who in the picture was also smiling, and behind his
head Gaeia was making Cybunny ears. Above her paw were the words: Best Friends
4 Ever!!! Anri smiled. Gaeia always thought her work was bad even though always
he thought it was perfect in every way, just like her.
Anri liked her, but of course she could never
know he did. She couldn't even know the poem he'd written earlier had actually
been for her. His poem about a pet who was nice to those whom all others hated
and ignored and who had gorgeous eyes of gold. Anri knew she liked the poem
and he liked her picture.
Later that night Anri fell asleep on the stone
slab with his tail curled around him while his body shivered for lack of a blanket.
He also laid there with his best friend's drawing clutched to his heart.
Anri opened one eye and yawned. While doing
so he took in a peculiar smell. A smell he hadn't experienced in a while, the
smell of food. He sat up alert, tail straight in the air. Standing in front
of him was a girl holding a blue picnic hamper in her hands. One clump of her
short orange hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she wore long metal bands
on her teeth.
"Jill!" Anri shouted jumping off his bed and
running to hug her.
"Oh, Anri, it's good to see you again," Jill
replied as she stooped down to hug him, "I know you're probably hungry so I
bought a picnic basket. I also know I haven't been around much but today we
can do some pet and owner bonding in the park." Anri smiled as he hugged his
"I'd like that very much."
Jill and Anri enjoyed a nice day in the park.
The sun was shining, even though it wasn't very hot, and the hamper was loaded
with heaps of good food just enough for two hungry pets.
In the evening as the sun was going down, Anri
told her all that had happened while she was gone, noting to great, while saving
one detail 'til last, Gaeia.
"I also made a new friend while you were gone,"
Anri said while biting into some kind of fruity jacket potato.
"That's great, what's his name?" Jill asked as
she put another spoonful of Sundae into her mouth.
"Actually it's a her she's a plushie Acara named
Gaeia," Anri said looking down at his tail. Now he wished he hadn't mentioned
it. What if Jill got him to tell her everything he and Gaeia had done? Like
how he'd dared her to try a spoonful of scary soup which Gaeia said had quite
a nice aftertaste of Faerie Pancakes. Or when they had dipped their toes, paws,
in Big Sis's pastel perfection pond when she had told them not to. Then they'd
pulled a harmless prank on the Fountain Faerie. That and other stuff was private.
Something best kept between friends.
"That's nice, Anri," Jill said even though she
didn't make it sound like anything nice, "but I really brought you here to tell
you something." She put down the cup her ice cream had been in and set the spoon
down also. Anri stopped eating his Potato and looked at his owner. Jill was
looking down. She looked neither happy nor sad, but worried.
"What is it?" he said very quietly as if talking
loudly would disturb her.
"I'm taking you to the Pound and abandoning you,"
she said in such a straight forward way, so plain and outright.
"Why?" was all Anri could choke out through his
"Because this isn't what I wanted," Jill replied
in a high pitched and fast voice which she used like when agitated, "I wanted
a nice Neohome in Faerieland, four beautiful painted pets that are all smart
and intelligent and give me lots and lots of trophies. I want other Neopians
to think I'm somebody. Not for them to think I own a Mynci a species I don't
Anri just sat there trying to understand what
Jill had just said. There was moment of silence as they both collected their
"When are you going to abandon me?"
"Now," was all Jill said as she got up and packed
up the picnic hamper.
Anri just sat on the park grass trying not to
cry. Dozens of pets are in the Pound... it can't be that bad, Anri tried
to tell himself for reassurance, but it didn't work. Jill was his first owner.
She had created him and he had spent the first moments of his life with her.
It's amazing, he thought, that over one little picnic the course of
your life can change. Just like that.
"I'm leaving now," Jill replied swinging the
Basket over her arm as she started walking out the park.
Anri obediently followed. He followed Jill out
of the park, down some streets and around a few corners until she stopped outside
a pair of rusting metal doors. They both went through the grimy doors and into
a small room with white walls and a desk at the other end. One side of the desk
had Adoption written in bold and the other had a sign reading Abandon in undersized
untidy writing, behind both signs stood a Techo who looked old and exhausted.
Anri stood right next to his owner as she walked
up to the Abandon desk.
"Are you sure you wish to abandon this pet?"
the Techo asked.
"Yes," Jill said.
"To leave him to die?"
"You want to leave him on his own?"
"To fend for himself?"
"YES!" Jill shouted impatiently.
"Fine 250 NP," he said as Jill went through her
pockets and laid a bunch of gold coins on the counter. The Techo picked up the
coins and came out from behind his desk.
"Anri, young lad you're coming with me," he said
taking Anri by the shoulder and leading him through a door into the back. Before
walking through the door Anri took one last look back to see Jill leaving and
memories overcame him. He remembered when he was a week old and Jill taken him
to Mystery Island. The sight of Kougras had first scared him. Anri remembered
his first meeting with Pant Devil, who'd robbed him of a Rainbow Gun. Then Anri
remembered Gaeia. He was going to be in the Pound now and would never see her
again. We would never see his best friend in all of Neopia.
The Techo cleared his throat. "I'm Dr_Death and
this will be your new home. I know it's probably not what you are used to, but
you will have to learn to like it." Personally, Anri thought the bare stone
walls and the many cages lining them was better than his Neohome. Anri knew
if he at least got fed at once a day, living here wasn't going to be that bad.
Dr_Death led Anri along a few aisles and stopped in front of an empty cage.
"This will be your new home. Every day you will
get a bowl of food for breakfast and some small leftover morsels throughout
the day. You will have one blanket, which I can only afford to wash weekly.
Try to keep it clean. For entertainment you can converse with the other pets."
The way Dr_Death recited this made it seem like he had to say this little speech
quite a bit.
Smiling feebly Anri crawled into the small cage.
It was small and cramped but he could learn to like it. Dr_Death shut the cage
door and walked away leaving Anri alone.
Anri seeing a folded blanket in the corner of
his cage grabbed at the dingy blanket and pulled it around him. He felt many
other eyes on him and a sudden chill ran up his spine. The chill though was
the chill that came with night. He remembered the events of today and yesterday
and Gaeia's beautiful picture. Where was it now? He didn't have it. The only
thing he had to remember his friend by, the girl he secretly liked, was now
gone. He drifted off to sleep. Cold and alone which was nothing new, but now
he didn't long for the next day.
"Pssst," a shrill low voice hissed waking Anri
who sat up and looked around his cage. He was still half asleep and a bit annoyed
at being woken up.
"Above you," the voice said again.
Anri looked up to see a squinty eyed yellow Usul
looking through her cage and into his.
"You name's Anri right?" the Usul asked.
"Yes," Anri replied rather impatiently. What
could this Usul possibly have to say that was important enough for him to be
"I'm Moonbeam and anyway some Acara's looking
for you, came with an owner and a few other pets. She's asking all the pets
if they've seen you. She's in Harold's row right now."
"An Acara?" Anri said now fully forgetting his
period of agitation. There was only one Acara he truly knew. Could it be?
"Yeah, fur looks like some kinda cloth," Moonbeam
"Gaeia!?" Anri shouted excitedly. "Are you here!!?"
He heard other pets groaning in their cages, about some stupid newcomer waking
"Anri!?" an excited voice shouted in reply. He
recognized that voice. Anri looked out the front of his cage to see a Plushie
Acara tearing around the corners golden eyes as wide as Zurroballs. She was
going to run past his cage when he stopped her. She turned around and he looked
at her. Gaeia looked like she always did, only now she held a piece of paper
in her paw and at the sight of Anri her ears perked up.
"Oh, Anri," she shouted as she ran to his cage
and looked in through the bars, "I went to your Neohome last night and I saw
Jill was there stroking some Lupe. I didn't see you, though. And I snuck around
looking for you but you weren't anywhere. Then Kiki told me she saw you being
taken to the Pound. I knew I had to see if you were here at the Pound, but Big
Sis' wouldn't let me come until today." Anri smiled as he listened to her fast
speech which was the way Gaeia talked when she was excited.
"And I found this," she said holding out the
piece of paper she had in her paw.
Anri reached and took it. It was the picture
she'd given him two days ago.
"You found it?"
"Yes. Don't ask for details."
"I won't. But why did you come? I mean, I'm in
the Pound and your owner couldn't adopt me anyway--" Anri said trailing off
knowing he shouldn't have said what he just did. He looked away. Now Gaeia knew
he'd been thinking about possibly using Big Sis' as a way to get out of here,
and Anri knew he sounded selfish.
"You're... uh... right," Gaeia replied sounding
like she was at a loss for words that being something which rarely happened,
"I have three other siblings already, but I wouldn't want you as a brother."
Looking at her Anri felt hurt. How could she
have just said that? That she didn't want him as a brother. It was hurtful.
Maybe what he had said right now jeopardized his chances.
"And you know why I wouldn't want you as a brother?"
"Promise you won't laugh?"
"Oh, Gaeia, I won't laugh," Anri said surprised
she'd think that.
"It's because secretly I have a crush on you,"
she whispered so that only he could hear. Anri's jaw dropped.
"Me?" Gaeia nodded.
"Wow, that's great," Anri said but he lowered
his voice, "because secretly I like you too." Gaeia's face lit up and her eyes
"And you that poem I wrote two days ago? It was
actually written for you," Anri said still whispering.
"Really?" Gaeia asked and Anri thought her face
looked slightly redder.
"Why are you two whispering? I can't eavesdrop
if I can't hear you," Anri heard Moonbeam's voice reply from above. Anri rolled
"Well anyway," Gaeia began, "Big Sis' is taking
the family to Kreludor for a week so when we get back in seven days I'll come
and visit you."
"It's okay, you don't have too worry about me
getting out of here. I doubt anyone will want me."
"Just because Jill didn't want you doesn't mean
every owner's like that."
Anri looked away thinking about Jill and how
evil she was. "But she got rid of me because I wasn't good enough for her,"
he quietly said, surprised he could admit the real reason Jill left him, "because
"No, Anri, she's not good enough for you if she
doesn't see your potential. There's nothing wrong with an owner wanting intelligent
and painted pets, and there's nothing wrong if she doesn't like Myncis anymore.
Some owners just don't warm up to certain species. But if Jill believes that's
all life is about, she's wrong. A lot of rich pets and owners may have everything
they want, but still they're not happy. You know why?" Anri had never heard
her sound this serious before. He looked up to see her gold eyes on him.
"It's because they always want more, they aren't
happy with having everything so they want everything plus 1." Anri thought on
this. She was right.
"You're right," he said. "Where did you learn
all this stuff?"
"Well I read a lot, and Big Sis' tells me some
of this stuff too. Anri, in a way I'm saying she's not evil just because she
put you in the Pound. But, I mean, to put a pet as awesome as you up for adoption,
she just needs to get her priorities straightened out."
Anri smiled. Then he heard someone shout.
"That's Big Sis'... I guess it's time to leave,"
Gaeia said as she stepped back from the cage door, "Bye."
She turned around and started walking away.
"Bye," Anri said just after she'd walked out
of earshot, "and have a nice vacation."