A Royal Pain
"Excuse me?!" I cried out. Christine stood in front of me with her arms folded, her face serious. Her long, dyed red hair was tied up in a ponytail, and her chocolate brown eyes simply told me that she wasn't playing around. We were currently at home in the living room. I wasn't yelling at her for no reason. That was too rash of me.
Let's just say she was holding a certain paint brush from the Hidden Tower. It was on a pillow. Yep, it was a Royal Paint Brush, and she was going to paint me royal!
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no!" I exclaimed. I may be a girl, but I despised anything having to do with girly stuff! I've seen those painted royal girls at the Rainbow Pool, and I don't like it! Not one bit! Especially since I was a Pteri.
"Oh come on, please?" Christine pleaded. "It's been my dream to paint you royal! The royal girl Pteris are adorable!"
Hold on. Adorable?
No. Way, Not in my LIFE!
"No way! I'd rather get extra homework in every single subject known to Neopets than be painted royal!"
"Can't you just think about it and tell me in the morning?"
"Fine! But it'll still be no!"
"Yay!" Christine exclaimed cheerfully. She hugged me and ran to put the paint brush in the safety deposit box. I sighed and walked down the hall. Perhaps my older brother, Strife, would give me words of wisdom to deal with the matter, I thought calmly.
I arrived at my brother's room, I knocked on the door, and a silver Shoyru answered.
He didn't smile nor frown, he just gestured me inside, so I did.
"Something wrong?" he asked calmly. I nodded as I sat on a red bean bag. I started explaining the short conversation between Christine and me. Once I finished, he seemed to have a thoughtful expression on his face. A silence lingered, which made me very, very nervous. I looked around the room.
Finally, he cleared his throat, and I put my full attention on him immediately. Come on, Strife. I need your words of wisdom.
"It can't hurt to try," he told me.
...Seriously? That was it? Those were my words of wisdom?! You have to be kidding me!
"You're... kidding, right?" I mumbled.
"Don't knock it until you try it."
Almost too stunned by his response, I waved him good bye and left the room. I leaned against the wall, trying to comprehend and seeing if there was any hidden meaning in those words.
It can't hurt to try.
Don't knock it until you try it.
~One week later~
Those two pieces of 'advice' rang in my head for seven days. Of course, I also did think what would happen if I did get painted. Honestly, I shuddered at the thought. Back at school, I was thought of as the school's prankster, half for my, quote, "hilarious jokes," end quote, and because my Christmas feathers matched my defiance for anything girly. If I was painted royal, I wouldn't be thought of the prankster. I would be thought of as any other girl snob, which meant I would be finished.
In this case, being a girl snob was not an option. Ever.
So yes, that's what I thought about all week, despite making Christine wait even longer (but at least she was patient). My mind was so cluttered up with thoughts, I didn't notice my owner coming in and sitting beside me on the bunk bed (after I became friends with Lisi, we shared a room to get more space for our stuff). I ended up being startled and accidentally fell off. Christine picked me up and had me sit on a nearby red bean bag chair.
"Think you had enough time to think about it?" she asked. I couldn't tell what her expression said. It was only blank, and her voice was monotone. Her usual straight dark hair was tied up into a ponytail with a coil of hair resting in front of her left ear. That look meant she was on the verge of begging if her dream didn't come true.
"Yeah, I guess," I replied dully. To my surprise, I actually felt tired from all of this paint brush nonsense.
Christine sat up straighter and looked up at the ceiling. A few minutes, and she rested her head on the pillows. She sighed, almost sounding regretful.
"Elena, you know I usually treat you and Lisi a little better than Strife and Mel, right?"
"Yeah. I'm surprised you actually realize that," I muttered. Christine chuckled and sat up again. She patted my white newsboy hat and muttered, "Little aggravation."
"Are you ever going take off the silly hat and show your true colors?" Christine asked me.
"Nope," I answered. Christine was silent for a moment.
"Are you ready to decide whether or not to get painted?" she asked. "Don't worry, I'll support your decision all the way."
It's now or never, I thought. Become a royalgirl Pteri and lose my reputation, or stay the way I am and keep on being a prankster?
Go on, whispered my conscience (or the kinder side of me, as I like to call it). It'll make her happy.
Don't do it! shrieked the prankster in me. What will your classmates think? All of your pranks will be for nothing, and you won't be the school prankster anymore!
You might even like being painted royal.
You'll be ruined. Ruined, I say!
Maybe the kids will be envious.
Or maybe they'll laugh in your face!
Would you rather make Christine happy, or stay Christmas for your reputation?
I weighed the two options and considered the pros and cons. Feelings or reputation? Why did I have to be the one she chose to paint? Why couldn't it be Lisi, Mel, or even Strife? Do I really want this?
I knew what I wanted.
"I've made my decision."
~Two days later, living room~
"You look beautiful, Elena!" Christine gushed.
I had to admit that, while I did look too girly for my tastes, I actually did look pretty. Royal purple feathers replaced the Christmas brown and red feathers, my beak was pale white instead of subtle bright orange, and the tips of my feathers (plus the large feather at the end of my tail) were a few shades darker. My lavender eyes were charming, and the robes looked even more charming. A circlet would have been placed on my head, and my hair would have been let down. Thing is, I removed the circlet before my owner saw and the usual newsboy hat was on my head, hair stuffed inside and all.
Maybe I'll learn to like it some day. Not today, but some day, I guess.
I turned away from the mirror and looked at my owner. All she did was smile proudly at me. I beamed, knowing it felt fake and cheesy. Then, Christine sighed and said...
"Are you ever going take off the silly hat and show your true colors?"
I wonder what my friends and peers will think of me when school starts?
Third time in the NT! Thank you Lombre for not complaining a lot while criticizing!