Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 112,982,760 Issue: 225 | 27th day of Sleeping, Y8
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The Ruby Heart: Part One


by kindheartedfairy

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It was the middle of the night. I don't know why I was awake at the time, but I was, just as I had been every now and then. It was him. I was remembering again. I had to remember again. He wouldn't want me to forget. I didn't want to forget.

      I opened one of the several drawers in my Pink Vanity Desk and reached behind the several dresses that I had neatly stuffed inside. They were made specially to fit my Royal Buzz body. When my hand touched the back, I felt around and pulled out a small red jewel. A ruby in the shape of a heart. I closed my eyes and remembered the day Aaron had given it to me.

      "Sis!" the Darigan Scorchio had called, running towards me. He opened his hand. In his palm was a small red stone set in a shining silver chain.

      "Oh, Aaron, it's so beautiful!" I had exclaimed, taking it. I looked into my brother's eyes, and he looked into my emerald-coloured eyes. "It matches your eyes!"

      "And your name," he said, smiling. "Ruby."

      I then put the necklace around my neck. "I love you, Aaron."

      "I know, and let us never be pulled apart until the time is right."

      My thoughts turned to the day that had come only a month afterwards. I began to replay the events in my head.

      "Another beautiful sunny day," Aaron said, sitting up on the grass. There was forest all around them. "Ruby, I want to tell you something," he had said, turning towards me. "I know I left the village where we were both born, left our parents, but not with you. And they were not bad parents," he began to explain.

      I had watched him, intrigued.

      "You see, not long after you were born, half of a year or so, se-"

      He had never finished the sentence to me.

      I quickly stopped thinking about that morning. I would never know the tale of my past, unless I found Aaron again. My brother. Several Buzzes had come, interrupting the story. They had kidnapped Aaron. The chain of the necklace was torn, and all of it and Aaron that I had left was the bright red object I now held in my hand. I had run as brother had told me too, and had never seen him since. I missed him.

      I had flown to Faerieland, a world where I would hopefully have some protection. I met William the Island Scorchio, the father of who I now lived with, a Maraquan Scorchio named Michelle. She constantly wrote to her twin, a formerly-Maraquan-but-a-few-months-ago-he-painted-himself-Fire Scorchio named Jeremy.

      Ever since I had met these Scorchios, once the species that I belonged to, I had pretended to be stuck-up. I was completely different.

      I put the ruby back into the back of the drawer and went back to sleep.

      That morning, Michelle charged into my room excitedly, which I never recalled her doing so before.

      "Yes!" she cried. "Today is the day! I AM FINALLY GETTING PAINTED!!!"

      "Michelle, keep your voice down! Princess doesn't scream as if she wants to shake the walls or imitate a Trumpet of Deafening!" we heard William call from the living room on the floor below us.

      Princess. That was what everyone thought my name to be. Not Ruby. I didn't want them to somehow learn my name from Aaron and find me. And it would fit my fake personality.

      "Get out of my far-more-perfect-than-yours-will-ever-be bedroom, you." I routinely lied about her usefulness, her beauty, and intelligence, but as usual, she did not seem affected by it.

      "You know I find it somewhat amusing and irritating that you do that," Michelle replied. She turned to leave. As she walked out, she said, "Well, I guess it's time to go get that Paint Brush!"

      Michelle had been working hard for months now to get Neopoints. She hadn't even written to Jeremy. She was so eager to get those Neopoints, but she had never said why. And now I knew. She was going to buy a Paint Brush to paint herself with.

      I read some books, but played around with beauty products, mostly, because that's what everyone expected me to do. I was supposed to live up to my new, well, not so new anymore, name.

      About half an hour later, I heard the door open, but resisted my curiosity to find out what Michelle now was and did not look up. I was not supposed to care about Michelle or her feelings, but I did. I cared about everyone who didn't somehow hurt me, even if they weren't nice to me.

      "Yes!" I heard Michelle say. "I'm finally Darigan!"

      I dropped the Red Nail Varnish I was putting on. Michelle was a Darigan Scorchio, just like my brother. It was too much of a reminder. Tears came to my eyes, I looked up, and a split second later, ran to my room and locked the door behind me.

      Several days later, I awoke to Michelle banging on my door, trying to find out why I was acting like this.

      "You haven't insulted me ever since you saw my new Darigan appearance!" she yelled, and I knew she was resisting the temptation to claw the door apart. "Not that I don't like that," she said, lowering her voice.

      I glanced at the drawer that hid my ruby. I didn't want to tell her anything. I didn't want anyone to know. I just didn't. But several words escaped my lips. But all Michelle knew, if she had caught every word, was that I had once known a Darigan Scorchio named Aaron.

      The banging stopped. She had left. Probably writing to tell Jeremy, I thought.

      A week later, I forgot to lock the door to my room.

      Michelle came in. "Do you want to talk about why you're so upset?" she asked.

      "No," I said, and pushed Michelle out of my room, closed the door behind her, and locked it.

      Three weeks later, Michelle still didn't know what was wrong, but I wasn't completely sad anymore. That newly painted Darigan Scorchio, though, was still a reminder of my other Darigan Scorchio brother. Michelle left, claiming to be going out for a walk, but did not return until several hours later.

      One month later…

      I opened my eyes and sat up in bed. What had woken me up?

      My large green eyes looked around my bedroom. The window was open. I was sure I had closed it before I fell asleep, just as I did every night.

      On the Pink Vanity Desk under the window was a small piece of paper that I knew I had not put there. As I spread my Buzz wings I walked over towards the desk, picking up the note.

      "Dear my little princess," it said, "I have not seen you for a long time. Remember your Darigan Scorchio friend? It is I. I have returned. We will meet once again, quite soon. You can tell me where, just leave a map marking where you wish for us to see each other again. Leave it on this desk in approximately in the same spot on the day you wish our meeting to come. If you wake up and it is gone, then you will know I have taken it. Tell no one of this. And if you are wondering, I remember you before your transformation.

      Signed,

      You know who"

      I put down the note and thought this through. Why wasn't Aaron using any names? Why all the secrecy?

      "If you are wondering, I remember you before your transformation." I re-read that and remembered it. My transformation. I had been a Royal Buzz for as long as I could remember. Aaron had told me I was originally a Faerie Scorchio, but given some expensive Buzz Morphing Potion and painted with a Royal Paint Brush when I was very young. And then when that horrible day had come, Aaron and I were separated.

      I put the note with the ruby and went back to sleep.

      The next morning, I went downstairs where there was an always-full Violet Shelf Unit. William loved to read. He loved books, even if they were not stories. I took down a folded map of Neopia and its worlds, finding it stuffed between the books Pazo the Lonely Aisha and Keeping Peophin.

      I went back up to my room and sat on the wonderful Kauvara Chair placed at my Pink Vanity Desk. I opened up the map of Neopia. Where would I find my brother? The Lost Desert? Meridell? Neopia Central? Faerieland itself? Kreludor? Virtupets Space Station? There were so many choices!

      Suddenly, Michelle knocked slowly on my door. "Dad said I can go camping in Meridell with Jeremy. Do you want to come?"

      I nearly dropped the map of Tyrannia I was holding. It was perfect timing! I could go camping with them and find Aaron!

      "Yes!" I exclaimed and replied, putting the map of Tyrannia down. "I want to go!"

      "Are you feeling all right? I was sure you'd say no and add some insult you usually say to me. Not that I want you to throw more of them at me, which you haven't done ever since I painted myself Darigan. Well, okay, we're going in two weeks."

      I heard her footsteps leading away from the door.

      Two days before we would leave, I began to pack, thinking about what had happened that night. I had taken the map of Meridell and left it on my Pink Vanity Desk, a small black dot made with a Basic Pencil marking the center of the forest near Illusen's Glade. I had put a note next to the dot, saying we would see each other on 15th day of the Month of Hunting. I also said a little bit about my life since I had last seen him. The next morning, the map and note were gone, and there was a large piece of paper clearly ripped from a Yellow Star Notebook.

      I walked over to my Blue Fuzzle Sofa Bed, and lifted the lovely white pillow. Underneath was that same note, folded neatly and carefully. I had been re-reading it ever since I had received it:

      "Very well, Ruby, or should I call you Princess? When we meet, I will tell you your past, as I was about to tell you when we last saw each other. I must tell you in person, I cannot tell you in a note for unexplainable reasons. I will see you in the heart, the very core, of Illusen's Forest. I am longing to see you, Princess, and my wish will come true on the 15th of the Month of Hunting. I am with your parents, Amelia and Kenneth. They are both Royal, and they, too, long to see you. From he who has sent you the last note."

      I read the note over and over again excitedly, as if I expected Aaron to just appear suddenly if I did so. I decided I had enough for the three days and two nights I would be camping out in the forests of Meridell.

      I felt like my six backpacks were missing something. I opened the drawer in which my beautiful dresses of various colours were neatly folded. I reached behind them, and dropped the ruby into my nearest backpack.

      Two days later, I had my Faerie Back, my Mipsy Back Pack, my Air Faerie Back Pack, my Blue Cybunny Back Pack, my Water Faerie Back Pack, and my Dark Faerie Back Pack (it reminded me less painfully of Aaron) all carried by me, and Michelle, who seemed to be holding her two backpacks and two of mine better than I was holding my own four. I hate having to act like this, I thought. But at least I'll be able to be myself again with my brother, when I find him today.

      We flew as quickly as we could without dropping our (but mostly my) bags as we flew down towards Meridell.

      We landed in Southern Meridell, and half-walked, half-ran to Illusen's Glade, where Jeremy was waiting for us.

To be continued…

 
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