This story is rated K which makes it appropriate for all ages. It is firmly based on the official canon.
Oooooh! There’s a new character in Ellowyne’s world! Her name is Neema, which means “Born in prosperity” in Swahili. But who is she and how did she get into Ellowyne’s world? Well, there are actually two origin stories for Neema from the Virtual Doll Convention website. One was told with the release of the first new Ellowynes back in 2021. The story for Petal Pusher has Ellowyne getting ready to meet Rufus’ new friend Neema. Interestingly enough, that one is rather similar to the origin story for Lizette, with Rufus meeting her and introducing her to Ellowyne. Neema is an accomplished artist. Anyway, this version had Rufus telling Ellowyne he wanted them to dress for dinner. Hmmm. That sounds to me as if Mr. Rutter’s love for Ms. Wilde is no longer unrequited. (YAY!!) At any rate, Ellowyne gets along well with Neema and even says that Neema is a delight.
In the other story, which can be read on the VDC website https://www.virtualdollconvention.com/ellowyneandneedma, Prudence meets Neema in an art class. She thinks Neema and Ellowyne could become friends, so she plans to introduce them. Unfortunately, Ellowyne’s thoughts were a bit scattered that day and, not only was she late getting to Dr. Bantam’s office, she was also tardy getting to the café for lunch. In Ellowyne’s own words, she says that although she apologized, the lunch went “downhill from there”. Even worse, Ellowyne ran into Neema at a charity function, and discovered that they were wearing the very same dress! Ellowyne was embarrassed and went into a tailspin, crying and running out of the event. Rufus told her that Neema was going to say something about how they both had great taste. It didn’t help that Rufus said Neema looked beautiful. (Not cool, dude!)
I’m inclined to accept and build upon the second origin story. However, there are a couple of things I would like to change. It’s part of the Ellowyne multiverse, so both of these endings are within the realm of possibilities. My first ending takes place at the charity event, when Ellowyne sees Neema in the very same dress:
Ellowyne saw Neema and her eyes sparkled. Neema smiled broadly and said, “You have great taste! There are only two dresses like this that the amazing artist created. Now, making limited editions of only two dresses might seem a bit eccentric, but the artist insists on keeping one garment for herself.”
Ellowyne asked, “Did you find it online?”
“Yes! On the Wilde Imagination Wearable Art site. Wait a minute. Wilde Imagination. Is that YOU?!?”
Ellowyne blushed but basked in Neema’s compliments. “I’ve been doing this for a few years now. I actually started in college and, when I graduated, it became my full-time job.”
Neema was impressed. Yes, Ellowyne seemed ditsy the first time they met, but anyone that talented had to be worth getting to know. She was so glad to give Ellowyne a second chance.
The second version takes place after Ellowyne’s and Neema’s disastrous lunch, which happens the day before the charity event.
That afternoon, Ellowyne stood in front of her refrigerator and noticed a magnet that said, “Yesterday I stood at the edge of disaster. Today I took a giant step forward.” That was exactly the way she felt, and she texted Prudence to ask for Neema’s number. Her stomach was in knots when she called Neema, but she had to apologize for her faux pas.
“Neema, I am so embarrassed about the way I acted earlier today. Instead of having lunch, I was completely out to lunch, and I am so sorry for being such a ditz. Could I please have a second chance?”
Prudence had told Neema that, while friendship with Ellowyne could often be exasperating, it was well worthwhile. Pru seemed like a thoughtful, reasonable woman, and if she spoke so highly of Ellowyne, Neema decided to give her another chance. They made plans to meet the next day to indulge in some shopping—and some chocolate! Just to be sure that Ellowyne wouldn’t be late, Neema asked her to pick her up a half hour before the shops opened.
The next day, Ellowyne took Neema to some of her favorite shops. They went to Ellowyne’s favorite makeup store and sampled so many fragrances that they all melded together to create a malodorous mix reminiscent of bug spray! They stopped for lunch, Ellowyne’s treat, and talked for nearly an hour. After that, they went to some of Ellowyne’s favorite shops to get some special outfits for the charity event the next weekend. Neema picked out a pink, one-shouldered gown with a full skirt of feathered material. At the same time, Ellowyne picked the very same thing! When they tried them on, Neema complimented Ellowyne on how she looked while Ellowyne complimented Neema. But only one of them could wear the gown to the event. However…
The afternoon of the event, Ellowyne and Neema treated themselves to professional makeup and hair styling at Ellowyne’s favorite salon. The stylists were a little confused that they wanted the same hair and makeup. How very odd yet avant-garde to request such a thing!
What was even stranger was that, when Rufus went to pick up Ellowyne for the event, she asked him to please give a ride to her new friend Neema. She didn’t live too far from Ellowyne’s house. He was flummoxed to see Neema dressed in the exact same gown as Ellowyne. Their hair matched, their jewelry was the same, and they even wore the same shoes. Seeing the look of confusion on Rufus’ face, Ellowyne told him that they were twinning, a trend that had become popular recently.
Rufus grinned and asked, “So does this mean I get to escort two beautiful women tonight?” Ellowyne scrunched her nose and made a face at him, and he and Neema laughed.
“Ellowyne, I’m so lucky to have given you a do-over. You are an amazing, hilarious woman and I think we’ll be great friends.”
“Ah, just call me the queen of second chances!”