A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

Taylor-Made

“Where does June always leave to?” Robin asked me.

“She’s with her Pokemon,” I told him lowly, unsure of exactly how to answer.

“Her Pokemon?” Robin asked in confusion. “But all of our Pokemon are right here, eating. Why is she by herself with her Pokemon?”

Charmeleon, Hoothoot, Primeape, Kingdra, Weepinbell, and Baltoy ate next to Robin’s Squirtle, Croconaw, Pikachu, Arcanine, Togekiss, and Kecleon.

My eyes removed from the group accompanying our clearing. “Just issues they are having,” I muttered. “She’s working on them, I guess. She’ll return in a while.” I took another bite of my sandwich, chewing on it very slowly until it turned into mush in my mouth, and then proceeding to swallow it slowly. I wasn’t hungry. It’s hard to have an appetite when your entire body is already full from emotional pain. Having Robin with me on my journey now seemed to add to the stress. It was as if the problem was right in front of my face now.

He was eating from a bag of chips. It was good to see him eating again. Something I hadn’t seen him do in a couple of days. Even if it was just a bag of chips, it was better than nothing.

It had been a couple of days since Robin had joined up with June and I. With Robin along with us, it could’ve, and should’ve, been a blast of fun. But it wasn’t. Things were very quiet. None of us spoke much.

June tried to break the ice on occasion, asking about his Badges, his Pokemon, and what kind of training he’d been doing all this time.

Robin’s answers were very short, whenever he actually gave any. Most of the time, he just ignored June completely, his eyes trained on the ground, glaring at it. At times, his silently raging eyes let loose the weight of tears. Only last night, I awoke to sounds of Robin in his sleeping bag, sniffling heavily.

Catherine, Bright Eyes, Dots, Flourish, Spirit, and Subliminal. Those were the nicknames he gave for his Pokemon. I knew about Catherine, Bright Eyes, Dots, and Flourish, but Togekiss as Spirit, and Kecleon as Subliminal, were new to me.

Hearing their silly nicknames got a smile out of me upon hearing them the first time.

Robin’s Pokemon didn’t seem very energetic. They seemed to be out of it. Down, even.

Even Catherine didn’t seem as eager as usual to see me. She smiled happily and waved at me and June, but that was about it before sitting.

Maybe they can pick up on Robin’s sadness, too, I thought. Like my Pokemon did when I was dealing with Aly’s passing before.

“Hey,” Robin said suddenly, breaking the silence.

I turned to him quickly.

“Remember when Aly was at your birthday party and refused to eat the chocolate cake that your parents were serving because she hates chocolate?” Robin said with a grin, keeping his eyes on the ground.

I smiled a little, my eyes watering up. “Yeah,” I managed to let out in a whisper.

“She was so upset,” Robin continued. “She crossed her arms and pouted and refused to drink anything. There was no other flavored cake, and she refused anything else to eat but cake. She wouldn’t play any games with us and just scowled!” Robin laughed a little before covering his eyes, his body jumping lightly as he cried quietly.

My hands remained on the ground as I leaned against the tree trunk I was sitting by and let the sharp tears fall. “What about that time in the first grade when she threw a tantrum in class because the English homework was too much for her?” I wiped my eyes.

“She said it was too long and stupid and she was refusing to do it!” Robin spoke behind his hands. “Oh! And what about when Aly saw that Meowth in the schoolyard and the teacher, who had that huge phobia of cats, grabbed her and pulled her away from the Meowth while she was petting it and scared it away. Aly kicked the teacher and yelled at her for scaring away the Meowth!”

We both laughed loudly, Robin’s hands falling away from his face. The laughter ended soon, the pain in my chest easily outweighing the joy of the memories we were reminiscing on. A rustling through the trees grabbed our attention to June returning.

She smiled at me and Robin, but her smile faded when she saw our now mournful faces. “Hey, guys,” she said in a low voice.

Robin nodded and looked back down, his arms wrapped around his knees.

“Hey,” I said, looking up at the stars.

“Are your Pokemon okay?” Robin asked, not looking up.

“Yeah,” June answered, sitting a few feet away from Robin and I. “They’re… okay…”

Robin didn’t say anything more.

Nobody did.

*

The small group of Robin, me, and June walked down a much larger path the next day. This stony road surrounded by trees had a much wider path, giving us room to spread further apart from each other.

A strange noise up ahead grabbed our attention collectively.

“Hey, look there!” June uttered.

A little female Nidoran♀ was sniffing the ground, looking around.

“A Nidoran♀!” I said.

Nidoran♀. The Poison Pin Pokemon. Nidoran♀ evolve into completely different Pokemon depending on their gender. It is believed that the toxic spine on the females developed as a means of protection to counteract their small size.

The Nidoran♀ looked up at us and cried out. She ran away and disappeared into the trees.

“I gotta catch her!” I grabbed Hoothoot’s Poke Ball and running into the woods.

“NO!” June shouted and shoved me out of the way.

Unfortunately for me, a tree was a mere inch away and I slammed right into it immediately.

“Nidoran♀, wait!” June chased after her.

“Gary!” Robin spoke.

I shook my head hard. “JUNE! NO FAIR!” I screamed, running after her. “Hoothoot, stop Nidoran♀!” I threw his Poke Ball.

“Hooooooot!” Hoothoot flew past June and blocked the little frightened Nidoran♀’s path.

Nidoran♀ let out a frightened cry and backed up.

“Hoothoot-” I began.

“NOOOOOO!” June scooped up Nidoran♀in her arms and turned her back on Hoothoot, glaring at me.

“June! That’s not fair! She’s my capture!”

“Wait! I don’t think you should, yet!” June pleaded.

“What? Why?” I demanded.

“This little one is looking for something important. Just give me a minute. Please?” She set Nidoran♀ down gently and smiled at her.

Nidoran♀ seemed happy and smiled back, saying something to June in her cute, unintelligible language.

June petted Nidoran♀. “Tell me what’s wrong, baby,” June said sweetly.

Nidoran♀ spoke to June, a strange sound, as if something was stuffed in her mouth, making her speech entirely unclear.

June’s eyes focused on Nidoran♀.

“My Nidoran♀!” a voice shouted from behind me.

Robin, June, Nidoran♀ , and I all turned with a gasp to see a little boy running up to us.

He ran straight to Nidoran♀ and scooped her into his arms and hugged her tightly. The boy had short black hair and was wearing a brown suit.

Nidoran♀ squealed happily.

“Nidoran♀, I found you!” He hugged her even tighter. “Don’t you ever run off again! Please! Why did you go? It’s so dangerous out here!” The boy looked up at me, June, and Robin. His eyes brightened and the tears clouding his eyes caused them to twinkle. “Thank you all! You three found my Nidoran♀! I am indebted to you all!”

“Um… no problem!” I beamed.

June cleared her throat loudly. “Sure thing.”

I turned to June to see her glaring at me.

“I didn’t do too much,” Robin chuckled.

“Please, come back to my mansion and meet my mom and dad,” the boy insisted. “They’d be so glad to meet you and thank you for what you’ve done!”

“A mansion?” June, Robin, and I questioned in shock at the same time.

“Out here?” Robin added.

“Yeah!” the boy said eagerly. “Please? Will you? Come on!”

The three of us turned to each other.

“Agreed!” June said loudly. “Please, lead the way.”

Robin and I turned to June, who walked past us swiftly and strictly, following the young child through the jumble of trees.

I shrugged at Robin.

Robin seemed confused, but went behind June.

I returned Hoothoot to his Poke Ball and ran after them all.

“My name is Taylor,” the boy said as we followed him back onto the path.

“I’m June,” June said quickly. “This is Gary and Robin.” She pointed at us.

“Nice to meet you all,” Taylor turned back to us with a broad grin.

I turned to June, who, to me, seemed to be acting a bit strange.

She had her eyes glued on Taylor.

Or was it Nidoran♀ she was eyeing?

Nidoran♀ was being held strongly in Taylor’s arms.

“Master Taylor, you’ve returned! And with Nidoran♀!” A man came bursting through the trees, scaring the life out of the five of us.

“Mr. Samuel!” Taylor greeted him. “Here you are!” Taylor ran up to the man.

Mr. Samuel towered over all of us, his wavy black hair combed back, dressed in a black suit. He stood straight up with an intimidating build to his body. A tiny headset was set on his head, a mouthpiece near his mouth. “I shall call off the search party,” Mr. Samuel smiled and nodded. He spoke very strongly, properly, clearly, with an out of date accent I’d expect from snobbish royalty. He reached up to the headset with his right hand, which was the side the mouthpiece was at. “Nidoran♀ has been found. I repeat, Nidoran♀ has been found!” He lowered his hand. “And who are these two fine gentlemen and beautiful lady with you, Master Taylor?”

“These are my friends who found Nidoran♀! June, Robin, and Gary!” Taylor introduced. “I was going to take them home to meet my mommy and daddy!”

“Ah, I see.” Mr. Samuel bowed to us. “You three are more than welcome for finding Nidoran♀. Please, allow me to escort you.” Mr. Samuel walked ahead, Taylor walking beside him.

June, Robin, and I turned to each other with surprise.

June’s face went solemn and she quickly turned to the two ahead of us and followed after them.

Me and Robin glanced at each other before quickly walking after June.

A surprisingly short while later, the mansion loomed over us!

June, myself, and Robin gawked at the enormous white building spanning many stories high. It sat comfortably behind an enormous garden full of stone sculptures and a multitude of flowers and other tall plants, some dwarfing us in height!

Mr. Samuel led us through the yard, and after about fifteen minutes, we were finally at the front door. “Welcome, Madame June, Sir Gary, and Sir Robin, to the Mainwealth household,” Mr. Samuel welcomed us as he opened one of the doubledoors.

The three of us looked around the inside of the mansion before entering.

I had been in one before when I had been leaving Fuchsia City, but I was still in awe over this much larger building.

The entire floor was made of black marble. The walls were a white so clean they almost seemed to shine, making it hard to look at. Paintings lined the walls, a mix of Pokemon, people, and other random designs and shapes. A few windows lined the walls, covered in closed white curtains. Stairs on either side of the mansion led up, which reached another floor with stairs that led up, continuously repeating in a pattern.

“Please, right this way, Master Taylor, Sir Gary, Madame June, and Sir Robin.” Mr. Samuel strolled towards the wall where an elevator was outlined.

I could get used to this whole “Sir Gary,” thing, I smirked to myself, trying hard not to smile openly.

Mr. Samuel pressed a button and led us inside the plush, brown elevator.

The floor was soft and had a subtle bounce to it. Mr. Samuel pressed the third floor button and the elevator smoothly lifted us up, the electronic numbers passing by on a small black screen right above the buttons. This elevator only went as high as the eighth floor, but this mansion definitely reached higher than that. The doors slid open smoothly and Mr. Samuel led us out.

Robin was glancing around the new floor we were on that highly resembled the previous one besides having a couple of sculptures of important looking people in gray stone.

June had strong, intimidating eyes on Taylor for some reason.

No one else seemed to notice this at all, including Taylor.

What is she doing? I wondered. Why is she staring at him like that?

After walking past a few doors, Mr. Samuel stopped in front of one and knocked. “Sir, My Lady, Master Taylor and his Nidoran♀ have arrived with the aid of three guests, Sir Robin, Madame June, and Sir Gary.”

I smiled, to be friendly to the people I was about to meet, but also inhaling the “Sir Gary” title.

“Enter!” a deep voice from behind the door stated.

Mr. Samuel opened the door and stepped in, holding open the door as Taylor, Nidoran♀, June, Robin, and I entered the enormous room.

This incredible room held an extremely large, flat screen television built into the wall! Portraits of Taylor and a man and woman holding him coated the walls and tables. A single window sat on a wall at the end of the room, draped in gold curtains. On a white couch that looked big enough to fit three families sat the man and woman from the photos, smiling. They stood up with warm smiles and approached us.

The man, taller even than Mr. Samuel, with freshly cut hair and a gleaming smile, showing off nearly all of his teeth, wearing a sparkling silver bath robe and matching sandals, wrapped his arms around Taylor. “My boy! I’m so glad you’re okay! And little Nidoran♀!” The man rubbed Nidoran♀’s head, but she shook her head hard afterwards.

The woman, also startling tall but the shortest of the three giants, oddly wearing a light blue business suit, placed a hand on Taylor’s shoulder and smiled at me, June, and Robin. “Thank you all so much for finding our son’s Nidoran♀. She’s his favorite Pokemon in the world. We love our son and would do anything for him, including finding this little cutie and capturing it just for him to love and raise.”

Taylor laughed as he hugged his dad, and then he ran over to his mom and hugged her legs.

The mother kneeled down and hugged him tightly. “I love you, honey,” she said.

“I love you, mom and dad.”

Nothing could ruin such a touching moment as this.

I turned to June with a joyful smile to match this precious moment.

June was still looking down coldly at Taylor.

“June?” I swallowed nervously, my smile slipping away quickly.

She ignored me and kept looking at him.

“Gary,” Robin whispered. He was pointing at the television.

I turned to it, watching as a breaking news bulletin was being spoken about.

“Authorities are having no luck in tracking down any further members of Team Solace and are seeking any information, urging anyone who knows anything to call in immediately,” the red haired woman insisted, staring seriously from the screen. “This latest attack on the Whirl Islands follows only a day from the Gym explosion that occurred in Cinnabar Island, with no one on the island hurt. Thankfully, no one was inside the Gym at the time. These actions are being fulfilled as promised by Team Solace after their attack on the Kanto Radio Tower last month. Gyms are still being investigated around the globe, several being cleared for use, however, several still remain unchecked. Unchecked Gyms are closed down until inspected, and while cleared Gyms are allowed to be used for battles, it is highly recommended Trainers not challenge Pokemon Gyms at all until the situation is completely resolved as few other Gyms that weren’t deemed safe yet have been detonated, a number of other Gyms having been defused safely.”

The TV went black.

“The news sure is terribly hard to watch these days,” the mother said, the remote in her hand, pointed at the screen. She turned to us and smiled, but it faded instantly.

Maybe it was because of the look of fear on June’s face.

Maybe it was the stern glance I was still giving the black TV screen.

Maybe it was the rage on Robin’s face, his fists shaking at his sides.

“Are you three kids alright?” she asked.

Though I did manage to face her, it was only briefly before I looked away, unable to answer.

June kind of whimpered and closed her eyes, lowering her head.

Robin turned to the mother, still glaring. “We lost a friend due to those... freaks," he growled.

June placed a hand on his shoulder.

Robin took a deep breath.

“Oh, my dear. I am so sorry!”

The father was standing now and placed a large, heavy hand on Robin’s shoulder. “I’m so sorry to here that.”

Robin closed his eyes and nodded, his tight fists remaining. He cleared his throat, his chest heaving hard now, his shoulders moving to the same rhythm.

Team Solace was still out there, raising Hell, I thought to myself sadly, angrily.

June cleared her throat and broke the silence. “Excuse me,” she started.

All eyes went to June.

“This Nidoran♀ doesn’t belong here!” she said sternly, loudly, taking a step forward.

The mom and dad looked at her in shock.

Taylor turned to June, stunned by her words.

Mr. Samuel gasped.

Even Robin’s fists unclenched as he turned to June with surprise.

I squinted at June, expecting an explanation.

“Excuse me, but can you explain yourself?” the dad demanded, stepping closer to June.

June swallowed at the father’s intimidating presence but took a deep breath and stepped closer to him. “That Nidoran♀ doesn’t belong here!” she repeated. “She doesn’t truly want to be here! She belongs… with her mother!"

The uncomfortable silence in the room was starting to make me feel like throwing up. I swallowed to keep away any chance of that.

The mom’s face went from shock, to anger.

The dad glared at June, furious, his eyes bulging. “MR. SAMUEL! ESCORT THESE THREE CHILDREN OUT OF HERE!" he bellowed.

June stayed silent, but Robin and I gasped at this reaction.

Before either of us could move, the entire mansion started to rock.

“WHOA!” I screamed.

Robin also screamed in surprise.

June gasped and looked around.

“The damn thing is back!!” the father roared, turning to the door.

An explosion rocked the mansion once again and we all fell to the floor.

A loud roar came from outside the mansion.

“What’s going on??” I reacted in a panic.

June got to her feet quickly and ran out of the room, a determined look on her face.

“June!” I stood up and ran after her as fast as I could.

“June! Gary!” I heard Robin call after us.

I followed June down the stairs at the end of the hallway. Behind me were hurried footsteps that made me look back.

Robin, Taylor’s parents, Mr. Samuel, and Taylor himself were following.

“Stop right there!” Taylor’s dad screamed.

June ignored him, as did me and Robin, and we reached the first floor.

June ran to the front doors and shoved them open.

I heard several gasps, including my own, as I watched in horror at the scene in front of us.

A Nidoqueen was attacking the mansion! She was attacking with Hyper Beam, blasting at the surrounding area.

From the flowers and grass in the garden, metal poles were now sticking out of the ground that weren’t there before, holding up what appeared to be a camera. I realized in a matter of seconds that it wasn’t a camera, but some kind of laser gun! The machines were firing at Nidoqueen, who was now firing back with Ice Beam attack!

“That thing is a menace!” the father raged from close behind me. “It’s been terrorizing us forever! We finally installed this little extra security measure and we’ll be sure to be rid of this little terror once and for all!”

“Why is it attacking?” I cried out.

“It’s just crazy!” the father informed me. “I want it gone!"

Nidoqueen used Rock Smash and destroyed one of the lasers with a strong punch. Another laser pointed at Nidoqueen, who ran forward, running in zigzags, dodging the attacks. She aimed an Ice Beam at the laser and it froze, and then the Pokemon continued running through the lawn, towards the house, using Hyper Beam on it again.

“Mr. Samuel, blow it up!” the father ordered.

I turned to Mr. Samuel as he pulled out a device that looked like a black remote control with only one black button on it.

“HEY!” June slapped Mr. Samuel across the face.

Mr. Samuel looked at June in disbelief, gripping his object.

June growled and reached her hands up, grabbing Mr. Samuel by the face and digging her nails into his cheeks!

Mr. Samuel screamed as he dropped the remote.

June took a strong leap, holding on to his face, taking him down.

“You stupid little girl!” Taylor’s dad yelled, reaching down to her.

With a swift spin, Robin turned his back and threw a foot back hard into the father’s stomach, which took him by surprise as he fell back and collapsed, grabbing himself as he groaned in pain.

“Daddy!” Taylor ran to him.

I snatched the remote from the floor, unsure of what was going on or what to do. June had attacked Mr. Samuel for some reason, and I just knew I had to have her back. I just hoped she hadn’t lost her mind and knew what she was doing. Backing up on shaky legs, I turned to Nidoqueen, who was now surrounded by several lasers.

Nidoqueen leaped into the air a couple of feet and came down strong, sending shock waves through the ground, rocking the entire mansion and causing the machines to topple over into each other and break down.

Everyone standing was dropped immediately.

“Give me her!” June’s voice rang out. She was no longer on top of Mr. Samuel, but was glaring at Taylor! She snatched Nidoran♀ away from Taylor, whose eyes began to immediately water, his face scrunching up, ready to cry.

June turned from him and walked towards me.

“June, what’s going on?” I asked, terrified now.

Taylor’s mother appeared in front of June, her hands angrily on her straight hips.

Taylor’s father rose up behind June and gripped her by her shoulders roughly.

June cried out, flinching in pain.

Nidoran♀ was whining, struggling in June’s arms.

“Let go of June!” Robin ran to the grown man.

The father didn’t turn to Robin, but casually shoved him by the face.

Robin was overwhelmed and hit the ground hard, but he got right back up with a grunt.

“Get off of her!” It was my turn to stand up to the dad, shoving the remote in my back pocket.

Another loud explosion caused us all to turn. Smoke filled a lot of the garden, nothing visible through it.

A few seconds later, a tired looking Nidoqueen appeared, breathing heavily. Her infuriated face was for us all.

June turned and spit in the dad’s face.

"Augh!" Surprised, he let go of June.

June ran past the surprised mom and stopped several feet from the Nidoqueen, holding Nidoran♀ in her arms.

The Nidoran♀ squealed excitedly, reaching out for Nidoqueen.

“Nidoqueen! I’m sorry!” June told the now silent Pokemon leering at her. “Please, I’m sorry your baby was stolen from you. But here she is, safe and sound. No harm done to her. This was nothing but a stupid, stupid incident that occurred. I’m sincerely sorry any of this happened.” June set the little Nidoran♀ to the ground, and she happily ran up to Nidoqueen.

Nidoqueen let out a loud, happy cry and knelt down, reaching out for Nidoran♀.

“Nosy children!” an angry voice came from behind me.

Before I could turn around, I felt the remote yanked from my back pocket.

June turned around and stood up, staring in horror behind me. ”NOOOOOOOOO!!"

I turned to see Taylor’s dad holding the remote...

...and press the button.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!

A fiery explosion erupted right where Nidoqueen stood.

My heart was clogging my breathing, my breath ripped out from my lungs, as Nidoran♀ was blasted back by the explosion. She flew right into the mansion wall and bounced several times before remaining in a still heap.

Smoke filled the garden instantly.

The father stood blocking his face with his arms as the rough wind from the explosion ruffled his robe.

The son was staring in horror at what just occured.

Robin look dumbfounded.

June hurried over to the Nidoran♀ and grabbed her in her arms, covering her with her whole body.

The entire place was rocking roughly, parts of the mansion beginning to collapse now.

The smoke finally faded, but Nidoqueen was nowhere in sight.

“Finally,” the father muttered.

She was finally visible. Nidoqueen was far away from the property of these people, but I could see her well enough. She lay on her back, motionless.

“NO!” June shoved past me and ran through the completely destroyed field.

I ran after her, not wanting to. Not wanting to approach exactly where she was headed.

June ran out of what was left of the garden and stopped only once she reached Nidoqueen. She knelt down next to her body.

I stopped several feet from June, staring at Nidoqueen, hoping with all my might that I could see Nidoqueen breathing as I watched her chest and stomach.

More and more footsteps were heard approaching us.

Time passed with me just standing there, watching June crying, her face buried into the downed Nidoqueen’s stomach. Time I couldn’t count. Time I wish didn’t exist.

Nidoqueen never moved in all that time.

Neither did I, other than my heart and body trembling. I wasn’t even sure if I was breathing. After what just happened; what I was witnessing... I didn’t want to breathe. I felt dead inside. Nauseated.

“Nidoran♀ is finally safe,” I heard the dad behind me say proudly. “She can live in peace with our son and not have to be terrorized by that-”

A loud noise from behind us made us look towards the mansion.

One half of the mansion started to come down slowly. One section from the bottom, then another, and then the floors above, and soon the entire half of the mansion was a heap of concrete and marble, the other half looking weak and ready to come down at any moment.

“MY MANSIOOOOOON!” the dad bellowed in a rage.

The mom was shrieking at the top of her lungs.

I realized Taylor was the only one who hadn’t turned to see the mansion collapse. He was still staring at Nidoqueen. His dark brown eyes shed tears onto his young cheeks as he stared at Nidoqueen, who still hadn’t moved.

“THAT DAMN NIDOQUEEN DESTROYED EVERYTHIIIING!” the dad cursed. He sighed, quickly relaxing. “I guess we simply have to rebuild the damn thing,” he spoke more calmly. “In the meantime, I guess we’ll be taking a plane trip to one of our other mansions.” He turned to Taylor and placed a hand on his shoulder, smiling broadly. “So, where do you want to live next? How about a trip to Johto? We have mansions out there where we can live. It’s very beautiful and to be honest, far more beautiful than this drab of a place Kanto is. What do you say?”

Taylor’s mom turned around brightly and looked down at her son.

Taylor eyes narrowed now, and he whipped around to his father. “Nidoran♀ didn’t belong to me, did she?” he snapped at him.

Taylor’s father squinted at him. “What was that, Taylor?”

“You never caught her!” he cried, his face dripping in tears. “She didn’t belong to me! She was a wild Pokemon!”

Taylor’s parents both stared at him silently, matching solemn looks on their faces.

Taylor was sobbing hard now, his eyes filled with anger towards his parents. “You killed… her mommy…”

“Taylor, she would’ve killed all of us,” his dad said, getting mad.

"Because you stole her child!" June stepped up to him. “You kidnapped her child! You didn’t even have the decency to capture her you lazy freaking asses! You stole her and kept her from her mom! How could you?? How dare you?? Who the hell do you think you are?!”

“We got our child’s favorite Pokemon!” the father argued with June. “We love our boy! We got him exactly what he wanted! We kept the damn Nidoran♀ happy!”

“NO!” June got in the dad’s face. “You never could’ve kept her truly happy! You kept her a hostage and prevented her mother any access! And now… you freaking KILLED HER! You killed the mother of that Nidoran♀!! Nidoran♀ only ever wanted to be free!! She may have had nice things and have been loved by Taylor, but she didn’t belong to him! She was her mother’s! How could you guys?!”

The father raised a hand and pointed a finger at June’s face. “You listen here you nosy little prick in my side,” he threatened. “You get your stupid friends out of here and stay out of our business or I swear I will-”

“I can’t believe you, dad,” Taylor whined, the pain in his voice, heart shattering.

Taylor’s dad turned to his son and he lowered his hand. He stood up tall and shook his head, a look of disgust on his face. “You speak like one of the poor. What has gotten into you, son? Don’t you see we love you?!”

“No!” Taylor croaked. “I don’t see that at all...”

“You guys are nothing but high class snobs who think money can get you anything,” June accused. “You used money to get Nidoran♀, and you just gave lavish gifts to your child all of his life. That isn’t love! You may be rich, but you’re truly the bottom of society.”

The dad turned to June, sneering at her. “You little broke, filthy, child. How dare you speak to-!”

A siren sounded and interrupted him.

We all looked up, and within a minute, saw several police cars approached the area.

*

Me, June, and Robin were headed down a familiar path, an unfamiliar cold surrounding us that had nothing to do with the chilly weather, and silenced by an inner weight of despair I knew we were all sharing, trudging towards Dark City.

After the police in Dark City were alerted to the explosions nearby, they arrived as soon as they could, and Taylor’s parents were immediately taken into custody.

Taylor was taken by the police, too, and would most likely become a ward of the state and live in a foster home or something.

June insisted to the police that he be able to keep Nidoran♀, wherever he go.

After we had explained everything that had happened, Officer Jenny was so moved that she gave us her word to do her best to keep Nidoran♀ and Taylor together, but did admit that it was highly unlikely to happen and that Nidoran♀ may end up either released or in a shelter, depending on the situation.

This upset June to no end, as well as bringing Robin and I down, too.

After a lot of questioning by the police, we were headed towards Dark City, which apparently wasn’t much further from here at all, according to the police officers.

June took a deep breath, her hand on her heart.

“You okay, June?” Robin asked.

June had her eyes closed, her head lowered, but she nodded. Inhaling deeply, she lifted her head and shook it slowly. Her eyes opened as she released her breath. “We’re almost there,” she spoke softly. Her nudged her head in the direction ahead of us.

Robin and I looked and I could just barely see a city in the distance.

“That’s it!” Robin pointed. “Dark City! My ninth Badge is there!”

“My sixth…” I muttered, staring at the city, a good twenty minute run away from us.

We all stopped walking and stared at the city that stood so close, yet so far away.

It’s taken us long enough, I thought. Time to get myself another Badge. My eyes turned to June. “Hey,” I began.

“If you two are just gonna stand here all day, I’ll have my Badge from this city before either of you!” June spoke out, not seeming to hear me. She ran ahead of Robin and I, taking us both by surprise.

Me and Robin exchanged wide-eyed stares, looked after June, and then turned back to each other.

Robin smirked. “First one to get there gets to battle the Gym Leader first!” Robin challenged.

“Huh?”

Before I even got my reaction out, Robin bolted past me and ran towards Dark City. “HEY!” I took off after him.

It was only a couple of seconds before the two of us had left June behind us in our desperatation to reach Dark City first.

“Hey! You guys, wait up!” June laughed. “No fair!”

We were all headed to Dark City together.

Feeling just a little bit better now despite everything that had occurred in the past couple of weeks.

But running so hard to leave and keep the past and present, behind us.

Excited about the upcoming Gym battles.

There, I would experience several shocks unlike anything I’d gone through before.

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