Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 99,729,623 Issue: 198 | 8th day of Swimming, Y7
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Birthdays and Best Friends

by oldnavyfan10


"Guess what, Mom! I've got the coolest idea ever for my birthday!" Kyorai, a red Wocky, shouted as he raced into his Neohome and threw down his backpack. His owner, Lotus, walked down the stairs in jeans and a Mynci T-shirt with her wavy brown hair tied back in a pony tail.

     "Calm down, Kyorai. No need to alert the whole neighborhood of your great idea. You can just tell me." Lotus smiled at his obvious excitement.

     Kyorai took a few deep breaths to calm down and said, "For my birthday, I want to have a huge party here with all of my friends from school. I know you were thinking about going out for dinner, just you and me, but I thought maybe we could have a huge bash here instead." He looked up hopefully. This meant so much to Kyorai. If he could have a fun party with all the cool kids, maybe he would be more popular at Neoschool. He crossed his fingers and waited nervously for his mother's response.

     "That sounds cool. How about this Saturday?" Lotus said with a smile.

     "Yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!" Kyorai shouted gleefully as he hugged his mother and raced upstairs to begin writing his guest list.

     ~ ~ ~

      Kyorai bent over his notebook to write another name. He would have to invite Karla, a Faerie Zafara, and Nick, a Christmas Lupe. They were the coolest kids in his class. He had better invite Naomi too. She was an Island Uni, and she set the trends for the class. If she thought his party was going to be cool, then it would be. Kyorai heard a soft knock on his door and looked up.

      "Hey, Kyorai. Just wanted to see how the guest list was coming along. Can I see what you've got so far?" Lotus went over to Kyorai's desk and glanced down at his notebook. As her eyes traveled down the list, she began to frown.

      "What about Tali, Gareth, and Kaitlyn?" Lotus asked. She was referring to Kyorai's old neighborhood friends. They had been best friends when they were little, but things had changed when the four pets had started Neoschool. The friends hung out with other people and had not seen each other in ages.

      "I haven't talked to them in months, Mom. It would be weird to invite them. Besides, I've got new friends." Kyorai said with a shrug. Tali, a green Shoyru, Gareth, a blue Lupe, and Kaitlyn, a yellow Lenny, were so plain compared to the rich, painted pets he was friends with now. Lotus sighed in an annoyed manner.

      "I hate to go into Mom mode here, but I want you to invite them. You guys always had so much fun together. I'm sure you'll have a blast catching up with each other. Remember the Four Colors?" Lotus said with a nostalgic grin. When Tali, Gareth, Kaitlyn, and Kyorai had been little, they called themselves the Four Colors because each of them was a different one of the four main colors. Kyorai grimaced at the memory.

      "That was stupid, and I don't want to invite them. They'll embarrass me in front of all my cool friends," Kyorai argued. Lotus shook her head.

      "Either you invite them, or you don't have a party. And that's final." With that, his mother walked out of his room. Kyorai rolled his eyes and reluctantly added his old friends' names to the list.

     ~ ~ ~

     The night of the party came faster than Kyorai could have ever imagined. Everything was going to be perfect. All the invitations had been sent out, and everybody could come. There were red and gold streamers across the ceilings of his Neohome, and a table with a red plastic tablecloth was placed against one wall with snacks and punch. The birthday cake that his mother had worked carefully on all afternoon was ready in the kitchen, and the only thing missing was the guests. Kyorai glanced at the Techo Clock on the wall. There was still 10 minutes before the guests were due to arrive, but that did not stop Kyorai from worrying. What if nobody came? Or, even worse, what if everybody came and then thought the party was boring? At that thought, Kyorai immediately turned on the Funky Green Speaker. He relaxed as he heard M*YNCI jamming away. Nothing could go wrong. Nothing would go wrong. As long as he didn't mess up, everything would be perfect. The ring of the doorbell jarred Kyorai out of his nervous thoughts. He went to the door and took a deep breath before pulling it open.

      "Hey, Kyorai!" A group of giggling pets stood on his front stoop. Kyorai looked at each one in turn and saw that it was some girls from his class.

      "Come on in, guys. There's food over there, and we've got music if you want to dance." Kyorai breathed a sigh of relief as the girls started moving to the music. Nobody would be bored at this party.

     ~ ~ ~

     Later that night, the party was in full swing. Everybody was dancing and having fun, especially Kyorai. All the cool kids were talking to him and dancing with him. He felt like he was the most popular guy ever. Then he saw them. Tali, Gareth, and Kaitlyn were all standing in different corners of the room, looking miserable. As they saw him looking at them, they came towards him.

      "Happy Birthday, Kyorai!" they shouted in unison. Kyorai managed a small smile.

      "Could you guys keep it down? People are going to notice me talking to you and think we're friends or something," Kyorai hissed with a glance around the crowded room. The other three pets looked taken aback. Tali was the first to speak.

      "Fine! If that's the way you want it, then so be it. We'll just leave. I thought I might get back my old friends tonight, but I guess all I'll be getting is some cake." With that, the green Shoyru stomped off towards her corner. Gareth and Kaitlyn both returned their corners as well. Kyorai shrugged it off as Nick came up to him.

      "Hey, Kyorai! When's the cake coming out?" Nick asked as he and Kyorai walked towards each other.

      "It should be out in a minute," Kyorai replied happily.

      "Good, because we all can't wait to eat it," Nick said. As he walked back to the dance floor, Kyorai went into the kitchen to ask his mom to bring the cake out.

      "Can we do the cake now, Mom?"

      "Sure, Kyorai. I'll bring it out in a minute. You can organize all your friends to sing happy birthday," Lotus replied while wiping a bit of frosting off of her nose. Kyorai walked out and told everybody that the cake was coming out. As his mom walked in with the cake's candles burning brightly, all of his friends began to sing.

      "Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Kyorai! Happy birthday to you!" they all sang together. Kyorai took a deep breath and wished with all his might that he would never lose all of his best friends. Only seconds after he had blown out the candles, Kyorai felt a paw on the back of his head, pushing him down. Fwump! His head smashed into the beautiful cake Lotus had worked so hard on. There was white frosting in his thick red fur and sprinkles were everywhere, in his eyes, his ears, and even his nose. He felt the tears well up in his eyes as harsh laughter surrounded him. This was no accident. His "friends" had done this on purpose to embarrass him. He looked back and saw Nick behind him. The paw that had pushed him definitely belonged to this Christmas Lupe. Kyorai ran out of the room to the bathroom where the tears flowed freely. He could hear a couple of people shouting at all of the pets to leave. The voices rang a bell, but Kyorai couldn't place them. It didn't matter though. Even if a couple of people were defending him, all the cool pets had only pretended to like him anyway. Kyorai rested his head in his paws and sobbed. He heard a soft knock on the door, followed by a harsher rap.

      "Go away. I don't want to talk," he said with as strong a voice as he could muster.

      "It's me, Ky. It's Kaitlyn," the voice outside the bathroom replied. Kyorai's eyes widened with surprise. He had completely forgotten that his old friends were here. He had treated them badly, but Kaitlyn had always been very good at comforting people. He unlocked the door and let the yellow Lenny in. She immediately wrapped her wings around him and gave him a tight hug.

      "It's going to be okay, Ky. Don't worry," she said while wiping away frosting and tears with a towel. Kyorai smiled at his nickname. He hadn't been called Ky since the last time he saw Kaitlyn. She always called him that, even though no one else did.

      "It's not going to be all right. I've lost all my friends, the fake ones who laughed at me tonight and the true ones. You, Tali, and Gareth will never want to speak to me again. I was so horrible to you today." Kyorai sniffled again and turned away from Kaitlyn. She laughed at his comment and shook her head.

      "Yes, you treated us badly tonight, but one night can't erase years of friendship. I can't speak for Tali and Gareth, but I think the way they're yelling at that Christmas Lupe says enough." Kyorai smiled with realization. The voices he had recognized! It had been Tali and Gareth, defending him. Kyorai suddenly looked up at Kaitlyn.

      "Are they still here? Tali and Gareth, I mean. I kind of want to talk to them." Kaitlyn nodded, and the two pets walked into the living room. Tali and Gareth were standing there next to the ruined cake.

      "Hey, Tali. Hey, Gareth," Kyorai said softly.

      "Hey, Kyorai. Hey, Kaitlyn," they replied. All four pets looked at each other for a long minute, and suddenly swept each other up in an enthusiastic group hug. Kaitlyn was crying, Tali was laughing, Gareth's usually serious face had broken into a grin, and Kyorai was laughing, crying, and smiling and the same time. The friends were together again, and they spent the whole night talking and catching up. It was easy to see that Tali with her intelligence, Gareth with his courage, Kaitlyn with her kindness, and Kyorai with his loyalty would be friends forever.

     When it came time for his friends to leave, Kyorai thought to himself, I guess my wish really did come true. These people are my best friends, and I hope I will never lose them again.

     ~ ~ ~

     That Monday, at Neoschool, Kyorai tried to hide from all the kids that had been at his party. Tali, Gareth, and Kaitlyn were not in his class, and he felt like he had no one to talk to anymore. Then, that afternoon, his teacher stood in front of the class with an announcement.

      "Class, I would like you to meet our new students. Please welcome Tali, Gareth, and Kaitlyn..."

The End

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