Starting at age 10, humans are given companion animals that develop alongside them. These animals can range anywhere from a goldfish to a horse to even a dragon. The only catch is that they are assigned based on your behavior during childhood. Today was the day I was going to be given mine, and I couldn’t ever be more nervous. “Lauren, are you ready today?” my Mother asked me while brushing my hair.
“I am a bit nervous, but mostly excited,” I said.
“It can be a little nerve racking at first since you haven’t anything or anyone to look after and take care of before, but I know you and I know you’ll do great.” She was always great at cheering me up whenever I felt down. That was one of the many I was so grateful for her to be my Mother.
There was a knock on the door and my Father appeared. “Are you two ladies ready?” he asked sweetly.
“Just one more thing,” Mother said reaching behind her dress. “This has been passed down a great number of years in the Kalimer family the day the daughter decedent receives their companion.” My Mother had placed a silver necklace with our family emblem, the lion, around my neck. The lion was our emblem because everyone in the family had some type of big cat as their companion. This represented strength, courage, and love, which I’ve always felt I’ve lacked the strength and courage.
“It’s beautiful, Mother.” I smiled great at first but then the thought crossed my mind that I didn’t I deserved this treasure.
“What’s wrong, Lauren?”
“Nothing’s wrong, it’s just… I don’t think this should go to me.”
“What do you mean? You’re our daughter, of course it goes to you.”
“Well, I don’t think I’m really that strong or have that much courage.”
“Lauren, sweetie, of course you do,” my Father said walking over to my Mother and I. “You’re only 10 years old, you still have your whole life ahead of you and all of it’s adventures waiting for you to seek them. Do not ever think you’re less than what you already are. Is that the only reason you think this?” he asked.
I was nervous to say it but I had to. “What if I don’t get something that represents our family? What if I get a rat? Or even a worm?” I then started to think of all of the terrible things I could get. It wasn’t that the animal itself was absolutely terrible, but this animal represented who you were and who you are as a person. Both of my parents started to laugh, even Zarro and Lana were (Zarro, my Father’s companion, a lion, and my Mother’s companion, Lana, a Jaguar).
“Sweetie, you’re not going to get a rat. Most children who do are very disrespectful, which you are not. And second of all, a worm is not an animal.”
“You know what I mean though,” I defended. “What if I don’t live up to the expectations everyone has?”
“The only expectation we have for you is not to be discourage with whatever you get. And know that you were not terrible growing up, you were well behaved. Everything will turn out fine, I think someone is just a tad bit nervous. How about we celebrate and have a nice dinner, and maybe afterwards we’ll ice cream and chocolate for dessert. Does that sound good?”
I smiled. “Yes.” We left the palace shortly and went to the commons area. That was where all of these happened. When we got there, all of the royal family was there waiting, as well as many other people. I started to become even more nervous, I hated to be in big groups. But while we waited, my older brother, Philip, was right beside me trying to make me calm.
“Hey, don’t worry. Everything will be alright, all you have to do is go up and they’ll do the rest. The only thing you have to worry about is not tripping and falling,” he joked. Now I was nervous that not only I would get a rat, but I would fall. “Lighten up, Lauren. I was just playing. But seriously, you’ll be fine.” Tyran, Philip’s companion was a lion. He nudged me on the side of my leg and reassured me with his eyes.
“Welcome everyone on this joyous occasion!” Demetre exclaimed. He was the one who did all of these ceremonies and was a good family friend. “We are about to see who are lovely Princess Lauren will have as her companion. Now if you will, Lauren, please come up.” I slowly made my way to the center of the commons area where Demetre was waiting for me. As I walked up, I didn’t look at anyone, instead gripping the sides of my dress hoping I wouldn’t fall. When I made it, I lightly let go of my dress and smiled. “Are you ready, my dear?” he asked quietly so only I would hear. I shook my head in response. To make this happen, Demetre had to pluck a single strand of my hair and place it on a pedestal where the animal would eventually appear. As we waited, Demetre said a prayer and lit a candle. After about five minutes the pedestal began to light up with multiple colors and fog coming out. Then a beam of light shot up into the sky and I could see a dark figure slowly coming down. Once it reached the pedestal, the light went away and left the area surrounded in fog. Demetre lifted the creature down gentle and handed it to me, it was a baby leopard. I couldn’t believe she was beautiful. Right as she opened her eyes, we made contact and from there on out something immediately felt different. It was like I grew up with her and we had always been together. “What shall you name her?” For some odd reason, Kiara popped up right away like I knew it was her name.
“Our Princess Lauren has been given a lovely leopard called Kiara!” Everyone uproared in shouts and claps.
“Hello Kiara,” I said. She smiled.
“Hello. What’s your name?” she asked.
“Lauren.” She began to purr and rub her head against my cheek. “I can’t wait for what the future holds for us.”