The Color Yellow: Part One
Yellow_Cheese_Burger bounced a ball against the wall of the room; it bounced back to him with a comfortable, somewhat satisfying rhythm. He was feeling upset, for no particular reason. The ball bounced back and forth, back and forth.
"Yellow?" Lina called. "Yellow, are you in your room?"
Her voice caused him to miss a step; the ball bounced off his paws and rolled onto the floor. His owner, Lina, opened the door.
"Yellow, are you okay? You've been moping around all day." She stood in the door way, watching her Island Aisha with worried eyes.
He smiled at her, trying to alleviate her fears. "Yes, I'm fine."
Lina nodded, uncertain as to whether or not to believe him. "Okay... Well, dinner's going to be ready soon. Sweets made Tchea Stew."
She gently closed the door, and with his sensitive hearing, he listened to her footsteps as she walked down the hall way.
Yellow sighed; the mention of Sweets reinforced his gloomy mood. It wasn't that he didn't like his sister, or his siblings, it was just...
It was just that, compared to the rest of his family, he felt so ordinary.
He slumped onto his bed. Everyone in his family had some amazing talent. Sweets was a cook, Dragon was an artist, Philesia had a superb fashion sense, Ray was training to become a petpetpetiologist. Yellow flipped onto his back as he continued to count them off: Ed was amazing at Yooyuball, Cream was the funniest person he had ever met, Kimiko was a natural leader, Kata was known for her kindness, Sulza was the most popular pet in her grade, Vineti was refined and lady-like, and Thunder was studying at Altador Academy to become a professor. And he, Yellow... he didn't think he had any talents.
He was always trailing along after one of his other siblings. Even if he ended up being talented at something, he would only be the second one in his family to do it.
It wasn't that he didn't feel loved back, either. He knew Lina cared for him and enjoyed spending time with him, and he knew that his siblings loved having him around. But he had always felt inadequate. Lina hadn't even planned to keep him when she first adopted him; he was going to be a foster pet. She was planning on giving him away as soon as someone else wanted him. It was only later that she realized that she wanted to keep him.
He picked up the ball and started bouncing it again. More than anything, he simply wanted to be special.
He dragged himself out of bed and wandered down the stairs, the scrumptious smell of stewed Tchea wafting up to meet him.
He paused on the stairwell; cluttering the steps were flyers for Thunder's school, Altador Academy. He had transferred there almost immediately after joining the family, and he was the first in the family to go on to achieve a higher education. Lina was so proud of him for that. She had had four pets who graduated high school already, but three of them had taken on local jobs and one had an internship.
Yellow picked up the flyer and stared at it; it was too early for him to go to a university, but perhaps he could go to a private school for the remainder of his education. Somewhere that would force him to step out of the shadows of his siblings, which was, he admitted, where he felt most comfortable. Somewhere that he could make his own mark.
He pondered this idea throughout dinner, and then during school the next day. The more he thought about it, the more it seemed like it made sense. They had enough money to send him to a private school, after all. During his study hall, he went to the Guidance Office and even picked up the brochures available.
There was an all-boys school on Krawk Island, but it appeared to be mostly geared to pirates and sailors. And the private schools in Shenkuu and on Terror Mountain were both for only girls. There were two co-ed private boarding schools that looked like good options, though: the one in Faerieland and the one in the Lost Desert.
He read them over and over; Faerieland Central School seemed to focus more on reading, writing, arts, and sports, while Pyramid Middle School concentrated on math and science. Yellow liked writing, and playing Wingoball. Faerieland Central, he decided. Now he just had to ask if he could go.
"Um... Lina?" he asked a few days later; he hadn't had the nerve to ask before, and he wanted to be sure that he really did want to go.
She looked up from her Negg Cave Puzzle. "Yes?"
"I was wondering..." He sat down next to her, unsure exactly how to bring it up. He had the brochure clutched tightly in his hand; it was slightly smeared from the moisture on his palms. Slowly, he opened it up and showed it to her. "I was wondering if I could go here."
Lina took the brochure from him and scanned through it. "But what about your friends at neoschool?"
"I'll keep in touch with them," Yellow assured her. "And I can meet new friends."
"All of your siblings went to Neopia Central School..." She blinked her eyes slowly. "But perhaps that's the problem, isn't it?" She mused.
Yellow pointed to a bit of text below a picture of a smiling Grundo and Lupe reading in the library. "There's a preview weekend coming up. It couldn't hurt, could it?"
"No, I guess not." She flipped the brochure over. "It's a boarding school, though. I'll miss having you home."
"It's not that far. I could be a commuter student," Yellow quickly interjected. He didn't particularly mind either way; he just wanted to go.
"Maybe." Lina chewed on the inside of her cheek, mulling it over. "This is kind of sudden. Why do you want to go to a different school?" After a second, she added, "It's not a problem with a bully, is it?"
"No," Yellow said, smiling a little. His scary older sister, Philesia, made sure that he had no more problems with bullies.
Yellow half-shrugged. "I just... I wanted to try a new environment. I feel like I need a change." He paused, wondering if he should mention the exact reason why he was feeling inadequate. "Please," he finally said, "could I just go for the preview weekend?"
"All right," Lina relented. Yellow grinned, clenching his fists to hold in his excitement. "I'll fill out the permission form and mail it."
"Thank you so much!" Yellow said, hugging her.
"You're welcome," Lina said, smiling at his happiness. "But I still want you to think hard about this and make sure that you really want this."
"I do," Yellow responded, still smiling. "I'm sure."
The preview weekend was fast approaching. There was barely a second when Yellow wasn't thinking of it. And yet, he hadn't told his friends at school. The only ones who were aware of his possible transfer was his family and his teachers. He felt sad when he thought about leaving his friends behind, and he decided it was best not to worry them until it was guaranteed that he would be leaving.
"Yellow! Are you ready to go?" Lina called up the stairs. Yellow jumped, interrupted from his musings; of course he was ready! All his bags were packed and he had double-checked everything.
"Coming!" he said, dragging his suitcase out of his room. Tritter, his Ghost Kadoatie, meowed at him, startled at his sudden movements. "See you on Sunday, Tritter," he called to her.
Lina had called for an Eyrie-Pulled Carriage, and the two magnificent Neopets waited patiently while Yellow and Lina got his baggage in before settling in themselves.
"Okay, I think we're ready," Lina called to the Eyries, and at once they were pulled into the air.
Yellow had a habit of getting carriage-sick, especially if they were in a flying carriage, but the excitement seemed to beat it down, and he was able, for the first time, to enjoy the spectacular view.
They passed over Kiko Lake, although not close enough to see any of the underwater homes. They were able to see the outskirts of the Haunted Woods, mist rising eerily from the dead-looking trees. The Eyries were sure to avoid flying directly over the area. Finally, Faerieland came into view.
"I guess it's a good thing Faerieland fell," Lina mused. "Otherwise, the school would be farther away. I wonder if the school suffered any damage when it fell?"
On the outskirts of Faerie City, a large, mansion-like structure appeared. The carriage began its descent; other carriages were approaching the school, bringing more potential students. The wheels hit the road with a jolt, and the Eyries' talons clacked against the brick as they slowed.
"Here we are," Lina said. "Faerieland Central School."
To be continued...