A Promise is a Promise: Part Two
"So what are we doing?" Mike asked her as they walked home.
"Sodium bicarbonate and acetic acid balloon bombs,"
Ani explained. "See, that's baking soda and vinegar mixed together. It's, like,
common, but we'll surely get an A if I do the scientific stuff and all, and
you can be in charge of setting it up to make it look like a totally great chemistry
"Oh, man, this is gonna be so awesome!" Mike grinned.
"But, on one condition," Ani started. "You have to
promise me you'll actually do it over this week, and that you won't forget it
when I give you all the fancy formulas we'll use, or else if it ain't in school
on Friday, you are in deep steamy dung."
"Heck, don't worry!" Mike sighed. "You gotta get off
the promising stuff for once, girl!"
Ani glared at him with her hands akimbo.
"Alright, alright, I promise."
"You swear on Queen Fyora, Lord Darigan, Lord Kass,
King Skarl, all the King Coltzans and Queen Vyssa's throne?" Ani added. She
knew that what she asked of was a really big and important oath. Anyone who
broke it was known to be the untrustworthiest person. If Mike promised this,
there was little chance that he could break it, or he'd suffer the oath's consequences.
"Fine," Mike simply said. "I promise."
"Say the whole thing!" Ani demanded, smirking widely.
The Kyrii groaned and raised his right hand and murmured,
"I, Michael, solemnly promise and swear on Queen Fyora, Lord Darigan, Lord Kass,
King Skarl, all the King Coltzans and Queen Vyssa's throne to bring our science
project to school no matter what. There, are you happy, Ani?"
"Very," Ani smiled. "Now, let's get going home."
"Hang on," Mike said. He reached into his backpack
and pulled out a can of blue spray paint. He waved it in front of Ani's face
and smiled smugly. "Go crazy, my girl," he whispered, placing the can of spray
paint in her hands and pointing to the brick wall in front of them. His green
eyes twinkled mischievously.
Ani's face went pale. "Are you crazy?!"
He shrugged. "Maybe," he said casually.
"Wait, no, Mike, we can't do this!" she argued, trying
to give him back the can of spray paint. "We'll get in trouble!"
"Hey, c'mon, Ani! I promise nothing bad is gonna happen,"
Mike said. When she just continued gawking at him, he lifted her hand. "I promise."
Ani sighed and lifted up the spray paint can. She
was about to press the nozzle when Mike yelled, "Oh, Borovan. Haul tails, people!"
The Ruki gasped as Mike went running. "No, wait, Mike!"
she called, and then she heard it.
She turned around to see Mrs. Clark. "Oh, dear Borovan,
I am waaaaay deep in dung this time," she moaned, dropping the can.
* * * * * * * *
Her mom gave her another lecture again when she found out what her daughter
"did" with spray paint. (There was already letters spray painted on the wall
with that kind of blue spray paint before Mike offered her the spray paint can,
and since Mrs. Clark didn't see the letters before, the accusation immediately
went to Ani.) Meanwhile Ani just thought of something else as her mom continued
talking and explaining the wrongs she was doing. Mike, she thought with
a heavy sigh. WHY did HE ditch ME? Just like that. That is totally uncool!
And he PROMISED nothing bad would happen! I guess I can't blame him for promising
that, though. Nobody can really predict if something is gonna happen, well,
For the next week she still hung out with him, listening
to him say, "I promise" all the time and her replying "I hope so. A promise
is a promise". When she noticed some broken glass on the street, she wondered
what her mom had meant when she said that phrase.
"A promise is a promise," her mom had told her. "If
it's broken, it can make people broken."
The more Ani thought about it, the more she thought
she understood it. One day when Justin asked her to come outside, she had to
argue with her mom first before coming outside. "Great Thyora," she cursed angrily.
"You have a nice life. I have to deal with stupid pointless annoying lectures!"
"Hey, Spal!" Justin suddenly said, his eyes glittering
with their own type of smile.
"Stupid Pointless Annoying Lectures, like Spam, except
with 'lectures' instead of 'mail'!"
Ani gave a small smile but didn't laugh. Seeing as
she wasn't very happy right now, Justin changed the subject. "How's your project
coming along?" he asked.
"I gave the stuff to Mike," Ani replied. "He kept
saying that he already done his half of the project, saying it was totally awesome
and all that stuff. I hope he brings it Friday."
There was silence for a while, then Justin blurted
out, "You shouldn't hang around with him anymore!"
Ani stared at him with wide eyes. "Man, what are you
saying?" she gasped.
"He...he keeps breaking all the promises he makes
and gets you in trouble!" Justin cried, his sea-coloured eyes filled with concern.
"Seriously, Ani, would you want to hang around with that type of guy? He makes
your mom tell you Spal all the time and...the promises!"
"Everybody breaks promises all the time!" Ani argued,
her fists balling up. She glared at Justin. "You just forgive and forget! He's
my friend, Justin! And you know it's, like, a bit more than that!"
"I know, but when he breaks a promise all the time...do
you feel like you want to forgive him?"
Ani thought about this for some time, then turned
away from Justin, her hazel eyes becoming blurry. "Justin, as I said, he's a
friend. I have to forgive him, but to be honest with you, it's hard to forget.
Now please just go away, okay?"
Justin nodded, before he walked away. Before he disappeared
around the corner, he turned his sea blue eyes at Ani. Staring at them made
Ani's vision even blurry. The Ruki went back to her house and went into her
room, then slammed it shut. She threw herself down on her bed, stuffed her face
in her pillow, and gave a scream. And it wasn't Justin she was mad at right
* * * * * * * *
Friday. The big day. A day that would count for everything. Ani got up early
in the morning and ate breakfast quickly. This was the day, the day that would
count for every piece of hard work she had put into the project Mike and her
She rushed outside the door and ran all the way to
Mike's house. When she prepared to knock on the door, a neighbourhood Uni girl,
Hally, called her name. "Yo, Hally!" Ani greeted, breathing heavily. "Is...Mike...here?"
"I tried knocking, but it seemed like he was at school
already," Hally replied, shrugging. "Though it doesn't really seem like him.
He's most likely sick. Don't worry, Ani, he might be just around the corner,
waiting to surprise you."
Ani nodded, a bit confused. "Thanks for telling me,"
she said, and ran off. When she looked around the corner, he wasn't there. Catching
her breath, Ani ran all the way to her school. She saw Justin and waved, calling
his name, but he just looked up, gave a wan smile and walked away glumly. Ani
stared at the Ruki with black hair desperately, sighing and shaking her head.
She wanted to go to him and apologize for sending him away, but she didn't have
the time. She needed to get to the science project that she and Mike made.
The bell rang. Ani brushed a few blond and pink locks
out of her face as she got her books and headed to her science class. So many
projects were laid out, and they all looked fantastic. Just wait until they
see ours, Ani thought with a grin.
Ani whipped her head around, trying to see if Mike
was in the mess of students. Nothing. The Ruki started to panic. Where was Mike?
Mrs. Violet ordered them to sit down. Ani did as told,
knots beginning to tie quickly in her stomach. She couldn't breathe. Her heart
was pulsing rapidly. Her eyes were nearly bulging out from their sockets. "I
see you all brought your projects here," Mrs. Violet said, and then her eyes
shifted to Ani's desk. "But where's yours, Ani?"
"Mike was sick today," Ani exclaimed, her stomach
still twisting inside. "Me and him were partners, and I gave him the last part
of the project to do today."
"Mike isn't sick. His mother didn't inform me in any
way that he was sick today. Ani, where is your project?"
Ani's mouth almost hit the ground. "You mean he's
not sick?!" she gasped.
"He is not. Now, your project. This counts for your
science mark, Ani. If you do not hand it here, I don't think your mother will
be pleased when she sees your mark."
"But...but - " Ani protested, but the teacher lifted
a finger and stared her down.
"No, Ani! You shouldn't have been partners with Mike
if he was going to forget your project. Now I'm afraid you fail this term's
science mark. Next time, think about what you're doing, young lady."
Ani slumped deep in her chair, her eyes wide with
horror. Mike wasn't sick?! she thought. But if he left early for school,
he's gotta be here! Now I just got a failing mark just because he was sick,
and maybe his mom didn't reach the school, and -
Suddenly the bushes outside the window rustled. Ani
looked up to stare at those bushes. A distant figure caught her eye. It was,
no, it can't be! It was Mike's friend, David, who was waving and jumping up
A head from the bushes popped up. Ani gasped, staring
at the head open-mouthed and wide-eyed. It was Mike.
He quickly snuck a cautious glance in the classroom
before taking off after David, who was joined by Cody. Ani started breathing
heavily, her eyes watering. Mike wasn't sick; he SKIPPED school! He probably
didn't even DO any of the things he needed to do for their project! She couldn't
believe it, she couldn't...
...he promised. He swore the oath of the Neopian
Royals. And he broke it.
Ani stood up, her head low, and approached the teacher
slowly. "Yes, Ani?" the Pteri questioned, a bit stiffly.
"Mrs. Violet?" Ani murmured softly, shaking a bit.
"Can I...go to...the washroom?"
"Fine," Mrs. Violet said. Ani went out of the classroom
hastily. Justin noticed this, and adjusted his spectacles before asking Mrs.
Violet the same question as Ani did. Mrs. Violet nodded, and he stood up, running
to the door of the girl's washroom. He craned his ear to the door, and to his
horror he heard crying.
* * * * * * * *
The fourth bell for school rang. Students were already walking home, and the
school seemed deserted, but Ani was slumped in a chair, in Mrs. Violet's class,
writing lines with a pen in handwriting. Her face was glum and her hazel eyes
were strained red as she scribbled furiously on the paper. The sentence "I will
be responsible for my actions and doings from now on" was written on her page
forty times. Only a hundred and sixty more to go, she thought sadly.
Finally after an hour and a few minutes she handed
the paper to Mrs. Violet. "I'm done," she said feebly. The teacher simply nodded
and went back to correcting projects and papers while Ani got all her stuff
from her locker. When she packed up all her stuff in her backpack and was about
to leave, she saw Mike, waiting outside with his wide grin on his face.
"Hey, 'zup, my girl!" he greeted.
Ani brushed past him. "Oh, I see where this is going!"
Mike said, walking up next to her. "You giving me the silent treatment for skipping
Suddenly Ani spun around, her hazel eyes piercing.
"You promised!" she yelled, her fists balled up again.
Mike blinked. "Excuse me?" he scoffed.
Ani's eyes became watery again as she continued ranting.
"You promised, Michael!" she snapped. "You promised you'd bring our project
today! You promised you'd do your part of our project! Come to think of it,
I don't think you even DID any part of our project!"
"Whoa, whoa, chill out, woman!" Mike retorted, stepping
back from arm-swinging length. "Let me reassure you that I totally did our part
of our project! I just forgot it today because I was sick?"
"Alright then," Ani growled. "Why were you with Cody
and David on Wednesday at the Pizzaroo, huh? Why?!"
"I was with them on Thursday, and we was shopping
for - " Mike started, then shut up. "Uh, hehe..." he chuckled nervously.
Ani glared at him with eyes full of disbelief. "Man,
you blew it!" she screamed. "I can't believe it! I failed this science term
because of YOU! Why did I even go with you anyway?! Mike, you said you'd bring
it today, no matter WHAT! You even SWORE the oath of the Neopian Royals! Do
you know what you just did? You broke it! Dude, you broke ALL your promises!
Almost not once did you keep any of your promises, even the less important ones,
so you took it all for granted, and now look what you've done to me! Do you
like seeing me like this?! Well, nice job, Mr. Fragile Boy, you broke your promises!"
"Are you leaving me behind?!" Mike asked, starting
to grit his teeth.
"What does it look like, Einstein?!" she snarled angrily.
"Look, you need to calm down," Mike told her, placing
his arm around her shoulders. He gave a sly smile. "Come on, girl, forgive and
Immediately she shoved him to the ground, the tears
beginning to stream down, anger and hurt, behind those hazel eyes.
"Save it for somebody else," Ani said, her voice hard
and her hazel eyes glaring him down. Mike gasped and stepped back. Her eyes
were flaring and at the same time, they were cold and icy. "A promise is a promise,
and if it's broken, it could make people broken. You made me break, Mike, you
made everything of yours in me broken."
She turned away slowly and walked away, knowing that
Mike was staring at her, but she didn't turn back. She never did. She just looked
ahead, with the tears flowing silently from her fierce eyes.
* * * * * * * *
Ani sat down in the bench near the front of the large tree. Her eyes were still
a bit red from her outburst, and her face was set in a glum frown. Her head
was bent low, and her blond and pink hair covered her face. It was way past
her curfew again. This time Kreludor was full, the glowing sphere in the middle
of a beautiful blue sky, with the stars blinking. The wind blew past her, brushing
her hair gently and causing some leaves to blow.
A gentle hand brushed away her hair, and Ani looked
up. It was Justin, looking down at her with pitiful sea-coloured eyes. "I heard
what happened," he said. "Mike started telling everybody in his own words. They
take pity on him, but some look upon him with shame. I know I'm one of those
Ani grimaced. "I didn't realize that it would hurt
this much, hanging around with him so much," she told Justin, letting the Red
Ruki sit next to her. She shook her head and yawned. "Man, I'm beat," she murmured.
He looked up at her. "Yes?"
"Could you, like, walk me home?" Ani asked, starting
to smile. "I don't want to go home alone at this time."
The boy grinned. "Sure, why not?" he said, taking
her arm. "Hey, what are you doing tomorrow? Maybe we could go to Meridell. Then
I'll let you mock Lisha all you want and let you see the Court Dancer getting
chased by her fanboys!"
Ani couldn't help but laugh along with him. "Are you
serious?!" she gasped, a wide grin on her face that could make trees in the
Haunted Woods beam.
"Trust me," Justin smirked, "my older brother constantly
tries to find out her address. So, how about it?"
"Man, am I so there!" Ani laughed, slapping his hand.
"You promise you'll come?" Justin asked her.
"I promise, Justin," Ani replied, and lowered her
grins to an honest smile. "I promise."