My sneakers were a disgusting mess from sliding through the mud.
My favorite cap was soaked in rain.
My jeans and shirt were covered in mud from constantly falling to the soaked ground on my knees, crying.
I was trudging along a lonely road.
Just me, my six Pokemon safely in their Poke Balls.
My right eye was bothering me, and rubbing it with my filthy hands was only worsening it. But I didn’t care. I didn’t care about anything or anyone. Depression selfishly took over any feelings within me that mattered.
I hadn’t known June for very long. Only a little over a month. However, It hurt that she just left me like that, so unexpectedly. It hurt.
But, not as much as Kiwi leaving me did. My lifelong friend. My rival. I thought Kiwi was a lot stronger than that. She just abandoned all of our dreams so easily. What was she going to do with her Pokemon?
I couldn’t blame either of them, though. It was crazy for me to still want to continue this journey.
My Pokemon were crazy for wanting to come along with me.
What was the point of all this? To gain notoriety? To own a powerful team of Pokemon? For what? What happens when I’m the strongest Pokemon Trainer? What next? Who even really cares? Is this really life? Am I helping anyone? Isn’t there something more I could be doing with my life? Something more productive for the world and myself? So what if I catch all the Pokemon in the world? Then what? And if I never catch the supposedly endless amount of Pokemon in the world, is that my destiny? To just run around from region to region, country to country, city to city, state to state, looking for new Pokemon? Maybe some people are happy as researchers of these wondrous creatures, like Prof. Oak, but is the danger really worth putting myself and my friends through?
My dad suddenly popped into my mind. My head lifted to the sky.
The rain had ended, but the sky seemed to be promising more heavy rain.
I didn’t care. Let it rain forever, until the entire world drowns. It was nothing short of a miracle I was still alive with what I’d been through so far on my journey. What had my dad been through? Why had he left mom and I? Was he just being as stupid as I was? Going for more when he had enough already? Pursuing a dream just to have one? Risking his life for reasons that didn’t even exist? Was death my destiny as well? Death on the road pursuing a goal I can never achieve? Or let myself reach? A road I refuse to admit I’ve gone far enough on until it’s too late? Like my dad?
These mad thoughts accompanied me in my throbbing brain as my feet grudgingly carried me on. I don’t know how long I walked, but when I finally realized this, I stopped and looked up, and then made a slow circle. Where am I...?
Despite how long I walked, there were no signs of this forest ending anytime soon. Everything looked the same.
Taking out my Town Map, water dripping from me onto the paper, I tried to see where I was. It was impossible. I didn’t know where to start to find out where I was. With a pissed grunt, I folded up the map and put it away, looking around in frustrated confusion. Fearing getting even more lost, but lacking few options, sighing, I walked straight ahead.
A light mist, comforting and saddening at the same time, sprayed against me, just barely enough to feel the moisture on my face.
“You worthless crap! Get out of here!” someone screamed.
I looked up in shock and froze.
“Where do you think you’re going? I’m not done with you, stupid!” the yelling continued. “I’m gonna get your butt real good this time!”
Gasping, I contemplated running forward and getting into the middle of a scary fight, or just staying in my secluded spot, when suddenly, a tiny little creature ran from the trees.
The thing wore terror on its face as it ran, looking behind it, its arms reaching out in front of it, and it ran right into my legs. With a startled cry, it fell back on the ground and looked up at me in awe. Quickly, it jumped to its feet and ran behind me, gripping one of my legs tightly, huddling and shaking in fear. The little creature was so adorable! It looked like a stuffed teddy bear come to life.
Before I could marvel at it any longer, something larger came out of the trees. The kid was soaking wet, red in the face and looked furious. His red hair was matted to his head and his clothes were a mess, matching mine. He stared at me for a mere second before looking away, and then stared at the thing behind me. “There you are!” He stormed forward and easily shoved me out of the way.
I flew to the ground with a shout. “Hey!” I turned and watched as, to my surprise, the kid pulled his foot back and kicked the bear!The little thing screamed in pain as it flew backwards into a tree and slumped over on the ground.
“HEY!!” I got up and charged at the punk kid and shoved him as hard as I could.
He didn’t budge and sneered down at me. He was a good foot taller than me and more muscular than any of my friends from Pallet Town. He grabbed me by the shoulders and lifted me up with ease. He then tossed me aside a few feet where I landed hard on my back.
I groaned painfully but tried to ignore it as I sat up.
The kid ran forward and grabbed the little bear, shaking it violently as he squeezed its body. “You worthless, pathetic excuse of a freaking Pokemon!” He released it from his hands, throwing it back to the tree trunk and watching it collapse. “Evolve or something! You’re JUNK! JUUUUUUNK!! I could step on your measly little head right this instant and squash it and not care! You’re just a cheap pet and nothing more!”
The creature curled up in a ball and shivered, its hands over its head.
I had gotten up by then and was behind this creep kid by the time he had thrown the Pokemon against the tree again. Building up as much energy as I could, letting out as loud a scream as I had in me, I pulled back and swung a fist to the back of his head with all my might.
He cried out in pain, grabbing the back of his head with both hands and taking a couple of steps forward before turning to me angrily. One massive fist was pulled back.
I let out a “yelp!” like the whine of a chihuahua and ducked, grabbed the back of my own head, and ran as fast as I could away from him. Five steps were granted to me before the back of my shirt was yanked and my shoulders were gripped in a tight squeeze. I was turned around and in the face of the kid.
His fingers dug into my shoulders until I shouted out. “What do you think you’re doing?” he growled.
I swallowed hard and tried to show I wasn’t afraid despite the cowardice act I had just performed. There was no way to get out of getting beaten up today, so there was no other choice but to put up as much of a fight against him as possible. Glaring back at him, I snapped, “What are you doing to that thing? Is that your Pokemon?”
“MIND YOUR BUSINESS!!”
“NO!” I screamed back, surprising even myself. “WHY ARE YOU HURTING THAT THING?? It can’t even fight back! Or won’t!”The kid squeezed my shoulders tighter and then let me go.
I hit the ground but quickly stood up, wishing my body would stop shaking, and hoping the kid couldn’t see it doing so. Where the kid had gripped me was throbbing badly as well.
“I don’t owe you any answers,” he said through gritted teeth. “If you know what’s good for you, get out of here you little nosy weakling.”“I won’t!” I said in a shaky voice. I knew I didn’t really want to say that to this kid, but I had to. I couldn’t just let him beat up this innocent Pokemon. “I won’t let you hurt this Pokemon! What did it do to you? Why are you hurting it? Why are you picking on something so defenseless?”“BECAUSE IT’S DEFENSELESS! This Teddiursa is crap!”
“Teddiursa…?” I pulled out my Pokedex.
Teddiursa. The Little Bear Pokemon. This crafty Pokemon can be found in mountainous regions hoarding food for the winter. They are often found sucking their paws which are constantly soaked in delicious honey.
“Wow… It’s just so cute,” I muttered.
“Yeah, and that’s about all it is!” He looked down at it in disgust.
Teddiursa slowly looked back up at the kid, then let out a light cry and curled back up.
“It hasn’t won a single battle,” the kid went on. “This thing is nothing but trash! I hate it!”
“Then release it or something!” I told him. “Don’t beat it up! What gives you the right?”
The kid closed his eyes and sighed, his eyebrows no longer furrowed, and his shoulders slumped. “Look, I admit, I did get out of hand. I’m sorry. Sometimes I get a little too worked up.” His eyes opened and a more calm, sorrow look was now on his face. “That thing hasn’t won a match since I caught it. It’s proved to be nothing but a stuffed animal that walks and eats. It’s the biggest embarrassment on my team!” His hands flew up and then dropped at his sides.Teddiursa remained curled up by the tree, shivering.
My hard stare didn’t lessen, feeling only slightly less intimidated now that the guy had calmed down. “How dare you! It’s the Trainer’s responsibility to raise his or her Pokemon to be strong! If it’s weak, then odds are, it’s only your own fault. The Pokemon is only as strong as the Trainer, and seeing you right now, you’re the weakest example of a Trainer I’ve ever seen.”The kid turned to me and raised a fist, his face hardening. “What was that, smart mouth?”
I backed up a couple of steps, squinting at his fist briefly, my heart beating quicker. My courage was going back and forth depending on how calm this guy was being. “You’re picking on a little Pokemon like that! How about picking on something that can fight back?”
“If it could fight back, I wouldn’t be so harsh on it!” he scowled. “If it wasn’t such a coward in battle, I wouldn’t get so angry!”
“Then you shouldn’t be a Pokemon Trainer if you can’t handle the job!” This kid was pushing my last buttons, although I knew there was nothing I could do to him myself.
“Oh, yeah?” He was getting even angrier at me. “And you’re so much better?”“You’re damn right! I don’t beat on my Pokemon! How sick is that?! We’re strong and we worked together to get to where we are now!”“Yeah? And how many Badges do you have?” the kid asked.
“I have...” I hesitated as I thought of my last Badge, and then cleared my throat. “I have four. You?”
“Four? Well, I have only one…” the kid said, his voice lowering considerably, looking down.
I stared at him. “Where are you from? Who are you?”
He looked up at me. “Marcus, from Prism City.”“I’m Gary. I’m from Pallet Town.”
“Who cares?” he waved off. Marcus turned to Teddiursa, who was looking up at us.
Teddiursa curled back up when Marcus turned to it.
“Your Pokemon is terrified of you,” I pointed out. Slowly, I made my way over to Teddiursa and knelt down beside it. “Hey, Teddiursa,” I said softly with a smile. “Are you okay? Don’t be afraid, please. Everything is okay, now.”Teddiursa looked up at me and quickly scurried away behind the tree.
The smile faded from my face and I felt saddened, but I understood. I stood up and whipped around to face Marcus, agitated more than I had been all day. “You see what you’ve done to the poor thing?” My heart was pounding harder by the second, unsure of how this would all end.
“Oh, please,” Marcus said nonchalantly. He walked behind the tree and came back from behind it with Teddiursa in his hand, grabbing it by the scruff of the neck, holding it high in the air.
“What do you think you’re doing???” I cried.
Marcus let Teddiursa drop to the floor.
It fell on its face and then looked up at me, its eyes filled with tears.
I felt like kicking Marcus right between the legs, then stomping his teeth through the back of his head. It was unbelievable how he was treating his Pokemon! I continued glaring at Marcus, wishing I had a fighting chance against him. But the way he was treating Teddiursa, I was just about willing to get beat up to defend it.
“Charmeleon!” Charmeleon spoke out.
“Huh?” I looked down at the Charmeleon in front of me.
Marcus turned to my Charmeleon with great shock. A smile spread over his face immediately. “Hey! A Charmeleon! Now that’s a Pokemon!” he exclaimed. He walked over to Charmeleon and knelt down beside it. He looked it over, and then looked up at me eagerly. “Hey, you wanna trade? I’ll give you anything I own!”
“What? No way, dude! Charmeleon’s my first Pokemon! I’m not trading that for a… uh… even a Dragonite! Or an Articuno!”
He looked at me in disappointment. “I don’t have anything even that good I guess…” He stared back at Charmeleon, shrugged, and then stood up. “So why did you send the thing out for?”
“Uh…” I stared at Charmeleon, who looked back at me. Why did I send him out? I wondered, trying to remember even sending him out in the first place. That was when I noticed the Poke Ball in my hand. A feeling deep inside was telling me that I may have purposely sent out Charmeleon, and maybe not for the right purpose. Perhaps I had sent out Charmeleon to attack Marcus since I wasn’t strong enough to do it myself. If I really did send him out for that, that was wrong of me. Or was it…? He was abusing a Pokemon, after all. That just isn’t right. I could feel my anger building up inside of me again as good reason reignited my inner flames.
Teddiursa was looking at Charmeleon with an open mouth and wide eyes.
Charmeleon looked back calmly at Teddiursa.
“You wanted to just show off your cool Pokemon?” Marcus asked, looking at me suspiciously.
“No,” I shook my head. “I just was…”“You wanted to battle?”
“Um… yeah…” I said hesitantly. I wasn’t sure what else to say.
Marcus looked me sternly for a moment. “Alright, then,” he agreed with a nod. “How’s a three-on-three sound?”
I let out a quick sigh. “Yeah, fine.”
“Alright.” He went to his Teddiursa and picked it up by the scruff of the neck again as it cried out in protest, struggling. Marcus tossed it aside!
It flew into the grass this time. Teddiursa got up and turned around, visible tears sliding down its face.
“You sit over there and watch how a battle is meant to be done,” Marcus scolded the little Pokemon.
Charmeleon let out a flame at Marcus’ head, narrowly missing him.
“HEY!” Marcus cried out in fear. He backed away several feet. “Control that thing! What the hell is this?”“He is controlled!” I called out. “Charmeleon doesn’t like how you’re treating Teddiursa, and neither do I! Stop abusing that Pokemon!”
Teddiursa suddenly got up and ran forward. It hit Charmeleon with a Slash attack!
Charmeleon cried out in surprise and hit the ground. Grabbing the side of his face, he got up and shook his head. He growled and then started yelling at Teddiursa, who immediately yelled right back.
Marcus stared at Teddiursa in shock, and then laughed. “Wow! So you have some fight in you, huh?”
Teddiursa continued glaring at Charmeleon.
I stared at Teddiursa in confusion. “Why…?” I murmured. Could Teddiursa still be loyal to its Trainer despite the abuse it was taking?
Marcus looked at me with a cocky smile. “So, a three-on-three?”
My fists balled at my side as I returned Marcus’s smile with my own enraged look. “Three-on-three!”
“Fine. Slash attack!” Marcus pointed at us.
Catching Charmeleon off guard, Teddiursa used Slash attack again.
Charmeleon fell down but got right back up.
“Frustration!” Marcus demanded.
Teddiursa closed its eyes and seemed to be concentrating on something. Finally, it let out a loud yell and began thrashing about! It charged at Charmeleon and slapped him down.
Charmeleon tried to get back up, but Teddiursa jumped on Charmeleon and started kicking and stomping on him.
Frustration. The more the user dislikes its owner, the stronger this attack is.
It was so eager to fight for Marcus, but it’s hurting inside, I realized. It wants Marcus to love it back, but he won’t and they have absolutely no connection. This conflict must make this attack’s damage enormous.
Charmeleon seemed in serious trouble.
“Smokescreen!” I ordered.
Charmeleon turned his face around and let out a cloud of black smoke as Teddiursa looked ready to stomp on Charmeleon some more.
Teddiursa let out a cry and got lost in the smoke, choking.
“Fire Fang!” I said.
I heard Charmeleon snarl and a flash of fire appeared for a brief second.
“Teddiursa, use Feint Attack!” Marcus screamed impatiently, trying to see through the smoke.
“Teddiursa!” Marcus called.
The smoke finally cleared and Charmeleon stood calmly, looking down at Teddiursa who was on its back, defeated.
“YOU SEE THIS CRAP??” Marcus roared. He stomped on the ground repeatedly and stormed over to Teddiursa.
Charmeleon let out a warning growl.
Marcus froze in his steps and watched Charmeleon warily. He let out a sigh and then calmly returned his Teddiursa to its Poke Ball. Backing up a few feet, he grasped a new Poke Ball from his belt, smiling. “Let’s try something a little more dependable, shall we?”
Magcargo. The Lava Pokemon and the evolved form of Slugma. Magcargo’s body is made of magma which is over 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is can control the intensity of. They can easily resist the heat of some of the hottest temperatures on Earth.
“This one is both Fire and Rock…” I muttered, looking at my Pokedex. “Interesting.”
“Rock Slide!” Marcus shouted.
Magcargo let out a let scream.
From the sky, white rings appeared, and from them, heavy boulders emerged and rained down on Charmeleon!
“Move it!” I screamed out.
Charmeleon quickly tried avoiding the rocks as best as he could, but he eventually got trapped and was hit by the attack. My Pokemon managed to get back up after that, slightly hunched over. Magcargo looked shocked, which brought a smile to Charmeleon’s face and he straightened up.
“What??” Marcus shouted, which made me smile.
Charmeleon’s flame increased with intensity suddenly and he opened his jaws to charge up his attack before sending a red ball of power at Magcargo.
Magcargo was knocked over, groaning wearily, its eyes closed.
Charmeleon let out a sudden scream at the sky and raised one of his claws high in the air as it glowed white. His glowing fist then smashed into the ground and cracked it apart, the crack moving across the ground at Magcargo, hailing it with small rocks as Magcargo called out helplessly.
“Charmeleon…?” What is he doing? I pointed the Pokedex at him.
Rock Smash. This Fighting move has a chance of lowering the opponent’s Defense stat with a single blow.
“Rock Smash? When did you learn to do that?” I laughed. “Excellent!”
Charmeleon then let out a loud, angry cry, charging forward at Magcargo, his fist still glowing and raised in the air.
“Magcargo!” Marcus was in a panic.
Magcargo let out a scream as Charmeleon swung at it with Rock Smash again. It flew into its Trainer and they both collapsed.
Marcus let out a low groan with his Magcargo laying on top of him. He managed to return it to its Poke Ball and shakily got to his feet. He glared at his Poke Ball with Magcargo in it. “Worthless piece of rock,” he said in a low voice. He turned to Charmeleon angrily.
“Charmeleon!” Charmeleon shouted, taking a step closer to Marcus.
Marcus took his last Poke Ball and tossed it at us.
“Well that’s really new to me…” I said, pulling out my Pokedex yet again.
Bronzong. The Bronze Bell Pokemon and the evolved form of Bronzor. This extremely rare Pokemon is said to bring rain clouds and are praised for saving harvests during droughts.
“Bronzong, use Rain Dance!” Marcus demanded.
Bronzong began to spin in place. Its body started to glow white and steam rose from around its body, floating high into the air.
The steam spread wide across the sky. The sky darkened heavily and it immediately began to start raining.
“That should put an end to your Fire moves for a while,” Marcus said with a big, proud smile.
I merely snickered at Marcus and shook my head. “Rain Dance may boost Water moves and weaken Fire,” I stated. “But our flames won’t be doused that easily. Let’s show ’em what your Flamethrower can still do! GO!”“Char!” Charmeleon leaped high into the air and inhaled heavily before letting out a blast of flames on Bronzong.
Bronzong let out a loud metallic yell as the fire engulfed it.
“Bronzong, fight back, damn it!” Marcus shouted, losing his temper. “Use Confuse Ray!”“Flame Burst, now!” I said quickly.
Bronzong eyes glowed purple and dark purple beams fired at Charmeleon, who simultaneously let out a stream of fire into the sky.
Charmeleon was hit and his eyes began to glow red as Confusion set it. He looked around in a daze.
The stream of flames flew high into the air and formed a ball before exploding and raining down on Bronzong.
“Charmeleon, try and focus! Let’s end this!” I encouraged him. “Flamethrower, one more time!”
Charmeleon sent out a Flamethrower, but it missed and went right over Bronzong and hit Marcus!
Marcus screamed out as the flame hit his shoulder, setting his sleeve was on fire!
Charmeleon, Confused, continued to send out flames above him, not really aiming, just shooting out the attack randomly into the sky.
I hit the ground as one stream flew towards me. “Charmeleon!!” I bared my teeth with worry, remembering our early travel when he was just a Charmander and was shooting out fire recklessly, nearly destroying the forest and killing me and Mankey.
Charmeleon then began to swing his claws dangerously and charged forward, crashing into a tree. He stumbled backwards and shook his head, and then let out a sharp cry and charged headfirst into the tree again.
“Charmeleon!” I pleaded.
Charmeleon ignored me and turned around to charge again, this time at Bronzong. He leaped in the air, opened his jaws, and clamped down on Bronzong with flaming fangs, taking Bronzong down. Even once it was apparent that Bronzong was defeated, my Confused Charmeleon continued to scratch at the steel body of Bronzong, growling the entire time, gnawing on its body.
I stood up, laughing lightly, mostly out of relief that the area wasn’t on fire. “Looks like we win this match,” I said, returning my crazed Charmeleon to his Poke Ball.
Marcus bared his teeth, returning his Bronzong. “I’m sick of this craaaaaaaaap!!” He stomped the ground repeatedly as he screamed at the sky. “I’VE HAD ENOUGH!!!”
I stared at him warily, unsure of what he was going to do or what I should say.
He grabbed a Poke Ball and tossed it.
Teddiursa revealed itself.
Before it could say anything, Marcus was already on the rampage, running at it, and stomped it flat on its back, digging his sneaker into its neck. “Stupid, useless... You won’t do what I say, huh??! Now you pay!!”
Teddiursa was choking, covered in mud, its eyes wide in horror as if it knew it was going to die in the following seconds.
The rain was still pouring, but Bronzong was gone so it wasn’t from its Rain Dance attack. Maybe the move had triggered an actual downpour.
Either way, Teddiursa’s face was sputtering and coughing from the water going up its nose, suffocating the adorable animal. “…Ur-sa…” it uttered meekly as it squirmed in vain.
I didn’t think. I just flew at Marcus with everything I had, unsure of what I was even going to do, no decision made.
Marcus swatted me effortlessly like you would do to a bug and I hit the wet ground on my shoulder, watching as Marcus was killing a Pokemon.
“UUUUUUUUURRRR-saaaaaaaaaaa!!!” Teddiursa inhaled and exhaled harshly as its Trainer finally lifted off of it, but it barely had time to take in the release when it was lifted by the neck.
“BEAT IT!!” Marcus boomed in the face of the poor creature. “GET...” Marcus pulled his arm back and threw Teddiursa as hard as he could. “...OOOOOOUT!!!”
Screaming, it went a far distance away into the treetops, where it disappeared.
Marcus dusted off his hands. “Good riddance,” he muttered.
“ENOUGH!!” The camel’s back was snapped in half. “FLAMETHROWER!!!!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, throwing a Poke Ball.
Charmeleon’s flames were flying the moment he came out.
Marcus screamed and ran away.
“AFTER HIM!!” I commanded, and we chased Marcus through the trees.
Charmeleon inhaled and waited, focusing his aim before blasting his attack.
Marcus wailed out shrilly, his clothes on fire, and rolled on the ground. “PLEASE!! ENOUGH!! STOOOOOOOOP!!!” Marcus begged.
“NO!” I refused. “I’ve had enough of you!! Get out of here!! Just… GO! Release your Pokemon right now and go home and just… pick on someone your own size!!”Sharp pain was delivered to the back of my head. “OW!” I held my head. “What the-?!” I turned around to see a furious looking Teddiursa glaring up at me. “Teddiursa…?”
“Teddiiiiiiursaaaaa!” Teddiursa charged at Charmeleon and kicked him down, then proceeded to swing his little paws madly at him. It then ran in front of Marcus and faced us with his paws stretched out, protecting the kid.
I couldn’t believe it.
Even after being flung away, Teddiursa still stood by its Trainer. But, why?
There was a long moment of silence as everyone stared down at Teddiursa in shock, even Marcus.
“I’m outta here,” Marcus said, turning to leave.
Teddiursa turned to follow him.
Marcus saw this. “You ain’t coming with me!”
“Ursa??” Teddiursa looked deeply stung by these words.
“You’re free to go! Get out! Leave me the hell alone!” Marcus barked at it. “GET OUT OF HERE! I. DON’T. WANT. YOU! WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO SAY YOU STUPID BRAT!! BEAT IT!!!” Marcus threw a Poke Ball at Teddiursa.
It hit it square in the stomach and Teddiursa fell back.
“That’s your stupid freaking Poke Ball, too! Keep it! You stupid thing!” Marcus turned around and stormed off, disappearing into the woods.
Charmeleon and I turned to Teddiursa.
It looked after Marcus, the tears flowing.
My heart was beating so fast in my own chest from this scary, horrid incident.
Teddiursa looked down at the Poke Ball in its paws. It didn’t move or speak.
Teddiursa finally stood up and turned to look at me. A little cute frown came over its face and it threw the Poke Ball to the ground. Teddiursa let out a hurt cry and began swiping at the Poke Ball with its sharp claws with rapid speed. Tears fell from the cutie, its eyes twinkling, its fury evident beyond the harmless, huggable face. With a final swipe, the Poke Ball cracked and rolled away from the attacks it took. Teddiursa let out another scream and leaped at the ball, using Slash attack against it, and the Poke Ball burst into pieces. The tiny fighter was gasping, staring down at the Poke Ball pieces with anger. It looked up at me angrily, panting heavily.
I stared back, not taking my eyes off of it as I returned Charmeleon to his Poke Ball. Swallowing nervously, I took a slow step to Teddiursa and knelt down by it.
“Teddiursa,” I started slowly. “I’m sorry about what’s happened to you. I can only imagine what you’ve gone through with that guy and how you must feel. I hope you know that most Trainers are not like him.”
Teddiursa continued staring at me, trying to catch its breath.
“That that guy does not define all Pokemon Trainers. Real Pokemon Trainers love their Pokemon and respect them and would never, ever do what that guy did to you. He was just a coward, picking on you because you’re little. Teddiursa, please, accept my apology. Not for his sake, but for the sake of true Pokemon Trainers. I’m truly sorry.”
Teddiursa stared at me silently, anger still on its face. In a swift movement, Teddiursa swiped at me.
I cried out in pain and grabbed my face, falling over. My hands lowered after a moment so I could look at Teddiursa, pain and fury within me, but it was gone… I stood up and looked around, but it was nowhere to be seen.
Pokemon have feelings. Sometimes irrational. Sometimes reasonable. They cry. They laugh. They get angry. They get hurt emotionally. How they’re treated, especially at a young age, especially by someone they love and trust, effects their lives. It can completely change their entire futures and how they interact with both people and other Pokemon. Pokemon aren’t very different from humans in that sense. They deserve respect, and when put in the care of somebody, they need to be understood and cared for.
Pokemon become almost like our children. Some Trainers are only children themselves, but they and their Pokemon need to both grow. Together.
Every Pokemon is different. Different Natures, behaviors, and attitudes, all define each individual creature. Even though some species tend to have specific temperaments from others, in the end, each individual Pokemon is just that; an individual. Some Trainer’s personalities can mesh perfectly with their Pokemon and they can work together naturally. Other Trainers sometimes have a clashing personality with their Pokemon’s attitudes, but they can still manage to find common ground and become the closest of partners.
Other people and Pokemon should simply have never met in the first place with their differences towards life. Some Pokemon just shouldn’t be raised by Trainers and are best free, in the wild. Some people should never have becomes Trainers in the first place.
As I walked along the dirt road that night, I feared what category that poor Teddiursa might fall into. I thought about what category it may have been in before having a Trainer like Marcus. I pondered what category it was in while under Marcus’ ownership.
I worried about what category it was in now.
I knew what category Marcus was in. How anyone could treat a Pokemon as he did was incomprehensible to me.
I also began to wonder which category existed for me. Maybe a subcategory for the Trainers who should never have become Trainers in the first place. Trainers who don’t know their own limits and who don’t know when to call it quits before it’s too late. Stupid Trainers. Trainers like me. And my dad.
Maybe there’s another category for Trainers like Kiwi and June, who know when enough is enough. Smart Trainers.
And what about Melissa...? Could my sister actually be on her way home, having experienced something horrible on her quest? Is she at the very least okay?
Lost in my thoughts, I saw a sign in the middle of the road that made me stop and do a double take.
Had that sign said anything else, anything else in the world, I probably wouldn’t have cared to stop and stare at it like I did. But it said what it said.
And I stopped, staring in disbelief. Or perhaps horror. I quickly pulled out my Town Map and stared at it, and then back at the sign. How could I have not noticed this? I stared ahead at the road laid out before me. There it is... I looked behind me, and then back in front of me, and down at the map again, and then back at the sign. There was no place else for me to go. Retracing my steps would only lead me back to Saffron City. There were no other choices. I stared at the sign again and then back down to the map, and finally, my eyes observed the path before me and I inhaled a hard breath, exhaling in a long sigh.
“I haven’t seen her in a while…” I muttered to myself. “I haven’t seen either of them in while.”
Inhaling, I managed forward.
And walked along the road leading me to Native Village.