Chapter 1: Confusion and Realizations
Chapter 1: Confusion and Realizations
"Why do I feel like this, when I think of her?" a raven-haired boy asked himself one night. It wasn't the first time he asked this question but he couldn't bring himself to stop. He started gazing up into the sky, looking at the stars and the full moon. This is what he does sometimes when he can't sleep.
Who is this restless person you ask? Why it is none other than Ash Ketchum, aspiring Pokémon trainer and one of the best friends you could ask for. He has traveled through many regions and competed in many league tournaments. Such as Kanto, The Orange Islands, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh. Currently he is in the Unova region traveling with his friends, Iris and Cilan and his best friend, Pikachu. He has the eight gym badges he needs to compete in the Unova league but it doesn't start for another three months. So he's just training with his Pokémon until it starts. But not even training can get him to focus because lately, he's been out of it. While everyone was sleeping, he had wandered away from the campsite to think to himself. But someone else was awake and followed him with a Pikachu on his shoulder. Cilan had noticed Ash wasn't asleep, so he went to look for him along with Pikachu. They went into the forest to look for him until they spotted him sitting at the base of a tree.
"Ash, what are you doing up?" Cilan asked. He was wondering what was causing his friend restlessness.
" I couldn't sleep, so I thought of watching the stars," Ash replied. Pikachu went to Ash and sat in his lap while Ash absent-mindedly petted him.
Cilan sat next to him and asked, "Are you thinking about the league tournament?"
"Should I tell him truth?" Ash thought. He figured that Cilan was a good friend and maybe he could help him with his problem. So he answered, "Actually, I was thinking of something else or rather, someone."
This had peaked Cilan's interest, because he had never thought of Ash thinking someone else, let alone be up at night thinking of someone. "Who is this person you're thinking of? Do I know them?" Cilan queried with anticipation in his voice.
"No, you don't know her, she is an old friend of mine," Ash replied with a tinge of sadness.
"What's her name?" Cilan asked wanting to know.
"Her name is May Maple and she is a Pokémon Coordinator."
"You mean like your friend, Dawn?" Cilan asked.
"Yeah, though when I first met her, she didn't know anything about Pokémon," Ash said with humor in his voice. "At first, she had told me that she didn't like Pokémon, but later on as we were traveling together with Brock and her brother, Max, she started to love them. That was then she decided to become a Pokémon Coordinator," Ash paused when he remembered those memories he had with May and he smiled at how much fun it had been.
"By the smile on your face, those must have been times you had with her, right?" Cilan asked.
"Yeah, I had a lot of fun with her and I taught her a lot about Pokémon and about battling. Though, I knew there would come a time when we would have to go our separate ways," Ash said with regret.
"What do you mean?" Cilan was curious about his friend's sudden sadness.
"When we traveled together throughout Hoenn and Kanto, she had competed in two Grand Festivals and lost. By the time we would separate in Kanto, she decided to follow her rivals in Johto to compete there. I knew she had to follow her own dream so I wished her luck. Though, I couldn't help but feel empty inside when she left," Ash explained.
Pikachu, sensing his friend's distress, climbed up on his shoulder and licked his cheek to try to cheer him up. "Pika pikapi," Pikachu cried.
"Thanks, buddy," Ash replied scratching Pikachu under his chin.
"Interesting, so he is feeling depressed about a girl he is friends with," Cilan had his head down in thought. " I wonder…"
"Have you felt this way recently or has it been going on for awhile?" Cilan asked out loud.
"Well, I've been thinking about it nearly everyday and I always see her in my dreams," Ash recalled.
"What kind of girl is May?" Cilan was curious of what Ash thinks of this girl to make him feel like he is.
"Where do I begin? Well, she is a great coordinator, one of the best. She is also a strong opponent in a battle. I should know, I've taught her everything about battling," Ash said with pride. Then as he was reminiscing, his eyes had noticeably softened and he had a small smile on his face.
"May is a great friend, she's kind, caring, honest and has a loving personality. She loves all of her Pokémon and takes great care of them. Sometimes she can be very modest even when she deserves all of the credit." Cilan noticed that Ash had described her with admiration in his voice, but he let Ash continue.
"She has her little quirks, but that is what makes May the way she is, I guess. When I think of her, I wonder how she is doing and if she is alright," As he said this, he suddenly went back to being to being depressed.
It was unusually silent after that and it nerve wracking, so Cilan broke the silence "Tell me Ash, how did you feel when you're with her?"
Ash was puzzled when Cilan asked that, but he gave his most honest answer "When I'm with her, it always made me feel happy. When she smiles, I can't help but smile too. When she is sad, my chest feels a pain in it even though I'm not sick. When she is danger, I worry about her safety and I try to do everything I can to save her. Even if I get hurt, it doesn't matter as long as she's safe,"
Ash finished his explanation and that was all Cilan needed to hear. But before he gives his opinion, he needed to be sure of something else. "What does she look like?" Cilan asked.
So Ash looked through his backpack that he brought with him and brought out a small photo album. He turned the pages until he found the picture and showed it to Cilan. "This is her," Ash said as he pointed at the picture. In the picture, she was wearing a long orange shirt with white pockets, black bike shorts, and a green fanny pack around her waist and a green bandana on her head.
"She's pretty," Cilan said.
"Are you kidding? She's not just pretty, she's beautiful," Ash corrected Cilan before realizing what he just said.
"Did I just say that out loud?" Ash asked with embarrassment.
"You did, but it has just confirmed my suspicion," Cilan said with triumph.
"What are you talking about?" Ash asked.
"The reason you're depressed about not seeing May for a long time, is because you're in love with her," Cilan concluded.
Ash was shocked; he had never even considered that "that" was the reason for his depression. Nevertheless he exclaimed, "That's ridiculous, I don't like May like "that", she is one of my best friends," Though in his thoughts, he wasn't even sure if that was the truth or not.
Cilan knew he would try to deny it so he said to him "Be honest with yourself Ash. Do you really think of May as just a friend? Because it seems to me that you care a lot about her than your other friends. You even said that you would do anything you can to make sure she is safe."
When Ash heard this, he started to really think about this feeling he has towards May. He thought of the adventures they have had together, every little thing about her; he remembered the most. Her smile, her eyes, her laugh, he remembered every detail about her, even when she would get nervous or sad about something.
"It's true that I feel different around her since I met her in Littleroot Town. Almost like she was important to me and I always try to help her the best I can. I always thought she was well… attractive, but I tried not to think about it too much," Ash thought when he suddenly blushed at that statement.
"When I think about her, my heart pounds so much that it may just burst out of my chest. She is a good friend, but is that really all I see her as?" Ash asked himself. Cilan saw that Ash was struggling with this, so he decided to help him out.
"Ash, I want you to close your eyes and try to think with a clear mind. When I ask you these questions, you give me your most honest answer to them, okay?"
"Okay, but I don't know how this will help me," Ash agreed while closing his eyes.
"Now, tell me, when I say "coordinator" who do you think of first?"
"May," Ash answered truthfully.
"Okay, say that May was sick, but the medicine she needs is in the next town. What would you do?"
"I'd run to get it if I had to," Ash answered.
"Alright, imagine that May was going out with someone on a date. How would you feel about that?" Ash had cringed at that question but the reason why he didn't know. "Well, I would feel uncomfortable about it."
"What would you do if this guy had hurt her in any way?" Cilan continued.
Ash had clenched his hands into fists and gritted his teeth "I would punch him so hard that he would be too numb to talk." Ash answered angrily.
"Last question, what would you do if she was in danger, that she could possibly die from it?"
"I wouldn't care about my own safety and just try to save her. If anything were to happen to her, I would never forgive myself. Because in a world without May, I would never be happy again," Ash exclaimed. He suddenly noticed he had tears in his eyes and he had realized that what he said was true. He couldn't imagine a world without May; he wouldn't even think about it. He had done a lot of things for May and he never regretted it. He would only want her to be happy, even if it would cost him his own happiness. He opened his eyes both figuratively and literally as he finally realized what his true feelings were for May.
"I can't believe it, I am in love with May," Ash had admitted.
Cilan was glad that his friend had realized his true feelings. "However, there is still one more thing that Ash has to do," Cilan thought.
"Now that you know your feelings Ash, do you know what you have to do now?" Cilan asked. Ash pretty much had a feeling he was going to ask that.
"Yes, I have to tell her my feelings, right?" Ash said
"Yes, you have to tell her how you feel or she'll never know," Cilan replied.
"But what if she doesn't feel the same way? What if I tell her my feelings and she rejects me? I don't think I can bear that kind of pain, Cilan," Ash exclaimed with worry.
Cilan tried to reassure him "Listen Ash, would May ever purposely hurt you?"
"No, she wouldn't, but still…." Cilan cut him off. "Then I think that May would be able to accept your feelings and give you a truthful answer."
Defeated, Ash then replied, "Alright, I'll tell her when I get the chance."
"Good, now, that you know your feelings, think you can get to sleep?" Cilan asked.
"You go ahead, I'll get to sleep in a little bit," Ash replied.
So Cilan walked back to the campsite leaving Ash and Pikachu alone. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a ribbon, well half of one. The other half was with May when they split the ribbon they tied for in Terracotta Town. He looked at the ribbon with fondness at all the memories of May."Now that I know how I feel about May, will I be able to tell her? What do you think, Pikachu?" Ash asked Pikachu.
"Pika pikachu, Pikapi. (I believe you can, Ash,)" Pikachu exclaimed. Since they have been best friends for a long time, Ash can understand him.
"Thanks, Pikachu, now lets get to sleep." Ash and Pikachu walked back to camp then they got comfortable in the sleeping bag as Pikachu settled himself next to Ash. Before he fell asleep, he looked up at the moon once more and said "Good night, May, wherever you are." Then he fell asleep with dreams of seeing May again.