A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

Circumstances

“GO, DUGTRIO!”“FLOURISH, COME OUT!”

Robin and I both shouted and threw our Poke Balls at the same time.

“Trio Trio!” Dugtrio said.

“Flourish?” I muttered as the Pokemon shot out of its Poke Ball.

With a loud howl, an Arcanine towered over my Dugtrio.

“Arcanine!” I exclaimed in surprise.

“That’s right, Gary,” Robin beamed with pride. “My Growlithe you battled last time is now evolved thanks to a Fire Stone I acquired.”

“You call it Flourish?” I asked.

“Yes. I’ve decided to start nicknaming my Pokemon,” Robin told me. “I feel like it brings me closer to my Pokemon. I think it makes them stand out and they become more personalized. More individual. I give them names that define how they are to me. I feel like once Growlithe evolved, it flourished. Became much more radiant, powerful, eventful even. It’s like it’s reached its full potential! And now, Flourish is ready to wipe you out, even with a type disadvantage.”“We’ll see about that,” I said eagerly. I whipped out my Pokedex and scanned Dugtrio quickly. It was hard to remember all my Pokemon’s moves… The best move I could see in this situation was one of the few I already had in mind. “Earthquake, now!”

“Use Flamethrower!”

As Dugtrio triggered Earthquake attack, Robin and I began to lose our balance. I fell to the ground on my hands and knees as Robin struggled to not fall over, bouncing on one foot, his arms waving wildly at his sides.

Flourish howled as it was hit with the Earthquake and thrown off its feet, sliding along the ground before getting up again. It shook its head, growling, and then opened its mouth, sending out a powerful stream of fire.

“Trio Trio!” Dugtrio called out and the fire engulfed it.

“Dig!” I called out.

When the flames faded, Dugtrio was gone.

“Agility!” Robin chose.

Flourish waited and stared at the ground for a moment before running forward, disappearing and reappearing at different spots on the ground at an incredible speed.

I couldn’t keep my eyes on it!

Suddenly, the ground quaked and Dugtrio appeared right underneath Flourish!

“WHAT??” Robin screamed in shock.

“YES!” I shouted and leaped in the air, balling my fists. “You caught it! Excellent job, Dugtrio!”

Flourish howled in pain as Dugtrio’s hit threw it high into the air before coming down and laying motionless. The canine’s eyes opened and it glared at Dugtrio, growling as it got up again.

“It’s still fighting!” I said, amazed.

“Damn right!” Robin snapped. “Crunch attack!”Flourish charged at Dugtrio, faster than ever, and sunk its teeth into Dugtrio’s skin.

“Trio Trio Trio!” Dugtrio started moving backwards to escape Flourish.

Flourish held its grip and moved along with Dugtrio, refusing to let go, its paws digging into the ground, growling the entire time.

“Fire Fang, now!” Robin went.

Flourish’s fangs burst into flames as it dug its teeth deeper into Dugtrio.

Dugtrio screamed louder, desperately trying to shake off Flourish. My Pokemon then tried to dig underground to escape, but Flourish tugged back!

Flourish pulled Dugtrio up higher to the surface, refusing to let him escape.

“Dugtrio! Try an Earthquake to shake it off!” I instructed.

“Flourish, stop that thing! Swagger!”Flourish let go of Dugtrio and glared at him, his body glowing red.

Dugtrio froze and his eyes filled with red. He looked around in a daze.

“Dugtrio, just use Earthquake!” I pleaded.

“TRIOOOOOO!” Dugtrio charged at Flourish in a fury.

Flourish casually moved to the side as Dugtrio went right past it and smashed repeatedly into the metal pole of a street light.

“Dugtrio, stop!” I begged.

Dugtrio stopped and began to sway back and forth, then froze.

“Dugtrio!” I cried out, running to him, past Robin. I knelt down beside him.

He was knocked out.

I placed my hand on him and gently rubbed his heads. “Good try. You did really well.” I returned him to his Poke Ball and returned back to my spot several feet from Robin and his Pokemon.

A crowd was gathering around us from the area.

Flourish was sitting down calmly.

“One down, Gary,” Robin smiled. “My Flourish is pretty good, eh?”“Yeah. I’m surprised it took so much damage and still looks raring to go some more,” I admitted.

This made Robin smiled even more. He laughed loudly. “So, what’s next?” he asked.

This Pokemon is weak, I thought to myself. It has to be. It puts up a strong front, but it is weakened. Two Ground moves to a Fire type is serious damage.

I took in a deep breath and grabbed my next Poke Ball. “Kingdra, you’re next!”

“Dooo Dooo Dooo!” Kingdra called out.

“Whoa!” Robin was stunned at my Pokemon. “No way! Kingdra?!” He pulled out his Pokedex.

Kingdra. The Dragon Pokemon and the evolved form of Seadra. They live in areas uninhabited by other Pokemon, making them extremely rare and almost never seen in the wild.

“Nice catch there, Gary!” Robin complimented, breaking into a smile.

Kingdra and I turned to face each other at the same time. “Yeah…” I muttered, thinking of my Beedrill.

“Dooo…” Kingdra said, turning back to Flourish.

“But just like last time, a type advantage won’t be saving you, Gary! Agility!”

Flourish lunged quickly and ran at Kingdra, disappearing and reappearing repeatedly again.

Kingdra can’t operate as well on land, I knew. She can’t do Agility on land. But she can still fight. I checked her moves on my Pokedex, and a smile crossed my face. “Twister!” “DOOOO!” Kingdra’s back fins started moving forcefully.

Sudden winds appeared, making standing still a struggle for everyone, girls in the crowd crying out in shock.

A Twister formed in front of Kingdra, moving slowly at Flourish.

The wind whipped hard and I held onto my cap, bending my knees to keep my footing.

Robin’s shirt whipped furiously as he raised an arm to shield his face as he glared at the threatening attack.

Flourish couldn’t run as it was sucked up into the Twister, howling as it was spun around inside, out of sight.

“Flouriiiish!!” Robin shouted.

Finally, the Twister ended and disappeared.

Flourish was dropped hard.

“Yes!” I cheered.

“Not so fast!” Robin pointed.

To my shock, Flourish slowly got up! It turned to face us, growling viciously.

People in the growing crowd gasped.

“NO WAY!” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. “How?”

“It’s gonna take more than that to win this match, Gary!” Robin smirked at my shock.

“Hydro Pump!” I decided quickly.

“DOOOO!” Kingdra sprayed an enormous stream of water at Flourish.

With a terrifying howl, Flourish leaped over the water, high into the air.

“You’re not the only one with a type advantage here, Gary!” Robin sneered. “Flourish, Outrage now!”

“Outrage??” Fear filled my heart.

Outrage, a Dragon type move! It’s one of the few weaknesses of Dragon type Pokemon.

Flourish’s eyes glowed red and with a howl that made me shiver harder than the cold air did, it head butt Kingdra.

Kingdra wailed out but was helpless as Flourish continued attacking with the bites and tackles and stomps brought against her.

Flourish grabbed Kingdra in its powerful jaws and tossed her in the air, then ran forward and leaped high after her, catching Kingdra in its mouth, sinking its jaws into her as she screamed.

“Kingdra!” This was gonna be over fast if I didn’t do something. “We can win! Brine attack!”Kingdra, still in Flourish’s jaws, at close range, sprayed salt water at Flourish, causing it to scream out in pain.

“BRINE!” Robin gasped angrily.

“Brine does good damage, but if the target is weak already, the damage it delivers is doubled!” I explained. “It’s actually just slightly stronger than the damage Hydro Pump delivers!”Robin had his eyes trained on Flourish.

The dog remained on the ground.

“Flourish!” Robin ran up to it. He pet his Pokemon’s stomach for a moment. “Good try, okay? You did excellent.” Robin returned his Pokemon and stood up, nodding at me. “Well, not bad there, Gary. It took you long enough to beat it.”

“I admit, Arcanine was troublesome,” I nodded.

“And now, I choose… Dots!” Robin said, tossing the Poke Ball.

“Pikachu!” the little bright yellow rodent said happily.

“Awww, isn’t it adorable?” a girl in the crowd cooed.

“Mommy, I want one of those!” a small boy cried.“Honey, you have a Pichu. It will evolve eventually,” the mother responded.

“I want one now!” the child screamed shrilly.

“Congratulations! Your Pichu evolved!” I acknowledged.

“I love Pikachu!” Robin laughed loudly again. “I actually have a Thunder Stone! But I don’t think I’ll be using it on my Pikachu. Pikachu is just too cute! And awesome! We can win without evolution! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”“Well, you’re not winning this one. Hydro Pump!”

“DOOOO!” Kingdra shouted, taking the little mouse by surprise and blasting it off its feet.

“CHAAAAA!” Dots cried as it rolled through the dirt, but got back to its feet.

“Thunderbolt!”

“Pika Pika CHUUUUU!!” Dots shouted, closing its eyes as sparks appeared from its tail and cheeks before shocking Kingdra.

“DOOOOO!” Kingdra screamed out. When the zapping was over, she was bent over, her head close down to the ground, heaving. “Doooo…” Kingdra groaned weakly. Finally, she fell.

“Oh, no!” I said sadly. “Kingdra... You did great, okay? I’m really proud of you.” I returned her to her Poke Ball.

“Wow, that Pikachu beat a Kingdra!” I heard someone say amongst the mutters, cries, and applause.

“How do ya like that?” Robin’s teeth gleamed as he stared at me.

“It’s great!” Despite my loss, I managed to smile right back at him. “But now I’m gonna go with Primeape!” I sent him out.

“PRIIIIIMEAPE APE APE!!” Primeape leaped around excitedly, punching his fists together.

A little girl laughed. “Mommy, that one’s funny.”

My idea was risky, but I didn’t want to take any chances. I probably should’ve thought it over better, but before I could consider it further, I shouted, “Thrash attack!”

“Prime… APE!” Primeape flew at Dots and punched it right in the face.“CHAAA!!!” Pikachu screamed as it flew right into Robin, knocking him over.

“Dots...” Robin groaned as he sat up, cradling his Pokemon. “Are you okay?”

“Chuuuu…” Dots said in a daze, its eyes closed.

“Dots!!” Robin screamed in disbelief. He hugged Dots tightly before returning it to its Poke Ball. Robin glared at me as he got up. “Now you’re gonna get it! Mobster, take care of this!”

“Poliwrath Wrath!” the Tadpole Pokemon said, glaring at me and flexing its muscles.

“Oohh, look at that one!” a guy said amongst the excited murmurs from the crowd.

I pulled out my Pokedex to scan this Pokemon I recognized immediately.

Poliwrath. The Tadpole Pokemon and one of the evolved forms of Poliwhirl when a Water Stone has been used. Poliwrath can run across the surface of water for a short time. Now that it has evolved, it is part Fighting type and is much more aggressive than its prior evolutions and Poliwhirl’s other evolved form, Politoed.

“APE APE APE!” Primeape leaped forward and punched Mobster right in the middle of the swirl design of its stomach.

Mobster moved back a couple steps before slapping Primeape repeatedly.

“DoubleSlap,” I muttered.

“Priiiime!!” Primeape leaped forward and started swinging punches, throwing kicks, violently attacking as Mobster sent back DoubleSlap, seeming unfazed by Primeape.

“Wrath Wrath Wrath!” Mobster said angrily, slapping Primeape.

“Ape Ape Ape Ape!!” Primeape returned back.

“Look at them go!” someone shouted.

“Mommy, this is scary,” a little girl said. “That one’s not being funny anymore.”“APE!!”“WRATH!”

“APE!!”

“WRATH!!”

The reckless attacks flew nonstop when I suddenly noticed Primeape’s eyes glowing red. He was Confused. Once Thrash attack is used, the Pokemon becomes Confused not long afterwards.

“WRATH!” Mobster cried out and fell onto its back, knocked out.

“Noooo!! Mobster!” Robin complained. “I can’t believe we lost that!”

“PRIIIIME!” My Confused Primeape kept swinging at the air. One of his punches swung forward and came back around and he punched himself in the face! “Ape…” Primeape fell over and was defeated as well, knocking himself out in his own Confusion.

“Primeape!” I said in dismay.

“You did good, Mobster…” Robin said, a hint of frustration in his voice, returning his Pokemon.

“Great work there, Primeape,” I said, calling him back, and I smiled at Robin. “Three-on-three.”Robin managed to smile back, although he didn’t seem too pleased.

The crowd was cheering loudly at this point.

Robin unclipped a Poke Ball from his belt and sincerely smiled down at it. “Let’s see how you do then, Destiny. GO!” He threw a Poke Ball which was green on top, white on the bottom.

“CHAAANSEY!!” Chansey sang.

My eyes nearly popped out of my head.

The entire crowd gasped, and then quickly turned to excited chatter.

A Chansey! Not only one of the rarest Pokemon of the Kanto region, but notoriously known for being mysteriously near impossible to capture. The only time anyone’s guaranteed to see a Chansey is at a Pokemon Center working alongside a Nurse Joy.

Chansey. The Egg Pokemon and the evolved form of Happiny. Chansey are extremely caring and loving. They share the egg they carry in their pouch with injured Pokemon or people. They won’t share their egg if the human is found to have evil in their heart.

“Wow, Robin!” I couldn’t take my eyes off of the Pokemon. “How did you catch a Chansey?”

“Luck,” Robin winked. “They’re not called Chansey for nothin’. I got one in the Safari Zone! I guess you could say it was… destiny. Ha ha ha ha!”“You went to the Safari Zone?” I asked.

“Yeah. Right after dealing with Ozne in Fuchsia City and getting my Badge.”“You won? Congratulations!”“Yup!” Robin beamed. “Now are we gonna chat or are we battling?”“Oh, right,” I replied. Hmmmm… I thought about which Pokemon I should send out next. “Hoothoot, I choose you!”“Hoooot Hoooot!” Hoothoot soared out of his Poke Ball.

“Hoothoot, Take Down!”

“HOOOT!” Hoothoot flew at Destiny.

“Chaanseyyyyy!” Destiny cried out joyfully.

“Hoot!” Hoothoot slammed into her hard and knocked her over.

“Chansey…” Destiny groaned, getting up.

“Thunder!” Robin demanded.

WHAT??” I couldn’t believe the order I had just heard.

Destiny’s arms reached up to the sky. “CHAAAAN!” Lightning flashed across the night sky. “SEYYYYYYYY!” Her arms produced electricity that hit the sky and came right back down to Hoothoot.

Hooooooooot!!!” Hoothoot screamed out before the attack ended, leaving Hoothoot on the ground, defeated.

“Wow!” a guy in the crowd uttered, applauding with everyone else.

“Didn’t see that move coming…” I admitted. “You did well, Hoothoot.” I recalled my Pokemon. “I choose Charmeleon!”

“CHAAAR!” Charmeleon glared at the opposing Pokemon.

It seemed like Robin was glaring at Charmeleon for some reason.

Charmeleon saw Robin and smiled, giving him a thumbs up.

Robin looked like he was trying not to laugh, but once I laughed, and the crowd laughed, with some people going “Awwwwhh,” Robin couldn’t hold it in any longer and busted out laughing, giving Charmeleon a thumbs up in return. “Good to see you. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”“Meleon!” Charmeleon replied with a nod.

“Charmeleon, let’s do this!” I said seriously. “Flamethrower!”“CHAAAAAAR!” Charmeleon eagerly blasted Destiny and consumed her. When the fire faded, Destiny stood looking just fine.

“Chanseyyyyyy!” Destiny bobbed with delight in place.

I growled. “Fire Fang!”“Take Down!” Robin told Destiny.

Both Pokemon ran at each other determinedly. The collision knocked both Pokemon back, dazed.

“Destiny, Softboiled!”

Destiny raised her arms and the egg in her pouch began to glow yellow.

A yellow glow in the shape of her egg rose up in the air above her head.

“Oh, hell no!” I shouted. “Scary Face!”“CHAAAAAARRRRRRR!!” Charmeleon roared, demanding all attention to be focused on him as he stomped over to Destiny, glaring ferociously at her in a manner that made even my own legs shake.

Destiny stared in fear at Charmeleon and the glowing egg disappeared as she backed away.

I knew Softboiled healed the Pokemon. There was no way I was letting that happen. “Rock Smash!”

“Chaaaaar...” Charmeleon’s fist raised high in the air, glowing white. “MELEOOOOOON!” Charmeleon swung his fist down and boxed Destiny in the cheek.

“CHAAAAN!” Destiny landed on her face. “Seyyy…” she mumbled feebly.

“My Destiny!” Robin ran to her. “Hey, you did good, girl. Come on back now.”Charmeleon shot flames high into air as the crowd cheered him on.

I snickered, but the smile on my face faded when I saw Robin.

My rival was wearing a smirk on his face. “Well done. But let’s see how you do against this! MJ, I choose you!

“Jump Jump!” a Jumpluff jumped around happily.

“MJ?” I repeated.

MJ continued bouncing for joy.

Jumpluff. The Cottonweed Pokemon and the evolved form of Skiploom. Jumpluff are light enough to be carried away by the wind. They float around in abundance during windy days, spreading pollen as they float along.

“Well then, if that’s all it is, use Flamethrower!” I pointed at the Grass type opponent.

“Meeeeeel!” Charmeleon shot out a stream of fire at MJ who happily leaped right over it, cheering happily, waving its pompom appendages attached to its blue arms over its head.

My eyes widened. “Try again! Nonstop!”“Meeel! Meeel! Meeel! Meeeeel!” Charmeleon continuously fired at MJ, but MJ happily leaped over the flames with easy, spinning mid air and landing gracefully. It was like a cheerleader. After it landed, it waved its pompom appendages and celebrated.

“Fire Fang!” I growled.

Charmeleon charged at MJ and tried to take a bite out of it with his fire coated fangs.

What happened next caused my mouth to drop open in shock. My eyes bulged out.

MJ started moonwalking to dodge the Fire Fang attacks! Charmeleon would lunge forward and MJ would simply change direction with ease and shuffle its feet along the ground to carry itself backwards, out of range of the attack!

I couldn’t believe it!

The crowd began to go wild for this, cheering and applauding and laughing in amazement. A lot of people had been recording the battle, but once MJ started to moonwalk, nearly everyone had a phone or camera out, recording this spectacle.

I understood MJ’s nickname now. Nonetheless, this little show was infuriating me as it continued. “This is ridiculous! Dragon Rage!”Charmeleon’s tail flame increased in intensity and his eyes glowed a bright white before letting loose an incredibly huge flame at MJ, who back flipped over it before landing and spinning in place. It stopped, its eyes closed with a smile, its head lowered. One hand was in the air, the other right in the middle of the lower half of its body. Its eyes opened before looking up at Charmeleon and winking.

Charmeleon growled and took a step forward.

“Charmeleon, return!” I recalled him back to everyone’s surprise.

Robin’s eyes widened as well before a smile came over his face. “Ha ha ha ha! Getting frustrated, Gary?”I ignored him and threw a different Poke Ball. “Butterfree, I choose you!”

“Freeeeee!” Butterfree cried as she was set free.

“Oh, it’s so beautiful!” a lady noted from the crowd.

“We have to slow that thing down!” I informed Butterfree. “Stun Spore!”“Freeeeee!” Butterfree flew over MJ and an orange mist of powder floated down onto MJ.

MJ had nowhere to dance off to and struggled against the powder as Paralysis took over.

“Nice try, Gary!” Robin had his stern eyes on Butterfree. “Hidden Power!”

MJ raised its arms high in the air. A circle appeared and spun around its pompom appendages before disappearing into the pompoms and causing them to glow white. “PLUFF!” MJ cried as it pointed them at Butterfree, and two white beams shot out, hitting Butterfree square in her body.

“FREEEE!” Butterfree croaked weakly.

The noise hurt my heart and made it beat even faster.

Butterfree bounced on the ground and remained there.

“Butterfree!” I waited for her to get up, silently insisting on it!

“Hidden Power. For MJ, it’s a Rock type move,” Robin explained. “Butterfree being Bug and Flying, two types that are weak to Rock moves, it never stood a chance.”I returned Butterfree to her Poke Ball. “Thank you, Butterfree. You did just what I needed. Charmeleon! Let’s wrap this up!”

“MEEEEEEEL!” Charmeleon blasted invisible opponents in the air with his fire.

Everyone went loud with approval.

Charmeleon could sure work a crowd up.

“Hidden Power! Rock moves are strong against Fire types, too!” Robin bared his teeth at my Pokemon.

MJ raised its pompoms in the air again, causing white circles to spin around them before disappearing into the pompoms and making them glow white.

“Smokescreen!”

“Chaaaaaar,” Charmeleon exhaled smoke and blinded MJ.

“Jump! Jump!” MJ choked out, firing the Hidden Power blindly, missing Charmeleon.

“After it!” I pointed at the smoke.

“Chaaaar!” Charmeleon ran into the smoke.

“MJ, moooooove!” Robin insisted.

Flames ignited everywhere. Blast after blast of fire shot out of random places of the smoke, the crowd gasping with every new burst of fire.

Robin and I focused on the smoke, waiting for it to clear.

“Pluff!”

“Chaaar!”

“Jump Jump!”“Meleon!!”

“Jump!Jump!Jump!Jump!Jump!Jump!” Jumpluff was heard but completely hidden from us.

“Jumpluff!” Robin called to his Pokemon fearfully.

The smoke finally cleared and revealed MJ and Charmeleon, both breathing heavily, glaring at each other.

“MJ, use Leech Seed, now!”

MJ bent over and stood still, twitching in pain.

“Nooooo! Not Paralysis! NOT NOW!!” Robin bemoaned.

“Charmeleon, NOW!”.

“CHARRRRRRRMELEOOOON!!!” Charmeleon let out Flamethrower to MJ’s screams.

When Charmeleon ceased the fire, MJ was on its back, knocked out, a tiny flame still lit on its head which went out after a few seconds.

“MJ…” Robin fell to his knees, his head down in defeat. He returned MJ to its Poke Ball. “Well,” Robin said, standing up, “MJ did just what was necessary. Charmeleon is weak and now is the time to claim victory. I choose you! Catherine!”

“Squirtle Squirtle!” Squirtle appeared! She looked at Charmeleon and smiled, then to me jumped up and down. The water turtle ran to Charmeleon first. “Squirt Squirtle Squirt!”

“Meel. Char Char!” Charmeleon greeted her.

The crowd “Awwwed” at the interaction.

Squirtle then started to run up to me eagerly.

“CATHERINE!!!!” Robin screamed at the top of his lungs.

The yell made me jump and grabbed the attention of everyone else, but Squirtle completely ignored Robin and ran up to me!

My eyes lowered from Robin as I knelt down with a smile. “Catherine?”

“Squirtle!” Catherine reached out to me with her tiny arms.

“How’ve you been?” I reached out and picked her up.

The crowd adored my interaction with Catherine.

“You have a beautiful new nickname,” I told her.

Catherine gazed at me with adoration and hugged me.

I hugged her back.

Suddenly, Catherine was yanked right out of my arms!

“Squirtle?” Catherine gasped in surprise.

“Hey!” I also gasped.

Robin had snatched Catherine away and turned her around to face him. “This is a battle!!” he barked at her. “What did we discuss?!?! No more of this crap! Now get out there and beat that flaming lizard into the dirt!!”

Catherine looked down sadly, then turned back to me, her eyes filled with tears. She then looked down to Charmeleon. “Squirt…”

Robin stormed over and gently placed Catherine down a few feet from Charmeleon. He walked away a few feet from his Pokemon before turning back around. “Water Gun!”

Catherine began to shiver on the spot, otherwise not moving.

“CATHERINE!! DAMN IT!!!!” Robin looked ready to eat Catherine at this point!

“Char…” Charmeleon walked over to Catherine and started talking to her.

“Back off!” Robin snapped at my Pokemon. “She’s my Pokemon! She has to listen to me! Not other Pokemon or their Trainers…” Robin leered at me.

I stared back silently.

“Catherine, use the damn Water Gun, will you?! Bubblebeam! SOMETHING!!

Catherine began to shiver harder.

“Hey! Don’t be so mean!” a woman called out. “That little Squirtle is scared! Maybe it’s because you’re being a mean Trainer!”Robin turned to the woman sharply. “I AM NOT!” My friend was losing it now. “She only does this crap when I have to battle HIM!” Robin pointed at me. “SHE LISTENS TO ME EVERY OTHER TIME!” Robin turned to me with a threatening look.

My eyes narrowed back at him. “Fine. Then let’s help Catherine out a bit. Charmeleon! Flamethrower!”

Charmeleon looked at me for a second, and then used Flamethrower on Catherine.

“SQUUIIIIRRRTLLLLLLE!!!” Catherine wailed helplessly and used Withdraw, hiding inside of her shell.

The flames hit.

Once the attack ended, Catherine poked her head out and looked up at Charmeleon, then me, her eyes filled with tears.

This instantly made me regret what I had done to her.

“They want to battle, Catherine!” Now Robin sounded less angry and just exasperated. “Please! Just battle! PLEASE! Water Guuuuun!”

Catherine hid back in her shell.

Robin fell to his knees and his head fell to the ground. He let out a loud, angry cry.

I sighed.

Charmeleon turned to face me, scratching the back of his head in confusion.

I stared back at him with sadness. Sad over this embarrassing situation Robin was still going through. Sad for trying to imagine the frustration Robin was going through constantly when, as he said, he battles me with her...

The crowd watched eagerly.

Robin stood up silently. With his head kept down, he silently returned Catherine to her Poke Ball. He sighed. Then he chuckled. Not his usual loud chuckle. A more defeated, quiet one. “You know, I kind of named Catherine after you.”

“Huh?” I was confused by what he had said, and also surprised.

“When trying to figure out a nickname, I thought about you,” Robin let me know.

“Me? Why?” I asked.

Robin chuckled again. “How could I not? You two have a great connection or something, right? That’s what June said, right? That cute Gym Leader from Gringey City? You have history or something.” He chuckled once again. “Squirtle… She’s caring. Concerned. Compassionate. Charismatic. Charming. Cute. Curious... She’s all of those things, naturally. But around you, they shine brighter than ever before. I hate to admit it, but when she’s around you, she’s at her most caring; her most concerned; her most compassionate; her most charismatic; her most charming; her most curious. And definitely her cutest. She has the strongest... connection... with you... An even stronger one than she has with me, after all this time. Her own Trainer... Back at Prof. Oak’s Lab...” Robin sat on his following words for a moment. “It’s pretty obvious that she was fond of you. She saved you when Charmander attacked you. You could even say she... Chose... You, as her Trainer, perhaps...”

“Robin...” I started.

“All these words that begin with the letter ‘C,’” Robin went on. “And, she is a female, so, I thought Catherine would fit. It’s a nice name.” Robin sighed again.

“Robin… That was really nice of you to give her that name,” I said softly. “It fits her perfectly.”“Thank you, Gary.” Robin went quiet.

Everyone did.

“Well, I’d best just be on my way…” With his head down, not looking at me, Robin turned away and began to walk off.

“Hey!” I called.

He stopped.

I hesitated before saying what was on my mind. “Robin.”Silence.

“She’s still a Squirtle…”

Robin didn’t say anything.

“You say she listens to you normally, and it’s been a while since we last met, so I’m sure she’s been in her fair share of battles,” I went on. “I have a Charmeleon. Aly has an Ivysaur at least.”

Robin didn’t turn around. “So?”

“I dunno. I was just surprised. I mean, it’s no big deal. Some Pokemon just prefer to not evolve. I’m sorry. Never mind. I didn’t really mean anything by it.”

Robin continued to walk away again.

“Robin!”

He kept walking.

“You won! There’s no way Charmeleon was in any shape to beat Squirtle!”

Robin stopped and whipped his body around to me. The rage on his face was blatant as he advanced on me. There was no way to stop him as he quickly shoved me back hard.

The crowd gasped and spoke in frightened tones.

I stared at him in shock as I stumbled backwards and fell.

“DON’T YOU EVER SAY CRAP LIKE THAT AGAIN!” Robin snarled. “HOW DARE YOU COUNT OUT YOUR CHARMELEON LIKE THAT! CHARMELEON COULD’VE WON, YOU IDIOT! HOW DARE YOU! A MATCH IS NEVER OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER! YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU F...?” Robin bared his teeth for a second. “FOOL!

I stared at him in horror.

“CATHERINE WON’T OBEY ME! YOU WON FAIR AND SQUARE!! IF YOU DARE TO EVEN THINK SOMETHING THAT STUPID AGAIN, THEN YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING A POKEMON TRAINER!!” Robin turned and stormed away.

Once Robin was out of sight, everyone stared at me, including Charmeleon.

“I’m… So sorry,” I stammered to Charmeleon. “I wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry. Robin was right... I shouldn’t have said that.”Charmeleon walked over to me and sat down calmly next to me. He put one of his claws on my shoulder and nodded, accepting my apology. “Meleon.”

I hugged Charmeleon. I had only meant to hold my Pokemon for a few seconds. Maybe a minute. But I didn’t let go for a lot longer.

Charmeleon’s arms were wrapped around me.

My eyes were closed. I wasn’t fully sure why, but I was crying. “I’m sorry, Charmeleon. I won’t doubt you like that again. I was just trying to… make Robin feel better.”There was silence.

“Or maybe… I did believe it…” Hot tears flowed from my eyes. “I’m so sorry. I know you could’ve won. I just wasn’t sure, since you’d had such a tough battle. And Robin was so upset with Squirtle. But I was wrong to say that, no matter what. I’m really, really sorry, Charmeleon. We fight until the end. Like always. No matter what. I’m so sorry.”

“Char… Char…” Charmeleon comforted me.

As I reflected on my battle with Robin, and how it ended.

My eyes remaining closed yet knowing the crowd around me and Charmeleon was dispersing.

I felt like I was understanding why I kept on crying.

At the same time.

I felt so confused by the tears.

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