TWELVE Tips to Help You Succeed in Life:Part Six
TIP SIX: SOME FRIENDS ARE CUCKOO BANANAS!
Do you remember when I claimed the 'universal powers' would force me to help Claudia move in to her new Neohome? You probably thought that I was just being a melodramatic crybaby and that there was absolutely no way your beloved protagonist of this series was going to be talked into doing something she clearly doesn't want to do…right?
Well YOU WERE WRONG! EVERY SINGLE MEASLY READER CAUGHT READING THIS SENTENCE IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!
YOU WERE ALL WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Because wouldn't you know: a mysteriously mystical life force—whom I address as 'Mother' by the way—somehow found out about Claudia's new house and told me that, as her best (and possibly only) friend, I should help her move in and settle. Of course Mom wasn't aware that Claudia hired a bunch of Bruces to help her move in—which meant my only job was to stand awkwardly beside Claudia as she and her realtor talked. "And these are officially yours," said the green Gelert, handing the new homeowner a pair of silver keys.
As soon as the Gelert walked away out of earshot, Claudia scoffed, "Thank goodness that fashion disaster's finally gone! I mean, who in Neopia pairs a red blazer with a red skirt and heels?"
"Well she does work for Red Coat Realtors," I pointed out.
Claudia shivered. "No wonder her outfit was outdated." She looked around at all the other houses on Rainbow Lane. "Geez, these Neopians surely don't know a thing about house décor. Who would want to live in a tacky yellow house?? And the white-painted ones are SO Year 2!"
In comparison, Claudia's house was a pale pink—which Claudia approved of, though she hated the cobblestone walkway. "It's not that bad," I insisted.
"Well MY dream walkway is going to have pink diamond-shaped tiles." Claudia opened the front door and we walked into the entrance hall, looking around at the curved white staircase and the living room. Claudia looked down at the living room's pale blue carpet and shook her head. "Nope, this simply won't do! This space needs an urgent makeover ASAP."
"What colour will you paint the walls?" I asked.
"I was thinking a pastel blue or pink," said Claudia, examining the entire living room. "And the carpets could be either pink or a pretty shade of mauve. Oh, and I need to make sure one of my bathrooms is decked out with lavender!"
I pointed to the white marble fireplace. "That's pretty nifty. You can roast marshmallows there."
"Eh, maybe sometime later." Claudia led me to the kitchen, gasping at the yellow walls and the floor's patterned white and yellow tiles. "My eyes! My beautiful eyes!" she shrieked. "They've been permanently blinded by all this tacky yellow! Who was the colorblind twit responsible for this audacity of a kitchen?"
I rolled my eyes. "You know you can always renovate in here."
Claudia snorted. "Of course I know that! And I have BIG plans for this ugly kitchen: Faerie appliances, pink floor tiles, purple countertops and a cute pink dishwasher. Oh, and I need a lavender coffee table with matching chairs and a cheery tissue box for décor."
"Where would you get Faerie appliances?" I asked.
"Duh, I'd import some things from Faerie City," said Claudia breezily. "I'm sure those labour Faeries wouldn't mind flying all the way here with my new oven and fridge." She sniffed. "You know Nadine; you're not as smart as me when it comes to interior design. Perhaps your poor excuse of a decorator you call 'mommy' didn't do a good job raising you to have good taste. Then again, what else can I expect from the middle class?"
Instead of re-living my dream of throwing a lamp at her and watch her scream in pain for half an hour, I composed myself and—still fuming—followed Claudia up the stairs, pretending I cared about her woes with the upstairs interior. "Seriously Nadine, who in Neopia decides to use pink and white striped wallpaper for their upper floor, when they could have used a more neutral colour scheme instead?"
"Like a pattern of light and dark pink?" I asked sarcastically.
"Yes, that will totally work up here." Claudia nodded. "Finally, you're getting the gist of this!" There were three bedrooms, and after we explored each one—and Claudia made her remarks about the wall and carpet colours—it was decided that the room with the pale pink walls and dark red carpet was going to be Claudia's bedroom—mainly because the room had the biggest closet. "The other rooms would do much better if one became a gym and the other a place to store all my shoes," Claudia declared, smiling triumphantly at her new bedroom. "And this place needs a new carpet. How about I use a shade of blue?"
I shrugged. "Okay, I guess."
The bathroom was mainly white, except for the dark blue walls. Claudia wanted a new tub, toilet and sink shipped from Faerieland. "Their furniture is so much cuter than the junk they sell here. I mean, their bathtubs come in pink!"
By the time we reached the first floor, the movers Claudia hired were lugging boxes and taking them to the living room. The blue and green Bruces huffed and puffed—and occasionally nodded—as they passed us, a stack of boxes in their arms. "Claudia, shouldn't we help them?" I asked. "I'm pretty sure you packed a lot of boxes."
"Nah. Let those sweaty losers do all that hard-labour stuff," Claudia declared. "I still want to check out the backyard. They better be enough space for a heart shaped pool!"
Unfortunately for Claudia—I didn't care that much, to be honest—the backyard was way too small for any type of pool. There was a lot of thick green grass, but Claudia was upset about the lack of pool space. "Stupid neighbours and their fence," she muttered, glaring at the house nestled behind hers. "Look at their lawn! Their flowers are so tacky, and who would want to grow vegetables on their property??"
"I like their gardens," I said, admiring the pretty rose bushes.
"Pfft, like I really care," Claudia muttered.
A blue Draik approached the fence and greeted us with a smile. Her baby Draik squirmed in his mother's arms, and he happily shook his orange rattle in the air. "So today must be moving day for you," the mother Draik said to Claudia. "How's it going?"
"Just peachy," said Claudia. "The place needs some major renovations, but I'm sure everything will look great once it's all finished."
"Well, I wish you the best of luck," said the blue Draik. "Maybe you can invite us over for dinner sometime!" She winked and headed back to her house, the baby cooing and smiling at us.
Claudia sighed. "Honestly, some Neopians are so needy. That woman has the ugliest yellow dress ever, and what's up with that baby's pyjamas? Doesn't she know that polka dotted anything is outdated for infant wear?"
"Come on, I think they're nice," I insisted.
"They would be a lot better if they minded their own business," Claudia sniffed.
When we reached the front yard again, we saw a familiar yellow Uni approaching us with a basket of fruit. Daisy-May smiled and handed the wicker basket to Claudia. "Consider this a 'welcome to the neighbourhood' gift," she said, smiling.
Claudia quickly eyed the basket and then, with an obviously strained smile, said, "Thanks a bunch, Daisy-May. Though heaven knows who though it'd be an ingenious idea to gift a bunch of stupid fruits to their neighbour."
"Well, I still welcome you to our lil neighbourhood," said Daisy-May, ignoring Claudia's air of arrogance. "So, how are things going? Have you settled in? Met any of your other neighbours? Oh, you just HAVE to meet the folks that live behind you; their baby is the cutest thing ev—"
"Don't you have anything better to do?" Claudia groaned, examining her hoof.
Daisy-May turned to me. "Say Nadine, I was wondering if you'd want to come to a creative writing class I'm attending. Our first session is tonight and our teacher said we can bring friends over."
"Is Claudia going?" I asked, fully expecting to hear she had declined because of her dislike for books and poetry.
And sure enough, my psychic abilities were on point as usual. "Actually, she declined to go," Daisy-May explained. "But it's okay. We can go together and have a blast!"
Claudia nodded. "You should totally go, Nadine! I know how much you want to be an NT Star…for some reason." She flipped her ponytail. "I have a much better obligation tonight: once the Neovision is set up, I will be watching my fav soap opera 'Terror Mountain Encounters'!"
Daisy-May nodded. "I love that show, too! It's a shame I'll be missing this week's episode."
"Yeah, well your boring writing class will surely be much more interesting than Neopia's most popular soap." Claudia giggled haughtily. "Oh well, I suppose I'll just have to fill you in yet again, and then listen idling to your lame daily stories—you know, because I'm so nice and all."
I rolled my eyes. "Well I would be ever-so-pleased to join your class, Daisy-May," I insisted. "I know for certain that I have nothing better to do tonight."
"Like every other day," Claudia added.
"Splendid! I'll see you at N.C. College at six tonight," said Daisy-May.
Now it was my turn to force a smile! The N.C. was a school I know very well; since I had briefly attended it before I 'vanished' (aka stopped attending classes). Going with Daisy-May would be the first time in a LONG while that I've stepped foot on campus. Would I be okay roaming the halls and remembering my brief—and antisocial—college days? Or could this be an actual good thing for me?
To be continued…