Into the Sea: Part Four
Over the next couple of weeks, Katrina continued to
sign Sasha up for swimming races. She won nearly every one of them. Sasha didn't
know how she did it, but she felt great. She had found something she was really
good at. Something she could succeed at. She finally felt like she was worth
something. She was no longer just a loser who everyone made fun of. Out of the
seven races she competed in, she won five of them, and came in second for two.
She now had a collection of ribbons she kept in her room. Every night before
she went to bed, she'd admire them.
Whenever Katrina took Sasha shopping with her and
they went to the toy store, Sasha wanted another yellow Flotsam plushie. She
didn't seem to care that Katrina thought she was weird for being obsessed with
the dolls, but she liked them so much. Now she had about twelve of them. She
would line them up every single night, in a perfectly straight line, and then
do it all over again. Katrina watched her as she did this, pretending to be
reading the Neopian Times.
Katrina never mentioned Amelia, or how she hadn't
seen her that day at the races when Sasha said she was in the lane right next
to hers. Katrina figured she had just understood Sasha wrong. But still... it
was rather strange. She'd talk about it to Doctor Velt the next time they met,
which was in a few days. Velt always gave her good advice.
I win race after race after race...
But why? Was I born to do this? Is this my talent?
The thing I am best at?
I love to swim...
The pools aren't enough.
Sasha looked down at her lunch. She wasn't
hungry. Amelia was sitting next to her. They were the only ones at that table.
The school cafeteria was loud and bustling, but they kept quiet. The red Flotsam
poked her sandwich, pondering whether to eat it or not. Amelia took a drink
of her Neocola.
"Sasha, do you think you could get some more Neopoints
for me? I know this is a lot to ask, but I seriously need some more."
Amelia grinned at Sasha, who didn't look up at her. "...Sasha?"
"You're asking me again?!" Sasha fumed, clenching
her fist. She was beginning to get angry. She wasn't about to steal from Katrina
again. After she had won all of those races and made Katrina proud of
her, she wasn't going to ruin it all and be a bad pet again. She had to be perfect.
"I know it's a lot to ask, but..."
"Shut up! Just... leave me alone!" Sasha told Amelia.
She still didn't look up at the yellow Flotsam. Amelia was making her feel uncomfortable.
Amelia was silent for a few moments. She opened her
mouth to speak, but said nothing.
"I..." she finally murmured. "I... I'm sorry. I shouldn't
have asked. Forgive me?"
Sasha glared ahead of her. Finally her face softened,
and she nodded slowly. Maybe she was just overacting.
"Anyway, I really want to hang out with you sometime.
But you see, my owner is never home. She's always out. So we can't go over to
my house. Can I come over to yours? I'll bring my Usukis!" Amelia offered.
Sasha thought it was a great idea. Suddenly all of
her angry feelings toward Amelia disappeared. "Okay! Today? After school?"
"Sure!" Amelia agreed. "I'll meet you right after
school by the big tree in the front, okay?"
Sasha nodded her head, happy that she was going to
spend time with Amelia, the closest thing to a friend she had.
Sasha barged through the front door of the Neohome,
kicking her shoes off and dumping her backpack and all of her stuff from school
on the floor right in front of the door. She smiled broadly, making her way
into the kitchen, Amelia flopping behind her. Sasha saw Katrina sitting at the
kitchen table, reading the same old issue of the Neopian Times she always read.
It was crinkled, even ripped in some places, from being used too often. Sasha
wondered why Katrina always read that same issue.
"Katrina?" Sasha asked her owner. The teenage girl
looked up from what she had been reading. "Is it okay that Amelia's here? We're
going to play for a while. Oh, and can she stay for dinner?"
Katrina just stared blankly at Sasha. The red Flotsam
didn't think her owner was ever going to reply. She finally said, "Yes. That's
fine. That's fine!"
Sasha nodded her head, and led Amelia down the hallway
into her room. She wondered why Katrina was acting so strange. Sasha opened
her bedroom door and went inside. The room itself was pretty plain. The bed
was small, the walls white. There were pieces of paper with drawings she had
done all over the floor, and in the corner was a little wooden box where she
kept all of her toys. She flopped over to it and opened it, taking out a yellow
Flotsam plushie. She showed it to Amelia, who smiled warmly. Then, Sasha took
out the rest of them, and Amelia looked a little uncomfortable.
"Why do you have so many... yellow Flotsam plushies?"
she questioned, giving Sasha a weird glance.
"I don't know, my owner just gets me them... she's
obsessed with them," Sasha lied, stepping on one like it was the stupidest toy
in Neopia. "Dumb, isn't it...?"
"Stupid Sasha..." Katrina murmured. She was cutting
up a cucumber for the salad they were going to have for dinner. Her long curly
blond hair was messy, and her eyes were red and puffy, as if she had been crying.
Her eyes felt like they were on fire as she glared down at the vegetable she
was hacking to pieces.
Chop, chop, chop.
"Stupid Sasha," she repeated, cutting the cucumber
more violently. Her hands began to shake, and she held her breath, glowering
at the cucumber so hard she felt like she might burn a hole through it. "Stupid,
stupid, stupid, STUPID!"
Chop, chop, chop, CHOP!
Katrina gasped, dropping the knife to the ground.
A sharp pain shot through her hand, and she looked down at her finger. Crimson
blood was dripping from it, rolling off of the tip and splattering onto the
counter. Katrina swore loudly, holding her hand as she hunched over, digging
her stomach into the side of the counter, sobbing painfully.
Amelia laughed nervously, and she looked around the
small white room. At least there was a window. She was silent for a very long
time. Eventually, Sasha just started to play with the toys by herself while
Amelia just stood there. She lined the plushies in a straight row, and then
did it again and again. Amelia got bored of watching her, so she sat down on
the bed and stretched out.
"You know..." Amelia started, staring up at the ceiling
dreamily. A slight smile spread out on her face. Sasha looked up at her curiously.
"Now I know why everyone picks on you."
"...What... do you mean?" Sasha questioned quietly.
She stared down at her plushies, frowning.
"It's because you're so weird. What's wrong
with you anyway? You aren't normal. There you are, obsessing with plushies
that LOOK EXACTLY LIKE ME, and you expect me to be okay with it?!" Amelia exclaimed,
standing up on the bed. She glared at Sasha, who was starting to tear up. "You're
crazy! You freak people out! That's why you don't have friends! You don't know
what they're saying! And guess what? You're not good at anything! I just
told you that you were good at swimming to make you feel good about yourself!
But you really STINK!"
Sasha just stared at Amelia, appalled. "...But...
what about all those races I won?" She glanced over at the ribbons, which were
hanging from a bulletin board on her wall. "The race I won against you?!"
"I lost that race on purpose. I felt sorry
for you. But now I realize I should NOT have done that. It was a mistake," Amelia
told her simply.
These words hit Sasha like a million icicles. She
felt a sharp pain in her heart, like she had just been stabbed. She felt dizzy,
aghast. Why was Amelia acting like this all of a sudden? Amelia was supposed
to be her friend! Sasha just sat there, yellow Flotsam plushie in hand,
clutching it tighter and tighter every second. She wanted to tear its head off
and rip all of its stuffing out. How could Amelia do this?
"You're worthless. Not good at anything. I can't believe
I even came here." Amelia jumped down from the bed and strolled over to the
door. She grabbed the handle and turned it slowly, looking back at Sasha. "You
should just... disappear. No one would miss you if you were gone!"
Amelia opened the door and started out of it, but
Sasha, furious, jumped at her and tackled her to the ground. She slapped Amelia,
screaming at the top of her lungs. The yellow Flotsam struggled from underneath
Sasha, trying to get away, but Sasha held her there, slapping her repeatedly.
"What... are... you DOING?!" Amelia grunted breathlessly.
"Get off of me! You're crazy!"
Sasha screamed louder. She hated Amelia. She hated
her. Every emotion that had been building up inside of her was now exploding,
as she kept wailing on Amelia. She didn't care that she was making an uproar,
or that Katrina would probably be running in at any second, demanding what was
going on. All she cared about was making Amelia pay for what she had said.
Sasha heard footsteps, and then saw Katrina at the
doorway. The girl looked in, completely shocked. Her jaw was dropped, and eyes
wide. She just gaped at Sasha. "What in Fyora's name is going on?!"
Sasha stood up, brushing herself off like nothing
had happened. Amelia immediately ran out of the room, slamming the front door
on her way out of the house. Katrina glared down at Sasha, her hands on her
hips. The red Flotsam just hung her head to the ground, frowning.
No matter what I do...
I always end up disappointing her.
To be continued...