Jealous? Or Not
Jatalle and Vilmori were playing with a grey faellie in the living room of their house on top of Terror Mountain. The petpet actually belonged to their big sister, but conveniently she wasn’t home and its big eyes stared curiously at them as they rolled a ball optimistically in front of it. It was warm and cosy in the room and the island Aisha sat back happily, adjusting her headdress and smiling as her brother Vilmori wagged his tail happily. The green Lupe was younger than her and she was glad he was settling into her family. They were best friends and spent all their time together; it was getting to the point where they knew what the other was thinking quite a lot of the time.
Just then there was a knock at the door and their owner ran to open it. Jatalle heard murmured voices before she returned bearing a few yellow envelopes.
“Neomail just arrived!” her owner announced, and began to read while the pets played. Suddenly she gasped. Jatalle looked around from watching Vilmori trying to teach the faellie to sing.
“What is it?” she asked, curious.
“You and Vilmori should both hear this,” her owner said, and Jatalle poked Vilmori so that he turned around to listen.
“Well, you know how we are always ready to welcome a new pet into our family?”
Jatalle nodded, “like Vil!” she said happily.
“Yes, just like him. Well, we have another pet arriving soon, and I think you’ll get on really well together! He’s a bit younger than you both, but is really looking forward to a new family – please help him feel at home.”
“But... me and Vil, we’re best friends. I’m not sure we could...” began Jatalle, but Vilmori was bouncing happily around the room and she was silenced by a look from her owner.
The doorbell rang, and her owner skipped to the door to open it. Jatalle peered around and saw a yellow Blumaroo standing there holding a basket. She heard murmured voices, the basket was handed to her owner and the door closed.
“I love this new safe transfer system!” raved her owner as the basket was placed on the chair. An ear poked out of it. And then a tiny head. It yawned, showing tiny teeth. The baby Lupe turned large, luminous eyes on Jatalle, and smiled happily. Wroulf had arrived.
“Aw, he’s adorable!”
“Such a little cutie!”
Jatalle tried to block out the noise of friends coming over to see Wroulf. Even Vilmori was looking longingly over at the new member of the family despite her best efforts to distract him by playing with a keychain. She couldn’t see what was so boring; it had a picture of a blue nimmo on it!
“Hey, Vil. Want to go see if we can grab another keychain from the Snowager?” But Vilmori had already turned away. “Vil...!”
He spun round with a flash of annoyance, rare in the easy-going Lupe. “Just because you’re jealous, Jatalle! I’m going to make friends with him; he’s new and we should be helping him!”
Jatalle opened her mouth, but couldn’t think of what to say. Was she jealous? Maybe a bit. But there was something different about Wroulf. He seemed strange. But she didn’t want to prove Vilmori right, so decided to make an attempt at friendship.
But despite her best efforts, the baby Lupe rebuffed any friendly approaches while staring silently at her. His eyes looked cynical and aged.
“Hmm?” her owner replied when Jatalle tried to get her attention later that day
“It’s Wroulf... he’s a bit strange.” Ignoring a reproachful look, she continued rapidly, “It’s like he’s old, really old. Like he could be fifteen years old!”
Her owner burst out laughing “Don’t be silly, you know Neopia has only been around for twelve years for a start. He’d be ancient! Don’t they teach you these things in Neosc...” Her eyes glazed over, and then looked bewildered. As if a thought she’d been planning on saying suddenly vanished from her mind for the forseeable future after nearly completing it.
She looked confused; Jatalle looked confused. “Er... anyway, enough said, I’m busy now, run along!” The conversation ended.
Jatalle was upset that night. Wroulf had been silent and aloof all evening, despite getting pampered by her owner. Her owner, and now his owner as well, she supposed. That was strange to think about! It hadn’t been like this with Vil; he’d just slotted in as though he was always part of the family.
She lay down in the silence and twitched. A mootix zoomed out of her fur, which she caught and squished. She found them all the time but decided not to tell her owner. Not something to be pleased with, having petpetpets everywhere!
As Kreludor disappeared and the sun rose on the horizon, the family awoke. Jatalle quickly cornered Vilmori and asked him if he would be interested in poking the Snowager. He declined politely and said he was planning on showing Wroulf around, getting him acquainted with his new home. Jatalle took a glance at the little Lupe. Someone had just bought him an adorable bandana... She pulled Vilmori aside.
“Has he said anything to you yet? At all?”
Vilmori looked awkward, then admitted that no, Wroulf had been silent with him as well.
“Then he doesn’t want to make friends! Come on, let’s play Neoquest. I’ll be Rohane and you can be Meuka!”
“But I’m always Meuka!” cried Vilmori, forgetting about Wroulf and chasing after Jatalle.
The day was just like the time before as the two friends played together happily, ignoring the baby Lupe watching from afar.
It was several hours later when Jatalle happily yelled, “Snowager time!” and this time Vilmori agreed to go with her.’
Some time passed before they returned, covered in scratches and panting. Their owner rushed out to meet them, looking worried.
“He woke up!” admitted Jatalle sadly.
They were bustled to the Healing Springs, and the faerie there gazed down at the neopets. But she looked past the two victims and instead at Wroulf. “Phew, he needs to come and get healed!” she cried, opening up the Springs.
Jatalle looked puzzled until the faerie explained. “Worst case of Floppy Tongue I’ve seen in ages... he’ll have been feeling miserable and unhappy for days – and didn’t you all notice that he couldn’t talk?!”
A wave of shock rushed over the Aisha as she watched the tiny Lupe walk hesitatingly to the pool, then dip his paw into the water. Immediately his face became a bit lighter and he leapt in, splashing. The faerie then nodded at Jatalle and Vilmori and they also plunged into the water. Before they knew it, all three were splashing each other happily and getting soaked.
Eventually they came out to dry. Wroulf was unrecognizable. His fur was shiny, his eyes were young and sparkling, and he chattered away constantly. Jatalle smiled, and they struck up a conversation out of earshot of their owner about how to sneak around the Snowager next time, so as not to get caught.
He wouldn’t stop talking, and after a while Jatalle cast a look back at Vilmori, who grinned happily and wagged his tail.
“Want to go and play with a keychain? It’s got a blue nimmo on it!” Jatalle asked cautiously, and was relieved to see two enthusiastic faces nodding in agreement. She knew she’d never been jealous, obviously. Nothing of the sort.