Phylesia: The Truth
As you may have heard, my life before I had been found by the people I call my family now wasn't so great. I had no family, no home, and surely no dreams. Every day was a living struggle for my species until one day people had seen us and made each of us a part of their family. It was a great thing to happen to us! Never had we been so accepted into society before!
I must confess, however, I did have a sort of family life before I was found by Rennala and her brothers, now my brothers. I had a mother who was passionate about reading and loved to cradle her children in her wings until we had managed to fallen asleep. My father was protective and brave; he once rescued my little brother from a tree that had caught on fire! I had a little brother named Mettulie (pronounced as met-too-lee) who was named after a fallen friend my father had fought with in the war.
War? Did I just say war? Yes. There was a war that was between the Vandagyres and the Faeries. When we first stumbled onto Neopia, every one treated us as if we a disgrace including those precious Faeries everyone seems to love and respect so much. Queen Fyora had ordered us to leave and never to return, but my father's friend had a better idea. You see, he was head of our species, the oldest one. Fyora didn't know how to react and before too long countless of Vandagyres had fallen and we were so upset. We had left, but only to return decades later.
That's why we were hidden away for years under the snow of Terror Mountain. Our feathers kept us from freezing under the harsh snowfalls. We knew if we were to be seen again Queen Fyora would be summoned and we couldn't handle that yet. We weren't strong enough and we were surely not ready to lose more of us.
You must be thinking now, "How come you left your family? How come you left your clan if you were so tightly together?" The truth is, my dear friends, I left because I was labeled a disgrace to my clan. I didn't want to hide anymore under the harsh snow of Terror Mountain. I didn't want what my life was turning out to be. Mother couldn't understand and Father was outraged. They had told me if I had left I wasn't going to return, that people out in the world are terrible to us Vandagyres, and I knew it because I had lived through the war, but I just felt like there had to be a chance, even if a small one, out there for us. I was going to make it.
Mother had cried, oh yes, so much. It pained me to see her that way, losing a daughter and all, but I couldn't handle it any more. I had placed a kiss on Mettulie and her cheek and left while Father was looking for food. I knew it was going to be difficult out there by myself, but I held onto a sort of glimmer of hope that it would all work out in the end.
I had survived on my own for a handful of days. I slept on the snow above where my family stayed and at night I had snuck into several shops to take whatever food I could to fill my stomach. It was hard, but not terrible. No one had found me yet and I wasn't sure whether I wanted to be found or not. I was still shaken up from the stories Father had told me before I left.
One night I was so hungry and the Shop Keepers must've found out someone was taking their produce because the doors were now locked, that I had actually went into the Ice Caves to find some sort of food to keep me going through the night.
I had never been in the Ice Caves before and it was hard to walk on the slippery ice so I flew just a few feet above the solid ground to an opening. I didn't know I had flown right into the Snowager's lair.
He slept very still and whatever light that came in had shown on his body in a million of different ways. Needless to say, he was beautiful. I never knew of the Snowager or what he was capable of so I flew right under his tail to try to take what looked like a Cranberry Turkey Sandwich when all of a sudden he had awoken and roared so loud that my ears felt heavy with noise and I fell to the ground.
He looked down at me with such madness that my bones quivered. My first thought when he lowered his head and opened his mouth again was that he was going to eat me, but instead he shot me with thousands of tiny ice shards and I flew right outside of the Ice Caves into a snow bank, every ounce of my being hurting from the inside out.
I couldn't move. I almost had wished he would've eaten me from all the pain I was enduring. I cried silently and prayed someone would stumble upon me, but no such thing happened until a few days later when I was moved to my back and met the eyes of a Chomby, a JubJub, and a Bruce.
And I'm sure you know the rest of the story: how I was scared to answer them afraid of what they might do to me because of what Father had said about the cruel world, how scared they must've been to see a creature like me something they've probably never laid eyes on before, and how they were determined to take care of me for the night. I was grateful: they fed me and I was able to bathe which felt good to do, and one of them even gave me a new name which replaced my old one that Mother had carefully picked out which was Opliaeyia (pronounced as o-pea-lee-uh, a name Mother chose because it stood for "strong minded daughter of mine") but that night as I laid in Rennala's bed with my trying to chase foreign dreams, she had kept me awake by asking several questions. The one that made my heart heavy and my eyes weep was when she had asked if I had a family.
I wanted to say yes, that I did because technically they were my family even though I didn't belong to them any more since I had left, but I said no. The truth was I didn't have a family anymore and that hurt more than the Snowager blasting me with icy shards throughout my body.
I had no such luck sleeping that night when all I could think about was Mother with a sleeping Mettulie in her wings and Father sleeping beside them. They were a family without me regardless. When the first rays of the sun had shown through Ren's one window next to the cozy bed that I wasn't accustomed to, I knew I had to leave. I had to go back to my family and ask for forgiveness even though I knew that was just a high hope of mine.
I left without anyone noticing and went back to Terror Mountain. I crawled into the small little hole that was once my home and found Mother gone with Mettulie and Father with his brother, my Uncle Tighla, talking. All chatter stopped when I had entered the den.
Father got up from the makeshift table he had made from old wood he found weeks ago. My heart picked up speed when he asked what I was doing there.
"I-I came back, Father," I replied.
"Why on Neopia would you do that?" Uncle Tighla asked, standing as well.
I felt my heart dropped. Everyone in the clan probably knew about me being a traitor. Tears threatened to spill from my large eyes.
"W-would you take me b-back?" I cried out, losing control. "I can't do this on my own. I miss my bed. Food. I miss you and Mother and Mettulie!"
Father looked to his older brother but Uncle Tighla's eyes were locked on mine filled with the answer I already knew: no.
Out of anger and hunger, I went to the closest shop I could and openly stole a bunch of food. I had to get rid of the feeling of betrayal and longing to belong to a family again somehow and my stomach was so empty that I only knew to drown myself in food. I got caught, of course, and kicked out which didn't even come close to hurting as badly as being kicked out of my own family.
As you know that's when the same Bruce that had found me came right up to me to take me back. He was accompanied by a Tyrannian Xweetok.
It seemed as though the Bruce and the Yellow Lenny that had toted me out of his shop knew each other. It was a strange feeling to have the Bruce stand up for me and want me back, but I didn't belong there. They weren't my family. They were never going to even come close!
But a feeling of love and gratitude had submerged itself into my heart and I knew it was either this or be alone again and I feared of being alone. I took their offer and went back home with them.
When they had opened the door the family that had taken me in the night before were waiting with trays of cookies. Tears almost leaked out of my eyes when I took in the sight; these people actually liked me! I never felt so accepted before, even by my own clan at times.
The Bruce who had come for me twice now had called me a part of their "family" and that's when I lost control. I had sobbed and every one hugged me tightly which only made me sob even harder. I didn't deserve these kind people.
Now it's been weeks living with them and I couldn't be happier. Every day is filled with endless amounts of love and fun! Out of all of my new brothers and sisters, though, Hiko is by far my favorite (yes, I know how terrible that sounds). He was the Bruce that had come for me and he is the reason I'm a part of this new family now. I'm forever grateful.
Now some of you may be wondering if I've seen my old family since the last time, and the answer to that is simple: yes. Hiko and I went to Happy Valley for some slushies from the Slushie Shop. Hiko was very nice to pay for me with some allowance Mama (Our owner whose actual name is Kara, but we refer to her as 'Mama') had given us for the week. When he had handed me my Kiwi Slushie, the corner of my eye caught something from outside of the window. When I had turned to look, my heart dropped to my stomach: Mother was on the ice skating rink just outside of the shop I was in with Mettulie skating around in lopsided figure eights, laughing.
Hiko saw my eyes locked on the beautiful Blue Vandagyre who used to be my mother with a Red Vandagyre in her arms, laughing their heads off.
"It's nice to see Vandagyres among us now," Hiko had said.
I looked at him. "Among us?"
He nodded and took a slurp from his Cantaloupe Slushie. "When we went public with you, tons of Vandagyres just randomly showed up on Terror Mountain. Most of them went to the pound in hopes of finding a family like you did."
I looked back to Mother and Mettulie. So I had really changed the view of Vandagyres. I only wished I had felt better about it.
"I'll be right back," I said leaving Hiko at a table next to the window with my slushie as I made my way to the ice skating rink.
Mother got off the rink with a laughing Mettulie when we bumped into each other. She went to apologize, but when her eyes met mine, she stiffened up a bit.
"Hi," I said.
"Opliaeyia!" Mettulie had cried out, smiling ear to ear. His wings reached out for me and I went to take him in my own when Mother had slapped me away.
"No, Mett," Mother said, her eyes never leaving mine.
I didn't feel any anger like I knew I should've. I felt sorry for her, for them.
"You should treat me better knowing I changed the clan's future." I said, not really thinking. I couldn't believe those words had left my beak!
But Mother's body had relaxed and small tears left her eyes. "I'm so sorry, Opliaeyia. It's just. . . I'm so ashamed."
"But why?" I had asked.
"Your father and I should've taken you back. We shouldn't have tossed you out. The truth is, we miss you, Opliaeyia, we really do. Mett really misses you, isn't that right?" She rocked my little brother in her wings and he nodded eagerly.
"He's gotten so big," I said, trying to change the subject. I didn't want to cry, not after what I've been through.
She nodded and Father came up to us. He looked surprised to have seen me.
"Opliaeyia!" he said, taking me in to a hug. His feathers felt warm against mine and I blinked away the tears that threatened to escape.
"I'm so sorry, darling." he cooed in my ear. "I'm so, so sorry."
"It's okay," I whispered, pushing him away softly.
"We heard you have a family now," Mother said, her voice shaking.
I nodded. I wasn't going to lie.
"Are they good to you?" Father asked, taking Mettulie from Mother's wings into his own.
I nodded again. I wasn't going to risk going into detail about my new family, though, I didn't want Mother to sob and Father to feel regret. I didn't want Mettulie to go home with all of that.
"We're trying to find a family, ourselves," Father said, which surprised me.
"W-what?" I stumbled out. Father was never the type of Vandagyre to ask for help from any one and he looking for someone to take them in was doing just that.
"It's true," Mother said. "We can't seem to make it out on our own anymore."
"Have you found any one?" I asked, somewhat hoping they hadn't.
Father nodded. "Actually, yes. Just today I went into the Pound and there was this man with this little girl, cutest little thing really, and the little girl just couldn't find a Neopet she was interested in. When they turned to leave, she had seen me and asked her father to adopt me. He asked if that's what I wanted and I told her I had a son at home, less than a year old, and about your mother." He looked at her then. "Which brings me to the hardest decision ever."
"What are you talking about?" Mother asked, her wings shaking by her sides. That had always her nervous habit.
He looked at the snow beneath us. He whispered, "The father of the little girl wants you and Mett, darling." He looked at them, his eyes full of tears. "I'll be going back to the pound tonight in search of a different family."
"Noapuh, we can't be separated!" Mother cried out. "Mettulie needs both of us!"
"No," Father answered, "he needs just you."
I couldn't stand seeing the separation of my parents and my little brother. I wished them the best of luck and went back to Hiko in the Slushie Shop.
"I saw," he admitted after I had sat back down across from him at the table. "Was that your family?"
"Yes," I whispered.
"Do you miss them?" he asked, worry in his voice.
I shook my head. "Why would I when I have you?"