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A Promise is a Promise: Part One


by cruzerchic123

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Ani was starting to get impatient. The sky blue Ruki gave a groan and slouched down even further into the bench she sat on, shifting her eyes gloomily at the sky. The sun was beginning to hide and the sky in Neopia Central was beginning to turn a soft, peachy orange. Soon the rising of the moon Kreludor would be welcomed into a dark sky glowing with twinkling stars.

    Ani sighed with disgust and twirled a finger absentmindedly in her short hair, which was blond enough to almost be white and was short, tied in a ponytail that stuck up, like the Neopian punks. Sugar pink highlights decorated her hair, and two silver loops were clipped to her antennae. She wore a simple red choker, a black tank top with silver glitter clustered in the middle to form a star, short blue jeans in Ruki style, and black sneakers on all her legs. On her left hand she wore a black wristband, and on her right hand, two red bangles covered in silver glitter dangled from it, plus black leather gloves, minus the fingers.

    Ani stood up, walking to a tree. Leaves weren't so much as sprouting in many places, but they weren't clustered together like the common ones in books, located in the forests. She leaned on that, folding her arms and staring in front of her. A few Neopians only remained on the Neopia Central streets, going to the cluster of shops to the east to buy something, like clothes, food or trading cards. Some of the Neopians stopped to say "Hi, Ani!" and wave. To them she simply gave a small smile and lifted her hand in reply, then returned to her grim face and folded arms.

    "Ani!"

    Finally! the bug-like Neopet thought in her mind, letting her lavender blue-coloured eyelids lift up, revealing her eyes, which were a pretty hazel, not the common stereotypical blue with blond. She rolled them as a red Kyrii ran up to her, grinning recklessly and a mischievous twinkle in his forest green eyes. He wore a short-sleeved heavy leather jacket that was completely black, a gray shirt with a skull in the middle, chains on his brown baggy pants, and like Ani, black sneakers, except with more red and white decoration here and there. His fiery red hair was spiked back, and the some of his hair in front was dyed a golden blond. There was a small silver loop pierced in his right ear, and he wore the same short black leather gloves as Ani.

    The Kyrii laughed and gave a hearty slap on the back to Ani. "Hey, there's my girl!" he chortled, his teeth curved into a wide smile. He opened his eyes again and stared at Ani. "Whoa, Ani, what's with the long face? You better wipe it off your face, otherwise it'll stick like that! Oh wait, it did already! Haha, okay, I'm just kidding. Seriously, girl, 'zup?"

    "You're late again, Mike," Ani snapped, turning to glare at the boy she chose to hang out with a bit more often. She had those days where she thought she had made a mistake. "Dude, you promised you'd take me to the basketball game happening downtown thirty minutes near our school at the bench near the tree after five o' clock! I was waiting here for, like, what? Two hours. Dear Borovan, Mike, it was seriously dullsville. Why do you have to be late all the time?!"

    "Look, I'm sorry, Ani," Mike reassured her kindly, placing a hand on her shoulder. "I was busy with something. See, my friends Cody and David were going to take a bunch of Peadackles they got from Cody's aunt's farm and release it on cranky old Mrs. Clark's garden, and, oh man, you should've seen it! I mean, there was that hag of an Eyrie, screaming while all these chicken Petpets chased her around, and next thing you know, she's after them with a broom while screaming for the authorities and -"

    "That doesn't really matter now, Mike," Ani interrupted, still staring at Mike with her arms folded.

    "Aw, c'mon, girl!" Mike said. "Lighten up! Chillax. Breathe. We still have some time to see the basketball game. No sweat, right?"

    Ani just stared at the upbeat Kyrii with her hazel eyes. The Kyrii took her arm and gave a smug smile. "Look, I said I was sorry, can we go to the game now before we miss out on all the fun?"

    The blond Neopet gave a small smile and stared at Mike. "Okay, fine," she said, "but can you try not to be late all the time?"

    "Will do," Mike replied with a toothy grin. "Trust me, I promise."

    * * * * * * * *

The sky was blue and full of stars when Ani and Mike walked down the sidewalk, laughing and munching on a bag of popcorn.

    "Oh, man, I didn't know THAT would happen!" Ani laughed, nudging Mike repeatedly with her elbow.

    The Kyrii tossed a kernel of popcorn in the air and caught it in his mouth. He grinned back at her. "Yeah, that guy was about to shoot, and then next thing you know, this Meepit starts chasing this White Weewoo waving a rolled-up Neopian Times issue and screaming 'Meep! Meep! Meep!', whatever that means, in the middle of the court!"

    The duo both burst out laughing again, almost choking on popcorn. Mike handed the bag to Ani and said, "I'm off to the washroom. Stay here and don't go anywhere, okay?"

    Ani smiled. "Of course not."

    Mike returned the smile. "You promise?"

    "I promise, man. And you?"

    He simply laughed and entered the washroom in a shop. Ani stared at him before sighing and digging her hand into a bag of popcorn. She was down the last bit in the bag when a voice said, "Ani? What are you doing here?"

    The Ruki turned around to see another one of her schoolmates, Justin. He was another fellow Ruki, a red one to be exact, with jet black hair and sea blue eyes. He wore a simple blue T-shirt with a yellow diagonal stripe from the top right to the bottom left on it, darker blue Ruki jeans and white sneakers with a bit of red decoration. He wore a pair of glasses and instead of the black gloves most Neopians wore, he had blue and red ones and a yellow wristband.

    "Justin!" Ani said. Even though they weren't really good friends and saw each other in a few classes, Ani could bear hanging around him if her other friends weren't around. "Hey, I didn't recognize the glasses. Since when did you decide to be known as a four-eyes?"

    The male Ruki gave a smirk. "Very funny," he retorted mockingly, adjusting them. "I keep reading in the middle of the night, and I tried to read in dim light. That gives you really bad eyesight, so I had to get these." He sighed and gave a frown. "Horrible, aren't they?"

    "No, actually, compared to that dork Lisha's glasses, yours are waaaaaaaay better," Ani said, snickering.

    "Hey, watch it!" Justin teased. "She may be a dork, but she's a cool dork! She's a Meridellian dork!"

    "No, I prefer supporting the dark side," Ani replied. "Besides, I might get Kass' autograph if I stay on it long enough!"

    "Fangirl," the red Ruki accused, smirking again.

    "Hey, I can't help it if Kass is quite handsome!" the blue Ruki argued, laughing. She offered the bag to Justin. "Popcorn? Sorry if there's not enough."

    "No thanks," Justin responded, shaking his head. "I don't want popcorn hulls stuck in my teeth."

    "Suit yourself," Ani said, popping the last fistful into her mouth. She chewed and swallowed before turning back to Justin. "So what brings you to me?"

    Suddenly Justin looked at the ground, scuffing his sneaker against the cement. "Well, I was wondering if, um, I could, like, walk you home?"

    Ani was about to open her mouth when Mike burst out of the washroom, shouting, "Yo, Ani, I'm back! Aww, and you kept your promise. How sweet." The Kyrii took the bag of popcorn from the female Ruki and stared in it, then pretended to shoot a nasty look at Ani. "Girl, you ate it all!" he cried, pretending to pout.

    "I was hungry," Ani shrugged, and burped. "'Scuse me."

    "Hey, what you doin' here?" Mike asked, turning to look at Justin. "And what's with the dorky glasses, dude? You look like Lisha, except dweebier!"

    "Very funny," Justin murmured, forcing a wan smile.

    "I think they look pretty cool," Ani said, digging in the bag to see if there was any more popcorn.

    "Yeah, whatever," Mike retorted, grabbing Ani's arm. "C'mon, girl, let's get you home. See you, Justin."

    "See you, Mike," Justin replied uneasily, then with a more brighter face he added, "See you, Ani!"

    "See you," Ani murmured, lifting her hand goodbye.

    "You shouldn't hang around the dweeb," Mike told Ani as they walked to her home.

    "Hey, he's okay, Mike!" Ani told him. When Mike shrugged, Ani sighed and gave him the empty popcorn bag, which he simply threw away on the ground. "Litterbug," the Ruki said. "Don't you wanna keep our environment clean?"

    "Eh, it's clean enough," Mike answered, shrugging again.

    "Fine. But next time, can you take the time to throw something away in the garbage?"

    "Okay, I will."

    "Promise?"

    "I promise."

    * * * * * * * *

The next day at Junior High Neoschool, Mike saw Ani with another one of her grim faces. "Yo, girl, 'zup?" he asked, walking with her inside the building.

    Ani frowned. "My mom gave me one of her stupid lectures just for being out later than my curfew. She said I should stop hanging out with you 'cause you're a 'bad friend'."

    "Aw, that really hurts," Mike replied dryly. "C'mon, Ani, you're, like, in Grade 7! You should be responsible for your own life."

    "That's what I told her, Mike!" Ani groaned. "She just gave me another boring lecture. Seriously, dullsville. Dear Borovan, I don't think I can put up with her stupid lectures. Am I supposed to learn from them? Sheesh!"

    "Whatever," Jake said. "I'll try taking you home earlier. I promise."

    "It better be," Ani said. "My mom said 'A promise is a promise, and if it's broken, it can make people broken.' I have no idea what that means, but I know the 'A promise is a promise' part."

    They went into their first class. The science teacher, Mrs. Violet, strutted around the room with a long, pointy stick. "Good morning, class," Mrs. Violet said, which didn't sound that friendly. "Take out your science textbooks and turn to page two hundred and twenty-six."

    Ani froze. Where is it?! she thought, panicking. Oh, wait, I remember! I let Mike borrow my textbook yesterday! I hope he has it today!

    She took her pencil and knocked it on the floor, hoping it would land near the back desk of her row. It did, so Ani went over to pick it up. The back row desk belonged to Mike, who looked down at her. "Mike!" she whispered. "Dude, please tell me you have my science textbook here in class!"

    "Uh, erm, uh oh..." Mike said, suddenly looking as though he remembered something.

    "Uh oh?! What do you mean 'uh oh'?!" Ani hissed.

    "I forgot it at home!" the redhead responded. "I found mine deep in my locker just today, but I need mine. Look, I'm really sorry, Ani, I'll remember to bring it back tomorrow. I promise!"

    Ani gasped. She was horrified. "You better! A promise is a promise," she growled, before returning to her desk. The teacher was waiting right over her desk, her hands akimbo.

    "Ani?" Mrs. Violet asked, none too kindly. "Where is your science textbook?"

    The Ruki didn't know what to say to her strict Pteri teacher. There was a moment of silence before she focused her hazel eyes on Mrs. Violet and muttered, "I forgot it at home."

    "What?!" Mrs. Violet cried.

    "Erm, Mrs. Violet, I can share my textbook with Ani!" Justin suddenly blurted out, his hand shooting up in the air.

    "No, Justin! Students in this school need to be more responsible instead of forgetting things all the time! It looks like you just earned an after-school detention, Ani! Now, class, let this be a lesson to you. Justin, you may start reading the first paragraph. Ani, follow along." She went up to Mike's desk and asked for his late science assignment.

    "I forgot it," Mike shrugged. "I'll bring it in tomorrow. I promise."

    Where have I heard that before? Ani thought in her mind, gritting her teeth. The blond Ruki grumbled and slouched in her chair through the whole process of reading. She didn't want to pay attention. She shouldn't have lent her textbook to Mike, even if he was the boy she spent most of her time with. In fact, this was one of those times she wondered if her mom was right about hanging out with him. At the end of class, she packed up her books when Mrs. Violet announced something very important.

    "Now, class, before you leave for your next class, I want you to pick a partner to work for this week to do a science project on the chemistry unit we just read about. It will be due next Friday, at the beginning of class." The teacher stared her class down and added, "Make sure to bring it."

    The student Neopets began choosing partners quickly. Ani looked around, when just then she saw Justin sitting down, reading a few of the science posters on the wall. Yes! Justin would be perfect. He was smart, and not really much of the geek or nerd, and besides, they were starting to become really great friends and they would get along.

    "Justin!" the hazel eyed bug Neopet called.

    The red Ruki turned around, surprised. Ani pointed to somebody's science textbook, then pointed at herself, but when she was about to point at Justin, Mike took her arm again and yanked it.

    "Looks like we're partners for this project, my girl!" the Kyrii grinned, patting her head and taking her out the door.

    Ani simply chuckled nervously and nodded, forcing a smile. Justin just stared at Ani, looking a bit down. Ani sighed and rolled her eyes. I just hope this project turns out good enough to get an A, she thought.

To be continued...

 
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