Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 110,013,549 Issue: 158 | 20th day of Gathering, Y6
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Perpetual Bond

by erileen


"Bye!" the red Gelert said, waving joyously to her friends as they walked home. "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

      The group said various things, but on the most part it was nothing more than a, "Yeah, see you tomorrow, Riih!" and a simple wave. The Gelert grinned and turned the corner.

      "Can I be seen yet?" someone muttered angrily. The red Gelert sighed.

      "I suppose."

      Out from the bushes sprang another red Gelert. One could tell with the naked eye that these two Gelerts weren't just two similar looking Gelerts walking along. No, these two were more than that…they were twins.

      The second Gelert's jade eyes flicked dangerously as she rubbed the friendship necklace Riih had given her that hung around her neck. She had given her sister had an identical one. "How long is this going to last? How long are you going to pretend I don't exist?"

      The first Gelert sighed and reached into her schoolbag to re-apply blush. "Now Rit," said Riih. "You know I don't like to have to hide you when I go to school but…I can't let the girls know I'm a twin! I mean, there are hardly any twins in Neopia…people stare at us when we walk down the street, for Fyora's sake!" She closed the compact, stuffed it into the bag, and started at her sister with the same colored eyes. "I hate being a twin…you know that. It's nothing against you."

      Rit chuckled. "Oh yeah, nothing against me. You just make me hide in the bushes every day when we walk home so your new friends don't see me."

      Riih smiled clearly un-detecting Rit's sarcasm. "Rit, it's like you're reading my mind!" With a grin she hugged her sister and pranced home eagerly.

     * * * * *

      "Well," said Eri, as she finished taking her noodles from the bowl and took a seat at the kitchen table. She looked at all of her Neopets, clearly apprehensive. "How was school today, everyone?" She smiled at her pets. She was a short character, with a lanky frame and hybrid light brown eyes. She quietly lifted her fork and started to eat while listening to her pets.

      "Well," said a Christmas Kougra, putting down her fork. "Today, in gym class, I scored the winning point in the game we were playing. The gym teacher was so pleased he said, 'Ana, I am so happy to see you've improved so much!'" she giggled with self-assurance. "And I passed that Algebra test I was cramming for."

      A blue Lupe looked thoughtful. "I got an A on my short story that I had to write last week."

      Eri smiled. "Excellent, excellent, Muti and Ana!" She turned to the two Gelerts. "Girls, how are things going for you?" Eri's eyes darkened significantly. She had noticed Rit becoming increasingly quieter, and she feared that something was going on that she knew not about.

      Rit rubbed the fur on the top of her head with a paw and concentrated. "Umm…nothing happened. It was a boring day," she concluded.

      "Well, lots of things happened to me, today!" Riih burst. "First off, I made a ton of new friends, who knew so many intelligible people could be in one solitary school, and I passed my science class today and played hardball at recess with everyone and I found all my classes okay and-"

      "Nice to know you had a good day, Riih. But breathe before you keel over," Muti said with a sly grin. Rit and Ana giggled, and Riih only frowned. Eri sighed and rolled her eyes.

      Dinner was finished, the plates cleared. Riih went upstairs to sulk in indignity while Muti went outside, snickering. Ana bounced up to her room to paint her nails crimson. Sighing, Rit decided to go after her sister.

      They entered the tiny room they shared. Rit eagerly clambered up to her top bunk in the bunk beds the twins share. Riih flopped down on her lower bunk, eying a Geometry textbook warily.

      "Hey Rit!" Riih said eagerly. "Look at this!" she passed a magazine clipping up to her sister.

      Rit examined the clipping. "Looks like a Spotted Gelert."

      "Yeah…it's a nice look, isn't it?" Riih looked excited. "And guess what? I'm going to look like that!"

      "What?" asked Rit, incredulous. She couldn't have heard what she was certain she just heard…there must be some mistake! She and Riih had always been red, and she was hoping that would never, ever change.

      "Well, Eri said that once she finishes saving for a few other things, if I help save a little as well, we'll be able to buy me a Spotted Paint Brush, and then I can look dashing and sophisticated!" she struck a pose.

      "Riih!" Rit cried, her eyes widening and fear whacking her chest like a mallet. "Riih, you can't do this! We said we'd always be red together!"

      "When we were what, three or four?" Riih scorned. She took hold of her sister's paws. "Rit, we're growing up. And the group I'm in are all painted pets and…I kind of want to fit in with them."

      "So," Rit said, her eyes narrowing. "You're going to change yourself for them? Paint yourself just to fit in?" Tears of rage boiled in her eyes and her voice grew higher, as it often did when she was upset. "I didn't know your stupid friends meant so much to you! But if that's the way it had to be, than so be it!" She ripped the necklace off her neck, breaking the chain. "Here," she yelled angrily. "Take back the stupid necklace! I guess it doesn't matter anymore that we got each other the same thing for our seventh birthdays! You don't care about me now!" With a cold, pressing sob she ran from the room.

      Riih picked up the necklace, and held it so it sparkled in the sun's feeble dusk rays. It was a silver chain with a silver heart in the middle. Karritma, her sister's full name, was in scripted in the center, circled by a chain of daises. The lock on the chain was broken after being ripped off by Rit. Riih whispered, "Maybe the broken can be fixed."

      * * * * *

      Rit sniffed loudly, and wiped her nose angrily. She sat down onto a forgotten tree stump.

      "I am like this stump," she said thickly. "I am forgotten and alone." She buried her face in her paws. "Why, oh why does Riih insist on changing for them…doesn't she remember all the happiness we shared together?" she sighed, her eyes refilling with tears. "I wish she was here now…"

      "She is," a voice said. Rit whipped her head around and caught her sister's eye with a glare. "What do you want? I thought you were too popular for me."

      Sadness and pain filled Riih's eyes. "Rit, I'm sorry… I didn't mean all that." She opened up cupped hands and said, "Here." Rit looked inside her hands and gasped. It was, indeed, the necklace… totally and completely fixed.

      "Muti helped me fix it," Riih said shyly. Rit took the necklace in her paws and looked at it.

      "This means more to me than you could ever know," Rit said.

      "And Rit, I'm going to stop hanging out with that crowd… you're right, we've done everything together since we were little and now isn't the time to change that and-"

      "Riih," Rit said. "I think I've been the fool here. If you want to be friends with them, you should be able to do so. No one should stand in your way of being happy. Just don't forget about me."

      Riih's face glowed, and she took the necklace and clipped it around her sister's neck. "Don't worry… that couldn't happen."

The End

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