Dedicated to my wonderful pets, all of whom I'll cherish and love forever.
You are invited to Cadenia's birthday sleepover on September 23rd. Neomail me to tell me if you are coming. ~Cadenia
"Ella! I've been invited to Cadenia's sleepover!" I shouted.
Ella popped her head round the doorframe with a confused look. "Isn't she that Usul you're friends with?"
"You've never been this excited about one of her sleepovers before...?"
"Well, that's mainly because I wasn't invited but that doesn't matter! It's on September the twenty third – can I go?"
"Tell me first – is she your friend?"
"Does she treat you like a proper friend?"
"Yeah, 'course! She treats everyone like it 'cause she's the most popular girl in our year."
Ella mulled over it. "I'm getting a negative vibe here."
"Probably that off Ummagine from last night. Now, can I go?"
"I don't think... she's not... how do I put this? Normally the 'most popular girls' invite you to gossip and moan about others, which is a form of bullying. I don't like the sound of her. She's supposed to be your friend, yet you've never been invited to one of her sleepovers - why is that?"
"I don't know." I was losing my patience now. "Just give me a straight forward answer – can I go or not?"
"Fine, you can go. But promise me that if any gossip goes on, you are to make your excuses and come home immediately. I don't care if you have to lie, just come home. Deal?"
"Yeah, sure, whatever." I was more interested in Neomailing Cadenia and telling her that I could come before I was off the list.
Hi, Cade! I can come to your sleepover! Should Ella drop me off at yours? I sent.
Great! Sarah will pick you up at about 4pm, was what I got back. Sarah was her owner.
I couldn't wait.
"Bibbs! Sarah's here! You got your stuff?"
I wheeled my bag out of my room and over to the front door. "Ready."
"Come on then. Cade's so glad you could come," Sarah said as we walked out of the door.
"Great. Bye, Ella!" I called behind me. I heard a door shut.
"Our home is just down the road. I'll go about halfway, then you think you can make it by yourself?" she asked.
"Yep!" I said.
"Good. Now, I-ooh, here's Cade!" Sarah interrupted herself. "Cade! Can you walk Bibbycub back?"
"Yeah!" Cade ran up in her black patient shoes and floral print dress. "Come on, Bibbs! Let's go!"
We ran back down the road, laughing. She was not as bad as Ella made out! She stopped abruptly at their giant home, and I could see various faces peering out of the windows.
"Everyone's already here! Go, go, go!" she said, pushing me inside.
Everyone greeted me and ushered me upstairs into Cade's massive room.
"Now that we're all here, let's talk. Who had the worst hairstyle this week? Who had the least fashionable clothes on? Who's dorkiest?"
I knew this was gossiping, but I could hold on for a while longer. What Ella didn't know wouldn't hurt her, right?
"Worst hairstyle award goes to Braysameya, definitely. Did you see how she had her hair plaited so it was dragging along the floor instead of bunched up? I was so tempted to step on it and trip her up," one of Cadenia's Chomby friends said. I didn't understand. Bray had that hairstyle from the NC Mall, where all the most fashionable go. What was wrong with it?
"Agreed." A pink Uni nodded. "Next: least fashionable clothes."
"That thick speckled Elephante... what's her name?" said a rainbow Xweetok, who I knew from Maths class was named Chloaacinatre.
"Fyzzlie. She should win the dorkiest award, too. That plain white top and those hideous khaki trousers... ugh! Who wears trousers anymore?" The white Chomby retched.
Fyzzlie was my sister! Why on Neopia did they think she was dorky? She had friends, she did well in class, she kept to herself when needed...?
"Her colour's so boring, too. Why wasn't she painted disco like they agreed?" Cadenia scoffed.
"Probably because she's too dull for a colour like that!" the Uni laughed. Everybody but me laughed with her.
"Yeah... I hate pets who have the most boring, inexpensive colour and are still proud of it," sighed Cadenia.
"Like Christmas," chipped in a faerie Pteri. "That colour is the cheapest to buy, yet pets are still proud of being painted it. They act like it's the rarest colour in Neopia."
"Or speckled. Yawn," the white Chomby said.
"I'm glad I'm painted Island. It's such a nice colour," Cade said.
"Same with me and my Rainbow colour," Chloaacinatre nodded.
"And me," said the pink Uni.
"Me three," said the white Chomby.
"I love my faerie colour, so me four," the Pteri said.
"Are you proud of your colour, Bibbycub?" Cade asked, smiling. She said it slowly, as if I was thick. I had a higher intelligence level of all of them put together.
"Yes, I love being starry," I replied. Chloaacinatre exchanged glances with Cade and the others and smirked.
"What about your sisters? Are they proud of their colours?" she questioned.
"Yes, I'm sure they are. We've never had much money, so we're happy with our cheaper colours. I prefer mine to flashy, showy-offy Island, anyway," I said cheerfully, shooting a glance at Cadenia. She fixed me with an ice-cold glare.
"To be honest," she started, not looking at me, "I really hate pets that are painted with brushes worth fewer than one hundred thousand Neopoints. It's not so much the colour, it's the way that they think they're one of the big guns, the way that they think they're now popular because they've had a brush swiped over them."
"Well, forgive me if I'm right, but you've had a brush swiped over you, and you think you're popular," I pointed out.
"But there's a difference between thinking that you're popular and actually being popular. I'm in the latter category," Cade bragged. "They just think they rule the Neoschool because of it."
This was just turning into a big, malicious gossip fest, and I'm glad that I wasn't part of it after that.
"That's it. That is it. I'm sick of you. You just moan and gossip and show off because you have one of the nicer paint jobs. Well, guess what? Loads of pets who have owners that don't have many Neopoints are perfectly happy with their colours. They don't go around bragging because they're scared that pets like you will just bully them and make their lives a misery!" I shouted. I think she was a bit taken aback, because there was a silence before she spoke.
"Get out. Get out of my room. Get out of my house. And while you're at it, leave Neoschool, because, let's face it, nobody likes you."
"Gladly." I picked up my bags and slammed the door on my way out.
"It just spiralled out of control. First they talked about clothes and hairstyles and stuff like that, then they talked about colours, and they said that they thought pets with inexpensive colours thought they were popular because of it," I explained. "I protested, saying that I'm happy with my colour, and my siblings are happy with their colours. I said I'm glad that I wasn't painted a colour like Island because it was too showy-offy. Cadenia gave me a daggers look because she was painted Island, and then we argued, and then she kicked me out."
Ella was silent for a while. "You're happy with your colour?"
"Good, 'cause I'm broke. I'm guessing she's not your friend anymore...?"
"None of them are. They're all just a bunch of-"
"Language," Ella warned me.
"A bunch of meepits!" I raged.
"Whoa! Now that is an insult," Toriette laughed, walking in.
"Just forget about them," Ella said. "They're obviously bullies, and you deserve better friends."
"Hey, I'm your friend, aren't I?" Tori asked, putting her arm around me.
"You're my sister," I giggled, and hugged her.
"Group hug!" Katniyssa squealed, joining in. Fyzzlie did too, and Mowrix plonked Ryl on the top of the pile. He dragged Eliyzah out of the living room to join in, but she didn't refuse. Ella draped her arms around us all.
No matter what happens, no matter who criticises who, no matter whether I have any friends, I'll always have my family.