I knew what I had to do. I was a Gelert with a mission.
That mission: to destroy the exact thing I had so lovingly created. To destroy
the Golden Jubjub Voice in order to salvage the broken remnants of my friendship
with Ruby. The shattered pieces of that ring of friendship were being gathered
into one pair of paws. That same pair of paws would make one sacrifice to provide
a fire hot enough with which to forge the broken ring.
"Principal Droning," I said quietly, knocking
on the door to his office. "Principal Droning sir, I've come to a decision."
"And what is that decision, Indigo Musician?"
the Buzz principal asked in his usual flat tone of voice.
"I think it's time to… get rid of the Golden
Jubjub Voice. You're right. It isn't worth the money."
"I'm glad you see reason, child," the Buzz said.
"But, I hope that in your two years of being the editor of the paper, you've
Memories, memories of grade scandals, haunting
spirits, and front-page headlines. All memories with one thing in common. I
shared them with Ruby and the Golden Jubjub Voice. "Yes, sir. I've learned a
lot." Then, I exited the room.
The hours flew by, swift as the morning breeze.
Lunch came, full of chattering students and rotten cafeteria smells. I stood
in the lunch line, waiting to be served my share of mystery slop. Ruby entered,
and came into line behind me. "Ruby," I said.
"Save it, Indigo," the rainbow Uni snapped.
"I'd like to let you know…"
"I said, 'Save it.'"
"That I got rid of the Voice."
"YOU DID WHAT???"
I shrugged, smiling at the shocked look on Ruby's
face. "I thought it was the right thing to do. The Voice is precious to me,
but you're my best friend, and you always will be. You're far more precious
than a silly newspaper. Even if that newspaper was my brainchild."
"Indigo… I don't know what to say…" Ruby's deep
azure eyes were watering, and her voice was trembling. "You loved the Voice."
"So did you. But you left when you felt that
it was no longer worth it. It was time for me to do the same thing."
"That was so sweet," Ruby said, tear glistening
at the corner of one eye. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a few apologies to
* * *
We were again united at one lunch table. The ring shone again with the light
of a thousand stars. Emerald and Ruby made jokes about the food. Dante and Daywalker
chatted with Ruby and Sky animatedly, as if nothing had ever happened.
Sky never confessed to talking to me about the
Voice. It was Sky and Sky alone who had fixed the circle with the resounding
force of her hammer of words. And Ruby would never know.
The vision of the whirlpool flashed before my
eyes. I saw Ruby, a rainbow of colors growing duller and duller as she sank
below the crashing waves. Like a graceful porpoise, I dove into the whirlpool
and swam after her. I felt myself going under, lungs aching from lack of air.
But Ruby was within sight and I extended my paw to help her. She took it and
together we kicked upward… upward towards the blazing sun.
Later that afternoon, the newspaper club met
for the final time. Together, we recycled the few issues of the Voice
that were left. I held the latest issue in my paws, almost in a fearful manner.
Fearful that if I let this last issue go, I would let a part of me go too. Fearful
that life would never be the same.
"No, life won't be the same," Ruby said quietly,
as if reading my mind. " But the Golden Jubjub's Voice still sounds,
sweet and melodious, and I hear it every time you speak. It lives on in you
and me. Its creators. Detective and editor together, friends forever. Are you
ready to continue our mystery solving legacy to the Golden Jubjub High School?"
"Yes," I said, tossing the paper into the recycling
basket. "Yes, I am."
* * *
The seasons would roll on, from the bright greens of summer to the flaming
reds and golds of autumn. Ruby and Indigo would continue to solve mysteries
for a long time. Truer friends never existed in Neopia Central, the outside
worlds, or the pages of storybooks. Their ring was nearly indestructible, resilient
and strong like the firmest of steel. Neither ever kept a secret from the other,
or so Indigo thought. But when she thought she had destroyed the last issue
of the Voice, one paper still lived. The headline: "PRINCIPAL STERNS GIVING
UNFAIR GRADES." It was the first-ever issue of the Voice, and it remained
in Ruby's folder until she graduated from college.
And Indigo never knew.
Author's Note: I'd like to dedicate this series to Indigo's owner, Cathy.
Countless miles haven't weakened our ring of friendship. We still remain strong.