Backpacks, Shelves and Caramel Kiko Sweets
Being new and clean was great. I wasn't exactly the most popular usuki, but I was loved and that was all that mattered. I had everything I wanted, from the top usuki clothes to the best owner in the world. We did everything together. We played on the swings, we snuggled up at night, and Sally even took me to Neoschool! Sally was my best friend in the whole world and she wouldn't trade me for even the top Usuki doll. Sally's favourite game was to host tea parties. All of Sally's plushies were invited, but we sat at the head of the table together. Things didn't always stay like that, though...
Years went by, and Sally grew older. She wasn't the cute little Usul I knew and loved with all my heart. She started to have sleepovers at her friends' houses and forgot to take me. Then she'd come back with her tail curled and her nails painted. Her bed cover soon went from usuki to groom me. Her desk was swept of all of my clothes and was replaced with hair brushes, nail varnish, even lipstick. Sally slowly forgot about me, and I was shut away in a cupboard.
She took me out once, after years being sat in the cupboard. Sally put me in her backpack and headed outside. We met up with her friends and off we went. First, we went to the food shop. I peeped out of the backpack and my nose was filled with the most delicious smells in Neopia. Then we went to the Usuki shop. Oh, how I missed our daily trips there. Sally and her friends pointed and laughed at the pristine dolls sitting on the shelves. I felt a little embarrassed and hurt now that my forever friend found me silly and babyish. I wanted to cry, but I fought back the tears, knowing that Sally had brought me out on this special occasion, which showed that she still cared.
Lastly, we made our way to the Money Tree. Sally took her backpack off and took out a ham sandwich. I lay in the bag, getting ready for Sally to reach in and pick me up again, so I could feel her warm fur. It didn't come. I heard Sally and her friends mount their bikes and they rode off, their laughter getting further and further away. I panicked. Lying in an empty bag, I waited for Sally. She was bound to come back; she obviously didn't realise she had left me. Tears began streaming down my face as I cried myself to sleep.
It felt like forever until my eyes opened. I was blinded by the bright Neopian sun. Perhaps Sally would come today? I lay once more, alone in the bag, listening out for Sally's warm voice. Perhaps I could walk back to our neohome somehow? Oh, how could I be so silly, I couldn't possibly walk all the way back there; I didn't even know the way! After all, I had been kept inside all these years.
I eventually had to accept that Sally wasn't coming back. It must have been months now. Not a soul had even come close enough to peer inside Sally's now faded backpack. I was the only thing left inside, apart from the remnants of some caramel Kiko sweets. It was so quiet at the Money Tree that day, and I got the surprise of my life when the backpack was picked up from the ground and a hand, rather like Sally's, reached in and grabbed me. My heart leapt. Was it Sally, here to rescue me!?
My eyes hurt from the blinding sun, and when I could see again, I looked up into a big pair of eyes. There was a green Kyrii, no older than 200 days, and she looked at me. She looked at my messy hair, at my discoloured fur and she turned her nose up.
"Yuck!" she said. All of my hope was lost and my heart sank.
"What is that, Gwendoline!? Ew, put it down now!" called her owner. "Now hurry, we can't miss the sale at the grooming parlour!"
The young Kyrii did as she was told, threw me back onto the ground and ran off. I felt like crying. The ground was so wet and the grass was so long and cold. I lay still and watched people come and go, dropping things and collecting things from the tree as they went.
It wasn't long before I caught somebody else's eye. It was an older, blue Blumaroo. She was dressed in a pretty pink dress and she looked very friendly. She made soft noises as she bent down to pick me up and smoothed out my tattered hair. I immediately warmed to her and she tucked me inside of her pocket. She picked up the backpack and dropped it down by the Money Tree, which was soon snatched up by a savaging owner, and she walked away towards the Neopian bazaar. This place looked familiar, but I couldn't quite grasp where I was.
Then I caught sight of the best thing I had ever seen. Usukiland. It was just like I remembered, pink and yellow, my home. The Blumaroo pushed open the door and went through to the back room. She sat me down on the desk table, and I breathed in the warm air. This was so much better than an old backpack. I watched the Blumaroo rummage through some draws and she pulled out a couple of little outfits. She placed them in front of me, turned me this way and that, made little faces, then did it all over again. It made me feel special, like I wasn't just another usuki. The Blumaroo eventually dressed me in a beautiful red dress with bows all down the front and little hand embroidered pearls. She then fetched a beautiful bunches hair usuki set and gently pulled a brush through my hair. She then tied it up into two bunches and tied them up with little bows. She smiled, satisfied with her work.
"Poor thing, I wonder how long you'd been lying there?" she said, stroking my fur.
I wanted to cry with joy. These were the kindest words anybody had spoken to me in what felt like years. I wanted to stay with this Blumaroo forever, but she took me back into the shop room and placed me on top of the shelf. She walked over to the cashier and made a start on her job. All kinds of little neopets came running into Usukiland, but nobody turned a blind eye to me. This didn't matter to me, all I cared about was being warm and clean again. Besides, the Blumaroo paid special attention to me; she even changed my outfit every day!
Things went on like this until one day, a fresh faced Kacheek wandered into Usukiland with her owner. She was blue and had a kind way about her. I put on my hearty smile and waited for her to notice me. She wasn't like all of the other obnoxious neopets, she was different, more gentle. Eventually, she caught sight of me sitting at the end of a shelf, alone. Smiling, she climbed up the shelves and reached up to me, my heart leapt.
Once she caught hold of me, the shelves collapsed and we landed on the floor together, buried in a pile of usuki merchandise. She giggled, looked down at me, and held me tight to her chest. I smiled properly for the first time in years.