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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Gathering, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 58 > Short Stories > Po and Change

Po and Change

by polayo

I was snuggled warmly between my blankets, perfectly content. I could hear my computer buzzing in one corner, Tika rustling in her sleep by my side, and Omni downstairs on her computer-she was a very early riser.

     A gust of cold breeze rushed in through the open window, sharply reminding me exactly what time of year it was--I was beginning the last day of my lovely first summer. Of course, I'd had quite a few mishaps, but they'd all turned into something good... for example, Camp Neko was definitely one of the scariest times of my life, but also one of the most fun, as was my job. I smiled, remembering all the barbecues and pool parties at Ev's, 'vacations' with Omni and Tika, which mainly ended up in losing our way and spending the night on the other side of Neopia from where we intended, quiet nights in the Neolodge with Tika at my side while Omni was away at camp, sketches that Ev and I drew of each other that made fun of us, movie nights with friends, sites and stories finished constantly, staying up light while finally getting to sleep on a bed of popcorn...most people don't know what they have until it's gone, and luckily I'm not one of them. I knew I was pretty lucky, and that most people don't get a summer like I have, and are able to spend it with their best friends.

     Thoughts of the first day of school clouded my memories, though, combined with anxiousness and dread. It's not that I didn't like school... personally, I loved learning and spending time with friends, but the thought of losing my free time to write, and laying around doing nothing without feeling guilty was daunting. It took me a while to realise the tears were streaming down my face, carrying both of the feelings I was experiencing right now-extreme happiness with the memories of the summer flooding into my head, and also sadness, anticipation, of tomorrow, when I'd enter a new school, and begin training for volleyball season. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day sulking...I couldn't get myself to write or draw anything, and I fell asleep early, dismayed at how I'd spent my last day of summer.

     When I awoke the next morning, my alarm blaring in my ears, my first thought was, Wait...what? I groped around, trying to turn it off, but when I opened my eyes, Omni was standing there, impatiently, holding the clock.

     "Oh, no," I mumbled, remembering what today was. I stumbled out of bed and down the stairs, where I could barely keep my heavy eyelids open. Eventually I perked up a bit, and the full realisation of what was happening washed over me.

     "Noo! Omni, I don't wanna go to school!" I jumped off my chair and hugged her ankles. "Noo!"

     "Sorry, Po, you've gotta. I don't want to go to school either, but I have to. Remember, change is constant!" She was smiling and laughed at the last part. I scowled.

     I opened my mouth to say something, but before I could, I was pushed out the door onto the steps, and the door was shut-and locked-behind me. I growled, my face turning pink, and I made a hefty scratch in the door just to show Omni how much I loved her, before turning toward the school.

     I glowered all the way there, and I only cheered up when I saw Reggie and Ev talking and waiting for me outside the entrance. I jogged up and together we made our way into the school. I glanced at my schedule before leaving Ev at her first class, while Reggie and I made our way to ours, which we shared.

     When we slid into our seats, 10 minutes late because of losing our spot, the teacher, a tall red Lenny, glared at us and told the class we were going to an assembly on the extracurricular activities that were available for us. I shifted my eyes toward Reggie, who sat looking extremely bored. She would never, in a million years, do any sort of after school activity if I knew her...which I did.

     When we arrived in the auditorium, we scoped out Ev and plopped into seats next to her. We quieted when the staff made onto the stage.

     "Hello," said the headmaster, a chubby red Kau, "welcome to your first day of the Neopia Village School. I'd like to welcome our new students, as well as the returning ones. Right now, I'd like to welcome our new staff member, Ms. McKrawk, who recently resigned from her bank job to take the job as secretary here."

     I rolled my eyes and laughed silently to myself. Ms. McKrawk and I hadn't had the best relationship.

     After the applause was over, an Eyrie padded up to the microphone and began to give a speech about how 'NVS is a great place for after school activities...'

     Reggie, Ev, and I all zoned out and had our own conversation. When we got back to our classes, we were each given a small blue booklet that covered everything we'd just 'listened' to. And so the rest of the day passed, slowly, uneventfully...

     At home, after the first day of school, and also after homework, I sat leafing through the booklet. It outlined each of the activities, and I searched for volleyball. But I got completely off-track when two of the clubs caught my eye.

     Drama Club and Writing Society.

     I squealed with delight and flipped to the page that had more information on them. It described each one in detail-drama club would perform one musical and one play each year, along with one play the club would write and perform. Writing society would share their works and gain comments and criticism. I could barely hold in my excitement-I loved to act and write, and I couldn't believe I could actually do these things at school!

     After reading about the volleyball team, I danced around the house, waiting for tomorrow, when I'd sign up for the clubs and try out for the team...I fell into a restless, excited sleep and woke up early, ready for school.

***

Probably no more than a week or two later, after I'd already been to four volleyball practices and two meetings each of drama club and writing society, the red Lenny announced that today we'd be holding class president elections, and anyone running should come up to the front immediately. As I glanced up and down the row of running pets, trying to decide whom to vote for, I was poked in the back by Ev.

     Turning, she raised her eyebrows at me. "Why are you still sitting down?" she asked.

     I looked at her like she was crazy. "I am so not running, whatever you say, Ev. I would never win, and besides, if I lost I wouldn't be able to handle it."

     "Are you kidding me?" she asked. "Get up there right now, Po." She grinned and pushed me out of my chair.

     Everyone's on-the-minute speech was pretty corny, including me, and they were all along the same lines of 'Vote for me!'...including mine.

     The day went by slowly. Apparently, that first speech was a practice speech, and at the end of the day we'd all gather in the auditorium and tell it to the whole grade. I looked at Ev. "Ev, you were crazy making me do this! What do you think, I'll actually win?"

     "Um, yeah!" she said like it was obvious, and pushed me toward the stage.

     I stumbled while climbing up the steps, but made it up there eventually. I repeated my speech when it was my turn, adding in a few details. When I was done, I bounded back to my seat next to Reggie and Ev.

     "You know, you guys don't have to vote for me," I tried telling them. "You can vote for who you want to win."

     "Oh, but we want you to win!" exclaimed Reggie, as she circled my name on the ballot and dropped it into the voting box.

***

"The votes are in," announced the headmaster the next day. "The votes are in for class president, and you have chosen Polayo as your new president."

     I stopped short, breathed in sharply, and felt my face go pink. I had won? I had won! I had...WON?

     Ev and Reggie patted me on the back, and I couldn't stop smiling. I hadn't even realised how much I wanted to win until I actually won. Life is good, I thought to myself. Smiling ecstatically, I raised my paw into the air and yelled out, "YES!"

     Managing Writing Society, Drama Club, Volleyball Practice, and my newly acquired position as Class President is tough, but I'm sure I can make it. Or...I'm pretty sure. It's nice to know my classmates think I can do it, even if I think I can't! Well, it is hard...but through it all, I think I can, too.

     I think back to what Omni said often-change is constant. But I've decided on one thing: Change is constant, yes...but change is welcome.

The End

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