The Dragon Flower: Part Two
After only two minutes of walking through the forest, Lopina started to get distracted by any moving object, including falling leaves. She darted back and forth in front of Mrs. Skye and Amina.
“If you don’t stop cutting me off, I am going to step on your tail!” Amina yelled at Lopina.
“What can I say!? I get excited about being outside!” Lopina said as she stuck her tongue out at her sister.
“There is nothing wrong with being excited,” Mrs. Skye commented to the girls. “However, Lopina, please stop walking right in front of us. It is very difficult to keep flying at a level height when you continually walk in front of me.”
“Oops, um... yes, Mrs. Skye,” Lopina said as she calmed her darting down.
“Thank you, I would greatly appreciate it,” Mrs. Skye said and nodded her head in approval to Lopina.
“Yeah! And so would I!” Amina said with frustration. “Though I really wanted to step on your tail.”
Lopina grinned mischievously and bounced behind Amina, just barely avoiding stepping on her tail. “What, you mean like this?” Lopina teased.
Amina growled playfully and pretended to try to bite her sister, stopping with a smile when Mrs. Skye turned around.
“I presume you two are behaving yourselves?” Mrs. Skye asked pointedly.
“Of course we are!” Amina and Lopina said together.
Mrs. Skye chose to ignore the girls’ mischief, being long accustomed to their antics by now.
“Mrs. Skye, what exactly are we going to help you with?” Lopina asked.
“I need to go to the fabric shop and the general store to order more supplies for the school,” Mrs. Skye responded to the curious Xweetok.
“Are we going to help carry some of the fabric and supplies for you?” Lopina asked, again.
“Yes.” Mrs. Skye nodded. “We are almost to the village. It is quite convenient that the village’s distance is a thirty minute walk.”
The girls remained quiet through the two shops so that they would not interrupt the conversations between Mrs. Skye and the shopkeepers. The girls were surprised when Mrs. Skye had everything ordered and delivered to the school, so that they wouldn’t have to carry anything at all.
“Mrs. Skye, why did you have everything delivered to the school, when we could have carried some of it?” Amina questioned Mrs. Skye when they came out of the last shop.
“Because there is one more stop which we must go to before heading back to the school, and you must have free hands at this last stop,” Mrs. Skye answered the confused Xweetok.
“Then after this last stop, can we go play in the forest on the way home? Please?” Lopina begged.
“Lopina! How can you think of playing when Mrs. Skye is being serious about this last stop!?” Amina said and glared at her sister.
“It is all right, Amina,” Mrs. Skye said and turned towards Lopina. “Lopina, if you are good at this last stop, I will consider letting you go play. Agreed?”
“Agreed.” Lopina nodded. She turned towards her sister and said, “How hard can that be?”
Mrs. Skye gave a small chuckle and Amina just shook her head in disbelief. They continued to walk past the shops, and to the girls amazement, they stopped in front of the inn.
“Why are we stopping here, Mrs. Skye?” Amina asked and glanced up at the flying Shoyru.
“There is someone here that I am going to meet with,” she replied. The Shoyru took the girls’ hands and led them inside.
The girls stood at the front counter and looked around, while Mrs. Skye spoke with the receptionist. The front room was plain and ordinary for a typical inn. There were stairs off to one side, a door that led into a large dining area, and another door that led into the waiting room. The final door was off to the left of the counter and led to the conference hall.
“Your guest is waiting in the conference hall, Mrs. Skye,” an orange Bruce said as she led Mrs. Skye and the girls to the entrance of the hall.
“Thank you, Ms. Seri,” Mrs. Skye said. “Follow me, girls.”
The hall was not very high and was lined with tall bookshelves on the right. Large windows were the only light source into the room. Several long tables were scattered towards the front of the room, while the back of the room had a number of comfortable chairs to sit in. The girls followed Mrs. Skye around a couple of the tables in the hall towards a figure sitting towards the middle of the room. The figure was sitting in the first set of chairs and was reading a book.
“He is reading a very large book,” Amina whispered to Lopina.
“How do you know that “he” is a “he” and not a “she”? Lopina asked with a small grin on her face.
“I don’t know! And don’t change the subject, like you always do!” Amina whispered and glared at the green Xweetok.
“I do not change the subject!”
“Yes, you do!”
“That is enough!” Mrs. Skye said with some irritation in her voice. “You two need to behave yourselves or there will be consequences later! Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, ma’am,” the girls said together.
“Please, Mrs. Skye, no need to become agitated. They are after all young girls, and sisters I might add,” the figure said, and set the book down and stood up.
“Mr. Coco! I apologize for the girls’ rude behavior,” Mrs. Skye said and bowed respectfully.
“Please, like I said they are sisters after all; there is no need for apologies,” the figure stated and walked into a stream of light. The figure was a male Chocolate Pteri, who stood no taller than the girls. “My name is Malvacateobromacacao Quetzalcoatus... but please call me Coco.”
“Allow me to introduce Amina and Lopina,” Mrs. Skye said and placed a paw on each of their shoulders.
The girls stepped forward, bowed respectfully and said, “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Coco.”
“The pleasure is all mine,” Coco said and bowed in return. “I have been searching for you two for a long time.”
What does he mean ‘a long time’? Amina thought to herself.
“You have been searching for us?” Lopina asked with curiosity.
“Way to state the obvious,” Amina mumbled and rolled her eyes.
“Amina, Lopina this gentleman is your uncle,” Mrs. Skye informed them. “He came to the orphanage two weeks ago and inquired about twin Xweetoks, one blue and one green. Apparently there is only one set of twin Xweetoks matching that description in all of Neopia. That is why I decided you should meet here today.”
“We have an uncle? He is a member of our family? Wow, Amina, we have an uncle! We have family!” Lopina said excitedly.
“How are you related to us?” Amina asked, still unsure about this “new member” of the family.
“To relieve any of your fears, Amina, I will tell you,” Coco said and gestured to the three to sit down.
“I am your mother’s half brother. After your mother’s father died, her mother remarried a Kacheek and together they had a boy, which was me. And when I heard that my sister and brother-in-law died in a fire, I wanted to know if their daughters were still alive. I found no evidence that you two were killed, so I began to look for you two. Who knew it would have taken several years! But I have found you, and I want to ask both of you, would come and live with me? I will take care of you and raise you as my own daughters.”
“Of course we will!” Lopina said as she jumped up and hugged her uncle. “Come on, Amina!”
“I will agree to live with you,” Amina stated with a calm tone, and was totally disgusted with her sister’s actions.
“Amina, come on!” Lopina whispered to her sister. “We could be a family again! Like we used to be! Remember?” The yearning in her voice was almost audible.
Amina, however, wasn’t listening and turned towards Mrs. Skye, who was sitting next to her, crying.
“Mrs. Skye, are you all right?” Amina asked.
“Yes, Amina,” she said holding back more tears. “I am always a bit teary-eyed when one of my girls gets adopted.” Mrs. Skye regained her composure and said, “Well, come along, girls, we need to go back to the orphanage to pack your things, for Mr. Coco is picking you up tomorrow at the school.”
“So, we are going to be leaving tomorrow?” Amina asked with sadness in her voice.
“Yah! We get to leave tomorrow!” Lopina cheered and jumped up and down excitedly.
“Yes, and I will be looking forward to it,” Mr. Coco said with relief. “Thank you for arranging this meeting, Mrs. Skye.”
“You are welcome, Mr. Coco. Come along, girls, we must go,” Mrs. Skye called to the girls.
“Good bye, Mr. Coco! I’ll see you tomorrow!” Lopina yelled across the room, waving crazily.
Amina waved politely, then turned and walked out the door. She was still unsure of her own feelings about being adopted so suddenly, and quite unsure about her sister’s reaction towards “Mr. Coco.”
To be continued...