The Good Old Days
Native Village. I haven’t been here in quite a while, I thought, my eyes taking in the familiarity.
The large village was a flattering collision of nature and humankind, working and living together on common ground and peace. The houses were all short, wooden, and very sturdy in their construction. There were only two humble stores in the entire area. Both were large and just enough to supply the entire village with what was needed. Nothing was too fancy here. Things were even more lacking in luxuries than simple old Pallet Town.
At least we had Prof. Oak’s enormous mansion. Plus, Pallet Town was much larger than this place and had noticeably more to do and a lot of nearby areas to visit, like the Seafoam Islands.
Native Village had a giant lake to swim in that took up about a third of the size of the town and was easily visible from where I slowly walking through. Home for many, this place offered a pretty secluded way of life in a way.
While walking at an even pace, I contemplated whether I should do it or not. Just keep walking, I told myself. Keep moving forward and get out of here. No need to stop by for anything. You have food, you fed your Pokemon, they’re resting in their Poke Balls, so just get out of here and find your way to Celadon, fast. My feet started to pick up the pace.
“GARY??” a voice called out.
My head told me to keep moving and just pretend I didn’t hear it, but my feet had stopped already. I froze for a moment before turning around.
“Gary, it is you!!” the woman said excitedly, moving quickly to get to me. “I haven’t seen you in such a long time!”
I forced a smile at… whoever she was. I knew her, but I never remembered her name.
She’s a friend of my family’s and would always gush over me and my sister whenever we and my mom and dad would come here. She was nice, but I never really knew her and I didn’t care to stop and chat right now.
I also might be spotted...
She knelt down a bit and held me in a huge hug. She smelled of some kind of perfume that was very sharp to my nose and not too pleasant.
For some reason, as I hugged her back, I inhaled it even deeper despite not liking the scent very much. Something about it made me curious about it, I guess.
She finally let go of me after a bit and smiled. “Where’s your mom?” she asked.
“In Pallet Town,” I replied, looking away and trying to find a way to get out of this conversation before I was seen by someone else.
“Pallet Town? Well, what are you…? OH, MY!!” She reached down and grabbed one of my Poke Balls from my belt. “Is there a Pokemon in here???” She twirled the Poke Ball around in her hand.
“Um… yes, ma’am,” I replied, agitated she was holding my Hoothoot at all.
“I can’t believe I forgot you are a Pokemon Trainer!! I can’t believe you’re ten already!! Gary has grown up from the little boy I once knew. Now you’re a real Pokemon Trainer! Traveling the world and battling those cute little creatures. That’s so wonderful!” She reached out and pulled me into another hug.
I smelled the scent on her again as I hugged her back. It wasn’t horrible smelling, but it was so odd. I willing sniffed her. She pulled away and I gave a quick chuckle. “Well, as a Pokemon Trainer, I have tons to do, taking care of these little things,” I said, quickly but gently taking my Poke Ball back from her. “So I was just passing through on my way out of here to Celadon City, which is quite a distance from here, so I’m afraid I have to go.”
“Oh, no!” she said sadly. “I’m so sorry you’re leaving so soon! Did you see your grandmother?”
I flinched on the inside.
“Or your aunt?”
I flinched on the inside again.
“Um… No, but…” I began, trying to think quickly. “My Pokemon are actually pretty hurt. We had a rough battle earlier and we need to get out of here to a Pokemon Center, so we’ll just be going now.”
“Gary, dear, don’t you know we have a Pokemon Center?” she laughed. “Have you been away from here that long?”
I stared at her in dismay, realizing that I indeed did forget!
They may be simple here, but they weren’t technologically impaired. Nurse Joy didn’t operate there if my memory served correct, but whoever did is supposed to be very good at what they do. These people live and work alongside nature and do their best to make sure that nature is well taken care of, and that includes the Pokemon and animals.
I stood there trying to find another excuse. I couldn’t think of any. The silence was lasting too long. I had to say something. “You know, only my Charmeleon was battling and it ended up winning with no trouble. I think he’s doing just great and I really haven’t seen my gramma in a while, so I think I will go pay her a visit in fact!” Damn it.
“Great! I’ll walk you there!” she said eagerly. “Or does the big boy Pokemon Trainer not need to have anyone escort him around these days?” She laughed.
“Well, I don’t want to interrupt whatever you were doing,” I replied politely, hoping she would leave me alone so I could make a break for it and get out of here.
“Oh, I’m not up to anything, sweetheart!” she smiled brighter.
I let out a silent, defeated sigh, and followed it with a smile. “Then, let’s go see my gramma together!” My stomach felt like a hefty rock were sitting inside of it as I followed her. I couldn’t believe this was happening.
As if things weren’t bad enough, we ran into several people along the way to my grandma’s house. I knew nearly none of their names, but they all knew me. A mixed greeting of kisses, hugs, high fives, fist pounds, and shoulder punches surrounded me in a flurry. Apparently, I had grown so tall since my last trip here almost a year ago. Everybody was so thrilled I had become a Pokemon Trainer. When I was asked to show my Pokemon, I explained they were all sleeping from our training and would prefer to not be disturbed at the moment, so I instead told them what I had caught so far, which they all were so excited about.
I just wanted to get out of here, and was still trying to figure out how to do so.
What were all these people doing out in the middle of the night, anyway??
“Ya know, Charmander is the best choice of the Kanto options,” one guy winked at me, patting my shoulder. “Good choice.”
A few people also stated how much of a mess I looked. Before I could even try to explain, a couple of other people chimed in that the life of a Pokemon Trainer was often a rough one, which I agreed with as I didn’t really feel like explaining my troubles I was going through so far.
Me and the lady finally arrived at my grandma’s house.
I stared at it with dread. The top of the house was only about five inches above my head.
My companion knocked on the door eagerly. “You must be excited!” she squealed.
I only swallowed.
“Who is it?” I heard my cautious as ever grandmother say behind the door. The peephole opened around the middle of the door and I saw an eye.
“It’s me, Monica. I have a special guest for you, Rose!” the woman next to me said.
I forced a smile on my face as the door opened.
My grandmother smiled at Monica, and her eyes fell onto me right after. “Oh my goooosh!!” she gasped when she saw me. She reached out and gave me a big hug.
I hugged her back tightly, admittedly glad to see her after so much time, but who ever wants to see family? Not me. I hoped maybe this visit would be quick and I could be on my way in the next three seconds.
“Gary, I can’t believe you’ve found time to stop by here!” My grandma released me, a broad, overwhelmed smile on her face.
“Aw, this is so sweet,” Monica said cheerily. “I’ll leave you two alone. It was so great to see you again, Gary. You take care! Bye, Rose!” Monica waved and walked away.
I smiled at my grandma and she smiled back. “Gary, this is such a delightful surprise. I am so glad to see you here! Come on in. What are you doing out here?” She laughed.
I managed a laugh back as I stepped inside, pulling my filthy sneakers off and leaving them by the door where several pairs of shoes and slippers sat on a small carpet that sat on a much larger carpet that covered the house. Turning back to grandma, my smile faded quickly upon realizing that she was no longer smiling.
“Gary,” she said in a much colder voice. “Why are you such a mess?” She grabbed my head tightly with both hands and put her nose to it, sniffing hard. “Your hair stinks! You look disgusting! What happened to your clothes? What kind of a life are you living looking like a smelly bum?”
I stared at her blankly. This was high on the list of reasons why I didn’t want to see her. It may have been the top reason.
“You come here smelling and looking like you just came from living under a bridge all your life! What is wrong with you?” Her tone was angry, but only lightly so. She seemed more disappointed than anything else.
I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or not, so I gave a weak chuckle.
“I’m serious, Gary!”
My smile vanished and I just nodded, looking down at the ground.
“Take these smelly clothes off and put them in a bag or something,” she spoke with disgust. “You look horrible. I don’t understand how anyone can travel looking and smelling like you do. You came through here like this?”
“How embarrassing, Gary. To me and to yourself! Don’t you have any shame? Any dignity? You go in the bathroom right now and clean yourself up. This is terrible.”
I was getting angry at this point. And hurt. I wanted to just leave right then and there. But a shower did sound like a great idea. It had been a while since I had a true cleansing. Cleaning myself by lakes and rivers was not comfortable at all. I only got to shower at Pokemon Centers, but I wasn’t always around one.
I walked into the bathroom and my grandmother came in a moment later with a towel, soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and shampoo.
“Gramma, I have all this stuff.”
“Put your clothes and towels in this bag,” she replied, handing me a large plastic bag. “I’m tossing that stuff out. It’s filthy.” I was being made to feel like I had done something wrong, which I knew hadn’t, and I lowered my eyes from her, preventing her from seeing them tear up as I nodded.
“I’ll make you some dinner in the meantime,” she offered in a slightly gentler tone. “Do you still like pancakes?”
I somehow pulled back the tears and looked at her, a little eager for her cooking. “Yeah.”
“Okay, then I’ll make you some.”
I nodded and she closed the door sharply, making me jump a little. It had been a while since I had some really good food to eat.
With my grandma, there were positives and negatives with her.
“Those clothes really are nice,” my grandma said from behind me. “I thought they looked disposable, but since they look salvageable, I won’t throw them away. I put them in the washing machine instead. They should be ready by tomorrow, so you should just spend the rest of the night here.”
“Thank you, Gramma,” I said with my mouth full of pancakes.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full!” she said with agitation. “Goodness, where are your manners? Did you throw them out when you became a Pokemon Trainer? Do you think you no longer have to be presentable anymore? You know, having been a police officer, I met plenty of Pokemon Trainers, and I never, ever, met one who looked like you did earlier.”
I focused on my food, getting upset. There was a silence in the house that I was grateful for.
“Did I ever tell you about the time I saw a Lugia?” she asked me after the longest time, breaking the peace.
My eyes widened with interest. I opened my mouth to say something, then quickly closed it and finished chewing my food and swallowed it before opening it again to speak. “A what??”
“Lugia,” she repeated. “One of the Legendary Pokemon of the Johto Region.”
“Yeah, I know what it is, but what do you mean you saw one?”
“Well,” she started with a smile on her face, always pleased to tell a story, “I was at Porta Vista, exploring the beach and getting my tan on, checking out this cute guy.” She laughed and I smiled back, turning away from the table I was eating from to face her, listening eagerly. “I had just left Vermillion City not long before, having defeated Lt. Surge very easily. I was telling the guy I had just met about how the battle went and he was absorbed in the story. Either that or he thought I was looking pretty.” My grandma laughed some more and I joined in, more interested in her getting on about Lugia. “So, it got late and it was dark out and we were getting rather close under the romantic, starry sky. Anyway, I heard this low rumble of thunder from the waters, but I was kind of busy focused on this guy to turn and look. But the rumble got louder, becoming this huge bang, and rain came from out of nowhere! We both shouted out in surprise but caught each other’s eyes and laughed. We laughed... until that rumble got even louder, and louder, and louder. We looked up into the sky, but there was nothing but lightning flashing up there.” My grandma waved at the ceiling nonchalantly. “By now, the rumbling was a roar, Gary!” She was getting really into her story now, and so was I! “This was no thunder. We looked out into the ocean where the sound was coming from.” Her eyes widened with excitement. “There was giant whirlpool in the middle of the ocean! We both stood up and stared as the whirlpool increased and completely took over and you couldn’t see anything but the whirlpool!”
My mouth was hanging open at this point, visualizing this scene.
“Gary, let me tell you, it was the most beautiful and terrifying sight I had seen in my entire life.” She took a breath and swallowed before continuing. “So then, a pair of glowing yellow lights appeared from the water. I gasped, but this supposedly macho, well muscled guy screams like a little five year old girl!” She laughed heartily and I laughed with her, but was dying for her to continue. “The loudest roar of the night suddenly came from those lights and an enormous shadow of a creature began to rise out of the water. Gary, it was taller than the buildings of Celadon City. This thing rose above us and just hovered, not flapping its huuuuuuuge wings.” She spread her arms wide to try to express the length of the creature’s wings. “And do you remember the two glowing lights I saw when it was in the water?”
I nodded quickly.
“Those were its eyes!”
“Whoooa!” I said in awe.
Grandma nodded. “The lights were at the head of the beast, and they went out like a switch had been turned off. I knew they had to be its eyes. It was dark, but I could make out exactly what it was. This Pokemon was absolutely incredible. The guy I was with ran away, the coward.” She once again stopped to laugh, causing me to forcibly laugh lightly. “But let me tell you, your grandma stayed there! I watched that Pokemon staring back down at me, both of us soaking in that sudden storm. And wouldn’t you know it, the thing was Psychic. I know because the moment I thought to myself that I should try to capture it, it let out a sharp cry and dove right back into the ocean. The whirlpool faded out quickly. I never saw Lugia again.”
“Wow, Gramma,” I said. “That’s amazing! I can’t believe it!” Had my grandma really seen the Legendary Pokemon Lugia? Was it something else? She did say it was dark out.
“I remembered I shared that story at the Police Academy,” my grandma added. “You know they all thought your gramma was crazy, right?”
I laughed sincerely with her this time.
“Ah, Gary, your grandmother has the craziest tales. I’ve seen so much. You have no idea. They thought I was nuts. The only police officer at that time that was of color and wasn’t related to the Officer Jenny bloodline telling mad stories about seeing a Lugia. Those girls weren’t crazy about having me as an officer to begin with, but I earned their respect, you can damn well bet!” Grandma’s voice went very hard with that last line, but softened up again. “They were kind to me in time, but they must’ve thought I was a loon some days with my stories. They thought I was enough of a loon the way I handled some of my cases!” She laughed some more. “The day I finally retired, there was a huge party. It was really nice. I’ll never forget that.” She looked at the ground silently, dwelling on her past. She stood up and took my plate. “So how was it? Are you still hungry?”
“No, it was great, Gramma! Thank you!” I smiled at her. It was the best food I’d had in quite a while.
I walked over to the living room, which wasn’t far from the dining area I was in, and sat quietly on the futon.
My grandma took my plate to the kitchen to wash the dishes, but instead, she came scurrying out quickly, her eyes wide. She stopped a few feet in front of me, her face showing she had some kind of news to tell me. “Hey, I almost forgot. Have you seen the news?”
One of the few luxuries they actually did have in this village was television and radio, though the radio service was awful. The TV was pretty okay at times, though.
“No, I don’t get to see much TV or anything,” I replied.
“It’s about Saffron City,” she said.
A lump appeared in my throat. I couldn’t even speak.
“They’ve been talking about it for a while now,” she continued. “The entire city is full of dead bodies. Decaying, dead bodies, Gary. The living residents have lost their minds. They’re claiming the bodies were all alive. Some don’t even remember anything at all except entering Saffron City. They claim they have no memory of what happened afterwards! The entire city is dead. The houses, buildings, stores, food, everything is just dead. The city looks like it hasn’t been active in years! The Gym is destroyed and a body was found that they think belongs to Sabrina, the Psychic Gym Leader. They’re saying that the body looks like it’s been dead for ages, but the Pokemon Inspection Agency, you know, the guys who inspect Gyms and shut them down if they’re not up to par, said they had been there just a week before and the Gym passed! They said it looked fine and nothing was out of order! They spoke with Sabrina, ate at the city, and said everything looked great!”
My chest was in pain. I grabbed it and realized my heart was beating so hard, it was hurting me. Breathing was resulting in sharp pains in my chest. I tried to speak, but nothing came out. Easy, Gary, I told myself, trying to breathe properly.
“They currently are reviewing some of the videos taken by some of the people who were in the city during the moment when everything went crazy, as well as old security tapes they have running there, but so far, the recordings have absolutely nothing on them. They’re just all blank. That’s so crazy, right?”
I was hardly able to nod, but I managed it.
“Ugh… That kind of stuff gives me the shivers,” my grandma said, holding herself. “Scary.”
I stared at the ground silently.
“Silph Co. is destroyed as well,” she added. “The branch in Saffron is the biggest branch in the world. All the employees, the products they were making, dead and destroyed. The other Silph Co. locations have to work extra hard to make up for this blow. They fear that the entire company could shut down. The secret products they were working on are also ruined. Who know what they were building in there. The PokeMarts are low on supplies. Things could get really ugly soon.”
I was shivering at this point. Most of this wasn’t surprising or news to me, but it was terrifying all the same.
My grandma shook her head and let out disturbed grunt, still thinking about what she had told me. “Hey!” she suddenly said, a grin spreading her across face. “Tomorrow, before you go, how about we have a Pokemon battle?”
My eyes widened. “A what? Battle?”
“Yeah! My old friend! Versus one of your Pokemon! Let’s see how tough you are!” she challenged.
I couldn’t believe my ears. She wanted me to battle that? I let out a sigh.
“Oh, come on, don’t tell me you came all the way here looking like the swamp monster and you have absolutely nothing to show for it!” she laughed.
I stood up eagerly. “Okay, Gramma. I accept!”
She smiled. “Good.”
The door suddenly opened and I saw the second reason I didn’t want to pass through this village.
“Auntie!” I said with forced happiness.
“OH MY GOSH!” she exclaimed after inhaling in a loud gasp. “GARY!!”
I ran up to her and gave her a huge hug, which she returned.
“What are you doing here?! This is such a wonderful surprise!!”
“Isn’t this a nice surprise?” my grandma chimed in. “He came all the way out here while on his Pokemon journey.”
“I can’t believe you stopped by!” my aunt said slowly. “My goodness, how are you?”
“I’m good, Auntie. How are you?” I asked.
“Oh, I’m just fine. Especially now! I can’t believe you’re here!”
“He showed up at my door looking like trash,” my grandma said, ruining the joyful moment. “Covered in mud and filth.”
My aunt turned to her. “Ma, he’s a Pokemon Trainer now,” she defended me. “They have a rough life. They travel everywhere by foot and it’s been raining lately. His clothes look just fine.”
“He changed into those new clothes. His dirty clothes are in the laundry. You should’ve seen them. They were disgusting!”
“Ma! Will you just stop? I’m sure he’s working very hard out there with his Pokemon!”
I hated it when they argued like this.
My grandma stared at my aunt, looking pretty upset.
My aunt turned to me again and smiled. “So how many of those Badges do you have?”
“I have four so far…” I muttered, thinking about my Marsh Badge.
“Four? That’s fabulous! Do you have any of them on you right now?”
Well, duh... I thought silently as I pulled my Badge case out.
My grandmother stepped closer to us.
“Wow, that’s a nice case!” my aunt said.
“That is nice. Where’d you get that?” my grandma asked.
“The Gym Leader of Obsidian City gave it to me as a gift when I beat him,” I said, opening the case.
My aunt gasped. “Ma, look,” she said, pulling out the Dimensia Badge and holding it up.
“Oh... wow...” my grandma uttered, adjusting her glasses as she squinted.
They both marveled over the beautiful Badge, turning it around as the illusion of smoke swirled around inside of it.
“Is there something inside?” my grandma asked me.
“No. There’s nothing inside at all, I don’t think. Just the way it was crafted looks like there’s something in it, I guess.”
“Woooow… This is just beautiful!” my aunt marveled.
“Let me see it, Bev.” My grandma gently took the Badge away. She rubbed her thumb over it and turned it around a few times, seeming lost in the beauty of the Badge. She shook her head and put it back in the case, but didn’t take her eyes off of it as I closed the case. Her eyes remained on the case and she let out her breath. “Those are very nice Badges,” she spoke solemnly. “I’m very proud of you, Gary.” She looked up, warm pride towards me easing over her now.
“Uummm...” My aunt blinked a couple of times at the Badge case and shook her head, finally focusing on me. “We’re all proud of you!” my aunt beamed. “How many more of those Badges do ya need now, Champ? Heh heh heh!”
“I’m halfway there. I only need four more before I can compete in the Pokemon League.”
“Heeeeey!” Auntie cheered. “You go, Champ! You’re already halfway there to the League! That’s just excellent!”
“Mhm. Very good!” Grandma seemed to have something on her mind, her tone sincere but hiding something. “By the way, have you called your mother?” There it was.
“Yeah…” I answered hesitantly.
“When?” she asked.
“It’s been a bit,” I murmured.
“Well, don’t you think you should call her? To let her know where you are and that you’re doing alright?” she suggested.
My grandma and auntie watched me quietly for a moment.
“I won’t make you if you don’t want to,” my grandma said. “I know that the last time you spoke, it didn’t go so well. But call her anyway every now and then. Let her know you’re okay. She’s worried about you, no matter what? Do you understand?”
“Excuse me? What was that?” my grandma demanded.
“Yes,” I said.
“That’s better.” Her face suddenly lightened as she turned to her daughter. “Oh, Bev. Guess who’s having a battle tomorrow?”
“Me and your nephewwwww!” she sang.
“What? Oh my gosh, I will definitely be there!” my aunt beamed. “Are you going to use…?”
My aunt put her hand on my shoulder and leaned close to me. She whispered loudly, “You can beat her.”
We all laughed.
Despite the honest laughter I managed, I had a lot on my mind. I was still thinking about Saffron City, feeling almost ready to throw up at the thought of the horror that was going down over there, and how it was affecting the rest of Kanto.
The night with those two ended up being pretty fun. I told them about my Badges up until I had to talk about the Marsh Badge, when I quickly changed the topic before mentioning I went to Saffron City at all and instead talked about how I was working with my Bug Pokemon to try to overcome my fear of them, which they were happy to hear, but agreed that bugs were pretty gross. After more stories from my grandma about her life, and my auntie’s long, monotonous, and honestly draining words to me about being a Pokemon Trainer based on her own experiences, which reminded me just how much my aunt could talk while saying the exact same thing over and over again, driving me quietly mad, I had finally gone to bed at around two in the morning.
Surprisingly, my sleep was dreamless despite the thoughts I had swimming through my mind about Saffron City. In the morning, I showered and brushed my teeth. My Pokemon greeted me while sitting in front of bowls of food on the floor, and soon, I was enjoying my own breakfast of toast and eggs with tea.
My Pokemon had a wide mix of different pellets and cooked foods in their bowls and were devouring them like there was no end to it, literally licking the bowls clean.
“My baby is outside and ready to battle,” my grandma told me as my Pokemon and I finished our food.
That Pokemon of hers was dangerous. She didn’t even let him out of his Poke Ball because he was such a hazard to visitors, including family members. But he was loyal to grandma, for sure.
“Are you ready?” she asked.
“Yeah!” I said quickly. “Let’s do it!” I returned all my Pokemon, holding up the Poke Ball of one.
“Is that the Pokemon you’re battling with?”
“Yep! This is definitely the one.”
My grandma left the house first, followed by my aunt, then me.
We walked several feet from her house before I saw the opponent and froze.
My grandma and auntie continued walking towards it, but eventually my aunt even stopped walking and watched as my grandma knelt down and petted her friend. Her Pokemon she raised since her days as an officer. Her trustworthy, powerful, experienced companion.
Arcanine. The Legendary Pokemon and the evolved form of Growlithe. They live in active volcanoes and scorched fields heated by geothermal energy. Its majestic appearance captivates fans around the world.
I stood several feet from the large beast, my Pokedex in hand. “Okay! Go, Dugtrio!” I threw the Poke Ball towards the dog.
Dugtrio dug his way through the ground, leaving a trail of raised dirt around him.
My grandma smiled. “You’re welcome to have to first move,” she offered.
“EARTHQUAKE!” I shouted.
The ground began to rumble hard.
My aunt, grandma, and I were rocked by the attack, my aunt and grandma dropping.
Shockwaves vibrated throughout the ground and Arcanine was tossed a few feet back and fell, but he got right back up and shook it off, baring his fangs.
“Damn it,” I growled under my breath, expecting the attack to do a lot more.
“Let’s make this quick. ExtremeSpeed!” my grandma called.
The next thing I knew, Dugtrio was tackled by Arcanine.
“Whoa!” Arcanine’s speedy attack took me by surprise.
It was as if Arcanine had simply vanished and reappeared right in front of my Pokemon.
“Use Earthquake again! Finish it off!” I yelled.
This time, auntie and I both dropped with Arcanine, my grandma being the only one to manage to stay up somehow.
Arcanine got back up easily, growling and looking perfectly strong.
Dugtrio went underground.
My grandma gave no orders to Arcanine.
In the next instant, Dugtrio popped up underneath Arcanine and sent him flying high into the air, howling.
As Arcanine came down in a daze, I began to smile. We’ve got him now, I thought.
“Arcanine!” my grandma called calmly.
Arcanine seemed to regain focus and landed smoothly on his paws, eyes focused on Dugtrio.
“Enough games. Hidden Power and end this!” grandma commanded.
Arcanine let out a soul shivering howl and a light colored ball formed in front of his face. The ball broke apart into several smaller balls before firing at Dugtrio, who cried out as the balls hit him and exploded.
“Whoa! Dugtrio!” I screamed.
When the dust cleared, Dugtrio was clearly defeated.
“Good job, Gary,” my grandma told me. She turned to Arcanine. “Stay,” she said sternly.
Arcanine obediently sat down.
My grandma walked over to me and Dugtrio. She knelt down and laid a gentle hand on him. “You did great, Dugtrio. We’ll get you right to the Pokemon Center. Thanks for that battle.”
Dugtrio looked worn out but managed a smile.
My grandma stood up and faced me. “Gary, I couldn’t have been prouder either way that match ended. You battled very well.”
“Thank you, Gramma.” Despite my smile, I was severely disappointed in just how bad we had done. I hadn’t expected to win, but we had landed three Ground type moves against a Fire type and it was as if that did nothing! “I’ve never even seen that move before.”
“What? Hidden Power is a move that varies in type, depending on the Pokemon using it! My Arcanine’s Hidden Power is the Ice type, so it did well against your Ground type.”
“Oohh…” was all I could get out.
My aunt walked over and put her hand on my shoulder. “That was a good battle, Gary. You battled well against a legend over there. That Pokemon has helped out your grandmother since he was just a Growlithe, catching criminals, saving her life, and her saving his life.”
My grandmother walked over to her Arcanine and stopped a few feet away. She knelt down and opened her arms.
The dog instantly ran towards her and knocked her onto her back, licking her face as she laughed.
“Thanks again for taking my Pokemon to the Pokemon Center here, Gramma. It was really nice inside.” It also didn’t have a Nurse Joy, I grudgingly kept to myself.
“Of course, Gary,” my grandma told me. “In this village, we take care of Pokemon like they were our children.” She smiled and gave me a huge hug and kiss, which I returned.
My aunt had hugged and kissed me her goodbye not too long after the battle and then left, having to take care of things at her own home not far from my grandma’s place.
“Remember to call your mom, okay?” my grandma said seriously.
“Yeah,” I nodded.
“What was that?” my grandma said sternly.
I cleared my throat. “Yes, Gramma. I will,” I spoke clearly. I sure was glad to be getting out of here...
“Good.” She pulled me in for another hug and kissed me again.
“Thanks a lot, Gramma.” I pulled away from her. “But next time we battle, things have to be different.” I smiled at her challengingly.
“Don’t think just because your gramma’s old that she can’t still battle,” my grandma warned jokingly. “We’ve still got it.”
We both laughed together.
“Well, I’m gonna continue on to Celadon. I love you, Gramma.”
“I love you, too, Gary. You take care of yourself. And don’t dirty those clothes up like that again. Be careful out there. And don’t be afraid to call your gramma!”
I waved goodbye and continued to walk through Native Village.
It was always fun being with my grandma. Sometimes she was really awfully mean and harsh, and demanded a lot of well deserved respect. She could be critical of how you spoke to her. Nodding instead of speaking or saying “yeah” instead of “yes” was not well tolerated by her. But she was a great woman with a lot of history and great stories to tell.
My aunt was pretty cool, too. Very kind and caring and very funny, but also could drone on and on and on to the point of insanity.
I was glad to have spent time with them, and one night was more than enough. I didn’t intend on coming back too soon. But I did owe my grandma that rematch battle. Admiring the site of this beautiful village, I was getting closer to the amazing lake that held a large portion of this town in its beauty. I came to a stop at the crystal clear aquatic giant and knelt down at it, looking down to the very bottom. My fingers slowly slipped into it for a moment and came back out, the water dripping off back from where they came, causing little ripples. My hand dried itself against the leg of my jeans.
Silently, time not a care in my mind, I stared at my reflection, my thoughts taking over.
I relived the thrilling battle with my grandma and her Arcanine.
I relived the mostly fun night I had with my aunt and grandma.
My mind reflected back on Saffron City.
My reflection began to vibrate as my tears I didn’t even realize I had been forming, hit the water as my thoughts began to turn towards Kiwi and June. I sniffled and wiped my eyes quickly, and then turned away from the water, standing up, feelings of sadness and anger strong in my heart as I walked as quickly as I could out of Native Village, hoping to leave the pain and fear I was carrying in my heart, behind with the tears in the lake to drown.