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Illusen's Best Friend


by star_29791

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"Who's your best friend, Rosy?"

      A group of Neopets were talking and laughing in the playing field at their morning break. It was a cold winter day and the Neopets were shivering and huddling close to keep warm. So far, their topic of discussion had been about best friends.

      The Wocky who had asked Rosy was called Dana and she was a natural leader. Many of the pets looked up to Dana, especially the younger ones. Simple minded Rosy was a Poogle. Rosy often daydreamed and when she didn't, she was lost in her own little world. Most of the time she didn't know what she was saying.

      "Rosy?" Dana said again.

      Rosy stopped daydreaming and saw everyone looking at her. She smiled and said, "What?"

      "Dana asked who your best friend is," Dana's twin brother, Oliver said.

      "Oh." Rosy thought for a moment then said, "Illusen."

      The other Neopets laughed.

      "Oh come on, Rosy. Stop fooling around; your best friend can't be Illusen!" Oliver laughed.

      "But she is." Rosy frowned. She was simple minded but she wasn't stupid and anyway, Illusen was her best friend.

      Dana often took pity on Rosy and always looked out for her when she was forever walking unknowingly into trouble. "If Rosy says she's her best friend then she is," she snapped at Oliver.

      Oliver grinned and ignored his sister. "Are you sure Illusen's your best friend?" he jeered.

      Now it was Rosy who laughed.

      "Of course! You think I wouldn't know my own best friend?"

      Some of the more sensible pets looked at each other with looks of concern. But that soon vanished. Rosy was a bit silly sometimes and she usually stopped being silly after a while. They would just change the subject and she would forget she ever claimed Illusen was her best friend.

      The bell rang for the end of the morning break and the pets trooped back into class. Rosy sat next to Dana and Oliver sat behind with Glitter.

      Mrs. Carol came into the classroom and everyone was silent. Everyone liked Mrs. Carol. She was a kind Aisha who adored her students. She was, in the children's opinion, the best teacher ever.

      "Welcome back, did you all have a nice morning break?" Mrs. Carol said, placing a pile of books on the front desk.

      "Yes, Mrs. Carol," the pets all chorused.

      "I'm glad to hear. Anyway, today we are going to write a little essay." As the children all started to groan, Mrs. Carol added, "But it will be a fun essay. We are writing them for Neofriend Week, next week."

      Everyone was still fidgeting, especially Oliver who hated writing of any sort, unlike his twin sister, Dana who loved it. In fact, she was the only one listening properly. Glitter was doodling on the front of her notebook, others were leaning on their arms, looking bored, a few were whispering to each other and Rosy… Rosy was daydreaming.

      Mrs. Carol grew cross. "Pets! I suggest you listen now!"

      All the pets sat up in their seats, all of them silent at once.

      "Thank you. It may not sound fun but I assure you it will be. What I want you to do is write an essay about your best friend. You can write anything about them. You can say why they are your best friend, what you like about them, what you think they're good at…anything you want."

      "I can't wait!" Dana whispered.

      After school, she walked home with Rosy.

      "I think it would be wonderful to write about our best friends!"

      Rosy, who was in one of her rare moments when she wasn't daydreaming, said, "I'm going to write about Illusen." Then she thought for a while. "Are we allowed to write about two best friends?"

      Dana considered. "I should think so. Why? Who's the other best friend?"

      Rosy turned to look at the older girl and beamed. "You, of course."

      Dana grinned back. "I was going to write about you too." She paused. "Do you really think Illusen is your best friend?"

      Rosy frowned.

      "Why does no one believe me that she's my best friend? What's there to not believe?"

      "Well…she's a faerie," Dana said, slowly.

      "So? Can't a faerie be friends with a cloud Poogle?"

      "Yes, of course they can. I believe you." She grinned at Rosy. "You're my best friend."

      Before Rosy could answer, Oliver ran past them, knocking Dana into Rosy. Dana stood up and helped Rosy.

      "Oliver can't be more careful, can he?" she grumbled.

      "Let's go back to my house! Then you can get away from Oliver," Rosy suggested. "I know Terri won't mind."

      Dana was liked to get away from Oliver and her other brothers. She had an owner called Karl and three brothers, Oliver, her twin and her younger brothers, Mattie and Flash. She loved her brothers and owner but sometimes a household full of loud males got too much for her. So she took up the offer and went to Rosy's house.

      "Let's plan what we're going to write in our essay!" Rosy said.

      "OK," Dana agreed.

      Rosy got some pens and paper and read out loud what she wrote.

      "I like Illusen because she's so beautiful, she's clever, she's nice, she's kind, she's helpful… what else?"

      Why was Rosy claiming that Illusen was her best friend? Wasn't she happy enough with Dana as her best friend? Dana had told her she believed her but did she really? How could Illusen be her best friend?

      "I like Dana because she's clever, she's nice, she knows everything-"

      Dana laughed. "I do not know everything!"

      "Yes you do. Remember when we went to Terror Mountain to Happy Village-"

      "Happy Valley, you mean."

      "See? You know everything!"

      "Rosy, everyone knows it's Happy Valley!" Dana laughed.

      Rosy giggled and the two friends carried on with their writing.

          *

      It was only later on, when she was lying on her bed, that she got worried about Rosy. Dana knew Rosy was a little scatterbrained but she couldn't be serious about being Illusen's best friend, could she?

      She worried when she woke up and had breakfast. 'Maybe I should tell Terri, Rosy's owner?' she thought as she mopped up the milk Flash had spilt everywhere.

      At school, Oliver, who had got there before her due to her having to clean up more spilt milk, was mercilessly teasing Rosy.

      "Are you going to write how Illusen's beautiful green wings are the reason you like her?" he was saying as Dana dumped her school bag onto her desk. "Are you going to write how beautiful her emerald eyes are? And her-" Oliver stopped when he saw Dana glaring at him.

      But Rosy, oblivious to this, said, "Yes. How did you know she has green wings and green eyes?"

      Oliver and Dana were surprised. Was she still playing along?

      Then Oliver said, "Everyone in Neopia knows Illusen."

      Rosy stared, wide eyed. "Do they?"

      "Yes, where did you meet her then? Did she take a shine to you in Meridell?" Oliver taunted.

      "No. She used to live near me. Why do you think I'm lying?"

      Before Oliver could say anymore, the bell rang and Mrs. Carol came in. She gave the class time to work on their essays and came round to each pet to talk about what they were going to write.

      When she came to Rosy, Rosy asked, "Can I write about two best friends?"

      "Of course, if you have two best friends. Who are you are going to write about?"

      "Dana and Illusen!" Rosy said, proudly.

      "Illusen?"

      "Yes, she's my best friend."

      Dana saw the doubtful expression on Mrs. Carol's face and when everyone had gone out to play at morning break, she stayed behind to talk to her.

      "Mrs. Carol, do you think Illusen is really Rosy's best friend?"

      "If Rosy says she is, then she must be," Mrs. Carol surprised Dana by saying.

      "You don't think it's another of her daydreaming moments?"

      Mrs. Carol looked up from where she was tidying away some books.

      "What do you think? Do you think Rosy's lying?"

      "No. I don't. If Rosy says Illusen is her best friend, then I'm sure she's telling the truth. Rosy may be a dreamer but she isn't a liar," Dana said. "I was just a bit worried."

      Mrs. Carol smiled. "I wouldn't worry. You'll see."

     *

      "Do you want to come and visit Illusen with me?" Rosy asked at lunchtime. "My two best friends can meet."

      Dana was silent. Maybe it would be better if she went. She could look after her if she did anything stupid.

      "OK," she said. "When?"

      "This weekend. Meet me at my house and we can go together."

     *

      Dana arrived at Rosy's house. She waited in the front garden while Rosy went to find some things she needed to take. Terri came out with a cup of tea in one hand and her hair tied up on top of her head.

      "Hello Dana!" she said, brightly. "I just came out to get some fresh air." She stared wistfully at the flowerbeds. "I sure do miss doing my gardening in the winter."

      Dana looked at the gardens either side of Terri and Rosy's house. On one side it was simply a yellow lawn with no flowers whatsoever and the other was crowded with weeds and wild flowers. The lawn was uncut and it was generally a mess. Terri's garden was beautiful with neat but flowerless flowerbeds and green, soft and springy grass even though it was winter.

      Terri saw Dana looking at the messy garden.

      "Shame, isn't it? It used to be such a lovely garden. And a lovely family. Their daughter was Rosy's close friend but then they moved away."

      "Does Rosy still see her?" Dana asked.

      "Not as much as they used to. Sometimes."

      Rosy came bouncing out the front door.

      "Let's go, Dana!" she called.

      They got a boat. When they were paying for their tickets, Rosy said, "Two tickets to Faerieland please."

      When they were out of earshot, Dana asked, "Doesn't Illusen live in Meridell?"

      Rosy laughed. "No, course not. She does like to sometimes fly over there though."

      They sat in silence until Rosy said, "She's coming to our school, you know."

      "Coming to our school?" Dana said in disbelief. "But why would she do that?"

      "To learn."

      They arrived and Rosy led the way to a street called Earth Faerie Close. 'Even though Rosy is a bit dreamy, she sure knows her way around here,' Dana thought.

      "Here we are!" Rosy said, excitedly. "I can't wait for you to meet her!"

      Dana said nothing as Rosy knocked on a sky blue door. Her heart thudded and she waited in anticipation. Then she heard footsteps coming from inside the house, a key turned in the lock and the door swung open.

      "Illusen!" Rosy jumped up and ran into the hallway. Dana peered inside but couldn't see much. She could just see the back of Rosy's head.

      She heard Rosy and another voice say things like, "It's great to see you again!" "It's been so long!"

      Then Rosy emerged out into the cold winter air and said to Dana, "Dana, meet Illusen. Illusen, meet Dana."

      Dana held her breath as she prepared to meet the famous Illusen. One of the most famous Faeries that ever-

      Dana stopped short. The figure that came out into the sun wasn't Illusen. It was an… Usul.

      "Dana! You're going blue! Breathe!"

      Dana let out her breath. The Usul was holding out a paw, saying, "Nice to meet you." She took it and then turned to Rosy.

      "This is Illusen?"

      "Of course."

      "But when Oliver was teasing you about green wings and eyes and I said she was a Faerie…" Dana blustered.

      Rosy looked at her in confusion. "It's true. Look, Illusen, turn around and show Dana your beautiful wings." The Usul turned and Dana saw the green wings, she saw her green eyes as she stared at her inquiringly. Of course. She was a Faerie Usul!

      Dana sighed in relief. Illusen was watching her.

      "I used to live next door to Rosy," she said.

      Realisation dawned in Dana. Of course! Terri had said Rosy's close friend had moved away and Rosy had said to Oliver that Illusen used to live near her! She started giggling.

      Rosy looked at her bewilderedly. "What's funny?"

      "Oh nothing. Let's just say we thought you meant Illusen was your best friend!" Illusen laughed.

      "She is my best friend," Rosy said, confused.

      "They thought you meant the Earth Faerie Illusen!" Illusen started laughing too.

      Understanding lit Rosy's eyes. Then she too started laughing. Scatterbrain Rosy. Daydreaming Rosy. She had been telling the truth all along - just not quite what everyone thought she meant.

          *

      "My friend Illusen is joining the class!" Rosy announced.

      Oliver and Glitter sniggered and others joined in.

      "Oh really?" Oliver taunted. "And what's she going to learn with us pets? Stop lying, Rosy."

      Dana glared at him. But she said nothing. She wanted to see their faces when they found out Illusen wasn't who they thought she was.

      Much to Oliver's surprise, Rosy merely shrugged and smiled a secretive smile. Then she grinned at Dana.

      When everyone was settled, the classroom door opened and a faerie Usul stood in the doorway, smiling at the class. Mrs. Carol welcomed her and introduced her.

      "Class, Rosy would like you to meet her friend Illusen who has come to join the class."

      Dana looked in satisfaction at the rest of the class. Their jaws had dropped and their eyes had grown wide in incredulity. When Illusen explained her owner had named her and her sister, Nuria, after Faeries, Dana saw that Oliver was staring at the desk, shamefaced and guilty.

      Illusen sat at the desk next to Rosy. Mrs. Carol let her push the desks together so Dana, Rosy and Illusen could sit together.

      "Right class, time to read your essays! Who wants to go first?"

      "Oh me!" Rosy surprised everyone by yelling. She stood up clutching her essay, and proceeded to the front of the class. She cleared her throat and then began reading.

      She described Illusen and why they were friends. Her essay was short and precise, but everyone listened feeling guilty for teasing her about Illusen.

      "My other best friend is Dana. Dana is my best friend because when everyone was teasing me for calling Illusen my best friend, she believed me, even when she thought I was talking about Jhudora's archenemy. Just because I forgot to mention little details like how I wasn't talking about the famous faerie Illusen, doesn't mean I wasn't telling the truth. Dana believed me like a real friend should."

      Dana looked at Rosy and Rosy looked back. Then almost at the same time, they both smiled a face-cracking smile.

The End

 
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