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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 13th day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 123 > Short Stories > Denied of Love

Denied of Love

by jade_eyed_angel

I'm one of many. I tried my hardest to fit in… to be good enough, but I never had my chance to shine and I was thrown away like all the others. I'm Pixi the Ixi. Pixi number 86755, and this is my story.

~*~

Pixi number 86755 opened her eyes and blinked, staring at a blurry figure above her.

      "Maybe you'll be the one," the figure whispered. "One of the special ones that I need. I've tried thousands and only one has succeeded. I still need three more. Are you one of those special ones I'm looking for, number 86755?"

~*~

Bet you're wondering what's going on, right? What's going through your head right now? Questions like 'who's that creepy guy?'? Well, he's my owner, my former owner now. What is he talking about? Well, I'm going to wait a little bit before I tell you that. Let's skip ahead a little, shall we?

~*~

"Sing!"

      "I can't!" Pixi responded angrily. "Can't you see that I'm trying? I need water!"

      "Then go get it, you pathetic Ixi. Maybe you aren't the one after all! Just like the rest of them."

~*~

Okay, fine! I'll tell you what's going on. That was me and my owner speaking. I don't even know his name. None of us do. We just call him "the boss". Who are "we"? That would be the other Ixi and I.

      See, the deal is that my owner was a creep. He was trying to collect four Ixi to make an Ixi band. He wanted us to sing and dance and get him lots of Neopoints. We had to be talented and pretty. He worked with us in groups of four in the beginning, trying to find the four perfect Ixi. He had found one before he got me, so now he'd take groups of three Ixi and work with them, while he treated the one he had picked like a queen. She was painted with the desert paint brush. She had a Faellie painted in blue, her favorite color. Her voice was perfect and so was her dancing. She watched us dance and sing for the boss while she drank lemonade and did anything fun she could think of.

      The boss didn't have a big imagination. He named every single one of his Ixi Pixi with a number. He gave each Ixi a few weeks to see if she was any good at dancing and singing and everything else he needed us to do, and if she wasn't, like most of them weren't, he'd simply dump her in the pound and get another one. The number at the end of my name should roughly summarize how many Ixi he had gone through just to find one that suited him.

      If he did find an Ixi he liked, he'd paint her in one of the prettiest paintbrushes an Ixi could be painted with, and wasted thousands of Neopoints just to make her happy. I remember when I was just born; he leaned close to my ear and told me something. I never forgot the words.

      "You'll be a beautiful Faerie Ixi if you succeed," he promised me, whispering in my ear, "but if you fail… don't expect too much if you fail, 86755. If I don't get what I'm looking for from you, you're going to join your sisters in the pound and no one will adopt you because they'll all know that you're a worthless failure. So don't fail, my dear."

      What kind of person is that, anyway? He didn't care about me. He just wanted a perfect band. He wanted money. If I was good enough, then he'd care… but not about me.

      Yet I didn't see that at the time. I loved him. I thought that if I was good enough for the band he'd love me. But he didn't even love the Ixi in the band. He just used them. Still, I tried my hardest to be the best.

~*~

Pixi gulped at the water hungrily. She was out of breath. Singing was hard. Dancing and singing at the same time was even harder. Still, she couldn't give up! If she gave up… Pixi didn't even want to think about what would happen if she gave up. It was only her second week of training and she had already seen two Ixi go, merely to be replaced by new ones.

      The first Ixi to go went sadly. She looked at the boss with eyes full of tears as she threw her into the pound without a care. She was given away on Pixi's fifth day of training. She was a green Ixi who was replaced just a few hours later with a yellow Ixi.

      The second Ixi to be thrown away, a red one, glared at the boss with hatred radiating from every part of her body. When he got to the pound she spit at his face and jumped to the ground.

      "I'd rather live in the pound forever than stay another moment with you," she whispered fiercely. "Just wait, you'll be sorry."

      Then, she marched into the pound by herself, leaving the boss stunned. She was replaced a few hours later with a green Ixi. That was about four days ago. Pixi knew that if she didn't get better she'd be the next to go, and soon. The Ixi were only given up to three weeks at most to show what they could do. Some were thrown out like objects before even two weeks had passes, some even earlier.

      "I want to be in the band," Pixi said sadly. "I'll try my hardest forever."

      "What's taking you so long, 86755?" the boss called. "Get over here this instant! You have work to do!"

      Pixi slowly trudged back to the group. The yellow and green Ixi looked at her sympathetically. They were doing pretty good so far. Instead of being jealous, Pixi felt somewhat happy for them because she knew that if they made it to the band, it would save them the torture and hatred that had been bestowed on the other Ixi before them.

      "Let's go," the boss said. "We're singing the new song I just finished writing. You know the one. 'Painful'. I take it you all learned the words. Start from the beginning and stop at the end of the first chorus. It's very good practice for your vocal cords. If you can sing in high pitches it will be very helpful for later on. Got that? Good. Let's go, girls, begin on three. One… Two… Three!"

      Pixi gulped as she began singing. She liked this song but she wasn't very good at it. She usually messed up. She hoped she wouldn't this time. At least she knew all the words. While she was thinking, she was singing, and now she moved on to the chorus. "Oh, painful," she sang, "so painful. My heart's being ripped away…"

      "Stop!" the boss called and the Ixi froze. "Blue, you're off-key!"

      Sometimes the boss referred to them by their colors instead of their numbers because the numbers were becoming so long. That's why he made sure they were always a different color. Pixi was blue.

      "I'm sorry," she whispered.

      "You're sorry?" he screamed at her. "What good is that to me? Can you're 'sorry' give me a good band? Can it give me any Neopoints? I don't think so! 'Sorry' doesn't cut it! You have one week left, Blue. Are you going to use that week to improve? Well here's your answer: you better! 'Cause if you don't, you'll regret it. No one but me would tolerate you!"

      "I'm sorry," Pixi whispered again. "I'll practice! I'll get better! I promise."

      "Do I look like I care?" he responded. "You either get better or you don't, doesn't matter to me either way. You can easily be replaced."

~*~

So I practiced. I'm not sure why I did. I'm not even sure why I wanted to. I mean, I knew he wasn't a good person, but I guess maybe I just believed what he said. I really thought that no one but him would want me, that I didn't deserve better than what I had and that my life would never get better unless I got into the band.

      Every free moment I got I would practice and practice. I knew I was getting better. I could feel it. My dancing was improving. I was getting good… but it wasn't good enough.

~*~

"I practiced every day," Pixi said quietly.

      "I see."

      She never got a straight answer from the boss anymore. He turned away and walked over to the yellow Ixi.

      "Very good, Yellow. Your dancing is wonderful. Your singing tops all others. You might just be one of those special ones its taking me forever to find. Remember what I promised you; the Halloween Paintbrush. You want that, don't you, Yellow? I know you've been dreaming of it. A little more and your dream might just come true.

      "And you, Green," he added, turning to the green Ixi, "Your dancing could use some work. Otherwise, you're not doing too badly."

      "How-How am I doing?" Pixi asked nervously.

      "You…" the boss said. However, instead of answering her, he turned away. "All right, practice is done for the day. Yellow, Green, get some rest. Blue, stay here."

      Pixi shot a fearful look at the other two Ixi. They looked back at her, their eyes wide. As they passed by her, the yellow Ixi brushed past her and dropped a piece of paper at her feet.

      "Take it!" she hissed quietly. "We love you, Blue. Remember that."

      "I will," Pixi whispered sadly as she grabbed the paper and hid it in the little pouch she was wearing around her neck.

      "Three weeks, Blue," the boss said when the other Ixi had left.

      "I…" Pixi muttered.

      "…Failed?" the boss supplied. "Yes, you have. Worthless! That's what you are."

      "Worthless…" Pixi whispered.

      "Exactly," the boss said. "What was it that I told you, Blue? That I would use the Faerie Paintbrush on you if you succeeded?"

      "Yes," Pixi said listlessly.

      "You know that's not going to happen anymore, don't you, Blue?"

      "Yes," Pixi repeated.

      "Do you know why?"

      "Because I'm worthless," she whispered.

      "Exactly, my dear. Say goodbye to your life."

      "What?" Pixi gasped. You're going to… kill me?"

      "Oh, heavens no. You speak of me as though I'm nothing but a common criminal! What I meant is that you're going to the pound. Your life is over. You'll have nothing good anymore like you had here. What reason is there for me to commit murder when the pound will simply do it for me? Your soul will be crushed. It won't matter if you're physically alive because you'll be dead on the inside."

      "I'm sorry I failed," Pixi said quietly.

      "Like I told you before," he responded, "sorry doesn't cut it."

~*~

So that was the end of it. He took me to the pound that night. I think my last moments with him were a mix of what the last two Ixi to go had done. I didn't actually spit in his face but right before I left; I turned to him and simply told him, "I hate you."

      Right after I said that, I turned and walked away from him, crying softly to myself.

      I didn't see any of my Ixi sisters in the pound… or didn't recognize any of them, anyway. There were a lot of pets. Most were sad, but a few were happy. I suppose some of them agreed the pound was better than whomever their former owner had been.

      When I got to the pound I just sat in a dingy corner and cried. No one bothered me. No one ever bothered the new pets. As I looked for something to wipe my eyes with I brushed the pouch on my neck. Remembering the paper Yellow had given me; I opened the pouch and took it out. It turned out to be a note. It was hard to read in the dark room but I squinted and was eventually able to make out the words.

      "Blue! We know you must feel horrible right now, but don't. Trust us, you got off easy! Yeah, you're probably wondering if we've gone crazy… but no. Who actually wants to stay with the boss? He doesn't care about us. We talked to Pixi number 7658. You know… the one that made the band. She's not snobby like we thought at all! She's miserable and lonely. She can see now that she would have been better off somewhere else. Someone will probably adopt you… someone who will actually care about you. We wondered if we should pretend we stink at singing and dancing just to get out of this, but we can't 'cause 7658 is so miserable and we want to keep her company. If we make the band we'll do that, but if we fail we'll really be better off! So think of this as a wonderful opportunity. You're free! We know what the boss probably said to you. 7658 told us what he tells all the Ixi in private before he takes them to the pound. You're NOT worthless, Blue! Don't EVER think that you are. You are better than all this. Your singing is wonderful and you've improved so much. Keep improving. But don't do it for the boss. Do it for yourself.

      Love,

      Your sisters forever,

      Yellow and Green."

 

      I read the note over and over again. It was so strange. I suddenly felt completely different. As though all my life I had been kept in a cage and I was suddenly set free. And suddenly, I felt the urge to sing… so I did. I didn't sing loudly of course, I didn't want anyone to think that I had gone crazy. I just sang softly to myself, making up my own words.

      I stayed in the pound for a pretty long time. People would look at me and look away. I suppose they didn't like my name. I was getting depressed. Again and again I remembered my former master's words of no one wanting me. Yet every time I thought of that I remembered the note my sisters had given me and I felt happy inside, but the happiness lasted only seconds before it was once again overcome by gloom. It was like that until Lily came.

~*~

Pixi sat in a corner of the room again, watching wistfully as another happy pet found a new home. She sighed. None of the pets would have anything to do with her. They all thought she was stuck-up because all she did was sing. She didn't care. It didn't matter what anyone thought. Slowly, she began singing another song.

      "People around me, never leaving, I have no space to breathe. I'm simply wishing for them to leave here unless they give a home to me. I wish on a star but it's only a dream. All these hearts are too full to take me in. I'm stranded alone and the gloom overpowers me. The light's too far away. Can't someone come and find me?"

      Pixi sighed and glanced out a window. It was already dark outside. She was just about to sing another verse when she heard a voice.

      "Who's that?"

      "Oh, that's Pixi_86755. She's been here for a while. No one wants her… poor thing."

      "Well… why not? She's adorable!"

      "I think people don't like her name."

      "That's pathetic. Her name's fine. I've seen worse. Some people name their pets things like 'hfdfbdkjfbkesdk' and similar. Now those are bad names."

      "I agree, but there's nothing we can do about it."

      "Was she singing or something?!"

      "Yes, she does that a lot. Beautiful, isn't it?"

      "Yes… it is…"

      "You've been coming here for a while but you haven't adopted any pets yet. Why not?"

      "I couldn't decide on any of them. I didn't see any I REALLY liked, but I think I want to adopt that Ixi."

      "Really?"

      "Yes. She's adorable. She's blue, and that's my favorite color. Her name is cute, and besides, she looks miserable."

      Pixi glanced up as the girl and the person who ran the pound walked closer.

      "Hi," the girl said, crouching down next to Pixi. "I'm Lily."

      Lily had shoulder-length dirty brown hair and grey eyes. She wasn't very tall and she was wearing a kind smile.

      "Hi," Pixi said quietly.

      "Pixi, your singing is so nice," Lily told her.

      "Thank you," Pixi said quietly.

      "You shouldn't be singing here," Lily said. "This is such a sad place. How would you like a home where you can sing all the time? You'd have two sisters. It would be fun!"

      "I'd like that," Pixi said softly. "Thank you, Ms…"

      "Just call me 'Lily'," Lily said, smiling widely. "Come on, Pixi. Let's go to your new home!"

~*~

Lily was so kind to me. She took me to her NeoHome where I met my two new older sisters, Glacier the Uni and Chii the Kougra. I got along with Glacier right away. However, Chii and I started arguing right off. Lily was worried at first but when she saw that all of our arguments were friendly ones she just accepted them as she had accepted me. Chii and I arguing just came as part of the package.

      Some time after that, Glacier got an Angelpuss she named Sumomo and she would often let me play with her. A few weeks after that, we got a little brother, a Kacheek Lily named 'Inu_Yasha' but we all called 'Inu'. Chii, Glacier and I immediately fell in love with the new game of teasing him. It was so much fun!

      I kept on practicing my singing. Once, I heard Chii mention to Glacier that she thought I was good. I beamed with pride but I didn't say anything about it. I had lived my life denied of love and suddenly I found love around me no matter where I was. I was happy.

      I guess my story is really left unfinished. I got a nice family who cares about me now just like Green and Yellow said I would. Yet Chii, who loves writing, told me to never leave a story unfinished so I guess this next part here would be a decent ending to my little tale.

~*~

Lily took all five of us to the Rainbow Pool in Neopia Central. She had finally managed to get her hands on a Christmas Paintbrush for Glacier. We all admired her pretty coat while she smiled non-stop. Lily continued with the day by showing the rest of us all the pretty paint brushes we could be painted with.

      "I don't have that many Neopoints," she said, "but someday I will. And when I do, the rest of you guys will get pet pets and everyone else will get painted with whatever paint brush they want! What paint brushes go you guys want to be painted with?"

      "Sumomo would look nice in fire," Glacier said, indicating the Angelpuss that was sleeping on her back.

      "Can I get painted with the Fire Paintbrush too?" Chii asked. "It would look different on me than on Sumomo. It would look cooler!"

      "No it wouldn't," Inu said.

      "Be quiet, Inu," Chii replied.

      "What color do you want to be painted with, Inu?" Lily asked.

      "Island!" cried Inu.

      "Why?" Chii asked. "That flower would make you look like a girl."

      "Noooooo," Inu responded. "Anyway, I don't care if it did because the necklace looks like that magical one that the InuYasha I was named after wears in the show! You know… the one that Kagome uses to make him sit! She just says 'InuYasha, sit boy,' and the necklace makes him fall flat on his face! It's so funny!"

      Chii rolled her eyes. "Well you better hope that the one you're gonna get won't be a magical one like InuYasha's or I'll be doing the same to you."

      "If you try, I'll throw your books in the river," Inu replied, getting defensive.

      "Don't you dare try, you little brat!" Chii cried.

      "Okay, enough, you two!" Lily called. She turned to Pixi. "What color do you want to be painted, Pixi?"

      Pixi looked at all the possible colors, not really seeing them. "Faerie," she said quietly.

      "Good choice, Pixi," said Lily. "Faerie Ixi are some of the prettiest pets out there."

      "Yes," Pixi said, her memories playing before her eyes. "They are…"

      As they were walking back, Pixi heard some singing start up in the direction that had come from. She turned her head, trying to catch the words. Lily heard it too.

      "Let's go see what's going on!" she suggested.

      They walked back to the center of Neopia where four Ixi were singing and dancing on a stage set up in front of the Money Tree. One was a Desert Ixi while the other three were painted in Halloween, Fire and Faerie.

      "I don't believe it," Pixi whispered, but no one heard her.

      "Wow! Look, Pixi, an Ixi band!" Lily cried. "How cool! You should be up there dancing and singing. Your singing is just as good as theirs. They must have worked really hard to get that good."

      "You have no idea…" Pixi muttered, but was once again unheard.

      They stayed there until the performance was over, after which Pixi slowly walked up to the stage. Lily and the rest of her family trailed after her.

      "Blue?" someone called.

      She turned to see the Halloween Ixi staring at her.

      "Yellow?" she asked.

      "Oh, Blue! It is you!"

      "Wait, Pixi, you know these Ixi?" Lily asked, surprised.

      Pixi nodded slowly.

      "Did you find that special family to take you in yet?" Yellow asked.

      "Yes," said Pixi. "Yes, I found them."

      "Good," the Fire Ixi said as she walked up to them. "It's me, Blue. It's Green! 'Member me?"

      "I'd never forget you two," Pixi said. "I see the boss got his band after all."

      "Yeah. Took him long enough," Yellow said.

      "So how has it been for you two?" asked Pixi.

      "Actually, not too bad; since there were three of us we kept each other company. It was sad after you left, though."

      "I read your note," Pixi said. "Thank you. It's all that kept me going."

      "Good," Green said. "Now you found someone who cares! I'm so happy for you, Pixi."

      "Me too," Yellow added.

      Suddenly, Pixi felt that someone was standing behind her. She turned around and saw the boss staring down at her.

      "Well, well, well," he said, "if it isn't number 86755. I never forget any of my… experiments. Shouldn't you be in the pound, you stupid worthless animal?"

      "HEY!" Lily called angrily. Pixi spun around. She had forgotten Lily was there. "What do you think you're saying to Pixi, you creep?"

      "He was my old owner," Pixi said quietly.

      "W-What?" Lily gasped. "A creep like that??"

      "He dumped me in the pound because I couldn't sing," Pixi said, summarizing the horrible part of her life in merely a few words. "I wasn't good enough for the band, so I wasn't good enough for him."

      "Pixi…" Lily said quietly as she dropped to her knees and hugged the Ixi. "That's not true. You know you're a wonderful singer!"

      "I wasn't wonderful enough for him," Pixi answered. She turned to the boss. "Remember what you told me?" she asked. "About how no one would want to adopt me because I was a worthless failure? About how no one but you would tolerate me? Well, you were wrong. And now I know what it's like to have a real home with people who actually care about me and love me for who I am. Maybe, just maybe, I'm not so worthless after all."

~*~The End~*~

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