In This Together: Part Three
Dear Fiona, my Fiona...
My writing smudged and swirled on the page, erratic
even before my teardrops fell on it. Try as I might, I couldn't conjure up the
crisp, clear hand in which I normally wrote to Ricky. Just when I needed my
writing skill most, it seemed to have deserted me.
I lifted my head to look around, worried that
my owner might be near. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Fiona's typewriter
sitting on the dresser in her room, across the landing. That was the answer.
Creeping out of my bedroom, I lifted the heavy machine and carried it carefully
back to my writing-desk, where I set it down with a jangling thump. The keys
hadn't been designed for someone with hooves, but I did my best, picking out
one letter after another.
I wouldn't normally write to you, but I have
a few very important things to say and I can't face speaking them aloud, right
in front of you.
It was still raining. I tugged the window shut
after a few drops landed on my ears, not wanting to be interrupted. A Beekadoodle
was chirping on a tree outside, refusing to be put off by the weather. How could
other creatures in Neopia be so happy? It seemed wrong, somehow. Voltare was
gone, I was alone, and yet there was this bright, happy Petpet, singing as though
he was defying the mood of the whole world. I sighed, and went back to the most
difficult letter I had ever had to write-- worse than the note to Voltare to
say that the Pant Devil had stolen his birthday present and I had nothing for
him but a pawful of candy charms, worse than the message that the Neoschool
teacher had made me send to Fi about the broken window, worse than the letter
to my sister Tanja saying that we weren't coming back to our old home. All the
Neopian writing-classes in the world couldn't help me through this.
The first thing I need to say, dear Fiona,
is that I'm sorry.
Another tear slid down my nose, catching amongst
the cold keys of the typewriter. I wiped it away angrily and continued to type.
One word, one letter at a time.
I didn't mean to be so awful to you tonight,
when I knew that you were terribly upset, Fiona. And really and truly, I take
back all of the things that I said-- well, shouted, really. It was unfair of
me to call you evil and unfeeling; I realise, now, that everything you did was
done with my happiness in mind. The fact that those actions were a mistake doesn't
change that, not one bit.
All my letters from Ricky I had collected from
their hiding places and shelves and boxes all over my room. They fit quite neatly
into my schoolbag, I'd noticed. Maybe I should've kept them all there in the
first place, instead of leaving them anywhere I could think of at the time.
From the day I had moved into Fiona's house, I had always been a hopelessly
untidy Neopet, but I'd never thought before that there'd be a time when it would
matter. Where was my book of proverbs, the one I'd got for Giving Day last year?
Where was the box of toffees I'd found in my stocking? Where was my pawprint-patterned
scarf? Cursing my lack of organisation, I scrabbled amongst my belongings in
the hope of catching a glimpse of pink wool. The scarf was nowhere to be seen.
I'm sorry I knocked over the tea things, Fiona.
It was a horrible thing to do, even if I was in shock.
Shock? I mentally scolded myself for putting
a pretty interpretation on the way I'd felt. Fiona deserved to know the truth,
really. I'd been angry, angrier than ever before. If I closed my eyes, I could
still feel it, burning deep within my mind.
I hope that the jug can be mended. If you
have to, take the Neopoints from my money box.
I winced at the memory of the china shattering
on the kitchen tiles, its breaking sound lost in my shrieking protests. Although
I still felt the fire of anger running through my veins, my fury against Fiona
had cooled, and I felt guilty that I had been so childish.
I can't pretend it never happened, but I can
tell you how upset I am about it. Will you forgive me?
Tears splashed against the typewriter keys and
I wiped them away, conscious that once I started crying I would find it impossible
to stop. Clutching my Buzz toy-- the pink Poogle was probably still lying amongst
the debris of the tea-things in the kitchen, where I had hurled it in disgust
at Fiona's silly gesture-- I carried on typing, determined to finish what I
Please say you'll forgive me, even though
I won't know it. Because, dearest Fiona, I have another important thing to say
to you in this letter.
I have to say goodbye.
You didn't realise, Fi, how many people and
Neopets in this world will be desperate to get their hands on a beautiful Darigan
Kougra as a pet, a friend, a brother. And one without an owner, one with the
elegance and bearing we've been brought up with, will be in demand especially.
Which means that Voltare will be taken to another Neohome, perhaps with little
brothers and sisters, or Petpets. And what will happen if he attacks them, too?
Suppose he is taken to live in Faerieland, and next thing we know he's pushed
Fyora off her own tower? I don't know why Voltare is acting like he is at the
moment, but he is, and we can't just bury our heads and pretend that nothing
That's why I have to go. It's not enough to
get Voltare out of our life. He needs to be stopped, somehow, sometime, or there
will be catastrophe. Voltare always protected me from everything. Now it's my
job to protect Neopia from him, however long I have to spend finding him.
My typing speed increased, afraid as I was of
my owner's arrival. If she came up the stairs now, carrying a tray of tea and
biscuits or my discarded Poogle toy, I would be lost, I knew I would. I'd leap
into her arms, letting her hug me and wipe away my tears as if I was still her
little girl, not the brave sister I was trying to be for Voltare's sake. And
once that was done, I couldn't bear to leave her side. No, I had to finish this
letter before she came!
Fiona, I'm going after Voltare, wherever he
is now. If I'm not back in a few months' time, I probably never will be. Please
try not to miss me or worry about me too much if I don't come back; whatever
I'm doing, I'll be with my big brother. Maybe you can get another pet, or a
Petpet to take care of... I can see your expression as you read those
words. You'll probably think I'm being cruel. But I don't want you to be left
in our Neohome all alone, with nothing but the fishtank for company. I'd hate
to think you were lonely.
I picked up the last few of my toys and books
from around the room, putting them in my schoolbag. There was my scarf,
hooked amongst some wooden toys; I scooped it up too, knowing vaguely that Neopian
weather could be cold and damp at times. The toys I would leave behind, save
for my one Buzz doll; there wasn't room for them. I fastened the catch on the
satchel. Now all there was to do was finish the letter.
Don't forget about me, though, Fiona. Because
hopefully someday I'll see you again, when I come home with a Darigan Kougra
standing at my side.
And I signed it. Pressing my ink-smudged hoof
against the page, I left a perfect night-black print next to my name. Then,
placing the letter gently on my bed, I made my way carefully down the stairs.
Fiona was nowhere to be seen, and for a moment
I panicked. Then I heard her voice, crying softly behind the bathroom door.
A feeling of sadness stabbed me through the heart for a second, but I had to
stay calm. The coast was clear, and this was my moment. Snatching the strap
of the satchel in my mouth, I ran down the hall and out of the front door, slamming
it shut with my back hoof. Scattering gravel and pebbles with every step, I
made it down the garden walk and out into Meridell, my beautiful home country,
the one I had to leave.
All the familiar landmarks stood around me as
I headed down the track road, past the towering castle and out in the direction
of Neopia Central. Would I ever see them again? Here I was, setting my course
for a city which seemed unimaginably far for me, a little Neopet who'd never
seen it except in letters, in Times stories, in the descriptions of others.
But the adoption centre was there, that I did know; and that was where Fiona
had taken Voltare.
As my flustered galloping run slowed to a walk,
I kept my eyes fixed on the road ahead. After all, when you're leaving home--
maybe forever-- the one thing you must never do is look back.
I'll always love you,
To be continued...