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Dear Neopia

by star_29791


Dear the people of Neopia,

      My name is Jane. Or Plain Jane as some liked to call me. I am a humble blue Acara living in a lonely peasant's cottage on the edge of Neopia Central. I live alone. I used to live with my younger sister and mother but they moved to Mystery Island and we lost touch. My hobbies include sewing, reading and collecting rare plushies. I bet you are thinking, 'Why is she telling us this?'

      Well, I'm not quite sure myself. There must be a reason or I wouldn't be sitting in my small but cosy living room writing this. Maybe the reason is that I'm merely a little bored and writing this keeps me amused. OK... maybe I know the real reason but am too frightened to admit it.

      I feel a bit odd writing this, as I don't know to whom I am writing. I have only felt this way once before. When I was just a baby Acara my mother could not stop me crying. I cried almost non-stop unless I got my own way, which usually meant plushies and chocolate. To say the least, I was rather spoilt and hated sharing. One day, I had demanded a new plushie and my mother went out to get one. When she returned, instead of the new plushie, I was faced with a bundle of squiggling blankets. I had stared rather confusedly at it and said, "Hello, I'm Jane," still not knowing what I was talking to. It was only when the bundle moved that I realised it was a baby Cybunny. The Cybunny was my new baby sister, Edina.

      You're probably wondering, Jane... and Edina? A plain Jane Acara next to a Limited Edition Cybunny with a more striking name? It wasn't a wonder that as we grew up together, Edina was the popular, beautiful, clever one, while I struggled to make friends, was plain and couldn't get the grades I needed in Neoschool. To my mother's embarrassment I was held back a grade. This meant I was in the same classes as Edina, despite my being almost a year older than her. The only good thing about Edina being the shining star next to me, the simple pebble, was that having someone better than myself cured me from being so spoilt.

      However, Edina was never unkind to me. My younger, adopted sister always looked out for me. But the utter mortification of needing Edina to keep people from bullying me in the playground was too much to bear. I began to hide. I would lurk in the school library at lunch and break instead of going out to play; I would be the first to rush out of school and the last to get in; I never went to parties and soon, everybody stopped inviting me.

      My mother couldn't be more proud of Edina or disappointed in me. After all, my mother was a beautiful Acara with bright eyes and intelligence to match the Library Faerie. All her friends had contemplated what a marvellous daughter I was to grow up to be. Yet it was the adopted daughter who received those qualities and more. I believed that everyday I grew into more of a failure and because I believed it, I did.

      One day in summer, Edina was sitting in the garden with Mother, chatting. I was in my bedroom, overlooking the garden. And without meaning to, I overheard their conversation through the open window.

      "Mother, I want to enter this competition being held at Neoschool," Edina was saying.

      "What is it?"

      I peeped out of the window. Edina had set up her easel and her paints and brushes and was painting Mother, who wearing a pink dress, sitting in a garden chair, drinking lemonade from a pink straw. No doubt, Edina had set this all up. It wasn't a surprise she was also extremely creative.

      "An art competition. There's a theme and you're supposed to paint something in that theme."

      "Sounds lovely. What is the theme?"

      "I'm not sure yet. They're going to neomail me."

      I thought nothing of the competition until a week later. I was collecting the neomail sent that day and taking it to the kitchen. I usually never got mail so I didn't really take an interest in the letters. But then I saw a green envelope sticking out from the pile of white ones. I pulled it out and found it addressed to Edina.

      'To Edina, regarding the art competition,' I read on the front.

      I don't know what made me open the envelope. It might have been curiosity, or maybe a plan was formulating in my mind before I was even aware. Anyway, the point is that I did.

     To: Edina

     From: Neoschool Art Competition Organisers

     Subject: Art Competition Theme

     Dear Edina,

      The theme is 'opposites'. Paint anything that you think are opposite (e.g. black and white or day and night) and submit your entry before the end of the month.

      Yours sincerely,

      The Neoschool Art Competition Organisers

      It was at that moment that Edina entered the kitchen.

      "Is that mine?" she asked me, pointing at the letter.

      "Err... yeah. Sorry I was... umm... I... I-"

      "Don't worry about it, sis." Edina smiled. "Mistakes happen."

      With that, she left the kitchen, taking the neomail from me.

      That night, before dinner, Edina came into my bedroom and asked me if she'd seen her neomail. I asked which neomail and she said the one about the art competition. I replied that I hadn't seen it.

      "Why do you need it?" I ventured to ask.

      "I can't remember the theme," Edina giggled, scrunching up her nose delicately.

      There was one thing I had over Edina. Edina was hopeless at remembering details. She could remember facts and definitions but ask her what date it was and she wouldn't remember. On the other hand, I had an excellent memory. It was a shame I couldn't remember things that were important such as what photosynthesis meant.

      "Oh... err... the theme was... summer," I stuttered.

      Edina smiled and hugged me. "Thanks! Your wonderful memory saved my life!"

      The funny thing was, I felt no guilt. After years of being second best, I guess my envy of Edina took its toll on me.

      When Edina received the neomail saying her entry could not be entered because of the wrong theme, she was devastated. She didn't scream or even glare at me. She ignored me. And that was the worst. I could always rely on Edina to talk to me when I was feeling lonely, even if she didn't realise it. And without her, I was no one. I must've realised that she'd find out I told her the wrong theme eventually and I guess I thought it would give me a sense of satisfaction. But I didn't.

      A little after that, our mother decided that she wanted to move to Mystery Island. She gave us the choice of staying here with our aunt but Edina chose to go. I also wanted to join Mother but I knew that if Edina went, there'd be no going for me. Edina hated me. Not because she couldn't enter the competition but because I had deceived her.

      To add to my already wretched life, my aunt had an argument with my mother, ending my contact with my mother and sister. I begged to be allowed to go to Mystery Island to find them but my aunt forbid me. She even made us move Neohome so there'd be no way I was to see them. I screamed and kicked saying that she wasn't my mother and couldn't hold me prisoner. But my aunt was cruel and I learned to hate her.

      By the time I ran away to Mystery Island it was years since the argument. I went to the last address Mother had written to me from. But they'd moved on and hadn't left a forwarding address.

      There was no sign of them anywhere.

      To this day, I still don't know where they are. I want to find Edina. And tell her I'm sorry.

      Maybe that was the reason for me writing. Should I have addressed this letter, 'Dear Edina'? Should I have just apologised and hope she would find me? Something tells me that I did the right thing by not doing so. Maybe it's been so long that Edina wouldn't have forgiven me anyway.

      So, to my fellow Neopians, do not let envy grasp hold of you and choke you until you turn green. Do not make the same mistake as I. I lived my whole life being jealous and look where I am now. Nowhere.


The End

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