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View Full Version : Hearts and Minds (Pokémon, Drama/Romance, M15+)



Kawaii_Cherry_Blossom
6th June 2005, 1:42 PM
This fic was originially posted on Serebii Forums last year, but I was deleted from the board in the cleanup (I didn't even do anything bad! XD), along with all of my fics, so I'll be posting everything again.


Hearts and Minds

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom


Type: Drama/Romance
Rating: M15+
Notes:

This is a revised and changed version of my unfinished fanfiction ‘Best Days of Our Lives’.

All characters are 17/18.

In this fanfiction, the characters have to go to school before they are allowed to go out and be Pokémon trainers. They still get their first Pokémon at 10, though.



Chapter 1
Friends and Lovers



Ash leaned against the school building as he glanced around at the familiar setting that was his high school. Though he tried to hide it, his vision was focused on one particular person – a tall, slim, redheaded girl. He and Misty had been best friends since they were kids, but lately his feelings had changed. His heart would beat faster and faster when she came near, and his face would flush a deep red when they touched. His mother thought it was the cutest thing she’d ever heard, but for Ash, it was a burden. Misty didn’t return his feelings. He couldn’t even tell her because he was afraid of both rejection and of destroying the friendship that was so important to him. A voice snapped him out of his train of thought.
“Thinking about Misty again?” Brock asked.
“Pika [Yes]”, Pikachu answered for him. Ash gave his Pokémon a look as Brock laughed.
Brock was Ash’s other best friend, who, unfortunately for Ash, could read him like a book. Ash cursed himself in his head as he realised that he’d been staring at Misty, and felt his cheeks blush.
“Huh?! What do you mean?” he asked, attempting to cover for himself. Brock laughed.
“There’s no point denying it anymore Ash, remember? I know you, and I know you like Misty.” Ash laughed off the accusation lightly.
“Me like her? Are you kidding?” he said, standing.
“Why don’t you just tell her?”
“Tell her what?”
“That you think she’s pretty”, Brock taunted, gaining satisfaction from the embarrassed look on Ash’s face.
“I do not!”



“Hi”, May called as she made her way over. Ash was glad for the distraction from the conversation.
“Hey”, Ash replied. Brock added his own greeting. The anticipation in May’s eyes told Brock that she wanted to be alone with Ash.
“I’ll see you in class Ash”, he said as he waved and walked away.
“So…” May started, turning Ash’s attention back to her. “Are you doing anything tonight?” she asked, an innocent yet pleading tone in her voice. Her eyes sparkled with excitement, so much so that Ash felt incredibly guilty for even contemplating saying yes.
“Well… No… I guess not”, he answered hesitantly, knowing what was coming.
“Good. Because I was just wondering…if you’d like to go out to dinner with me. You know, to celebrate the beginning of the end of school”, she asked casually. Ash sighed inwardly, not letting his uneasiness show.
“Sure”, he said simply. May was a nice person, he had to admit. They had never been close like he and Misty were, but their friendship had always been there. Perhaps it was time for him to move on. He would never be with Misty, so there was no point in being alone, was there? He was unsure, but felt bad letting her down without reason.
“Great”, she replied. She said no more, but Ash knew what she was waiting to hear.
“I’ll pick you up around seven?” he asked, trying to seem enthusiastic, though his mind was clouded with doubt and uncertainty.
“Sure! I can’t wait”, she replied, smiling happily. Ash forced a smile back at her, before he heard Duplica call her name.
“Well I’ll talk to you soon”, May said, waving at him as she walked towards Duplica. He could tell they were talking about him as they walked away.
“Pika pika pikachu? [Why did you say yes?]”
“I don’t know…”



James frowned as his black stretch-limo pulled up at Crossroads High. His Butler gave him a confident smile as he opened the door for his ‘master’, and James stepped out. He walked slowly through the gates, not too anxious to start another year of school. The expectations his parents had of him had reached their peak in preparation for this year. It was the last step in his education, before he went on to further education to become a lawyer…just like his father, and his father’s father, and his father’s father’s father, and so on, had done. His only salvation at home was his loyal Pokémon, Growlie, who would always cheer him up. Seeing his friends, James put on a brave face, and walked up to them in a posh fashion.



Jessibelle tossed her hair in a large display of attention, catching the eye of many a passer by. Giselle, who sat beside her, did the same. James laughed lightly as he walked up to Jessibelle and kissed her on the cheek.
“Still got that endless charm, haven’t you Belle?”
“Of course!” she smiled innocently at him. James rolled his eyes inwardly.
James had known Jessibelle all his life. Their families had always been friends because their fathers were both rich lawyers. Belle didn’t waste a second showing off that she was rich, beautiful, smart and talented. She beamed as a girl walked by holding a magazine with her on the front cover. James, on the other hand was shyer about his richness. He never bragged about it, and associated with all types of people, whether they were rich, poor, smart or dumb.
“These people are all such drags. Look at what they wear!” she said as she pointed to Misty, who was walking by. “I mean, those shorts are just sad.”
“I know, I mean, get a fashion sense”, Giselle agreed.
Misty sneered because she knew she was being talked about, and glared at Jessibelle, who just scoffed back at her.
“Oh, leave her alone guys, not everyone has the same opinion as you two do”, James said angrily. Jessibelle raised an eyebrow as James stalked away.
“What’s with him?” she asked aloud.
“PMS?” Giselle suggested.
Jessibelle burst into laughter.



Cassidy sent a look of distaste Jessie’s way. Her black miniskirt was riding up her leg and her top was way too short.
“Put some clothes on, Jess”, Cassidy said, a mix of disgust and pleasure echoing through her voice. Jessie rolled her eyes.
“Poor Cassidy, can’t you hold your jealousy in anymore?” she retorted. Cassidy laughed.
“You must be joking! You look like a cheap ****.” Jessie glared at Cassidy angrily, though her words were like a paper cut to her heart, both irritating and painful.
“You know, I don’t know how I could have ever been friends with you, Jessie. And you know what? Our friendship is officially over!” Cassidy said viciously, before turning on her heel and stalking away. Jessie cursed her former best friend under her breath.
‘Who needs her anyway? Not me. I don’t need anybody. They just get in the way. I’m fine on my own’ she mused, though deep down she knew that she was trying to convince herself of this more than she believed it. Jessie had had one miserable friendship after another. They had all ended this way, and she had never tried to patch them up. Cassidy had been her longest friend, though their relationship had always been sour. Perhaps she was simply meant to be alone, to walk solitarily. But did she really want to be alone? Jessie opened her locker door with a little too much force as this thought enveloped her. She looked down as James, who was standing nearby, glanced at her. He was a rich snob; he’d hardly ever spoken two words to her. He hung around with the other rich snobs, with perfect lives and perfect families, like Jessibelle and Giselle. James wasn’t as ill-behaved as the others though. In fact, he’d always seemed like a nice person. But she wouldn’t really know, because nice people don’t get involved with the notorious immoral Jessie, do they? Jessie could feel the familiar feeling of tears threatening to develop in her eyes, but forced them away. She never cried, not since her mother had died. What was the point? Nobody cared anyway.



‘Looks like summer break hasn’t caused them to change their minds about me’, Sabrina thought to herself as she received a strange, mocking look from Gary. She didn’t understand why they couldn’t accept her for who she was. Just because she had psychic powers and wore black didn’t make her any less human. Some people had been more accepting than others, but she wasn’t close with anybody in particular. Nobody had taken the time to really get to know her. Her only comfort was her psychic powers and her loyal Pokémon Abra, which soothed her loneliness. Sabrina wasn’t one to let others see her cry or become unsettled. She was strong, and strong people don’t cry. And if she was going to be a psychic gym leader, she would have to remain strong.
“Hey freak!” she heard the irritating voice of Gary call out. She ignored him and walked the other way. He was so immature.
‘Oh well. What do I care anyway?’ she thought. ‘All I have to do is put up with it for another year and then I’ll be out of here.’



“So are you coming over tonight?” Misty asked Ash as they reached their allocated lockers, which were beside each other. Misty, Sakura, Brock, Erika, Ash and anybody else who wanted to come, got together often, to hang out and let their Pokémon play together.
“Actually, I can’t”, Ash said, hesitance slipping into his voice. Misty looked disappointed.
“Oh? How come?”
“I…have a date”, he said slowly and uncomfortably, unable to look her in the eye. If he had been looking into her eyes, however, he would have seen the disappointment that shrouded them.
“Really?” she asked, trying to sound happy for him. “Who with?”
“May”, he stated simply, and silence engulfed them for a few moments.
“That’s good, I hope you have a good time”, she said finally, after contemplating how to reply. She forced happiness into her tone and a smile on her face. She was happy for him, wasn’t she? No way! She couldn’t be, not when she was in love with him. Being in love with one’s best friend is not easy, and seeing Ash go out with other girls broke her heart. But there was no way he would feel the same way as she, was there? No, she decided once again. He wouldn’t be going out with May if he did.



“Oh my gosh, just look at that shirt! That is like, something I wore back in the fourth grade!” Jessibelle remarked, flicking her long, red trusses behind her back.
James rolled his eyes, both at Jessibelle, and at Gary and Giselle, who’d found her remark funny.
“What’s the matter, Jim? You’re not turning softie on us are you?” Giselle asked, half in amusement.
James stared ahead, not answering her question. He didn’t know why, but his friends’ attitudes were bothering him to the point where he couldn’t stand to be near them. What had changed? He didn’t know.
‘Maybe I grew up’, he thought sarcastically, but didn’t dismiss the notion. Perhaps he had grown up. Perhaps joining in with his ‘friends’ wasn’t so fun after all. Perhaps he just needed a change, of everything. James sighed hopelessly. All he knew was that he couldn’t be near these people anymore, and he walked away without a word, quickly solving that problem.



Jessie sighed as she sat alone in the cafeteria. She didn’t usually come here at recess time but she didn’t really have anywhere else to go, since Cassidy now hated her guts. The cafeteria was pretty much deserted, save for a few ‘nerds’ who came to work, and some people buying food. People usually spent recess outside, especially in the nice weather like they were having today, so that they could train their Pokémon and battle with each other. But Jessie wasn’t so interested in Pokémon training. Her father forced her to go to school and get her diploma, but after she did, she planned to leave home and go to LA, where she could get her acting career started.
“Mind if I sit here?” she heard a male voice ask. Looking up, she found James Williams staring down at her. Snapping out of her state of self pity, she nodded. She and James weren’t friends, but at the moment Jessie could care less. She needed someone to talk to.
James sat on the chair across from her, putting a few textbooks down on the table.
“Hi”, she said simply.
“How come you’re not sitting with your friends?”
“I don’t have any”, Jessie answered sarcastically. “You?” James shrugged.
“Me neither.”
“I don’t know how you could ever have considered those losers friends in the first place”, she said. James smirked.
“I had no choice. Jessibelle was a friend of the family.” Jessie laughed.
“Poor family.”
‘She always wears such ****ty clothes but she’s really pretty. I never noticed it before…’ James thought as he laughed at her comment.
“So what are you gonna do next year?” James asked, trying to make small-talk.
Jessie shrugged, appearing as if she could care less. “I dunno. I want to be an actress…”
“Then you should. I’ve seen you in the school plays; you’re really good at it.”
“Thanks…” Jessie smiled. “But…”
“But what?”
“My father is dead-set against me becoming one. Says I should do something worth his time and that he didn’t spend his hard-earned money raising me to become an actress. He says it’s a joke’s job.”
“Oh…” James said quietly. “Well…I kind of know how you feel…”
“I doubt it.”
“Every generation of my family have become lawyers. So, of course, I’m expected to be one too. It was fine with me until last year when I realised I really don’t want to be a lawyer. But, you know, I have no choice.”
“That’s bull$%!&.”
“No kidding.”
Silence overtook them for a few moments, neither of them knowing what to say.
“Hey Jessie?” James said, looking up at her.
“Yeah?”
“I think you should go for it. Become an actress and be happy.”
Jessie looked at him for a moment, studying the emotion in his eyes. Strangely, she couldn’t find any… She smiled meekly.
“Well…maybe”, she said. “Thanks”.
He smiled back, but Jessie noticed that there was still no emotion present in his eyes. They just seemed to be emerald pools of…nothingness. There was no spark, no energy. Just…nothing.



“So Misty, are you scared about this year?” Sakura asked, brushing away her pink bangs, which were blowing in the breeze.
“Yeah,” came an unenthusiastic reply.
“I can’t wait until we can be real, official Pokémon trainers!”
“Yeah.”
“It’s so exciting!”
“Yeah.” Sakura glanced at her friend. Her head was down and she was definitely only half listening.
“Misty? What’s wrong?” she asked, concerned. Misty glanced up and forced a smile onto her face.
“Nothing. Everything’s fine.”
“Come on, Misty. I can tell something’s wrong. Did something happen?” Sakura asked. Misty sighed. Sakura and herself had been friends for so long that Misty could rarely hide her feelings from her. Not that she minded, of course, because she always felt better after she talked things over.
“Ash has a date tonight”, she stated simply.
“What? With who?”
“May.”
“Oh”, Sakura answered, unsure of what to say next.
“Do you think Ash could ever like me like that?” Misty pondered aloud.
“In my opinion, he already does”, Sakura replied. Misty gave her a look.
“And what gives you that idea?”
“I’ve seen the way he looks at you, Misty. I think Ash likes you more than he lets on”, Sakura explained.
“No way”, Misty replied, having already made up her mind. “He wouldn’t be going out with May if he did.”
“I don’t know, Misty…”
“I guess I just have to face the facts. Ash and I will always be…just friends…”



“Yo, Ash”, Gary called as he made his way over. Ash’s suspicions built up right away. He and Gary had been best friends when they were younger, until Gary became part of the ‘in’ crowd and ditched Ash for all the popular people. Ash giggled as Pikachu commented on Gary’s hair.
“Hi Gary, what’s up?” he asked in his usual polite nature. Misty always said that Ash was too nice sometimes. Ash smiled as this thought entered his mind.
“Well, I was just wondering…” he began. “Are you going out with Misty?” Ash had to stop himself from blushing as the question registered in his brain. His brain wasn’t so considerate, however, and he coughed, which he decided was even more embarrassing.
“Me and Misty?” he asked uncomfortably. “No way”, he said, laughing the question off like a joke.
“Well that’s great!” Gary replied, a victorious look crossing his face.
“It is? Why?” Ash asked, almost panicky.
“Because I’m going to ask her out, now that I know I’m not going to get rejected”, he explained, sticking his nose up in the air. Ash’s heart sank and he silently hoped that Misty would reject him anyway.
“Well, thanks for the help Ashy Boy”, Gary said before turning and walking away, a snide laugh trailing in his wake.
Ash didn’t bother to cast aside the pang of jealousy that invaded his heart.



James got up to leave as he heard the bell ring, noticing that Jessie was in no hurry to get to her first class. He looked down at her and thought of something.
“Hey Jessie, do you want to meet here for lunch also?” he asked. Jessie looked up at him in surprise.
“Well, sure. Okay…”
James smiled, his first smile in quite a while, and nodded. “Great, I’ll see you then. Good luck in your first class.”
Jessie nodded. “Thanks. You too.” As she watched him walk away, she noticed her worries about class fade slightly, and found it easier to get up and walk to class. Pokémon Battle Techniques was boring, but at least she could look forward to talking to James at lunchtime. She’d never really given him a chance before, believing that he was just like his stuck up, snobby friends. But there was something about him that made her want to spend time with him. Sure, he was good looking, but there was something more. He could hold up a conversation about more than lipstick and fashion, which was great in Jessie’s book. She was sick of talking about the same old trivial things. Also, it seemed as if James wanted to spend time with her too, and didn’t just want to use her for sex or her looks.
‘Then again… I’ve only talked to him once. First impressions aren’t always right. And if he’s been friends with Jessibelle for so long, he’s probably got an evil side too…’ she told herself cautiously. Jessie had been hurt one-too many times by boys who appeared to be nice but turned out just the opposite.



To be continued…



Next time:

Someone’s spying on someone’s date,
Someone would do anything to be noticed, and
Someone has reason to believe that she’s pregnant.
Plus much, much more.

Kojho
6th June 2005, 10:09 PM
Good, ya got it back up/ i was wondering where you were. Great job!

Kawaii_Cherry_Blossom
21st June 2005, 11:22 AM
Hearts and Minds

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom




Chapter 2

Unexpectancy



--------------------------------------------



It seemed as if second period had flown by to Jessie, but she figured it was because she was looking so forward to seeing James at lunch. She found him sitting in the same spot as yesterday, and smiled when she saw him.

“Hey, James!” she called out, waving at him. He smiled at her as she made her way over and sat down across from him at the table.

“How was class?” he asked.

“Completely boring”, Jessie said, waving it off. James laughed.

“Same as mine.”

The two smiled at each other for a few moments, before blushing and looking away again.

“Jessie…” James asked shyly, a few moments later.

“Yeah?” she asked.

“Are you…doing anything Friday night?” he asked.

“I don’t think so,” she replied, hoping like crazy that he was asking her out on a date. “How come?” she asked, pouring curiosity into her tone.

“I was wondering…if you would like to go out…with me…” he said slowly, hesitating as he said each word. He looked down, his shyness again taking over. As he did this, he didn’t notice the soft smile that played upon Jessie’s face after he said the words.

“I’d love to”, she said.

James looked up, half in shock and half in happiness.

“Really?!” he asked excitedly. Jessie smiled.

“Really.”



--------------------------------------------



“I love you,” Tracey said softly as he looked into Erika’s eyes. He leant in to kiss her gently on the lips, and she smiled as she kissed him back.

“I love you,” she replied.

Tracey put his arms around her as she leaned back against the tall Oak tree that they sat under. It was their spot, and they would meet each other every recess and lunch. It was far from where any of the other students sat, so they could have their privacy.

Erika picked up Tracey’s sketch book and flipped through his drawings. Tracey glanced up as he saw somebody moving in the distance. His heart began to beat faster as he saw her long brown hair waving in the breeze. Her dark brown eyes turned to face him, regret emanating from her stare. The resentment that filled Tracey’s heart upon first glance of her faded and was replaced with hurt. He forced himself to look away, and turned his attention back to Erika as he heard her speak.

“Oh, I love this one!” she commented as she turned the page to a picture of a Vileplume that he had seen out in the wild.

“That’s what my Gloom will look like someday… Well, if I become a good enough trainer,” she said.

Tracey glanced back up again. Melody was gone.

“Erika, you’re an amazing Pokémon trainer,” Tracey replied, putting his hand over hers. A smile graced her face as she looked into his eyes.

“You really think so?” she asked. He nodded.

“And, you’re an amazing person,” he added. Erika smiled graciously.

“Did I mention how much I love you?” she said as she kissed him again.



--------------------------------------------



Misty turned, half out of curiosity and half out of shock, when Gary called out her name. After all, why would Gary – one of the most popular guys in the school – talk to her?

“Hi Misty, how are you doing?” he asked, seeming more polite than usual.

“I’m fine, thanks…” she replied warily. After what Gary had done to Ash, Misty knew she had to be cautious.

“That’s good. So I was wondering…” he started.

‘Is he asking me out? What if he does? What do I say? Gary is bad news, right? Yes, he’s bad news. Of course he is. He really hurt Ash. …But he never did anything to me... I’ve always said that everyone deserves a chance… Maybe he does too. But I like Ash…’ Thoughts drifted through Misty’s mind as she nodded, signaling for him to continue.

“I was wondering if you’d like to go out with me tonight,” he asked, so confidently that Misty wondered if any girl had ever turned him down.

‘I like Ash, but he doesn’t like me, right? So why shouldn’t I go out with Gary? Ash can’t tell me who and who not to go out with… But I’m love with Ash… Hey, wait a second… Ash is going out with May, so why shouldn’t I go out with Gary? Maybe going out with Gary is just what I need to get over Ash…’ Misty thought, a decision sparking in her mind. Though her heart was clouded with doubt, she found herself following her head’s instructions, and nodding and smiling.

“Sure, I’ll go,” she replied. Gary smiled, again confidently. He’d probably done this a million times, after all.

“Great!” he said, looking rather like he’d expected the answer. Self-confidence radiated from him as he pulled his shades over his eyes and coolly signaled for Misty to walk with him.

“You like French food, right?” he asked.

“How did you know?” she said, looking slightly shocked.

“Well, you look like the romantic type,” he replied. Misty gave him a look saying she didn’t buy the explanation. Gary laughed lightly.

“Ok ok, I asked Sakura,” he explained, and Misty let out a giggle.

“Well, I’m this way,” she signaled down the corridor to the right.

“Okay. Well I’ll pick you up at around seven,” he explained. Misty nodded. She felt somewhat excited about the date.

‘Perhaps Gary is just misunderstood… He seems really nice,’ she thought as she waved goodbye to him. He winked at her before she turned away, and Misty felt her cheeks flush slightly.

‘And really charming…’



--------------------------------------------



Ash felt his heart sink like a boat with a hole in the bottom - a hole that had been viciously formed. He felt angry, jealous, but most of all, heartbroken. The tiny glimmer of hope that shone in his heart, like the bright light of a flashlight, fell dim. The light had lit up his heart with the hope that perhaps Misty could like him as more than just a friend. But his hope had been extinguished. He just had to accept it…

‘Misty and I…’ he told himself with all of the strength in his heart, ‘are just friends.’



--------------------------------------------



Giselle twirled a strand of hair around her finger as she stared blankly at the teacher’s diagrams on the board in front of her.

‘S%!$,’ she thought, partly worried and partly angry. ‘If I don’t pass these stupid classes, I’ll never get that modelling scholarship.’

Taking a deep breath, she allowed herself to concentrate, and focused on what the teacher was explaining. After half a minute, she sighed once more, giving up.

‘I’ll never understand this stuff. Why the h%ll do we need to learn math anyway?’ But she wasn’t about to get into another debate with her teacher, who always said the same thing – that in order to be a Pokémon trainer, they needed to be able to budget and handle their money properly, and other similar jumble. But Giselle didn’t want to be a Pokémon trainer; she wanted to be a model.

Giselle glanced over at the book of the person next to her in boredom. She hated that none of her friends were in her class!

Ritchie had already finished all of his homework for that night. Giselle rolled her eyes.

‘Ritchie’s such a geek. What pleasure does he get out of spending his whole life studying anyway?’ she mused in amusement. Suddenly, like a light bulb going on, an idea clicked in her head.

“Hey, Ritchie,” she whispered, turning her glance to the teacher, who was turned the other way, and back to Ritchie. Ritchie turned his head to look at her, completely in shock of the fact that she was talking to him.

“Do you understand this stuff?” she asked. Ritchie’s gaze was fixed between Giselle and Mrs. Vondara.

‘Poor little nerd. It would probably be the end of the world to him if the teacher caught him talking in class,’ she thought, snickering.

“Yes,” he replied quickly, before turning back to look towards the front.

“Then…do you think you could help me?” The shock that plays across his eyes once again is as noticeable as a light in the darkness. He stopped looking towards the front and seemed to be going over the pro’s and con’s of saying yes in his head.

“Yeah, sure,” he answered a few moments later. Giselle forced a smile, which he returned excitedly.

‘This is the only way. If I want that modelling scholarship, I’m going to have to accept help from this loser. And even if I never live it down, at least I’ll be better off in the long run…’

‘I can’t believe Giselle just spoke to me, and asked me to help her study! Am I dreaming? Owch, no, I’m not. Maybe there is some hope for me. Maybe I can have friends, and a girlfriend. Maybe I won’t have to be alone anymore. This is great!’



--------------------------------------------



Duplica’s eyes wandered around the school yard as she stood waiting for May, particularly focusing on a tall male with blue hair and brown eyes.

‘He’s so handsome… And sweet… And dreamy… And nice…’ she thought as she sighed. The trouble was, he was completely infatuated with another girl – Cassidy.

“Thinking about Butch again?” May asked as she strolled up to Duplica. Duplica shook her head and gave May a look.

“He’s never going to notice me,” she stated.

“Well…” May started as they began to walk. “If you really like him, you can’t give up.” Duplica sighed.

“But he doesn’t even know I exist.”

“Sure he does! Come on, you’ve been in his classes since year eight. He’s just been too hooked on Cassidy. But you never know what can happen!” May said, trying to inject some enthusiasm and hope into her friend’s heart.

“Well, you could be right,” Duplica replied, brightening up a little. “So, are you excited about your date tonight?” May almost burst with excitement as she was reminded about it.

“Yes! I can’t wait!” she replied, literally jumping up and down. Duplica smiled.

“Well, you have had a crush on Ash since you were what, twelve? It’s about time you did something about it,” she teased. May blushed and waved her hand absentmindedly.

“Well, you know what they say…” she said, a smile adorning her face. “The best things come to those who wait.”



--------------------------------------------



Positive. It was positive. She was pregnant. Pregnant. There was a baby, growing inside of her. She put her hand over her stomach, tears falling down her cheeks like rain in summer – unexpected and uncalled for. Just to make sure, she again glanced at the pregnancy test. Pink. Pink meant pregnant. Worry filled her mind, frantic and frenzied. What would she do? She was eighteen and pregnant. Her mother would be angry and disappointed. She’d never get a job. She didn’t want to be a mother just yet. Feeling like her brain was about to explode, she buried her head in her pillow and let the tears flow, trying to rid herself of the fear and shock within her.

“S%!t…” was the only word that escaped from Cassidy’s mouth.



--------------------------------------------



May bounded across her room, singing along to No Doubt, as the phone rang.

“Hello?” she spoke enthusiastically into the receiver, and was delighted by the voice that replied.

“Hi May, it’s Ash.”

“Hey!” she said excitedly. Just listening to his voice made her heartbeat quicken.

Ash hesitated for a moment, trying to find the right words to say. May nervously twisted the phone cord around her finger, waiting for him to speak.

“I’m really sorry, but I have to cancel our date tonight…” he said, guilt plaguing his words. May’s heart sank, her excitement and anticipation extinguished like fire, by the water that was his words.

“Oh…” she could only think to say.

“Something’s come up. I’m really sorry… Maybe some other time?”

“That’s alright. Yeah, some other time then,” she replied, unsure of whether to be upset, angry or accepting. She wondered what had come up, but didn’t feel like prying at a time like this.

“Thanks a lot,” he said gratefully.

“No problem. I guess I’ll see you at school,” she said, the situation turning her smile upside down. It was lucky that she didn’t have the video phone turned on.

“Sure. Have a nice night…” he said, still sounding guilty.

“You too, bye,” May said.

“Bye.”

Hanging up the phone, May sighed and let herself fall onto her bed.

‘I wonder what he’s doing tonight, then…’ she pondered, thinking of some possible reasons.



--------------------------------------------



Ash frowned as he hung up the phone.

‘I hate to do this to her… But there is no way I’m letting Misty be alone with Gary,’ he thought, trying to convince himself that protecting his best friend was the only reason he was going to spy on their date.

“Pika pikachu pikachu? [So you’re really gonna go spy on her]?” Pikachu asked.

“It’s not spying. It’s protecting,” Ash replied.

“Pika… [Right…]” Pikachu rolled its eyes, not letting Ash see.





To be continued…





Next time on Hearts and Minds…



Someone finds out about Cassidy being pregnant,

Someone cheats on someone, and

Two fights break out, both of which get physical.



--------------------------------------------



Love and light,

Sarah.

Dubble Flux
21st June 2005, 1:31 PM
ooooooooooo! Lots of intrigue and personal goodness! I like how all the characters go to the same school and have some background with eachother. This is a nice break from all the action fics I read. DO NOT STOP POSTING! This story is one of the best I've read so far, just because of the plot. Can't wait for more chapters!

Kojho
22nd June 2005, 3:07 AM
Great job! As I said before, I was reading this when it was up last year. I also love the next couple of chapters, too, even though you havent posted. But I wont spoil anything for the others.

Dont get discouraged if no one reviews, Im in it all the way!!

Kawaii_Cherry_Blossom
25th June 2005, 2:07 PM
Thank you to those of you that have reviewed. :) It means a lot. :) I've already completed and released 9 chapters of this fic, so I'll be posting them pretty steadily here. Hope you like chapter 3!


Hearts and Minds

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom


Chapter 3

Betrayal


---------------------------------


Ash slowed his pace as he neared the restaurant where Gary was to take Misty. Café De France. He had always dreamed of taking Misty there someday… As he rounded the corner he spotted them, sitting outside on a small table, eating a large ice-cream sundae. Hiding behind a plant, Ash peered at the two. Gary was talking, of course, and Misty was listening avidly. He watched her laugh as he probably cracked a joke. Ash narrowed his eyes. Misty looked like one of the group of girls who followed Gary around at every chance they got, hanging on his every stupid word. Ash’s heart skipped a beat as he watched Gary signal for Misty to come closer. He whispered in her ear and her cheeks reddened.
“If only I could hear what they were saying…” Ash said, glancing around for a closer place to hide from. When he couldn’t find one, he returned his gaze to Misty. Instantly, he felt as if his heart had viciously been sliced in two, as his eyes caught sight of Misty and Gary kissing. Ash looked away, feeling sick and incredibly jealous. He balled his hands into fists.
‘Damn you, Gary… How could you do this to me… And Misty too. She knows what Gary did to me. Why is she doing this?’ Ash pondered angrily. He couldn’t look back at them, so he decided to leave. Dejectedly angry, he walked back to his house.


---------------------------------


“So all you do is multiply this number by this one, and you have the answer,” Ritchie explained, glancing at Giselle to check if she understood.
“Do you understand?” he asked. She nodded, though he was unsure as to whether she was telling the truth.
Ritchie yawned, stretching his arms.
“Well, I think we should leave it there for now. I don’t want to overload you with information, you know?” Giselle nodded absentmindedly. She looked preoccupied as she glanced around the Billy Baxters’ restaurant that they sat in. There weren’t many people around, just the occasional family and a few couples. Ritchie looked at her, wondering what she was thinking about.
“Do you want anything to eat?” he asked. All she’d ordered was a glass of water. Giselle looked back at him. He could’ve sworn she was about to say yes, however she shook her head, still looking preoccupied, and said no.
“Are you sure? All you had was water…” he asked again, simply trying to be polite.
“Yes I’m sure, now would you get off of my case! I’m already imperfect enough!” she replied, her voice growing louder. Ritchie looked taken aback by her sudden outburst, but was even more concerned by what she had said. What did she mean by that?
“What do you mean?” he asked, echoing his thoughts. Giselle was frozen, she had realised what she had said, and realised that she should not have said it. She stood abruptly, picking her books up.
“I have to go,” she said simply, before turning and running out of the restaurant without another word. Ritchie stared after her.
“What was that all about…?” he pondered aloud, concerned.


---------------------------------


Ash slumped onto his bed after slamming his door. He’d walked right past his mother in the kitchen, not even feeling like dinner, which was incredibly strange for him. He knew his mother could tell that there was something wrong by that fact alone.
The truth was, Ash didn’t know what to think. On one hand, Misty wasn’t his, and she should be free to choose who she wants to go out with. But on the other hand, he couldn’t understand why she had said yes to Gary of all people. Ash sat up, sick of thinking, and picked up the phone. He dialled the familiar number and listened to the phone ring.
“Hello?” Brock’s voice answered. Ash could hear an abundance of noise in the background. He couldn’t help but snicker. Brock’s little brothers and sisters were crazy.
“Hey Brock, it’s me,” Ash replied tonelessly.
“Oh, hey Ash. Just hold on one second while I go into the other room.”
“Sure.” Ash listened as Brock attempted to make his way to a more quiet room, but not before hearing some yelling and screaming, a few crashes and a large argument. Finally, Brock picked up the phone once more.
“Hey, sorry about that,” he said.
“What is going on there?” Ash asked, slightly amused.
“Same old same old,” Brock replied. “So what’s up?”
“I saw Misty kissing Gary,” he jumped right to the point.
“You spied on their date?! Ash, I told you not to…” Brock rolled his eyes. Ash was so stubborn.
“I had to, Brock! I couldn’t let her be alone with him!”
“You didn’t interrupt them, did you?”
“No,” Ash replied. Brock sighed with relief, inwardly of course.
“This is driving me crazy,” Ash admitted. “Misty and Gary? I mean, come on! They couldn’t be more different if they were an apple and an orange!”
“Ash,” Brock stated, interrupting Ash’s rant.
“What?” Ash asked whinily.
“Don’t you want Misty to be happy?” Ash paused.
“Yes,” he replied. “But she won’t be happy with him.”
“Isn’t that up to her to decide?” Ash sighed. He hated it when Brock made sense.
“I just… I really love her, you know?”
“I know, Ash. And if you do really love her, as I know you do, you have to let her be happy with whoever she chooses to be with.”
“Why can’t she be happy with me…?” he asked quietly. Ash sighed. He didn’t really feel like talking anymore. He said his goodbyes to Brock and flopped back onto his bed.
“Pikachu?” he called out to his Pokémon, who was ecstatically licking clean a bottle of ketchup, the red liquid smeared all over his yellow fur.
“Pika? [Yeah?]” he replied.
“Don’t ever fall in love.”


---------------------------------


The next day…


---------------------------------


Jessie scowled as she spotted Cassidy, who was collecting books from her locker for the day. She prepared herself to hear a snide remark or rude comment, but was surprised when nothing came. As Cassidy turned, Jessie was shocked to discover that she looked incredibly dishevelled. She was wearing hardly any makeup, which was in itself all one needed to point out that something was not right. Her eyes were red, as if she’d cried herself to sleep, and she was wearing two different coloured socks. Cassidy was silent as she walked past Jessie to her first class for the day. No snide remark. No rude comment. Jessie wanted desperately to know what was happening. Not because she was worried, but rather because she was nosy and vindictive, and loved to see her enemies in trouble. As Jessie strolled happily into the class, she deliberately chose the seat next to Cassidy, who in turn said nothing. Jessie narrowed her eyes and she pondered over possible things that could be sour in Cassidy’s life. She had a large group of friends, a great boyfriend, a great family, and the list went on. Jessie sneered as the teacher walked in. She would find out what was wrong.


---------------------------------


Ash wasn’t really listening to Brock or Sakura as they walked to their lockers. His mind was too overloaded with thoughts of Misty. Seeing Gary hold her hand and kiss her softly on the lips before they parted for their separate classes didn’t help at all. Ash held back, his jealousy partly shocking him and rendering him speechless and unable to move. Brock noticed this and kicked his shoe, causing Ash to jump. His forced a smile as Misty made her way over to them, a large smile gracing her face. Her eyes were filled with something that Ash had never seen in her before. Love? He hoped not.
“Hi!” Misty said, enthusiasm present in her tone.
“Hey Misty, how are you?” Brock said when Ash didn’t speak. He was staring at the ground, apparently trying to make a hole in it with his shoe.
“I’m great!” Misty replied ecstatically. “My date was so amazing! I had the best time. Gary’s so sweet!” she exclaimed, much to Ash’s discontent. Sakura glanced at him, a smirk on her face.
“That’s great, right Ash?” Brock said, elbowing Ash.
“Uh, yeah, great. Um…Misty, could I talk to you for a sec?” he asked, looking preoccupied and nervous. Misty looked confused, but nodded. Brock and Sakura left for class as the two walked down the nearly deserted corridor. Misty thought this was strange. Ash hated to be late for class.
“Misty, why are you going out with Gary?” he asked, sounding like a jealous child. Misty paused, unsure of how to answer.
“Because… Because I thought he deserved a chance. And I’m glad I gave him that,” she replied. Ash sighed inwardly.
“But you’re way too good for him!” he exclaimed. She raised her eyebrows at him, doubt clouding her eyes.
“I mean, it’s Gary! He’s a stuck up snob who only cares about himself. He…”
“Stop it, Ash!” Misty interrupted him, growing angry. “Just because you don’t like Gary doesn’t mean I have to. And I happen to think he’s a great guy.”
“You’ve got to be kidding.”
“Why do you care anyway?!” Misty asked, her pitch rising with the anger that was building.
“Because I care about you!” Ash yelled back, without thinking. He looked shocked as he realised what he’d said.
“What?” Misty asked, her heart skipping a beat. Could it be that Ash really cared about her as more than a friend after all?
“I mean…I care about you…like as a friend,” Ash replied uncomfortably, wanting so much to not add the end part. He didn’t notice the disappointment in Misty’s eyes.
“I have to get to class,” she said, turning. She didn’t want to get deeper into this argument.
Ash didn’t say a word as she walked away.


---------------------------------


“Tracey!” Melody called out as she caught sight of him walking to class. His eyes instantly filled with hurt when he saw her. She looked guilty, and as she stood there, he was reminded of how much he’d loved her…how much he still loved her…
‘But no, I love Erika,’ he reminded himself.
“What is it?” he asked simply. She looked upset as she looked into his eyes, which were devoid of any emotion, but went on.
“I need to talk to you…” she explained slowly. Tracey wanted to give her a cold ‘no’ in reply, but his heart held him back.
“Okay…” he agreed.
“Not now,” she explained. “Could I talk to you in private, at your house perhaps?”
Tracey knew he shouldn’t agree, but again, something held him back. Not only was he curious about what she wanted to say, but he was also still so deeply attracted to her, that his heart made up his mind for him.
“Fine… After school today,” he agreed, and his heart froze as she smiled. Before he was overpowered by guilt over what he had agreed to, he walked away.


---------------------------------


Jessie tapped her pencil against her desk continually, much to the annoyance of her classmates. Especially Jessibelle, who was sending dirty looks her way. But she didn’t care. Nor did she care about what the teacher was engrossedly talking about. Cassidy didn’t seem to care either, for she was slumped across her desk, staring out of the window at the rain pouring down against the dreary grey sky. Her long blonde hair hung scraggily down her back, not even styled.
“Cassidy, sit up and pay attention! Getting your books out would also help,” the teacher stated strictly. Not replying, Cassidy sloppily sat up and reached into her bag, which she was leaning her head on, and took out her books. Rolling her eyes and muttering a few quiet curses, she dumped her bag onto the floor next to her desk.
Something white caught Jessie’s eye as she did so. When Cassidy was safely looking out of the window again¸ she glanced down. She had to hold herself back from gasping as she caught sight of the title, which was printed in bold, red letters. ‘So you’re going to have a baby’ it read.
‘Could it be? Is Cassidy pregnant?’ Jessie asked herself incredously. One glance at Cassidy, whose hand was placed over her stomach, told her the answer to her question.
Jessie smirked evilly.
‘If this is true, imagine what I could do with this information. The possibilities are endless. I wonder if it’s Butch’s baby. Well, Butch is going to get a bit of a surprise when I tell him…’ Jessie thought, the situation rendering her excited. She loved a scandal, especially when it involved an enemy.


---------------------------------


Ash leant against his locker. He was glad it was recess. He couldn’t wait to get out of class. The deafening collaboration of thoughts in his head, coupled with the teacher’s idle talk throughout the lesson, was enough to drive him crazy. He smiled slightly as he saw Misty approaching. She waved at someone, who Ash then saw to be Gary, and walked towards Ash. Suddenly, she tripped as she slid on a pencil that was lying on the ground, and fell into Ash. He caught her in his arms as she fell against him, pressing him into the lockers. Time seemed to stop as they gazed into each other’s eyes, in shock of how physically close they were. Their noses were millimetres away from touching, her hands resting on his shoulders to break her fall. Instantly, their faces blushed a deep red. Slowly, Misty pulled back and stood up straight.
“Um…thanks… Sorry about that…” she stuttered out.
“It’s alright…” Ash replied, equally as unsure and embarrassed at the situation.
“I just wanted to tell you that I’m going to spend recess with Gary today…” she explained, hoping that the blush that had spread across her face had disappeared. Ash hid his frown.
“Okay,” he replied simply. A moment of awkwardness followed, before Misty turned walked away to join Gary, who had witnessed the entire situation.
Gary sneered enviously at Ash, whose back was turned. He hid his jealousy and anger as Misty joined him. He kissed her as Ash turned again, making sure he noticed. When he was satisfied, he took Misty’s hand and led her away.


---------------------------------


“How was your class?” Erika asked Tracey, trying to make conversation. He seemed distant and had hardly said anything since they’d sat down.
“It was alright,” he replied, before going back into distant mode. Erika looked away, wondering if there was something wrong. Had she done something wrong? Was he angry at her? Her suspicions were denied, however, as he put an arm around her. She sunk back, feeling safe and protected in his embrace.
“So are you still up for studying at your house after school today?” she asked. Tracey froze.
“I…can’t today…” he said, his words coated in guilt.
“Oh, how come?”
“Well, see…I have to baby-sit my brother and sister. I promised that I’d spend some quality time with them. You know, just me and them? I’ve been so busy lately…” he explained, lying through his teeth and hoping it wasn’t showing.
“Oh, okay. Maybe tomorrow night then,” Erika replied, completely believing him. Tracey sighed with relief. He hated lying to her but he couldn’t exactly tell her the truth.
‘Why am I doing this, and for Melody of all people? Erika trusts me, how can I let her down…? Oh well, I guess it’s only this once… And Erika never has to know…’ he thought, his excuses soothing his guilt, even if only a tiny bit.


---------------------------------


Later that day…


---------------------------------


The school was nearly deserted as Ash closed his locker door and started down the corridor. The grey sky was growing darker and the clouds were becoming thicker, telling the habitants that lived beneath it that more rain was coming. Suddenly, Ash felt a hand on his neck as he was pinned up against the wall. He looked down to see Gary, his eyes blazing with anger.
“Are you after my girl?” he asked, his tone making it sound like he was accusing more than asking.
“Misty’s not your girl,” Ash replied, struggling to speak through Gary’s tight grip.
“Yes she is!” he snapped, tightening his hold on Ash’s neck, causing him to struggle for breath. Gary took his hand away and let him drop when he was satisfied at his suffering. Ash stood up, rubbing his neck, and faced Gary bravely.
“You don’t own her,” he said coldly, anger flaring inside of him.
This seemed to anger Gary even more. His hand formed into a fist instantly, and he punched Ash in the eye, sending him back against the wall.
“If I see you near her again, you’ll regret it. This is just a taste of what’s to come if I ever catch you flirting with her again,” Gary exclaimed snidely. “Or if you tell her that I did this,” he added as a warning.
Ash was unable to form words, immobolised by the pain, anger and shock that was rising within him. He waited until Gary had walked away, before standing shakily and walking to the bathroom.


---------------------------------


Erika smiled as she packed the cupcakes she’d made into a lunchbox. She knew that Tracey’s brother and sister wanted some time alone with him, but she thought she’d surprise them. Beaming, she took her bag and left the house, knowing that she’d never been happier than she was with Tracey.
‘He’s so amazing…’ she thought. ‘I think he could be the one…’


---------------------------------


“What do you want, Melody?” Tracey asked, getting straight to the point. She stood before him, becoming closer and closer as each second ticked by on the clock.
“I just… I feel like we ended things on the wrong foot…” she said. He could feel her breath; she was so close they were nearly touching. He could feel himself slipping, his heart desensitized to her charm. He shook his head, reminding himself of what she had done to him.
“You cheated on me! Did you expect me to be happy about it?”
“No, Trace…” He shuddered under her touch as she put her hands on his shoulders and pulled him closer.
“But it meant nothing…” she said, repeating the frequently used line. “And besides… Our love was, and is, so strong… How can you just throw it all away?” she asked, a seductive tone to her voice.
“I’ve moved on! I’m with Erika now and I’m very happy,” he replied, taking her arms off of him and walking to the other side of the room. Melody followed him. He was immobolised once again by her touch as she put her hands on either side of his face and moved her face closer to his, so close that their noses were touching.
“You could never have with her, what you had with us. Nothing compares… Stop fighting it, Trace… I miss you, and I need you…” she whispered. Though he wanted desperately to resist her, his heart belonged to her, and he still couldn’t move. He closed his eyes as she kissed him, and he kissed her back, realizing how desperately he had missed her, and how much he needed and wanted her.


---------------------------------


“Hi miss perfect,” Jessie said sarcastically as Cassidy walked by her. Jessie sat against the fence, her arms crossed, and a victorious smirk playing across her face. Cassidy stopped walking and turned. She looked like she’d been run over by a truck, her eyes red and swollen, and her posture slumped and drooping.
“Go get a life, Jess,” she said, not even bothering to sound hostile. Jessie ignored her, pushing away from the fence and pacing in front of Cassidy.
“But things aren’t so perfect anymore, are they?”
“What are you talking about?” Cassidy asked, fear present in her eyes.
“You dirty s&#t. I know what’s going on,” Jessie taunted, waving a finger in front of Cassidy. Cassidy’s eyes widened in fear. Anger engulfed her as she realised that Jessie knew she was pregnant.
“You b!%#h! Stay out of my life!” she screamed as she lunged at Jessie.
Jessie stood her ground as Cassidy grabbed her shoulder and forced her against the fence. Jessie reached up and grabbed a chunk of Cassidy’s hair in her hand, tugging at it forcefully. Cassidy screamed out in pain. Jessie pushed her off of her and pinned her against the fence.
“Now I believe it. What goes around comes around. You are going to regret what you put me through, all the times you made a fool of me. I’m gonna make you pay, you b!%#h,” she threatened.
Cassidy kicked Jessie’s leg, causing her to loosen her grip on her. Falling back, Jessie stumbled. Too emotionally broken to even attempt to fight back, verbally or physically, Cassidy ran from the scene as Jessie smirked victoriously. Revenge was sweet, and it was going to get sweeter.


---------------------------------


Erika glanced around Tracey’s living room.
‘Funny,’ she thought. ‘Usually Katie and Jake are running around the house crazily when Tracey’s looking after them…’
However, the house was silent. Suddenly, she heard a sound coming from the back of the house, where Tracey’s room was situated. Making her way down the hall, she realised that they must be in his room. She opened the door, unable to wait to see him. However, when she came face to face with Tracey and Melody kissing passionately on his bed, her thoughts turned sour. She was shocked. They were shocked. Tracey looked confused and heartbroken at the same time.
Erika couldn’t move. She dropped the cakes in her hand and stared at her boyfriend, whom she treasured with all of her heart, and whom she had given her heart and soul to, since they had started going out eight months ago. Tears filled her eyes instantly. She surveyed the situation with her eyes, going over the scene. But no matter how she considered it, it was still the same act of betrayal. Her tears were blinding her now, and all she wanted to do was run. Gathering all of the strength she had left, she turned and ran out of the room, out of the house, wishing she could run out of the world she was in and into another.



To be continued…


---------------------------------


Next time on Hearts and Minds…

Someone lets loose on another’s secret, which has the possibility of destroying relationships and lives,
Someone swears their love for another is dead, and
Someone wants revenge.


---------------------------------


Love and light,
Sarah.

Dubble Flux
25th June 2005, 2:42 PM
That was one of THE best chapters I've read for ANY fic. The original plot line alone makea this great. I can't explain how much I was into this chapter. I can't wait for the next one! Speaking of which, when is the next chapter of gossipy goodness?

Kawaii_Cherry_Blossom
28th June 2005, 12:16 PM
Hearts and Minds

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom


Chapter 4

Stranger



Hey! I’m so sorry that this chapter took so long! I’ve been suffering from a major case of writer’s block. @_@ I also apologise if this chapter is badly written, for the same reason. -_- I hope you like it, though! Oh, and you might want to grab some tissues… ^^

-

Erika felt a hand on her arm, the soft touch waking her from her restless slumber.
“Erika, sweetheart, aren’t you going to go to school?” her mom said softly. Erika opened her eyes, turning over as she did so, so that her mother would not see the redness that had formed from crying a million tears throughout the night.
“Are you feeling alright?” her mother asked, putting a hand over her forehead. “You don’t have a fever…”
“I’m fine, mom,” Erika replied.
“Well, I’m going to work soon, so if you’re ready I can give you a lift to school.”
“Alright, thanks. I’ll be down soon.”
Making sure her mom was out of her room, Erika sat up. She took a hand mirror from her dresser, sighing as she caught sight of her reflection. She was a mess, her hair in a knotted heap, mascara running down her cheeks, mixed with tear stains, and her eyes lined with red puffiness. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed her phone. Fifty-eight missed calls, all from Tracey. A few tears stinging her eyes, she held down the clear button, and to her satisfaction, they disappeared. Her eyes narrowed as a small envelope flashed at the top of the screen. Slightly dreading her actions, she entered the inbox, where there were two messages waiting for her.
‘Baby, I’m so sorry… Please pick up the phone’, the first read.
‘I love you’, went the second.
Erika deleted the messages and held back the tears that were threatening to fall, having already cried way too many.
She definitely didn’t feel like going to school, but her studies were too important to her. Too important to let them fail over some boy. So she told herself anyway. And riding on his fake sense of self belief, she picked up her nerves and prepared herself for school.

-

Jessie smiled, happiness radiating from her, as she glanced at herself in the mirror of the female bathroom. She couldn’t remember the last time she had smiled and meant it, but it had definitely been long ago. Eyebrows had risen as she’d waltzed into the school earlier wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a jacket, which was an outfit far from Jessie’s usual attire.
And she had to admit to herself, she looked great. She’d also toned down her makeup, enhancing the look that she was sporting.
“I am the best, ahead of all the rest…” she chanted to herself softly, a victorious, content smile planted upon her face.

-

“Ash, what happened to you?!” Sakura cried as Ash sat down at the desk next to her. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Gary smirking at him from across the room. Ash shrugged submissively.
“I fell into the wall at home.” Sakura looked unsure as she looked carefully at his eye, which was purple and puffy.
“You got all of that from falling into a wall?” she asked.
“Yep, so what are we doing today?” he asked, changing the subject.
“Battling each other…” she replied, still looking skeptical.
Her words seemed distant though. His mind was too full of thoughts, like loud silence.
Ash leant his head on his elbow as his teacher babbled on, an array of thoughts wafting through his mind. He was angry, especially at Gary. Most of all, though, he was worried for Misty. He knew that she could take care of herself, but he was afraid of what Gary was capable of, especially when Misty was too transfixed on his ‘charm’ to realise whether he was treating her right or not. And what about May? If Misty was with Gary, why shouldn’t he pursue a relationship with May? After all, she was a nice person and he did like her…
Ash awoke from his thoughts as he felt Sakura tap his arm.
“Ash, we’re going outside to battle,” she said. He glanced around the classroom. All of the other students were moving, hyping themselves up to battle their Pokémon. But Ash wasn’t so excited. He stood unenthusiastically, trudging after Sakura as she followed the class to the field outside.

-

Butch’s mind was completely focused on Cassidy’s distant behaviour as he unlocked his locker, slowly, despite the fact that he was extremely late for class. He didn’t even flinch as four thick books fell out, but rather bent over to pick them up, looking like a robot who had been programmed to carry out the actions. He was snapped out of his mindless trance, however, as a small note caught his eye. It sat atop one of the books that had fallen. It was nothing special, just a simple piece of white paper, folded twice with no name on the top. His eyebrow creased in curiosity as he unfolded the paper, and a gasp escaped his lips as he read the short sentence that was written in red ink.
‘Congratulations, daddy’, it read.

-

“There are so many bloody freaks in this school,” Sabrina heard Gary say as he was chatting to Jessibelle. She knew she shouldn’t eavesdrop, but it wasn’t like she could help it. After all, he was practically shouting it across the room. Sabrina’s piercing eyes penetrated into the back of Gary’s head. She held her stare as he turned around in his seat to face her.
“What are you looking at, freak?”
Sabrina didn’t reply. Gary planted a worried look on his face.
“What are you trying to do with your stare? Make a hole in my head? Or are you reading my thoughts?”
“There’s no point. Nothing there to read,” Sabrina replied coolly, her face remaining in its tight stare. A snort of laughter came from Jessibelle.
“Oh please, loser. Don’t you know that Gary’s a straight A student?” she gloated.
“That’s right,” Gary nodded favourably, his ego soaring amongst the clouds. “And what are you? Just a freak.”
A few of Gary’s followers laughed as if it were the funniest thing they’d ever heard, but this was just background noise to Sabrina. She blinked away the tears that threatened to form in her eyes, the memories of her past flowing back at the mention of those words. But she refused to cry. Especially not in front of Gary. Forcing a cold stare on to her face, she glanced back down at her text book as the teacher walked into the classroom.

-

Shocking, painful thoughts struck Butch’s mind like lightning as he clutched the note in his hand. He’d skipped class, too preoccupied to even think about Pokémon.
He re-read the words again, hoping that he’d read it wrong the previous hundred or so times.
No, it still said the same thing. He didn’t recognise the handwriting. Was it possible that the note was not meant for him, but rather somebody had dropped it into his locker accidentally? As much as he wanted to believe this, however, the sinking feeling in his heart told him otherwise.
He thought about what the note could mean. Congratulations, daddy? That’s what one would say if he were expecting a baby. But he wasn’t. Was he?
Cassidy was the only woman that he had ever slept with. But if she was pregnant, she would have told him…
‘Wouldn’t she…?’ he asked himself, in fear of finding out the answer. ‘But how could she be pregnant? We always use protect…oh no…’
Like slamming into unseen glass, a pang of fear and shock engulfed Butch, as he remembered that night, two weeks ago, when he and Cassidy had had unprotected sex.
Butch stood abruptly and took off across the school to the science lab. Cassidy had Biology first period. He had to find her. If she was pregnant, he needed to know.

-

Sakura glanced at Ash for the tenth time in the past two minutes. He hadn’t noticed once. She debated in her head whether she should pull him aside and make him talk, but was unsure as to whether she could sort things out for him. Brock was usually the better one at that sort of thing. But then again, Ash wasn’t ever one to be so lost in his thoughts.
As she followed Ash’s deepening glare, she found that it led to Gary. The anger in Ash’s eyes told Sakura that Ash was angry about more than just the fact that Gary was going out with Misty. Had something happened between them…? She didn’t have time to deliberate, however, as their teacher asked for their attention.
“And for our first battle, we’ll have…” the teacher said, pulling two small pieces of paper out of a box. “Ash versus Gary.”

-

Butch impatiently peered through the glass on the lab door, attempting to locate Cassidy amongst the students inside. He debated with himself over whether he should just go in and ask for her, and decided that the situation was too important to worry about whether he was being rude or causing a scene. As he pushed the door open and stepped inside, he was greeted by a number of questioning faces. He looked around, his facing falling and his stress level rising when he noticed that Cassidy’s face wasn’t one of them.
“Excuse me, but is there a problem?” the teacher, a tall, dark-haired man wearing a lab coat asked him.
“I’m looking for Cassidy. It’s important,” he said. The teacher, whom he’d discovered from his badge was Richard Marone, looked half curious and half like he didn’t remotely care.
“Cassidy isn’t in today,” he replied simply.
Butch turned and ran from the room, muttering a quiet thank you as he quickly made his way out of the door. He picked up his pace as he ran down the corridors, itching to find Cassidy. His stomach was churning from nervousness but he needed to know. Was the note real or just a prank played by someone who despised him?

-

Jessie smiled as she glanced over at James, who had just put a note on her desk as their teacher turned to write on the whiteboard. He smiled back at her and she proceeded to unfold the piece of paper, glancing up to check that the teacher was still turned away. Not that she’d usually care, but James was right next to her! She didn’t want to get in trouble.
‘You look so pretty,’ it read. Blushing, Jessie glanced at James, giggling silently. She took her pen a scribbled a thank you, before passing the note back to him. A few seconds later, he returned it to her, and she smiled as she read his words once again.
‘I can’t wait till tonight.’
‘Me neither,’ she wrote back and passed it back to him, just as the teacher was turning around. Jessie didn’t listen to the rest of the lesson. All she knew was that it was something about Poliwhirl’s swirl. Her heart was beating, her mind on only one thing – her date with James.

-

Ash snarled at Gary’s smirk. He stood facing him, in disbelief over the fact that they had been chosen to battle one-another. It was unreal, out of this world, completely unlucky… Or was it just fate?
“This will be a one on one battle. Ash, please select your Pokémon,” Mrs. Logan commanded.
“Pikachu,” Ash said, choosing the small, yellow rodent which stood beside him. Pikachu jumped forward, taking its place on the battle field.
“Pika! ,” it called out to Ash.
Gary smirked, confidence oozing from him.
“I only wish Misty was here to see me cream your *****, Ashy Boy,” he taunted, grabbing a Poké Ball from his belt.
“Argh, you wish!” Ash’s anger was growing, as was his dislike for Gary. A smirk graced his face, however, when Gary sent out his Wartortle.
“You’re sending a water Pokémon out against an electric type? Are you trying to lose?” Ash said, laughing slightly. Gary grinned, a scheming look on his face.
“You’re here to battle, not talk!” Mrs. Logan reminded them.
“Go ahead Ash; I’m letting you have the first move.”
“Alright, this is going to be the quickest match in the history of the school!” he said. “Pikachu, thunderbolt!” Gary smirked.
“As expected… Wartortle, get inside your shell!” he called, and watched as the turtle Pokémon disappeared inside its shell. Ash gasped.
“What?!”
“Wartortle, give Pikachu a spinning tackle!”
Wartortle spun around, lifting itself off the ground and gaining momentum as it spun around, before finally hitting an unprepared Pikachu dead on, knocking the rodent to the ground.
“Water gun!” Gary called out, and before Ash and Pikachu, who was still grounded, had a chance to react, Pikachu was hit by a powerful beam of water. Ash watched painfully as his Pokémon and best friend was sent flying across the field. It landed with a thud against the fence.
“Pikachu!” Ash cried, rushing over to it. A number of class members were whistling and cheering for Gary, while others were calling out words of support for Pikachu.
Mrs. Logan rushed over to Ash and Pikachu.
“Ash, is Pikachu alright?” she asked, a caring tone to her voice.
Ash nodded solemnly as Pikachu stood up.
“I’m so sorry, Pikachu…”
“Pika pikachu! Pikachu chu pika pika! [Don’t be! We’ll get him next time!]”
This made Ash smile, if only slightly. He walked back to where Gary stood as Mrs. Logan talked to the class about the battle. It was school rules to always shake your opponent’s hand after a battle, whether you won, lost or drew.
But Gary, of course, had to use this moment to jeer at Ash.
“Rule number one, Ash, never underestimate your opponent,” he said snottily. “And rule number two, don’t ever think that you can beat me. You’re so pathetic! Wait until Misty hears about this!” he taunted as he walked towards his friends, who were cheering loudly.
Ash glared at his back as Gary walked away. There was no way he was going to let Gary get away with this. He would save Misty from him, no matter what. Someday soon, he was going to get the better of Gary Oak.

-

Butch stood solemnly outside of Cassidy’s house. His nerves were soaring. It was the moment of truth. Of course, he told himself, it could be an amazingly painful practical joke played on him by someone like Jessie. But his conscience told him that that wasn’t the case. Something inside him knew the truth.
Taking a deep breath, he walked up to the front door and knocked on it. When Cassidy’s mother opened the door moments later, she looked shocked.
“Butch, what are you…?”
“I’m here to see Cassidy,” he interrupted, pushing past her as he walked through the door.
“Well, she’s unwell at the moment…”
“It doesn’t matter,” he said, his heart beating faster and faster as his nervousness rose even more. Cassidy’s mother looked uneasy, but didn’t stop Butch as he ran up the stairs, heading towards Cassidy’s room. As he walked through her door, he saw her. She was curled up in bed, her muffled cries audible from under the blankets that covered her. She hadn’t heard him come through the door.
“Cass,” he spoke, the lump in his throat growing larger.
The crying stopped suddenly as the blankets were pulled back, and a disheveled and shocked Cassidy emerged from beneath them.
“What are you doing here, Butch?” she asked, panic-stricken. Butch didn’t reply, but simply walked closer to her. She looked a wreck, and fear plagued her eyes.
“I have to ask you something,” he said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the note that was in his locker. Looking her in the eye, he put it down in front of her. He watched the panic in her eyes intensify like a flame when mixed with wood, as she read the words. She couldn’t meet his eyes, the guilt and fear within her rising like larva in a volcano.
“Are you pregnant, Cassidy?” he asked, his fear at a climax, the tension in the room so thick that it could be cut with a knife.

-

Sabrina sighed as she sat down at her desk, pulling a thick textbook out of her bag. She looked at it gravely, knowing inside her that she wasn’t even going to open it. Since she had study hall for the rest of the afternoon, she had decided to come home to study, but really, she just wanted to get away from the hole that she called school. Truthfully though, it wasn’t the school that she hated, it was the people. Of course, she had a few friends. People like Ash, Misty, Erika and their group of friends had always been nice to her. But she wasn’t close with anybody. Images ran through her mind like a film, showing every time somebody had made fun of her or taunted her, calling her names and excluding her. Gary, of course, was the main source of these images. Ever since she’d moved to the school, she’d always been his victim. The images in her mind brought the familiar feeling of tears. And if there was one thing Sabrina hated, it was crying.
But she didn’t understand. Why had she always been subject to this humiliation and exclusion? Just because she didn’t dress like everyone else or rely on material things, didn’t mean she wasn’t human. She’d never had any close friends because the same thing happened to her at every school she was at.
A freak. If she had a dollar for every time she’d been called that, she’d be filthy rich.
As a tear cascaded down her cheek, she brushed it away angrily.
“I can’t cry! What’s the point?! It doesn’t help…” she said to herself. Her eyes glowed a bright blue as she used her powers to move a tissue across the room, to where he sat. She wiped her eyes softly, but the more she thought about the situation, the more tears flowed down her cheeks. She gave up trying to stop them, leaning on her desk and nesting her head in her arms.
“I hate you, Gary…” she said through muffled tears.

-

Later that day…

-

Jessie sighed as she looked around her room. She had dumped the contents of her wardrobe onto her bed in order to put together an outfit for her date; however she was not having much luck. Sick of blending into the background all the time, Jessie always wore revealing outfits, to show off her figure and to make herself stand out. She had been labelled a $lu# and a w%@^& over and over, but she could care less what people thought about her. But ever since she and James had begun to get to know each other, she realised that James probably thought that too, and she wanted to change, for him.
‘What am I going to do… I just want to look nice for James… I don’t want to wear any of this stuff, and I don’t have any money to go out and buy something new…’ she thought. The money that she made each week working at McDonalds didn’t cover much, after all. Sighing defeatedly, she fell onto her bed, atop the masses of clothing items. Jessie’s thoughts were interrupted as she heard the doorbell ring. She listened for a few moments, but when it seemed that no one else was going to answer it, she rushed downstairs to find out who was there. The door opened to reveal a delivery man holding a shallow but wide box, his van parked outside in the street.
“Jessie McInnes?” he asked, holding out a pen computer. Jessie nodded and signed her name, bursting with curiosity about what was inside the box.
“Thank you,” she said as he gave her the box. It was very light, she noticed. When the delivery man left, she rushed back up to her room, her eyes filled with anticipation. Both nervously and curiously, she ripped the lid off, to reveal a dark blue dress. In shock, she carefully picked the dress up and eyed it. It was simple, with shoestring straps, and a length that would reach just above her knees. It was gathered around the waist to create a flowing effect.
‘Who on earth could have sent this…?’ she thought.
Managing to take her eyes off of the dress, she once again looked into the box. A small envelope lay amongst the tissue paper that the dress was lying in. Her emotions a mix, she picked it up and opened it.

Dear Jessie,

I hope you don’t mind…but I saw this dress and instantly thought of you, so I had to buy it. You can wear it to our date if you like it, but of course you don’t have to. I can’t wait to see you, no matter what you are wearing.

Love James

Jessie squealed out in happiness, hugging the note to her chest. A genuine smile planted on her face, she picked up the dress and tried it on. Amazingly, it was a perfect fit. The colour matched Jessie’s eyes and made them appear bluer.
“I love him, I love him!” Jessie cried out, before stopping, realising what she had just said. “I…love him…”

-

Erika’s dark blue hair swayed in the breeze as she sat on a swing in the park, swinging herself back and forth slowly. The wind was cold, but being so deep in thought, she hadn’t noticed. She had never made it to school. She’d stood deliberating in front of the gate for a while, but couldn’t find a way to make herself go inside. She was too humiliated. So, she’d wandered around all day, trying to take he mind off of the situation by going to the library and doing a bit of shopping. By 3 o’clock, she’d finally given up and had come to the park.
A single tear fell down her face.
‘How could Tracey do this to me? He was the love of my life…or so I thought… He told me he was over Melody, but he was just using me to get over her… I guess it never really worked…’
“Erika?” a voice interrupted her thoughts, causing her to look up in shock. It was Brock. He wandered over to her, a concerned look on his face.
“Hey, Brock…” she said, the sadness in her heart bringing the tone of her voice down. He didn’t say anything as he sat down on the swing beside her. Silence took over for a few moments, before Brock glanced over at her.
“What happened? You weren’t at school today… Are you sick?” he asked. Erika shook her head.
“No, I’m fine…”
“You don’t really look fine…” he said, before he realised the way she could interpret that. “Not that you look bad or anything!” Erika laughed slightly, a small smile gracing her face for the first time since yesterday afternoon.
Silence engulfed the two once again, as Brock thought of a way to help her to talk about what was wrong. Luckily, Erika wasn’t like Misty, who you had to nearly threaten to make her talk about what was wrong.
“Tracey cheated on me,” she said quietly, her voice wavering slightly. Brock looked to her, stunned.
“What? With who?”
“Melody.” Brock was almost unable to speak. Tracey had never been one to mistreat girls. In fact, most girls loved him because of that. And as far as he knew, Tracey was completely in love with Erika.
‘So that’s why none of them were at school today…’ Brock realised.
Slowly, Erika rose from the swing and stood, motioning for Brock to follow her. They walked along the lush green grass in silence for a while, before Erika began to explain.
“Yesterday I went over to Tracey’s house. He told me that he was babysitting his brother and sister but I thought I’d take them some cookies, as a surprise…” she said, her voice still wavering as tears threatened to spill once more, at the mention of the situation.
“When I got there, the house was silent. I thought that was weird because whenever Tracey babysits, the house is chaos…”
Brock nodded, silently urging her to go on.
“I heard a noise out the back and thought it might be them, so I went to check, but…”
“You caught them…?” Brock looked at her sadly as she nodded.
“I really thought he loved me, but he…he was just using me to get over Melody! I guess I wasn’t even good enough for that though…”
“No, don’t say that!” Erika looked up at him through the tears that were clouding her eyes.
“What he did is not your fault. You can’t blame yourself for his mistake,” he said. “He was lucky to have you, but he screwed it up and it’s his loss, not yours.”
“But I loved him…”
Brock sighed slightly. He stopped walked and pulled Erika back gently, so that she stood across from him.
“I know you loved him, but you deserve better.”
Erika wiped her eyes as she nodded slightly. Brock sighed, before putting his arms around her in a supportive hug. She hugged him back, letting her tears flow once again.
“And your friends, Ash, Misty, Sakura and I…we’re always here for you, no matter what.” Erika nodded, smiling.
“Thank you…”

-

Cassidy’s breathing was heavy, her heart beating so fast that she imagined Butch could hear it from across the room.
“Tell me!” Butch demanded, too afraid to try and hold anything back. He watched Cassidy closely as she broke down into an onslaught of tears, burying her face in her hands. There was no way she could hide it now. She was stupid to think that she could in the first place.
“I thought it would be better if you didn’t know. I didn’t want you to be concerned…” she wailed. Butch stood still, his eyes wide.
“You mean you are…?”
“No!” she cried, looking up at him. “I’m so sorry, Butch…” she said as her tears overtook her once more.
“What are you saying, Cass?”
“I was pregnant… There was a little baby inside of me, growing… I could feel him or her in there…” she said through tears, as she stood and walked towards the window, her hand over her stomach. She peered outside at the dreary grey sky. It matched her mood.
“You were pregnant? What do you mean? What is going on, tell me!” Butch insisted, anger and worry flooding his emotions. Cassidy gazed at him despairingly.
“The baby… Our baby…died…” she said quietly as more tears poured down her cheeks, splattering on the floor like shattered glass, which is how Butch felt as the words came out of her mouth.
“Died…? How…?” he asked, tears forming in his own eyes as he walked closer to Cassidy.
“It’s all my fault… I’m so stupid!” she cried out, more at herself than at Butch.
“What...?”
“I killed our baby! It was me! I did it! I told them to!” she cried, falling down against the wall. “I’m too young! We’re too young! It would’ve been too hard…”
“What do you mean, Cassidy? What the hell do you mean?!” Butch demanded, kneeling in front of her. She had never seen him like this before, so full of anger and anxiousness.
“I had an abortion!” she cried.
It seemed as if time had stopped, freezing the moment. Butch felt as if he’d been stabbed. He could almost feel the sharp blade of a knife slicing through his heart, slashing thoughtlessly through his soul. Dead. His own child was dead. And he hadn’t even been consulted. He hadn’t even known. Like mercury in a thermometer that had been placed into boiling water, his anger was rising.
“Please don’t hate me… I had to do it… Please don’t hate me…”
Butch stopped his anger from breaking free, remaining livid.
“We created a child…and you didn’t even tell me… And you get rid of it, like it’s some…some piece of rubbish!”
“No! That’s not true! You’ve got no idea how hard it was…”
“Then why did you do it?!” he yelled, but pulled his anger back.
Cassidy’s wailing became louder as he backed away from her.
“Please don’t go, Butch… Please don’t hate me… Our love can survive anything… You said so, remember…?” Butch stood looking down at Cassidy, the girl he had been in love with since he’d known what love was. But suddenly, he didn’t even know her anymore. She was like a stranger. Grief-stricken and completely frozen by anger and shock, he turned and walked towards the door.
“My love for you, Cassidy, is dead…” he said coldly, before he ran through the door, down the stairs and out of her house, her wails fading as he moved further away. He didn’t even try to stop the tears from flowing, or the anger from rising. He no longer knew Cassidy Green.

-

[i]To be continued…

Next time on ‘Hearts and Minds’

A first date goes beautifully well;
Someone wants another chance, and…
Someone is plotting revenge.

-

Thanks for reading!

Love and light,
Sarah.

Kawaii_Cherry_Blossom
5th July 2005, 11:22 AM
Hearts and Minds

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom


Notes:

The song used in this chapter is ‘Runaway’ by The Corrs, and it is owned by its respective owners.

Chapter 5

In and Out of Love



James smiled graciously when he saw Jessie, his emerald eyes sparkling. Jessie blushed, feeling nervous yet incredibly excited. She stood leaning against the wall outside of the restaurant. Although James had offered to pick her up, she had told him that she would meet him there, not wanting him to see her home or meet her family. James walked to her slowly, a calm smile present on his face. He wore black pants and a green shirt, which caused his emerald eyes to shine like jewels. When he was standing in front of her, he reached for her hand. Picking it up gently, he kissed it softly, before looking back into her eyes. Jessie was stunned. No boy or man she had ever dated had treated her this way. She felt like a princess in her very own fairytale. She found herself feeling nervous, which was a strange feeling for Jessie, usually the definition of confidence. More than anything, she wanted this to go right. Yet the doubt in her mind told her that it wouldn’t, because nothing ever went right for Jessie McInnes. Shaking herself out of her thoughts, she smiled at him, their eyes locking.
“You look…” James paused, trying to find the right words. “Incredible…” Jessie smiled gratefully.
“Thank you…so much…” she said, almost in a whisper, tears developing in her eyes.
James smiled as he took her hand once again.
“Shall we go inside?” he asked her. Nodding, she smiled.

-

Cassidy awoke, startled from the nightmare that had plagued her mind as she slept. In the nightmare, Butch had found out that she’d had an abortion, and declared that his love for her was dead.
Tears sprung to her eyes as she realised that her dream had in fact been reality just hours before. Sobs racked her body once again as she leant forward, wrapping her arms around her stomach. She felt empty, as if something inside her was missing, and there was a large, black hole replacing it instead. Her decision to have an abortion had been, in her mind, the only way. She couldn’t have the child, for so many reasons.
‘But how could I have done it and not told him? What kind of person am I?’ she thought, her tears engulfing her. ‘But no, I couldn’t tell him… It would’ve been so much easier for him if he didn’t know… Stupid Jessie, I hate her. I should’ve known she would have told him. She probably doesn’t even feel guilty…’
Her thoughts turned bitter at the thought of her former best friend, before her thoughts turned back to Butch. She loved him with all of her heart, with her everything. She couldn’t imagine her life without him and didn’t even want to try. She wondered whether he could ever forgive her, but feared the worst, especially because there was one more thing he didn’t know. One more thing that would make his hate for her deepen.
“You deserve to know, Butch… I have to tell you…”

-

Ash frowned as he stared at a photo of him and Misty together. It was his favourite one of the two of them, taken during summer break last year. In the photo, they were at the beach. He could remember the moment in his mind, so clearly. Yet somehow, it seemed so far away. Was it possible that he and Misty were growing apart? They were so undeniably close, yet lately, he realised, he’d hardly spoken to her. All she wanted to do was spend time with Gary.
‘Gary… If he hurts her, I’ll…’
Ash’s thoughts were extinguished as his phone rang. ‘Misty’, the caller ID read.
‘Speak of the…Angel…’ Ash thought, before slapping himself across the forehead and pressing the answer button.
“Hey,” he said, his tone not signifying whether he was happy to hear from her or not.
“Hi Ash! How are you?” she asked, her voice full of the usual excitement that it contained.
“Fine thanks, you?”
“I’m great!”
“Are you sick? How come you weren’t at school yesterday?”
“I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, but I’m fine now,” she answered. “Gary told me about your battle with him.”
“Oh…”
“Gary’s going to make such an amazing Pokémon trainer!”
Ash didn’t reply, resorting to balling his hands into fists instead.
“And you will too, of course.”
Sighing, Ash laid down on his bed, leaning back against the headboard.
“So how are things with you and Gary?” he asked, dreading her reply.
“Things are really good. We’re pretty serious, even though we’ve just started going out. But I think he really likes me!”
“That’s great,” he said, forcing enthusiasm into his voice.
“Ash, it means so much to me that I have your support. You’re my best friend and I don’t know what I’d do if you were against the idea of Gary and I…”
Ash opened his mouth to talk, but no words came out. What could he say? He didn’t speak for a few moments, thinking of the right words to say in order to receive the answer he wanted.
“Hey Misty?” he asked, his voice quiet.
“Yeah?”
“Are you really happy? With Gary, I mean? Is he the one you’ve been searching for?” he asked, though he was afraid of the answer. Afraid of it being ‘yes’… Misty didn’t answer for a few moments, taking the time to properly think things through, and also wondering when Ash became so thoughtful. It was true, she did have strong feelings for Ash, but ever since Gary had come along, she’d experienced something she’d always dreamed of. Being cared about, by someone she cared about. And it was amazing…
“Yes,” she finally answered, much to Ash’s dismay. A reply was out of the question for Ash, whose head was spinning in a million directions all at once. She was happy. He’d known before, by the way she acted, but now he knew for sure. Misty, his first and only love, was in love with someone else. Someone he knew couldn’t be trusted with her. Yet, there was nothing he could say or do. A feeling of utter helplessness washed over him, and he heard himself absentmindedly mutter the words:
“That’s good. I have to go, sorry.” He hung up the phone and lay back on his bed, seemingly searching for the answer to all of his problems on his roof. But there were no answers, just questions, spinning around in his head.

-

“You look so beautiful!” James announced out of nowhere, as he and Jessie were sitting at a table. The restaurant was beautifully elegant. Red velvet curtains adorned the windows, the walls were painted gold and there were candles on every table.
A genuine smile made its way across Jessie’s face, as the candlelight added to the sparkle in her eyes. It was something that she had been without for so long that she could barely remember what being happy felt like. Needless to say, she welcomed its return with open arms.
“Are you sure you’re seeing the right person in front of your eyes? Maybe you’re mistaking me for Jessibelle…” Jessie spoke, a hint of bitterness present in her voice.
“Not a chance,” James replied. “And Belle isn’t that pretty. You should see her without makeup…” he said, making Jessie burst into laughter.
“But James…” she said, turning serious.
“Yes? What is it?”
“What does a posh guy like you see in a girl like me…? Haven’t you heard the stories?”
“Yes,” he answered. “But I know better than to believe the stories that travel around our school, he said with a slight laugh.
“You didn’t believe them?”
“Well… I didn’t really know you. I mean, of course I knew you but only from a distance. But somehow, I knew that the stories were made up…”
“Aren’t you afraid I’m going to hurt you somehow?”
“It’s a risk I’m willing to take,” James replied, a sparkle in his eye.
“I just want to do this right… I don’t have a very good track record…” Jessie explained. James smiled.
“We will. And don’t worry, neither do I…” he replied.
Jessie smiled as he took a drink from his glass and stood up. He held his arm out to her.
“Would you like to dance?”
Jessie stood and linked it with his, tingling at his touch.
“Sure,” she replied, her eyes lighting up into a smile.

-

Tracey stood outside Erika’s house, nervously shuffling his foot on the pavement. He’d been dreading this moment, though he knew he deserved whatever Erika threw at him. He cared for her so much, and the last thing he’d ever wanted to do was hurt her. Anxiously, he stepped up to the front door and pressed the doorbell gently. The melodious bell rang through the house and he heard rustling sounds inside. Erika appeared at the door a few moments later, her eyes vacant of their usual spark. Upon first glance of Tracey, ice seemed to glaze over them, sadness frozen underneath. He remained silent as her sad glare penetrated into his eyes.
“I don’t want to talk to you,” she said, her tone full of hurt, and she stepped back to close the door.
“Erika, wait,” he said, putting his hand on the half-closed door.
“Why should I?” she asked, anger filling her voice slightly.
“Please… I need to talk to you,” he explained gently, almost seeming desperate.
Erika glanced at the floor, cursing herself for being so considerate.
“Mum, I’ll just be outside!” Erika yelled into her house. Tracey moved aside as she stepped out of the door, closing it behind her. She crossed her arms as she stood, her back to him, trying to keep herself from crying.
“The last thing I wanted to do…”
“Was hurt you,” Erika interrupted him. “I’ve heard it all before, Tracey.”
Tracey glanced down in shame. What had he done?
“I don’t know what happened. Melody said she wanted to talk to me about something and all of a sudden she kissed me. It didn’t mean anything!” he explained, his voice rising out of nervousness.
“She asked to talk to you and met her in your room, when you were home alone? And you lied to me!”
“I know…” he said, sighing. “I know… I just want a chance to make things right again… It
was a mistake… The biggest mistake I’ve ever made…”
Erika looked into his eyes. As much as she wanted to believe him, and let him take her into his arms and hold her, she couldn’t. She closed her eyes as they began to fill with tears.
“Every time I close my eyes, I see it. I see you kissing her. Do you know what that does to me?!”
The shame in Tracey’s heart grew as Erika’s tears of despair poured down her cheeks, glistening in the moonlight.
“You knew how hard it was for me to trust you after what Matt did to me,” she said, remembering her ex-boyfriend. “You promised me you wouldn’t hurt me like that. And I believed you… How could you do this to me?”
“Erika, I love you…” he insisted, desperation in his voice. Erika looked up at him as her eyes brimmed with tears once again.
“Obviously not enough,” she choked out, before she pushed past him. She ran inside, closing the door behind her.
“What have I done…?” he asked himself aloud as he stared at the door, closed, just like Erika’s feelings for him.

-

Cassidy’s hands shook, her heart beating rapidly, as she saw Butch’s figure in the distance. He sat on the bench in front of the pond. It was their special place, a place where they had shared many a beautiful moment together. But she supposed that that was about to change.
Cassidy knew how Butch would react to the devastating news she was about to deliver. She realised that it would most probably be over for them forever, that he wouldn’t be able to forgive her. And she would have to live without him, probably never finding someone she loves more than Butch, her first love. She hadn’t yet faced these realisations, which she had buried deep in her mind. She was afraid that if she did, she wouldn’t be able to tell Butch the truth. But he deserved to know. She couldn’t lie to him anymore. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she pushed aside the doubt and fear in her mind, and stepped towards him.
“Butch?” she called his name softly as she neared him.
Butch spun around, obviously started. Cassidy was overwhelmed with guilt as she caught sight of him. His eyes were stone cold as they fixed upon hers. In fact, they were so cold that she found herself taking a step back, wanting more than anything to run away, to bury herself in a hole and never have to face the world again, or something similar.
But, she wouldn’t let her fear overpower her. Not this time.

-

“Hello?” Erika spoke softly into the phone. She hadn’t wanted to pick it up, but knew that she had to be strong, and cutting herself off from the world wasn’t going to help.
“Erika!” Misty’s voice came out of the receiver. Erika smiled slightly.
“Hey Misty, what’s up?”
“Nothing much. How about you?”
“Well… Not much…” she said, a hint of sadness creeping into her voice. Misty picked it up instantly.
“What’s wrong? Did something happen?” she asked worriedly.
“I guess…” she said sadly as she felt tears well up in her eyes.
“Erika, what’s wrong?”
“Tracey cheated on me…” Erika replied, before letting out a sob. So much for being strong…
“What?!” Misty asked, shocked. “Are you alright? Oh my God…” Misty paused, and hearing Erika cry on the other end, stood. “I’ll be there in ten minutes,” she said, before hanging up the phone.
Erika placed her phone back on to the receiver, thanking God that she had such amazing friends.

-

Tracey angrily turned off his phone when he discovered the ten missed calls and eight messages that he’d received while he’d been gone. They were all from Melody, of course, begging him to call her.
Lying back on his bed, he opened up his sketch pad. A pencil sketch of Erika adorned the first page, her eyes full of happiness. Yet now, they were full of tears. And it was his fault.
‘How could I have done this to her? Erika was the best thing that ever happened to me, especially after what Melody put me through. I’m so stupid!
But…how can Melody reel me back in so easily. Damn it, I thought I was over her. I don’t still love her… No, I can’t… Can I…?’

-

“Say it’s true
There’s nothing like me and you
I’m not alone
Tell me you feel it too
And I would run away
I would run away, yeah…
I would run away
I would run away with you…”

James pulled away from their embrace, staring into Jessie’s eyes. She returned his gaze, her blue eyes melting into his green ones. The chemistry between them was incredible. It was a new experience for Jessie, who then realised that she had never been in love before James.
“You’re so beautiful…” he whispered to her. She smiled happily and lovingly as she moved into his warm embrace once again.
‘This feels so right… So incredible and so…right…’ Jessie thought.
James smiled contently. ‘My life is so wrong that I know…this is right. Jessie and I…I think we’re actually right for each other…’

“Cause I have fallen in love with you
No, I’m never
I’m never gonna stop falling in love
With you…”

-

Giselle gulped nervously as she sat on a chair next to her modelling instructor, Creg. It was time for them to look over her photo shoot from the previous day and check what needed improving. The images printed out on photo paper, slowly, as if they were trying to inflict torture on Giselle. She hated this time of the week.
Creg took the photos from the printer and glanced over them, shaking his head slightly as he sighed, a hint of impatience lingering in the air.
“Giselle, this will not do,” he said sternly, pointing to the pictures. Giselle’s face fell as she saw anger creep onto his face.
“But I’m really trying…”
“How much do you want to be a model?” he asked angrily.
“More than anything!” she cried.
“Then you have to learn to make sacrifices! Otherwise, you’re wasting my time and yours.”
Giselle fought back the tears that were forming in her eyes.
“You have enormous potential, Giselle. You just need to perfect yourself. You’re just not thin enough, and you need to work on that. If you can destroy all of the imperfections, you’re guaranteed to be a winner in the modelling business.” Giselle nodded.
“I can do it,” she said, trying to convince herself that she could. She had to. She’d never wanted anything more than she wanted this. And nobody said it was going to be easy. There were sure to be a few bumps along the way. But she could jump over them. She just needed to be more disciplined.
“Well, I certainly hope so,” Creg said as he threw the pictures down the left the room.
Giselle shrunk back into her seat, wanting to cry but not letting herself. Turning, she looked at herself in the mirror and sighed.
“You’re disgusting,” she mouthed to her reflection, her eyes vacant of any spark. She felt angry at herself for becoming so imperfect and flawed. But she would change that. Giselle nodded at herself confidently as she strode out of the room and prepared to make her way home.

-

Misty took one look at Erika and pulled her into a hug, when she opened the front door of her home.
“What happened?!” Misty asked, in shock over the situation, as she walked with Erika to her room. Erika sat on her bed, while Misty took her desk chair. Glancing down, Erika sniffed.
“I caught him…with Melody…”
“That JERK!” Misty cried angrily, before she lowered her tone to one full of sympathy. “Are you okay?” Erika nodded, though uncertainty was plastered in her eyes.
“I just never thought Tracey would do something like this…”
“Has he had the decency to apologise?”
“Yeah…”
“And what was his excuse?”
“Oh, you know, the usual. That it was a mistake, that he never wanted to hurt me, etcetera,” she said bitterly, before she sighed sadly. “I just need to move on… But…”
“But what…?” Misty asked softly.
“I love him so much…”
Misty sighed as Erika began to cry once again.

-

Jessie had never felt anything like what she was feeling for James as he held her close, swaying softly to the music. She never wanted this moment to end, never wanted to have to let go and feel alone again. She felt safe, protected, accepted, and most desirably, loved. James pulled apart from their embrace slightly, holding onto her hands. Their faces were just inches apart. Everything that was going on around them seemed to become drowned out as their faces grew closer, their eyes locking onto one-another’s. Finally, their lips touched, and the desire and love that they felt for one-another was expressed as they kissed softly.

-

“I don’t want to talk to you,” Butch said coldly as he turned away. He wanted so much to take Cassidy in his arms and comfort her. She looked utterly distraught. But the anger in his heart prevented him from even trying to do so.
“Butch, please,” Cassidy pleaded as she stepped towards him.
“Don’t even try! There’s nothing you can say…”
“I know that… But there’s something I need to tell you…”
Butch didn’t reply or turn around. His gaze was fixed on the magnificent glow of the moon in the pond. He was thinking about the many times he and Cassidy had shared, gazing at that same reflection.
“I can’t hurt you anymore, Butch… And I know you’re going to hate me even more than you do now, but you have to know that there’s more to the situation…”
Again, Butch didn’t reply.
“I never wanted you to know because I thought it would cause unnecessary pain, but I guess I was wrong… I should have been straight with you from the start. But it was so hard…”
“Do you expect me to feel sorry for you?” Butch asked, his voice as chilling as ice.
“No…”
“Then what do you want?” he asked, spinning around, anger filling his voice. Cassidy held back. How could she devastate Butch even more? He was so hurt, so overwhelmed by pain. She could see it in his eyes, like open doors to his heart. But he needed to know…
“I wasn’t two weeks pregnant… I was one month…” she said slowly, the fear in her heart making the lump in her throat grow larger. She swallowed hard.
“What?” Butch asked, freezing. That was impossible…
“When I went on that holiday with my family, I went out one night… And I got really drunk… And there was this guy called Randy, and well…” she explained, tears filling her eyes.
Butch couldn’t move. He felt as if he were being choked, as if Cassidy were choking him with her bare hands.
“Oh my God… You cheated on me…? The baby wasn’t mine…?” Butch’s eyes bore into hers questioningly. He looked at her almost as if he didn’t know her, as if she was a complete stranger to him.
Cassidy nodded, tears spilling out of her eyes and falling down her cheeks. She had never felt so ashamed.
“I was drunk; it was the most stupid thing I’ve ever done! But it meant nothing, Butch. Nothing.”
“You CHEATED on me! And you got PREGNANT! What the hell have you done?!” he yelled, his tone causing Cassidy to shudder.
“I’m sorry Butch! I…I’m so sorry…” she muttered helplessly. Butch stepped closer to her, his eyes piercing into hers.
“You were the best thing that ever happened to me. And you’ve destroyed it as if it were nothing,” he said bitterly, before turning away.
“That’s not true…”
“Yes it is!” he yelled back at her, the power of his anger forcing her to take a step back once again. Tears spilled out of her eyes. She had never seen Butch so angry.
“I can’t even bare to look at you anymore,” he said, the devastation in his heart reflected through his tone.
“I…I’m sorry…” she said, but before she could go on, she looked up to see that Butch was walking away.
Cassidy moved to sit on the bench where Butch had sat just minutes before. He would probably never speak to her again. She had lost the love of her life because of a stupid mistake. Giving way to her tears, she curled up into a ball and cried helplessly into the night.

-

To be continued…

Next time on Hearts and Minds:

Someone pressures someone to sleep with them,
Revenge is in the air, and
Someone is taking advantage of another’s kindness.

-

Thank you for reading!

Love and light,
Sarah.

kennychan007
5th July 2005, 3:50 PM
The story is good, but I need more days to read them all.
However, it is exciting to be read

Kawaii_Cherry_Blossom
6th July 2005, 5:20 AM
Hearts and Minds

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom



Chapter 6

Foolish


Giselle pinched her already flat stomach as she stood in front of the mirror. She frowned bitterly at the reflection that stared back at her.
‘Look at how disgusting you’ve become!’ she yelled at herself silently. ‘Well, we can change that…’
Sitting back on her bed, she picked up the Dolly magazine that lay open, glancing at the ‘perfect’ model that was pictured on the page.
“Someday, you’ll be perfect too…” she told herself as she smiled bitterly, glancing up at her reflection distastefully once more.
“Giselle! Breakfast is ready!” her mother called from downstairs.
“I’m…uh…not hungry! I had something already!” she lied, ignoring the rumbling sound in her stomach.
“Someday…” she spoke, bitterness taking over her once more.

-

Angry tears filled Butch’s cold eyes as he gazed at a photo of Cassidy and himself. Smiles graced both of their faces; it was one of the happiest times of their lives. An onslaught of anger invading his heart, Butch ripped the photo in half with one swift movement, and watched as it fell to the ground.
He wondered what Cassidy was doing at that moment, as he sat in his dark room, completely broken over the pain that she had inflicted upon him. Did she feel guilty? Did she feel the pain he was feeling? Did it hurt? He hoped so.
Butch angrily wiped away his tears as he leaned back on his pillow and closed his eyes. Duplica’s party was tomorrow night. He was looking forward to going with Cassidy, but there was no way he could show up now. He was afraid enough of going back to school, knowing he wouldn’t be able to handle everybody’s pitied stares.
‘Isn’t life amazing?’ he thought bitterly. ‘As soon as you think you have it all, it comes crashing back down on you with double the force.’

-

Sabrina scribbled on the thick text book in front of her in boredom, thanking her lucky stars that it was almost the weekend. Usually she loved Pokémon History, but today her heart simply wasn’t in it. Glancing around the classroom idly, she noticed that few people were actually working. Erika was lying with her head in her arms, staring ahead and seemingly lost in her own world of thoughts. Gary was winking at Misty, who was giggling in return, and Ash was staring at them sadly. And Jessibelle and Giselle sat in the back row gossiping. Sabrina only had to take one guess at what they were talking about. The news that Cassidy had cheated on Butch, got pregnant and had an abortion had spread around the school like a bushfire, feeding on every student. Neither Cassidy nor Butch had come to school today, for obvious reasons. Sabrina couldn’t help but roll her eyes. She couldn’t believe that they were so immature as to gain pleasure out of somebody’s pain. But then again, they did that to her every day…

-

Ash had to stop himself from gagging as Gary leaned across his desk to kiss Misty, as soon as the teacher turned around. Gary smirked at Ash as he caught him staring, and Ash hurriedly glanced away, anger invading his heart.
‘What can Misty possibly see in him? He’s only using her, even I can tell! Why is Misty so blind?’
He’d considered trying to break them up. He’d even thought of a few ways that he could do it. But each time he thought about putting any of them into action, he remembered Misty’s shining, cheerful eyes when he’d asked her if she was happy with Gary. If he broke them up, she might never forgive him. And he could never do that to her… Ash sighed as he leant his face on his hands. Since when did his life become so complicated?

-

“I love free periods!” Jessie cried happily as she yawned and leaned back into James’ arms.
“Same,” he replied, smiling. “And I love it even more when I get to spend them with you.”
Jessie blushed.
“You look so pretty when you’re blushing,” James pointed out, laughing as she blushed even more. “Have you always been this bad at receiving complements?” he asked her amusedly.
“Well…” Jessie replied slowly. “I haven’t really received many in my lifetime…” James looked surprised.
“Really?”
“Yeah. Especially from the guys I’ve dated…” James looked into her eyes, which had suddenly filled with sadness at the thoughts of her previous failed relationships.
“Well, all that is about to change,” he replied, and kissed her softly. The sparkle in Jessie’s eyes returned as he did so.
“You know James, I think you’ve saved me…”
“From what?”
“Reality,” she replied. James nodded.
“You’ve done the same for me.”

-

Ritchie glanced around almost desperately as he walked down the corridor, towards his locker. He could hardly concentrate during class, because his mind was heading down a one-way street. And at the end of that street, was Giselle. In fact, ever since he’d begun to spend time with her, helping her to study, he hadn’t been able to get her off of his mind. There was one thing he didn’t understand, however. Giselle had always seemed stuck up when he’d talked to her at school, but when she was alone, she was really nice. Could her snobiness be a façade that she’d built up to be popular?
His heart skipped a beat as he saw her, leaning against the lockers, flicking her long, brown trusses over her shoulder as she talked to Jessibelle and a few of her other friends.
‘Okay Ritchie, you can do this,’ he told himself as he swallowed his nerves.
“Hey Giselle,” he greeted her politely. She glanced up at the sound of his voice, shock filling her eyes. But it seemed to fade, as silence engulfed the group of students.
“So…I was wondering, do you want to study together tonight?” he asked. Ritchie thought he saw a trace of guilt in Giselle’s brown eyes, but it was gone as quickly as it appeared.
“In your dreams, maybe,” she replied coolly.
Ritchie froze as he heard the words, his face turning red at the sound of the laughter coming from her peers. Ritchie looked up at her. She seemed so different from the girl he’d been spending time with over the past few nights. As he looked into her eyes, he nodded disappointedly, before he turned and walked away, trying desperately to ignore the laughter that followed him, echoing in his brain.
“Loser,” he heard Jessibelle say in the distance.
Ritchie sighed dejectedly, feeling half angry and half disappointed, not to mention angry at himself for not realizing that Giselle was only using him.

-

“Ash… Ash? Ash!” Sakura’s voice snapped him out of the cold stare he was aiming at Gary, who sat with Misty on the grass near the table that he, Sakura, Erika and Brock resided.
“Huh? What?” he asked as he shook his head and turned to look at her. Sakura rolled her eyes sarcastically.
“Never mind.”
“So, Erika, how are you doing?” Sakura asked, concerned.
“I’m alright…” Erika replied as a faraway look appeared in her eyes.
“Melody hasn’t talked to you yet, has she?” Sakura questioned.
“No, she’s stayed away. I don’t think I’d be able to handle her,” Erika replied.
“Well if she comes near you, I’ll take care of her for ya!” Sakura punched her fist into her hand, making Erika laugh.
“Do you wanna talk about anything?” Brock asked her kindly.
“Yeah, ‘cause you know you can always talk to us,” Sakura added. Erika smiled at her friends.
“Thanks, but I’ll be fine,” she replied with a reassuring nod. “I guess I just need to stop thinking about it.” Sakura’s eyes lit up as an idea sparked in her head.
“I know! Duplica’s party is tomorrow night and she said we’re welcome to come, so let’s go and have some fun! It’ll help to talk your mind off things.”
“Good idea!” Brock said excitedly.
“Oh… I don’t know…” Erika replied. “What if Tracey’s there?”
“So let him see that you can be happy without him!”
‘Can I?’ she asked herself silently.
“I don’t know…”
“You should, Erika. It’ll be good for you,” Brock added his support.
“Well, okay,” Erika answered, unsure as to whether she was making the right decision.
“Are you gonna come, Ash?” Sakura asked.
Neither Sakura, Erika, nor Brock were surprised when she didn’t receive a reply. Ash’s eyes, full of longing and despair, were again concentrated on Misty and Gary.
Erika held out her hands and shrugged, as Brock and Sakura shook their heads.

-

Misty quickly glanced away from Ash as she caught him staring at her despairingly. That was the one thing about Ash. He was so easy to read. But why was he so cut up about the fact that she was going out with Gary? No doubt it was because Gary was his enemy, but was there something more? Was he jealous?
‘No way,’ she corrected her thoughts. ‘Ash is just my best friend. He’s worried about me, that’s all. There’s no way he could be jealous, because there’s no way he likes me as anything more than a friend. But…’ she smiled as Gary kissed her on the cheek. ‘He doesn’t need to be worried. Gary won’t hurt me; he’s one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met!’
“What’s up?” he asked her as he saw the faraway look in her eyes. Misty shook her head of her thoughts.
“Oh, nothing at all!” she replied. Gary nodded, smiling sweetly at her.
“So Misty… I was wondering…” he began. Misty felt a wave of nervousness rise up within her as he spoke the words. She swallowed hard as she nodded for him to go on.
“My grandpa and my sister are going out this afternoon on a Pokémon study. And, well, I thought you might like to come over. We’ll have the whole house to ourselves…” he said, almost seductively.
Misty smiled through her uneasiness, not letting him realise that she was so nervous. After all, how unattractive would it make her seem if she was too nervous to go home with Gary Oak?
“Um…well sure…” she found herself replying. But as soon as she’d done so, something in her heart told her that she would regret it. Gary leant in to kiss her, and when they pulled away, she once again caught sight of Ash’s eyes, gazing into hers worriedly.

-

“Tracey!” Melody called out as she spied him walking across the school lawns. He glanced at her, but kept walking as he saw that she was the one who was calling him.
“Trace!” she called once again, racing over to catch up with him. She did, and he stopped, though he swiftly turned away from her.
“You can’t avoid me forever,” Melody said matter-of-factly.
“What do you want?” he asked, exasperatedly as he turned to face her.
“I was just wondering if you were going to Duplica’s 18th tomorrow night,” she asked, not taken aback by his anger towards her.
“Are you?”
“Yes.”
“Then no, I’m not going,” he replied, before turning to walk away.
“Trace,” she said as she pulled his arm, swinging him around and pulling him closer to her.
“Don’t you think it’s time to move on?” she asked innocently. “And there is a girl I know of… She’s totally infatuated with you…” she said seductively.
Tracey felt his defenses weaken as he looked into her eyes, and wondered whether she was a white witch. Or maybe he was still controlled by his love for her…
“I might go…” he replied, pulling away from her.
“I hope so,” she called out as he walked away.


Later that afternoon…


“Oh, I am so excited!” Duplica cried out, bursting with energy as she waited at the bus stop with May.
“Me too! Tomorrow night is gonna be so great! ” May agreed. “But we HAVE to find you a nice outfit, that’s item number one on the agenda.”
“Agreed,” Duplica nodded as she pulled her bus ticket out of her purse. “So have you talked to Ash?” she asked, moving things to the other matters in their lives.
“Not once,” May sighed. “Every time I try to talk to him, he’s following after Misty or sneering at Gary.”
“I wonder why Misty’s going out with Gary anyway. She doesn’t seem the type to get involved with him,” Duplica wondered aloud.
“Yeah I know. But I guess if Ash really loves her, there’s not much hope for me. But anyway, have you spoken to the love of your life?” Duplica sighed dramatically.
“No. Not one word. He hasn’t even been to school lately. He must be so upset about what Cassidy did to him. I hope he’s okay…”
“Yeah… I can’t believe Cassidy did that…”
“I know! How weird is everything that’s going on at the moment? I mean, Jessie and James, Gary and Misty, Cassidy and Butch broke up, Erika and Tracey have split… I mean, what next?”
“It’s pretty weird alright,” Duplica agreed. “Oh! But you know who’s coming tomorrow night?”
“Who?”
“Some of the guys from St. Lukes. Including Drew,” Duplica explained, a sneaky smile playing across her face.
“Drew? Yuck! Why did you invite him?”
“Because I think you two would make a cute couple!”
“Me and Drew? Double yuck! Why would I go out with that snob?!”
“I think you like Drew a bit more than you let on May, and vice-versa,” Duplica winked.
“Are you out of your mind? All we do is fight!”
“What’s that famous saying? When two people fight, it means they really care about each other,” Duplica quoted, laughing at her friends’ reaction. “You two have chemistry!” she added. May was fuming.
“I’ll say it for the last time,” she said. “I do not like Drew!” Duplica grinned.
“Well, we’ll just have to see what happens, won’t we?”

-

Misty took a deep breath, hoping to stop her heart from beating as loudly and as quickly as it seemed. She sat on the couch in Gary’s living room, lying in his arms.
She froze as his hand made its way to the side of her leg and he rubbed it gently. She stared ahead, panic invading her heart. He seemed to notice this as he pulled back.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked as he sat up. She moved out of his arms as he turned to face her.
“N-nothing,” she replied, trying her best to put on her most reassuring voice.
“Here, let me make it better,” he said as he stood up and moved behind her, sitting back down on the couch. Gently, he moved his hands up to her shoulders and rubbed them gently. Misty’s heart was racing, her eyes full of worry. His hands were cold as he moved them down to rub her arms gently. He moved his head so that it rested on her shoulder.
“That better?” he asked.
“Yeah…” Misty breathed nervously.
‘Oh, stop acting like such a baby, Misty, you idiot! If you want a boyfriend, you have to be willing to do this! He’s just being sweet!’ she told herself, riding on the fake reassurance that she had gathered as he moved to face her once again. She smiled convincingly at him as he kneeled in front of her, before placing a hand on her shoulder and kissing her. But this kiss wasn’t soft and gentle like the others had been. It was passionate, almost forceful. Misty forced herself to kiss him back, feeling his tongue in her mouth. He pulled away after he was out of breath.
“You’re so beautiful,” he said softly, as he ran his hand up and down her arm. Misty smiled shyly at the words. Nobody had ever said that to her before… Once again, Gary leaned towards her and kissed her. Misty felt herself fall back as he leaned over further, before he was leaning over her. Before she was able to protest, he was kissing her neck, and reaching down to unbutton her shirt…
“Stop!” she finally gathered up the courage to yell out as she tried to push him off of her, but failed as he forcefully kissed her once again.
“Come on, Misty. You know you want this too,” he said as he kissed her neck once again, more forcibly this time.
NO! Her heart screamed, but she was frozen, unable to move because of the fear that had struck her like lightning. But no, she couldn’t let him take advantage of her. A vision of Ash’s worried stare played in her head as tears formed in her eyes, and anger welled up in her heart.
“Get off of me Gary!” she yelled as she finally gathered the courage to push him off of her. He leaned back, annoyance written over his face.
“What?” he asked incredously. “What do you mean? You said you loved me!”
“We’ve been going out for not even two weeks! This is too soon!” she choked back her tears angrily as she looked up at him, begging God to help her out of this situation so that she could run away.
“Come on, baby…” he said gently as he leaned forward once more. “I’ll be so gentle. All you have to do is lie back and relax… You won’t regret it…”
As Gary leaned in to kiss her once more, Misty saw her chance. Rolling out from underneath him, she picked herself up and buttoned up her shirt, her heart beating rapidly.
“Misty!” Gary cried out in annoyance.
But she was out of there, running as fast as she could through the large foyer of the mansion, and out of the front door. She wiped away the tears that trickled down her face as she ran, her body shaking with fear and her mind overrun with emotion.

-

Cassidy picked up her mobile and glanced at the screen, a desperate look in her tired eyes. Once again, she was disappointed. She hadn’t heard from Butch, or anyone for that matter, all day. Not that she expected to. But in her heart, she hoped that somebody would care enough to try to contact her. She imagined that her ‘news’ had spread around the school, becoming more and more outrageous as it passed each person’s ear.
Unable to take it anymore, Cassidy picked up her phone once again and dialed Jessibelle’s number.
“Jessibelle speaking,” she answered moments later, in her usual posh fashion, though she knew it was Cassidy because she had caller ID.
“Hey Belle,” Cassidy replied.
“Oh…it’s you,” Jessibelle said wryly. Cassidy didn’t respond, disappointment filling her heart once more. She had guessed that Belle wouldn’t want to have anything to do with her anymore.
“What do you want?” Belle asked rudely. Rolling her eyes, Cassidy was about to hang up, sick of being let down.
“Nothing I guess. I just wanted to see if my suspicions were true,” she instead replied, trying to keep her fragile self from breaking down once more.
“Oh? And what suspicions were those?”
“That you’re a snobby b!%^& who doesn’t want to hang around with anybody who isn’t popular.”
Cassidy could almost hear Jessibelle sneer on the opposite line, concocting the perfect b!%#^y remark to reply with.
“You made your own bed to lie in,” it came, moments later.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I mean it’s your fault! You’re the one who blew it with one of the most popular guys at school. I mean, you slept with someone else and got pregnant!”
“You know, Jessibelle,” Cassidy coldly cut her off, before she could go on. “What I really need right now is a friend. But as I thought, all you care about is yourself.”
“Oh go and get a life you s#%t,” Jessibelle replied, and hung up the phone before Cassidy even had a chance to reply.
Not that she wanted to.
Angry tears poured down her face, but she viciously wiped them away.
‘I hate you Jessie, you b!%^&. This is all your fault. Well I’m not gonna let you get away with it. There’s no way. You’re going to pay for what you’ve done. And it’s all going to come crashing down on you…tomorrow night…’ Cassidy let her thoughts console her as she could taste revenge. And it tasted good. Like chocolate after medicine. It tasted damn good.
-

Jessie was utterly happy as she strolled into her house, so happy in fact that she felt like skipping. She breezed upstairs, into her room, and closed her door.
‘Being in love feels so great…’ she thought as she stared out of the window at the bright blue sky. Suddenly though, thoughts of Cassidy struck her mind. She’d been thinking about James so much that Cassidy and her problems were the last thing on her mind. Sure, she had been the cause of Butch finding out about Cassidy’s disloyalty, but it would only have been a matter of time before he’d found out anyway. She’d done Cassidy a favour!
‘And plus, she deserved it for being such a stuck up b!%^&.’
But as much as she wanted to believe this, she couldn’t help but worry at the cold shudder that came over her at that moment. It would be so typical life for her life to fall back out of place, into the jumbled mess it was before. And she was almost positive that Cassidy was planning to be the cause of this.

-

Misty fell onto her bed in tears as she arrived in her room. Ash was right about Gary. How could she have been so foolish? Taking a deep breath, she picked up her phone and dialed Sakura’s number.
“Hello?” Sakura answered, a few moments later.
“Sakura…” Misty said through her tears.
“Misty? Are you okay? What’s wrong?” Sakura questioned concernedly. Misty sniffed, wiping her tears away as she thought of a way to reply.
“What happened? Are you okay Misty?” Sakura asked once again.
“It…it’s Gary,” Misty replied.
“What do you mean?”
“He tried to make me sleep with him…” Misty said, a slight trace of anger audible amongst the sadness in her voice.
“WHAT?!” Sakura asked, shock and worry filling her voice. “Oh my God! Did he hurt you?”
“No, I’m fine… Just a little shocked.”
“Are you sure? I mean, what did he do?”
“He said I wouldn’t regret it and that I know I wanted it too.”
“What a complete jerk! Who does he think he is?!” Sakura asked angrily.
“I just can’t believe it. He was so sweet before…”
“Oh I am so angry at him. I’m gonna go hurt him!” Sakura said, and Misty couldn’t help but smile.
“Thanks, Sakura…”
“But seriously Misty, are you alright?”
“Yeah,” she answered, nodding her head. “Thanks for being such a good friend.”
“You don’t need to thank me,” Sakura replied. “Oh, but Misty…”
“Yeah?”
“Have you told Ash?” Misty sighed worriedly.
“No…”
“Are you going to?”
“I don’t know...” Misty replied. “Oh, I’ve gotta go. I have another call,” Misty explained.
“Okay. Well take care Misty. Just call me if you need anything,” Sakura replied.
“Thanks. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“You’d go crazy,” Sakura replied, making Misty smile. “Bye!”
“Bye,” Misty replied, before switching to the other line.
“Hi, Misty speaking,” she spoke into the phone.
“Misty,” Gary’s voice stunned Misty as it drifted through the receiver. She was unable to reply, and didn’t.
“Misty, I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I thought you wanted to be closer and I want to be with you so much,” he spoke, though his words weren’t full of desperation as Misty had hoped. In fact, he seemed his usual, confident self.
“Please, forgive me?” he asked.
‘Jerk… You didn’t even apologise…’ Misty thought angrily.
“I don’t know if I can,” she replied, moments later, before hanging up the phone. She sat back against her bed, picking up the photo of Ash and herself that she kept on her beside table. She stared at his bright eyes, full of kindness.
“I don’t know if I want to…”


To be continued…


Next time on Hearts and Minds…

Someone takes advantage of another’s kindness (A/N: I put that in the last chapter’s ‘Next time’ thingy, sorry!);
A plan of revenge is put into place, which causes major devastation among the people involved;
Two friends are spied on by another, who isn’t too pleased with what he/she saw;
Someone gets drunk and reveals something to his/her already brokenhearted ex; and
Someone is going to end up in the emergency room.

All this and more drama is on your way in the next chapter! Don’t miss it! And thank you for reading! I love you all!


Love and light,
Sarah.

Dubble Flux
6th July 2005, 6:21 AM
Woah. That was so damn awesome! I can not wait for the next chapter! I was wondering what had happened to this fic, 'cause it is by far one of my Top 5. Absolutely great plot development!

~One Bad N.W.A.

Kawaii_Cherry_Blossom
8th July 2005, 2:53 PM
Hearts and Minds

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom


I hope you like chapter 7! And thank you so much to all of you who’ve reviewed! It means SO much to me and it really keeps me writing. :) I love you all.

One other thing – this chapter includes offensive language, which I haven’t blanked out, by the request of a few people (unless you’re reading this on my forum ^^). I hope this doesn’t offend anybody…

This chapter is dedicated to Joey! :P I accidentally cut his name off of the thank you list when I posted it on ff.net. :P So this is my peace offering. Haha. This is for you, dude! Oh, and if you like AAMRN’s, people, check out his fanfiction – under the name of Mistylover87 on fanfiction.net! It’s brilliant stuff!


Chapter 7

Shatter


A content smile was spread across Jessie’s face as she walked into Duplica’s house, a smile that said ‘Look at me, I’m here with one of the most popular guys in the school’.
“Happy birthday, Duplica,” James said kindly to the blue-haired girl, and she smiled at him thankfully.
“Yeah, happy birthday,” Jessie said idly as she waved her hand, before leading James away.
“I feel sorry for him,” Duplica commented to May, who was standing beside her.
“Well put,” May replied, rolling her eyes.
“Look who it is,” they heard a familiar voice call out. Drew appeared in front of them moments later, a bunch of his friends in tow. “If it isn’t the wannabe Pokemon Coordinator.”
“I will be a Pokemon Coordinator!” May yelled at him. He ignored her.
“Happy birthday Duplica!” he called out, his friends following suit, before they walked through the door. May crossed her arms as he walked inside.
“You’ll make such a cute couple!” Duplica squealed. May turned her head to look at her, a questioning look of bewilderment on her face.
“You are CRAZY!”

-

“Ash!” Sakura called to Ash as she saw him enter the room. He waved and made his way over.
“Hey guys!” he greeted them as Sakura and Erika returned it.
“Hi…” Misty said, looking preoccupied as she turned her head away. Ash glanced at her questioningly, but she didn’t meet his gaze. Concern swept through him at the sight of her not acting like her usual self. And why wasn’t she with Gary?
“Where’s Pikachu?” Erika asked him, causing him to turn his attention away from Misty.
Ash laughed, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand.
“Well, I thought it’d be best not to bring him. You saw what happened last time he ‘accidentally’ drank alcohol…” he replied sheepishly.
A burst of laughter erupted as Erika and Sakura remembered that particular party. And it hadn’t been pretty…
Ash glanced over at Misty once again, noticing with worry that she had hardly noticed he was speaking, and was instead staring at the ground, shuffling her feet nervously.

-

Tracey wanted to slap himself as he walked down the garden path in Duplica’s front yard, and up to her front door.
‘Why the hell am I here?’ he asked himself, and sighed as his arm lifted to turn the doorknob, and he walked inside the house. He wasn’t surprised at what greeted him, a clutter people, most of them underage, drinking and acting under the influence of too much alcohol. As he walked through the front room, he couldn’t help but notice the dirty looks that some of the females in the room were throwing him. Probably friends of Erika.
“Trace, you came!” he wanted to shudder, yet found that his heart leapt as he caught sight of Melody, wearing a skirt and top that revealed a little too much. Not that he was complaining, as his eyes cast over her body, and she smiled approvingly as he did so.
“Hi,” he greeted her simply.
Ignoring his unenthusiastic approach, she took his hand.
“Let’s go and get you a drink…”

-

As the clock ticked over to 9 o’clock, most of the guests had arrived, and the party was in full swing. Loud music blared from the stereo as people sat around talking and drinking, and Duplica floated around handing out drinks. She was extremely happy at the turnout, not to mention glad that her parents had gone away for the weekend.
“Yep, that’s the stuff,” Gary said as he downed a glass of Jim Beam. His third.
“I don’t know how you can drink that stuff,” Jessibelle commented, raising an eyebrow at him as he poured himself another glass.
“At least I can hold down more than your girly drinks!” he commented proudly, his words slurring slightly, as he waved his hand at the Raspberry Vodka Cruiser in her hand.
“Oh shut up Gary,” she retorted, crossing her arms and sitting back, tossing her thick red mane of hair over her left shoulder.
“Where the hell is James? He’s never around lately,” Gary said, watching as Jessibelle’s face twisted with jealousy and anger.
“He spends all of his time with that ****!” she replied.
“Jessie? Oh…”
“I can’t believe that b!tc#. I wonder how she managed to dig her claws into him. He hardly talks to me anymore!” she spoke viciously, putting her bottle up to her mouth and swallowing the red liquid.
Giselle took a small sip of her own Cruiser, whilst ignoring the lurching sounds coming from her stomach, indicating that it needed to be filled. She knew drinking on an empty stomach was stupid, but she wasn’t about to eat anything, and she was definitely not about to be labeled a loser because she wasn’t drinking with everyone else.

-

“I can’t believe he came,” Misty said coldly to Sakura and Erika as she peered at Gary from the next room.
“I know, and he doesn’t look like he’s suffering from the slightest bit of guilt,” Sakura replied.
“That jerk!” Erika said angrily.
“Who’s a jerk?” the girls heard a voice say, and spinning around, discovered that it belonged to Ash.
“Oh, uh… Tracey…” Sakura mumbled nervously as Misty looked at the floor.
“Oh, yeah.”
“So where’s Brock?” Sakura asked.
“He had to babysit,” Ash replied, a sheepish grin on his face. “Poor Brock-o,” he commented, before turning his attention to Misty, who hadn’t said more than a few words since he’d arrived. There was something going on, so he thought, because she had been acting strange since he’d first seen her tonight. There was something in her eyes that told him so, a lack of the sparkle that he had gotten so used to seeing, especially over the past few weeks. But surely, he told himself, she would have told him about it, wouldn’t she? They were best friends and they told each other everything. He would never think that Misty would do otherwise.
“Misty, you okay?” he asked her softly as he sent a pleading look her way, begging her with his eyes to look up at him. When he first caught sight of her blue-green eyes, the sadness concealed in them was as clear as the sun shining over a blue sky. But as soon as she acknowledged him, they instantly changed, lighting up like they usually did. Strange.
“I’m fine!” she announced brightly.
“I hope so,” Ash said, and grew even more concerned as she nodded idly and glanced away.

-

A sadistic smile spread across Cassidy’s face as she spied Jessie sitting with James, talking in one of the rooms, which was empty of any people but them. She wanted to spit at her and wipe that happy smile off of her face, but she couldn’t. Not yet, she told herself cautiously. All she had to do was wait for the perfect moment, and Jessie’s life would spiral down into a world of despair, a world where she had sent Cassidy just days before. Cassidy glanced around the room. Nobody had talked to her all night. Nobody gave a damn about her, they’d already decided that she was a ****. Not that Cassidy cared. She didn’t need anyone. She could get by fine on her own, and she didn’t need Belle either. Belle was a cheap ****; she just concealed it with her beauty and elegance. She’d been after James forever, too. He’d never taken a serious interest in her, however, which ****** her off to no end. And she must be even angrier, now that he was going out with Jessie, Belle’s mortal enemy.
Cassidy’s attention was turned back to Jessie and James, and she smirked wickedly when Jessie got up to walk out of the room.
“I’m just getting a drink,” Cassidy heard her say. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
Cassidy hurriedly moved out of sight, hiding around the corner of the room. She grinned as Jessie walked the opposite way, making her way downstairs with a content smile on her face.
“Time to put operation wipe the smile off Jessie’s face into action,” Cassidy said through an evil chuckle, as she moved towards the room that James sat in.

-

Tracey brushed off his concern for himself, as he felt himself slipping into a state of drunkenness. He didn’t get drunk often, but right now, he was in no mood to disallow the feeling of freedom and bliss that it provided. Right now, he needed it.
Melody sat next to him contentedly, snuggling into his chest as he wrapped his arm around her.
“Just like old times…” she said softly.
He nodded idly as he tossed the empty bottle of beer aside and grabbed another off the table in front of him.
“Don’t you have any respect?” Tracey and Melody glanced up to see Sakura and Erika. Sakura looked angry, while Erika’s eyes were filled with hurt as she cast them towards the ground.
“What? You cheat on Erika and you don’t even feel guilty? You jerk… How can you live with yourself?”
Tracey shook his head as he looked up at Sakura, who stood defiantly with her arms crossed.
“I…I never meant for it to happen,” he said, his words slurring together in an almost unidentifiable mass of sound. Sakura rolled her eyes. Melody sat back in her seat, looking uncomfortable.
“But, but the truth is,” he said, his words forming beyond his control. “I’ll always be in love with Melody. I always have been and I always will be. And not even Erika can make me stop feeling what I do for her. I love her!”
The hurt in Erika’s eyes intensified as she looked at him in sad disbelief. He kissed Melody passionately on the lips in front of them, and whether he was drunk or not, it was not something that Erika could turn a blind eye to. Not saying a word, she turned and walked away, Sakura following after her.

-

“Misty,” Ash said softly as he walked through the bathroom door.
“Ash! What do you think you’re doing?!” she cried out as she spun around, tears still fresh in her eyes. “Can’t I have some privacy?”
“You’re crying…” he stated, his eyes filled with concern. As he stepped closer, Misty turned back towards the sink and wiped the remaining tears from her eyes.
“I’m fine.”
“You wouldn’t be crying if that were true…”
“Ash, just…”
“No Misty, please… I’m not trying to intrude but I can’t just say nothing when you’re crying. I…”
Misty’s heart skipped at beat as he said the first of the three words that she’d longed to hear from him for so many years. Her feelings for Ash had suddenly come flowing back, and she remembered how much she cared about him, a feeling that she’d had to ignore when she was with Gary.
“I just don’t want to see you hurting…”
Misty sighed, feeling slightly disappointed.
“I can take care of myself…”
“I know you can, but why don’t you let me help… Please, Misty… You don’t have to go through anything alone.”
Ash’s concern for her touched Misty’s heart as fresh tears welled up her eyes. Looking at her sadly, he sat down on the edge of the bathtub, and motioned for her to sit next to him. Reluctant at first, she held back, but the pleading look in his chocolate eyes was enough to force her over, and she sat down beside him.
“Did something happen?” he asked, noticing her form, like a wilted flower.
“I guess…”
“With Gary?”
“Yeah…”
“Did he hurt you?”
“Sort of…”
“What?” Ash froze, anger rising up in him. “What did he do?”
“We were at his place, and he… Well…had certain expectations…that I refused to fulfill…though he tried to make me reconsider…”
“He tried to make you…?”
Misty nodded as Ash began, and he stopped.
“He didn’t hurt me, just left me a little shocked, and…”
“He had no right to do that to you!” Ash said angrily, balling up his fists to stop himself from taking out the action that he wanted to – punch the wall.
“It’s alright Ash, really…”
“No it’s not! Look at how sad you are! I can’t believe him!” he replied angrily.
Misty sighed and focused her gaze on the ground, staring at the shiny white tiles that covered it.
“You broke up with him, right?”
“Not yet…”
“What? But you are going to, aren’t you?”
“Yeah… I just haven’t wanted to face him… I just… He seemed so sweet and nice…like he really liked me. That meant so much to me…” she explained as she let a single tear flow out of her eye, and fall onto her leg. Ash watched her worriedly, his eyes filled with sadness.
“But he only wanted to use me for sex… That’s so degrading… It just makes me wonder… Can anybody really love me for who I am?” she asked, sighing once more.
“Yes…” Ash said softly, and Misty glanced up at him, looking into his eyes questioningly.
“How do you know?” she asked, having not really expected an answer.
Ash stared into Misty’s eyes, wondering whether it was the right time to tell her how he felt about her. She wasn’t with Gary anymore, that was a plus. But she was feeling low and telling her now might be classed as taking advantage of her. And he would never want to do that…
So he just stared ahead as she stared back, before he noticed that their faces were becoming closer, and he mindlessly placed his hand over hers. Both Ash and Misty felt like they were in another time, another place. Time had stopped and they were the only ones in the world, everything else had just faded into the background, become part of the scenery that had frozen behind them. Each of their hearts leapt with excitement as their lips were just centimetres apart…
“What the f$%#?!”
Ash and Misty spun around, blushes painted across their faces, to see Gary standing at the bathroom door, anger burning in his eyes.

-

Ritchie sighed as he watched Giselle from afar. She was chatting with Jessibelle and a few of their other friends, a smile gracing her face, though she seemed distant. He didn’t know why he’d come to this party. Being labeled the nerdy freak didn’t get you many invitations to parties, so he tended to stay home on Saturday nights.
But he needed to make some friends.
And he wanted to see Giselle.
And thankfully, Duplica had left leaflets around the year 12 area, stating that this was an open invitation birthday party.
Yet, the only people that had talked to him tonight had been Cassidy, Jessibelle and Gary. You’d think Ritchie would be happy about that fact, but they had only said a few words to him. And they weren’t good ones.
Sighing ruefully, he got up to leave, making his way to say goodbye to Duplica first.

-

“I can’t believe Ritchie came to a party!” Jessibelle laughed, before taking a long sip of her bright yellow Cruiser.
Giselle wasn’t listening; the laughter of the others became background noise as she felt her stomach lurch, a sickly feeling flowing through her. Putting her hand over her stomach, she stood up.
“I’ll be back in a sec,” she muttered before running towards the open front door, into the cool night air, a stark contrast to the hot, smoke-filled air inside.
She located some bushes and threw up, tears forming in her eyes. Her hands shaking, she reached back to push her hair away, when suddenly she felt someone do it for her. Whisking her head around, she saw Ritchie standing behind her, a concerned look in his eyes.
Turning back around, she wiped her eyes as she coughed a few times, her arms still shaking uncontrollably.
“Giselle, are you alright? What’s wrong? Are you sick?”
“No,” she replied as she looked at the ground. “I’m fine.”
“How much did you have to drink?”
“Only two…” she replied.
“Well did you eat before? I’ve heard alcohol can affect an empty stomach really bad.”
Giselle’s eyes widened as she quickly built up her defenses.
“I can take care of myself! I don’t need you to look after me!” she cried as she ran back inside the house.
Ritchie sighed as he watched her go. Something wasn’t right…

-

“Hey James…” Cassidy said seductively as she walked into the room. He glanced up, the shocked look on his face indicating that he was shocked to see her.
“Cassidy? Hi…” Cassidy winked at him in reply, and he peered at her strangely.
“How are you doing…? Are you alright…?”
“I’m…well…you can probably guess,” Cassidy replied as she poured helplessness and despair into her voice, intensifying it for the purpose of the situation. She knew James would be the type to feel incredibly sorry for her.
“And to top it all off, everybody seemingly hates me,” she added.
“Well…don’t worry…” James said softly. “I’m sure they’ll accept the situation soon, and things will get better…”
“Oh James, I hope so… I just feel so alone…” she whimpered despairingly. He looked at her sympathetically and she stared into his eyes sadly.
But something was strange, James noticed as he looked into her eyes. They seemed to be devoid of any emotion at all, just glazed over with sadness that didn’t seem very real. Or perhaps he was just looking into it too much…
“It seems like you’re the only one who cares…” she muttered, leaning closer to him.
Before James knew what was happening, Cassidy was kissing his lips forcefully, forcing him back as she took hold of his arms. He tried to turn his head away but her lock on his lips was tight, and he couldn’t move.
And as if on a cue arranged by Cassidy, Jessie appeared at the doorway. She dropped her drink and stared at them, her heart breaking. Cassidy let go of James and turned towards Jessie, grinning satisfactorily inside at the heartbroken look that had spread itself across Jessie’s face, whilst planting a shocked, innocent look on her own face.
James sat staring into Jessie’s eyes, knowing what this would have looked like to Jessie.
Jessie stared at him, biting her lip to stop the tears that were forming in her eyes from falling. She wouldn’t cry, she wouldn’t cry…
Instead, Jessie turned to run, leaving James and Cassidy behind.
“Jess!” she heard him call out, through the deafening noise in her mind, the result of her thoughts blending together violently. She ran down the stairs, jumping down two steps at a time, into the room below. The loud music pumped, the beat penetrating her heart as it sounded. She ignored the strange looks that the people in the room were giving her. She needed to escape, and she ran towards to front door, bursting out of it into the cool air that greeted her.

-

Sakura and Erika looked up as Jessie ran past them, her cries echoing into the night. James stood at the door moments later, calling out her name, but she did not return, and he walked back inside with a sigh and a mutter of the word ‘****’.
“That was weird,” Sakura commented, before turning her attention back to Erika. “Are you gonna be okay…?” Erika sighed.
“At least I finally know how Tracey feels,” she said bitterly as she washed the urge to cry away. She’d cried too many tears over him. It was time to stop. As of now, it was truly over, and she could honestly say that her love and affection for Tracey had faded. It was just part of another memory.
“I can’t believe him… And her, too…”
“Yeah well, they deserve each other,” Erika replied, anger cutting at her.
“Erika, what do you say we get out of here? Why don’t you come back to my house and we’ll watch a movie or something?” Erika smiled slightly.
“Yeah, sure, that’d be great,” she replied as they stood up. “But we should tell Ash and Misty that we’re going.”
“That’s cool, I’ll send Ash an SMS. I haven’t seen them for ages.”
“Do you think they’re finally getting together?”
“Well I hope so! It’d be about time!” Sakura laughed as she sent the message, and the two walked away from the house, the thumping music fading into the distance.

-

“How dare you! Get away from my girl!” Gary yelled viciously. Both Ash and Misty noticed him sway as he moved, and the way his words slurred. He was definitely very drunk.
Ash and Misty stood. Ash’s eyes burned with defiance as he put his arm out in front of Misty.
“She’s NOT your girl,” he spoke, anger and bitterness in his tone.
“f$%# off Ash and get away from her,” Gary said angrily as he moved forward. Ash followed suit, keeping his arm up in front of Misty and moving closer to Gary.
“Don’t tell me what to do. She doesn’t want to talk to you, and it’s not surprising, after what you did to her!”
“Come on, babe,” Gary said, reaching out his hand to Misty. “Let’s ditch this loser and get out of here.”
Misty stepped back, glaring at Gary angrily, as Ash moved in front of Misty.
“Don’t touch her,” Ash told Gary, the anger in his eyes blazing like fire. “I won’t let you hurt her again.”
Suddenly, a punch came flying at him, hitting him on the shoulder with full force and knocking him back.
“Ash!” Misty cried. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, he replied as he looked up at Gary angrily. “But he won’t be.”
Anger invading his mind and heart, Ash ran the small distance towards Gary and punched him in the eye. Gary’s drunken state hadn’t given him time to dodge it.
“What, Ashy-boy, you think you’re tough?” Gary taunted, making Ash growl angrily.
“Ash, stop!” Misty cried, stepping back in fear.
Gary lunged towards Ash, putting his hands on either of his shoulders and forcing him back against the wall. He slammed him into the wall a few times, laughing evilly as Ash gritted his teeth in pain.
Struggling under Gary’s strength, Ash used all of his might to push Gary off of him, and he stumbled back against the bathroom sink.
“You b@$%!%*!” Gary called out angrily.
“Stop it guys, just stop!” Misty cried once more, but neither seemed to be listening. They stood glaring at one another. They had a score to settle, and it wasn’t just about Misty.
Misty had never seen Ash so angry, yet half of her mind was straying with thoughts of the fact that she and Ash had almost kissed. But first, she had to concentrate on breaking up this fight, before somebody got badly hurt. Her heart was beating rapidly, pounding in her chest, as she saw that Ash and Gary were about to lunge at each other.
“Stop!” she called out, moving forward as they moved to punch each other.
Misty bumped into them, their force put together knocking her backwards forcefully.
And as everything seemed to go eerily silent, a sickening smash resounded throughout the house, as Misty was sent flying through the glass shower door. She landed on the ground with a horrific thud, her unmoving body lying helpless in a puddle of glass.



To be continued…

-

Mwahahahahahahahahahahaha, I am SO evil! I love leaving cliffhangers for you all!!!! :P Hehe, but you all still love me, right? RIGHT?!

:P

Hehe, please review if you have any comments, criticism or advice!



Next time on ‘Hearts and Minds’:

Someone doesn’t know whether they can forgive another;
Someone wonders why she thought she could trust another;
An unlikely partnership is set up for a group assignment;
And much, MUCH more, including:
Will Misty survive?

Stay tuned. ^^

Love and light,
Sarah.

Kojho
8th July 2005, 5:53 PM
Great job, I love it! keep up the good work.

CandyMandy
11th July 2005, 7:41 AM
Not the cliff-hanginess!Don't worry we love ya anyway^^This story is great:) I've been reading it for a while(before I signed up here) but havn't commented on it^^. I love the plot, the characters you've chosen,everything*grins* The plot development is great.Keep up the great work;)
~Candy Mandy

Kawaii_Cherry_Blossom
11th July 2005, 1:34 PM
Hearts and Minds

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom



Chapter 8
What Happened Next



“Call an Ambulance!”

“Hurry up! Hide the drinks!”

“Misty! Misty, wake up!”

“Mist! Can’t you hear me? Open your eyes, please…”

Though these images were floating vividly through Ash’s mind, they seemed so far away as he sat in the ER waiting room, his head in his hands.
“I just called Misty’s sisters, Brock, Sakura and Erika, they’re on their way,” Duplica told him as she sat beside him.
Ash nodded idly, only slightly hearing her. His mind was too preoccupied, too overwhelmed with guilt over the fact that Misty was lying in the emergency room surrounded by doctors and nurses and beeping machines.
‘And it’s all my fault…’
A cardboard cup suddenly appeared in front of his eyes as he was clenching his fists. He glanced up to see May’s hazel eyes peering worriedly into his as she held out the cup.
“Ash, are you gonna be okay?” she asked, her voice small and worrisome.
Once again, he was unable to form a reply, instead glancing away and turning his attention to the ground.
“Here, drink this…” May’s voice sounded again as she handed Ash the cup, and he took it.
“Thanks…” he spoke quietly, as May sat next to him. Putting the cup up to his lips, he took a drink of the smooth liquid. He’d never been big on coffee, but right now, he could care less.
“Any word on Misty?” May asked.
“No…nothing yet…” Duplica replied.
‘It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault…’ Ash’s thoughts swirled around in his head like a tornado as his free fist clenched in anger. How could he have been so stupid? By trying to protect her, he’d put her in danger, and if she didn’t survive he knew that he would not be able to go on either. Not without her. He could never live without her…
“It’ll be alright, Ash… Misty will pull through…” Duplica said softly as she sensed his inner turmoil.
“Ash!” a voice echoed through the endless white corridor that led to the ER, and Erika appeared moments later, followed by Sakura. Erika pulled Ash into an embrace and Sakura smoothed his shoulder gently. Allowing the tears that he’d so wanted to cry to spring to his eyes, he let out a sob.
“Oh Ash…what happened?” Sakura questioned softly as Ash and Erika pulled out of their embrace.
“It’s all my fault…” he choked through his soft cries. “Misty is fighting for her life, and it’s all because of me…”
Sakura and Erika exchanged concerned glances, before they led Ash to the uncomfortable, plastic waiting room chairs. Duplica and May stood to give them some room, and Erika gave them a kind look. Erika studied Ash for a few moments, noticing how tired and upset he looked, his eyes red and lined by dark circles. His hair was even more messy than usual, and he was tense, with anger and fear swirling in his eyes.
“You can’t blame yourself…” Erika told him, her voice soft. He shook his head disbelievingly and slammed his fist down onto the chair.
“But I put her in danger, it’s my fault!”
“Why don’t you tell us what happened… How did she fall?” Sakura asked. Ash wiped his arm across his eyes, ridding his face of the tears that had formed.
“Misty and I were in the bathroom, and we were talking… And…we nearly…kissed…” Ash’s face reddened, but he ignored it as he went on. “But then Gary came in, and he was so angry… He tried to make Misty go with him, but I wouldn’t let him force her, so he punched me, and…”
“You two were fighting?” Erika asked, and Ash nodded his reply.
“Misty was calling out for us to stop. Damnit, why didn’t I listen?!” his tone became louder as his anger dominated his words, and he bent over, putting his head in his hands. He felt a hand on his shoulder, a silent plea for him to continue.
“She tried to stop us from punching each other again, but we all collided and she fell back… She fell through all that glass and hit her head… There was blood everywhere and she wasn’t conscious. She wouldn’t talk to me, she couldn’t even hear me…” the devastation in his voice was heart-rendering, and tears flowed freely down both Erika and Sakura’s faces.
“Ash, don’t ever say that it’s your fault again. You were only trying to protect her. She knows that you would never hurt her…” Erika spoke gently.
“But I did! I did hurt her! Damnit!”
“No, Ash. Don’t think like that…” Sakura said softly. They glanced at the ER room door, prayers for Misty echoed through all of their thoughts.

-

“Trust, hah, f$%# that for a joke,” Jessie muttered to herself angrily as she slammed her door. “They’re all a bunch of lying *******s, every one of them!” Wiping away her angry tears, she threw herself on her bed and slammed her fist into the mattress, wishing it were James and Cassidy’s faces.
‘But no, it’s my fault. I should’ve known better. I thought James was different. How could I have been such a fool?’
“Hey! Open up!” an angry voice came from the opposite side of her door, interrupting Jessie’s thoughts and making her cringe.
“No!” she yelled back, too angry to be cautious.
“****ing open it you little *****!”
Fear rising up within her, she stood up and walked over to her door, opening it slowly as she closed her eyes in dread. The strong scents of alcohol and cigarette smoke wafted through the room instantly, making her want to choke.
And she felt it hard, as a slap across the face sent her reeling backwards. She screamed out as she was pushed back against the wall and a large, hard fist met her left eye.
“Don’t you ever walk into my house and slam your door so hard again, you ****! Who the f$%# do you think you are?”
“This isn’t your house! Mom works two jobs to have enough money to pay the bills! And what do you do, sit on your lazy *** and get drunk!” she yelled back, too caught up in her anger to worry about what the consequences of her actions would be.
“You b!tc#!” the cold, raspy voice yelled, before shoving Jessie against the wall a few times. She cried out in pain, fear intensifying in her eyes.
“Don’t you ****ing ever speak to me like that again! You treat me with respect, got it?!” he demanded, his sneering face just centimetres away from hers.
“Got it,” she replied quietly, not wanting to answer but knowing that if she didn’t, more pain was coming her way. And she wasn’t sure that she could take it tonight… Tears poured down her face as he backed away, and she reached up to brush them away.
“$%^&ing weak b!tc#, you’re still crying like a baby,” a raspy, ridiculing laugh following the horrid statement. When he’d left, Jessie sunk back against the wall, wincing as she touched her left eye. That was going to bruise…
She wasn’t sure how much more she could take.
And this time, she didn’t bother to wipe away her tears as they gushed out of her eyes to form a waterfall of pain, her quiet sobs filling the room.

-

Silence, embedded by tension, hung around the emergency room waiting area. Misty’s sisters had arrived, as well as Brock, each of them dealing with the tragedy in their own way. Daisy, Violet and Lily were huddled together, each comforting the other. May and Duplica sat talking on the opposite side of the room. Erika sat in silence, and Sakura and Brock were talking quietly, trying to keep their minds off of the situation, but failing miserably. Ash, however, was hit the hardest. Brock looked up to see him pacing outside the door to her room, glancing up at the red light every five seconds. His usually playful smile was replaced with a frustrated, brokenhearted frown, and his fists were clenched in anger. It seemed like they had been waiting forever for that light to turn a Heavenly shade of green, indicating that whatever was taking place behind that door was over.
And finally, moments later, it did.
Every single being in the room rose instantly as the door opened, and Ash moved in front of the doctor who emerged from the ER right away.
“What’s going on? Is Misty alright?” he questioned the doctor, an intense sense of fear burning in his eyes.
Doctor McFadden, who was tall with blonde hair and bright blue eyes, took off his glasses and folded them up, before placing them into the pocket of his white coat.
“Miss Waterflower is going to recover,” he spoke the words calmly as he glanced around at the concerned faces.
Sighs of relief and mutters of ‘thank God’ escaped every person’s lips at the news.
“She lost a lot of blood, and has a concussion, but we’ve given her some stitches and bandaged her up where the cuts from the glass are extreme. She will be fine, she just needs rest and time to heal,” he explained.
“Is she awake?” Daisy asked, and Doctor McFadden nodded.
“Yes, she has regained consciousness. But she is still very weak…”
“Can I see her?” Ash pleaded, but his heart sank as the doctor shook his head.
“Is your name Ash Ketchum?” he asked, and Ash nodded his head, confusion filling his eyes.
“Miss Waterflower asked me not to let you inside, as well as Gary Oak.”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“I’m sorry, young man, but I have to respect the patient’s wishes… The rest of you may go in, but only two minutes at a time and in groups of no more than three. She needs her rest.”
Ash hadn’t heard the last few words as he sank back against the wall, feeling a hammer slam into his heart and smash it into a million pieces. He covered his face with his hands.
‘I knew she’d hate me… She’s never going to want to see me again… Oh God… What have I done…?’
“Ash,” Brock placed his hand on his shoulder comfortingly, but Ash took no notice, his mind fast approaching the dead end of the one-way street called guilt.

-

Brock, Erika and Sakura waited impatiently for Daisy, Lily and Violet to emerge from Misty’s room. Two minutes seemed to be taking two hours… When they finally did, Ash rushed up to them.
“How’s Misty?” he asked pleadingly.
“How would you be if you fell into a shower door?” Lily replied angrily as she crossed her arms and turned away. Daisy’s face softened at the obvious devastation written across Ash’s face.
“She’s okay, Ash… You know Misty, she’s always strong enough to pull through,” Daisy gave Ash a smile, but he failed to return it.
“Will she really not see me…?” his soft voice was full of fear as he asked the question, and Daisy wanted to give him the answer he desired, but she had to respect her sister’s wishes.
“I’m sorry, Ash…” his face fell at her reply, and she watched as tears gathered in his eyes, and he blinked them away.
“I’m sure she just needs some time…” Daisy said comfortingly, but Ash just shrugged his shoulders and turned, walking back to the plastic chairs. He sat down and put his head in his hands once again, his aura oozing devastation and misery.
Brock, Erika and Sakura glanced at him worriedly.
“You guys go in, I’ll be there in a minute,” Brock told them. They nodded, before walking into Misty’s room.

“Ash,” Brock spoke as he sat beside his brokenhearted friend. Ash didn’t reply, his silence saying a thousand words. Brock sighed softly.
“Ash, you can’t blame yourself…”
“Why not? She does. It’s my fault…”
“Misty’s probably confused… She just needs time…” Ash sighed sadly and lifted his head, still staring down at his hands.
“Tell her I’m sorry, Brock, please… Tell her I’m so sorry…” Brock nodded a yes.
“Sure,” he replied, before standing and walking across the room to Misty’s door. Pushing it open, he stepped inside.

-

“We’re so glad you’re okay…” Erika spoke softly to Misty, who lay helpless in the hospital bed. Bandages covered her arms and were wrapped around her head, blankets covering the rest of her. Misty smiled slightly, grimacing because of the cuts on her face.
Brock stepped in a moment later, smiling at Misty as he walked towards her. He stood behind Erika and Sakura, who were sitting on chairs.
“Hey, Brock,” Misty said softly, her voice crackly and dry.
“Hi Misty, how are you feeling?”
“I’ll be fine,” she replied, and he nodded at her kindly.
“You had us all so worried,” he said.
“Yeah, especially Ash,” Sakura added.
A wave of uncomfortable tension drifted through the air as Ash’s name was mentioned. Misty turned her head away as sadness filled her eyes.
“He’s pretty broken, Misty, he feels that it’s his fault…” Brock explained, but Misty didn’t turn her head. A few tears filled her eyes, but she blinked them away instantly.
Erika sent Brock a worried glance.
“He told me to tell you that he’s very sorry…” Brock said softly, hoping Misty would reply with some indication of why she wouldn’t see Ash. But he was out of luck, it seemed, as the doctor poked his head into the room.
“Okay, kids, Misty needs her rest,” he said softly. The three nodded, Erika and Sakura rising from their seats. They took turns hugging Misty gently, making sure they were careful not to hurt her.
“We’ll be back tomorrow,” Erika said as she and Sakura walked backwards towards the door. “Yeah, feel better!” Sakura added.
Misty smiled at them thankfully and watched them walk out of the room. Only the doctor and Brock remained. Misty looked away from Brock’s calculating look, knowing he was going to bring Ash up.
“Just know that he’s sorry,” he said softly. “I’ll see you tomorrow, get a good rest tonight,” he added, before giving Misty a smile and walking out of the room.


To be continued…


Love and light,
Sarah.

Dubble Flux
11th July 2005, 2:24 PM
Those were - once again- excellent chapters! When can we expect to see more! I didn't see any grammar mistakes, and even if there were, I was too caught up in the story to even care. My mouth was literally hanging open till the end of Chapter 8 ever since Gary walked in on Misty and Ash. Just.... excellent.

~One Bad N.W.A.

Kojho
11th July 2005, 3:01 PM
Great, I can't wait for the next chapter, it's my favorite!

CandyMandy
11th July 2005, 9:33 PM
Another awesome chapter!I can't wait for the next chapter either!Keep up the great work!
~Candy Mandy

Mysteria Pearl
13th July 2005, 11:48 PM
wow... and I mean WOW! That was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! AHH! I'll never be able to wait! OMG! Please pm me when you get the next chapter done! bisbald!

Kojho
14th July 2005, 12:50 AM
You guys, this is on ff.net, you know...

Just the next chapter there, though. We'll be caught up here soon enough.

Chaos_Control
14th July 2005, 3:27 PM
This fic is great. It touched me, as a pokeshipper, I'm shocked. It was intense. Great job.

~Jay Blazor

Charizard_Sketch
14th July 2005, 6:32 PM
cliffhanger..noooo!!!!
wow, that is AWESOME!!! i mean, i can't wait to read the next chapter!!!!!!!
another really cool thing is that i actually like ash and i never really have in the past. i mean, the way you describe him and his actions in the fanfic are perfect then again, WB makes him act like a drone. in the season that is currently being shown, he doesnt even do stupid stuff anymore. -if that made any sence,then i think i just earned myself a cookie-

Kawaii_Cherry_Blossom
22nd July 2005, 2:17 PM
Hearts and Minds

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom


Chapter 9
Numb

One day later…

Since she’d walked into school, Jessie had been angrily asking herself why she had even bothered to show up at all. Her eye was as painful as it was bruised. Blues and purples combined to surround it, and she winced every time she had to blink. Shaking her head of the memories of last night, she leaned against the cold, metal wire fence surrounding the oval, not really caring that her skirt was etching further up her leg as she did so. It was cool, the breeze whipping through her long hair, but she hardly noticed it. Jessie had become numb to it all. Numb to everything that surrounded her. Just…numb.
Her eyes closed, she didn’t even notice somebody standing behind her, until he spoke.

“Jessie,” James said simply, though his tone was deep and serious, as if he were a teacher addressing a student with some sort of problem. He glanced at her appearance for a moment. The tasteless miniskirt and tank top were back. He almost felt ashamed. She didn’t turn, and for a moment he thought she hadn’t heard him, but moments later he discovered that that wasn’t the case.
“Get lost,” she spoke coldly, her words coated in bitterness.
“Please Jess, I-,” he tried one more time, but his forehead creased in a frown as he heard her angry sigh.
“Look,” she spat, before spinning around.
James froze on the spot, his eyes only focused on one spot – her left eye. It was puffy and red, purple bruises surrounding it, and she seemed to be in quite a bit of pain.
She seemed to notice that he’d frozen on the spot, staring at her eye, and she put her hands on her hips.
“What?” she snapped, as if he shouldn’t be shocked.
“What…what happened?” James stuttered. Genuine concern was written all over his face, but Jessie ignored it. All she could remember was him kissing Cassidy. Pushing past him, she hastily walked a few steps, before stopping.
“Just forget about it. Forget about me, forget about us, forget about everything we shared, because it’s history! And if you’re looking for someone to blame, try yourself,” she spat angrily before stalking away.
James wanted to reply or try to stop her from running away, but he found that he couldn’t. His feet planted on the ground like roots, he couldn’t move.
He could understand why she was angry.
But why on earth did she have a black eye?
Surely she and Cassidy hadn’t gotten in a fight after the party. Or had they?
Or was it something else…?

-

Erika yawned loudly, tiredness showing in her weary eyes. She’d hardly slept all night, having been so worried about Misty. Beside her, Sakura yawned as well, before slumping over her desk.
“You made me yawn,” she said.
“Sorry,” Erika replied, a slight grin on her face. She put her arms back and stretched out, waking up her muscles. “I hardly slept at all.”
“Me either. I was so worried… Do you think Misty’s gonna be okay?” Sakura asked concernedly.
“Physically, yes. But I don’t know what’s gonna happen between her and Ash…”
“Yeah…” Sakura sighed. “Poor Ash… He really loves her, but she’s so angry at him…”
“Erika?” a small voice called, and Erika turned to find May standing beside her. She too looked tired, her figure slumped as she stood holding a pile of text books.
“Hi May,” Erika greeted her, and Sakura waved, adding her own ‘hi’.
“I was just wondering how Misty is,” she said simply.
“She’s alright…” Sakura explained. “She’s pretty much in shock, but the doctors said she’s going to be fine.”
“That’s good to hear,” she nodded, smiling slightly. “Duplica’s pretty cut up over the whole thing too. She’ll be glad to hear that Misty’s doing well.”
Erika nodded.
“Well, I better get to class,” May said, glancing at the clock. “I’ll see you guys later.”
Sakura and Erika waved as May walked out of the classroom. At that moment, Jessie walked, no, stalked, in. Tossing her bag to the floor carelessly, she dumped a book on the table and leaned over it, laying her head in her hands.
“Whoa,” Erika commented, having noticed her black eye. “Looks like the other night went well for everyone, huh?” she said sarcastically.
“Yeah, great party,” Sakura replied.

-

A confident smile upon his face, despite his slight black eye, Gary walked confidently up the stairs of the main school building. His backpack slung over one shoulder, he ignored the looks given by the other students as he made his way to his locker. He figured the whole school would know within minutes what had happened, but that was cool. It wasn’t his fault, so he didn’t need to be worried. He hadn’t been to see Misty in hospital yet. Knowing she’d be angry, he figured that he’d let her cool off before he attempted to make it up to her. And he planned to. Gary wasn’t one to let a pretty girl slip away from him. And Misty would be good for him.
She was pretty, smart, nice body, all the things he looked for. But most fulfilling was the fact that Ash was so in love with her, and couldn’t get her. And Gary planned to keep it that way…
“Brock!” Gary called out, waving his hand at Brock, who was walking down the corridor. Pausing for a moment, Brock looked Gary in the eye and said nothing, before walking past him coldly. Gary rolled his eyes.
“Wait Brock, I just wanna know how Misty is!” he called as he followed him. Brock stopped and spun around, giving Gary an angry look. Gary, however, didn’t back down.
“If you’d had the decency to try and go see her, then you’d know,” Brock replied coldly, glaring at Gary.
“I just wanted to let her get over the shock. I’m going to see her straight after school,” Gary explained coolly, and raised an eyebrow when Brock laughed.
“What’s funny?”
“Misty won’t see you.”
“Oh, really?” Gary laughed slightly.
“She made a request to the doctors to not let you inside,” Brock explained. “So if I were you, I wouldn’t even try, because she is so angry at you.”
“We’ll see, Brock-o, we’ll see…” Gary replied, before waving his hand and walking away. Brock glared at him angrily as he did so.

-

Sabrina cringed, trying not to show it. She knew that she shouldn’t read people’s minds. She knew that it was the largest invasion of privacy. But in a class where you know everything about everything, what else is there to do? They were studying Psychic Pokémon at the moment, after all. Glancing down at her desk, however, she wished that she’d picked someone else’s mind to read other than Jessie’s. Jessie was an interesting person, she had to admit, and she’d tapped into her thoughts quite a few times. But this time she’d found out something dangerous, something secret. And even though Jessie had been anything but nice to Sabrina, she was still concerned for her. One day was a black eye, but what next?
But no matter how much she wanted to help, after what had happened last year, she wasn’t sure that she wanted to take the risk again. Jessie seemed like a strong person, she could probably sort out the problem herself…
“Your first project for the year,” Mrs. Green, Sabrina’s teacher, explained, “is an easy one”. Deciding that she should listen to this, Sabrina wiped her thoughts away and focused her eyes on the tall, slim lady with long, blonde hair standing in front of her.
“Yeah, right,” a snide remark came from behind her.
“Gary, please,” Mrs. Green cocked her head to the side and raised an eyebrow at Gary. Sabrina wondered if he was only in this class because of the teacher – she was beautiful after all. She used to be a model. Why she’d given that up to be a teacher at this school, Sabrina didn’t know…
“For this assignment,” she explained as she made her way to every desk and gave each student the assignment sheet, “you are to research a Psychic attack in pairs, which will be assigned.”
Assigned pairs? Sabrina hated those words. She enjoyed working by herself, that way she didn’t need to be dependant on anybody. And what if she ended up with someone like Gary?
“The first pair is Shane and Sarah,” she said as she read from the list in front of her. “The next is Hilary and Jay, and Sabrina and Gary…”
She should have known…

-

Holding a bunch of yellow and red roses in his hands, Ash walked through the stark, white hospital corridors, until he reached ward ten. Misty had been moved this morning into her own room, which was great news. He wondered solemnly how she was doing. Yesterday he’d sat on the plastic waiting chairs outside her room all day, but she had refused to see him even for one minute. He was tired, having not slept in two nights, and he looked it. His rough, disheveled appearance was enough to give that away.
Ash walked into the ward and to the desk. The nurse – her name was Lindsay – frowned and shook her head when she saw him.
“I asked her this morning, but she still won’t see you. I’m sorry…” she said, her blue eyes apologetic as she pushed a strand of honey hair off of her face.
Ash nodded, sighing slightly.
“Thanks anyway,” he said, and glanced down at the flowers in his hands. “Would you give these to her, please…?” he asked quietly, a slight pleading look in his eyes.
Lindsay nodded and gave him a smile as he handed them to her.
“Is it okay if I sit in the corridor again?” he asked as he motioned to the small group of chairs near Misty’s room.
“Shouldn’t you be at school, dear?” Linday asked. Ash had noticed that she had the habit of calling everyone ‘dear’, even though she only looked about twenty-four.
“I’d rather stay here, just in case she says that she’ll see me…”
Giving him a sympathetic look, Lindsay nodded.
“Of course you can, as long as you don’t go in. I don’t want any trouble…”
“Don’t worry, I won’t,” he replied, and somehow, Lindsay knew she could trust him. The sincerity in his downcast eyes told her so. She watched sadly as he walked slowly to the waiting chairs and sat, gazing at his friend’s door for a few moments, before turning and staring straight ahead at the white wall in front of him.

-

Duplica sat herself down on the grass, glad that it was lunchtime. She thought she was going to die of boredom in her math class. Normally she liked math but today she just couldn’t get into it. Her party, she couldn’t deny, had been a complete flop, not to mention a dangerous one. One of her friends had almost gotten killed and many others were messed up because of that night. May had told her over and over again that she shouldn’t blame herself, but she couldn’t help but feel guilty. If she hadn’t had that party, Misty wouldn’t be in hospital, Ash wouldn’t be bludging school and Jessie and James wouldn’t be fighting. But then, maybe it was all part of fate. Perhaps this was all meant to happen…

Movement from the corner of her eye caused Duplica to shake her head of her thoughts and turn. Her eyes focused on a single, solitary figure leaning against a tall tree. His black pants and black t-shirt were a stark contrast to the bright blue sky and lush green grass that surrounded him as he stood there, his blue hair waving in the breeze. He looked peaceful as he sat down, but from the look on his face Duplica knew he was feeling quite the opposite. And after what she’d heard, she couldn’t blame him. Butch had been through a great deal of, well, crap, in the past week. Duplica felt a blush spread across her cheeks as she looked at him, not caring that she was staring. Even when he was miserable, she found herself attracted to him in a way that she hadn’t felt about a guy before. She felt a pull, a tug at her heartstrings, a need to be with him. Even if she knew there was no chance, she had to keep a morsel of hope in her heart to maintain her sanity. It was crazy, she knew, but as May said, ‘it’s love’. Knowing that this was as good a chance as any to talk to him, Duplica rose nervously and took one step towards him. Luckily, he hadn’t noticed that she was there yet, too concealed within his own thoughts. She swallowed hard and walked towards him, standing next to him before sitting on the grass beside him. She could hardly breathe, her breaths coming out in short puffs and her hands shaking from the nervousness inside of her. He still hadn’t acknowledged her presence.

“Are you okay?” she asked quietly, and wanted to take back the question as soon as she’d asked it and hit herself over the head. “I mean, I know you’re not okay, dumb question sorry…”
Great one, Duplica, way to charm him you idiot!
The cold stare he had fixed on something or nothing in the distance loosened, and he leaned back slightly.
“Just thinking,” he replied a few moments later. Duplica wanted to jump in the air and shout a hooray, but she refrained, thinking this to be a little outrageous and freaky.
“Do you want to talk? ‘Cause, you know, I’ll listen…” she said, trying to hide the nervous quiver in her voice as she spoke.
Butch sighed softly, still looking ahead.
“Do you ever feel like everything is your fault, like you could have done so much more to change a situation but now it’s too late?”
“Actually, I do,” Duplica managed to reply, having frozen as he described exactly how she was feeling.
He didn’t reply to that, and they sat in silence for a few minutes.
“I guess there’s nothing you can do, really… You just have to face the situation and realise that nothing’s going to turn back time, but you can help to make sure it doesn’t happen yourself or other people again in the future,” she replied, finding herself becoming calmer.
“I guess, but that doesn’t take the pain away…”
“Without suffering, there’d be no compassion,” she replied softly.
“Yeah, well, tell that to those who suffer.”
“A Walk to Remember, it’s one of my favourite movies,” she said, smiling as he recited Landon’s reply from the movie.
“Mine too,” he answered quietly, looking down as he fiddled with his black shoe.
“Say, Butch… I know you’ve been through a lot but would you like to get together and have a chat? I’m a good listener and it helps to talk, so…”
Duplica couldn’t believe she’d asked it. After so many years of liking this guy, it was that easy to ask him out? As if! He didn’t reply for a few moments as she sat nervously waiting, crossing her fingers in her mind and hoping he’d say yes.
A few moments later, he turned his head towards hers and gave her a slight smile, as she tried not to melt on the spot.
“That would be nice, Duplica, thanks…” he said softly.
Oh my gosh, he knows my name!
Stuck for words, all Duplica could manage to stutter out was some kind of formation of words confirming that she’d meet him after school at the front gate. He nodded as she was nearly hyperventilating out of excitement and disbelief at how easy that had been. Thankfully and not a moment too soon, the bell rang to end the lunchtime break, and Duplica said goodbye before skipping to her next class.


Later that day…


“You look a lot better, Misty,” Brock said as he sat in the seat beside her bed.
“Yeah, you do!” Erika added.
“How do you feel?” Sakura asked, still looking rather concerned.
Misty smiled slightly as she sat upright in her bed, amidst the white sheets that lay on the bed. White bandages covered most of her arms and cuts were scattered over her face, including one just under her left eye, so she had to wince every time she blinked.
“I feel fine, better than before especially. I just want to go home!” Misty proclaimed in her usual style. They all knew that she hated being dependant on people. Misty always had to take care of herself, even if she couldn’t.
“Did I miss much at school today?” Misty asked.
“No, not really,” Brock replied. “I spoke to you teachers and they’re going to send some reading for you, just so you won’t fall too far behind.”
“Oh joy… I mean thanks, Brock,” Misty replied, grinning slightly.
“Hey Misty…have you uh…thought about, you know, Ash?” Erika asked quietly.
“Erika…” Brock looked towards her, but she shook her head at him. Misty lowered her head and her face tightened.
“Why should I?”
“Misty, he’s so sorry and he feels so guilty about what happened… Did you know that he’s been standing outside your door all day, and he was here until late last night? He’s been skipping school to sit in the corridor, just in case you decide that you’ve forgiven him,” Erika pleaded her case, her voice soft yet firm.
“Erika’s right, Misty…” Sakura added, but Misty wasn’t listening, her gaze fixed on the wall next to her bed. Sakura sighed.
“We love you Misty, but we wish you’d listen to us on this…” Sakura said. No reply came.
“Well, we better get home and let you get some rest,” Erika said, changing the topic.
“Yeah,” Sakura agreed. “We’ll see you tomorrow, Brock?”
Brock nodded. Erika and Sakura hugged Misty and waved their goodbyes to her before they walked out of the door and into the quiet corridor, to find Ash lying asleep on a plastic waiting chair.

Erika sighed and Sakura shook her head. Walking over to him, Erika sat on the chair beside him and prodded his shoulder gently.
“Ash?” she called softly. “Wake up…”
A few moments later, his head swayed slightly and his eyes opened heavily, as though it took all of his strength just to open them, and it probably did.
“Ash, have you had any lunch?” Erika asked, even though it was four in the afternoon.
“I’m not hungry,” he answered, a completely out of character reply for Ash Ketchum. “Oh, how’s Misty?” he suddenly asked, sitting up and opening his eyes wide in anticipation for her reply.”
“I’ll tell you if you come to the cafeteria with us,” Erika said. Ash considered this for a moment before his stomach rumbled loudly, and he had no choice but to give in.
“Fine…” he replied and stood, following Erika and Sakura.
“Rule number one, Ash always falls for bribes, especially when they’re about food,” Sakura said quietly. Erika giggled.

-

“Do you want to talk?” Brock’s voice pierced the silence, but no reply came. Misty was staring straight ahead at the wall, her arms crossed and a slightly angry look on her face. Brock studied her for a moment before crossing his own arms and leaning back in his chair.
“I’m listening…” he said, a firm tone to his voice.
Misty didn’t say anything immediately, but rather kept her stare fixed on the wall.
“I can’t believe he’d be so…heartless,” she said a minute later.
“Gary?”
“No, Ash.”
“Ash? Heartless? Misty, he’s anything but…”
“He barely even tried to get out of the situation. He wanted to fight Gary. You could see it in his eyes. It’s like something came over him, something I’ve never seen before, and you know what? It scared me,” she spoke firmly, tears filling her eyes which still remained fixed on the wall. Brock nodded, choosing not to comment.
“I would’ve expected that kind of behaviour from Gary, but…not Ash…”
“Misty, I know he was wrong to start fighting Gary, but I have no doubt that he did it because…”
“Because he loves me?” Misty interrupted Brock as she finally turned her head towards him. A few tears rolled down her cheeks as she blinked and glanced down for a moment. Nodding, Brock sighed under his breath. This hadn’t gone the way he’d wanted it to.
“If he loved me, Brock, he wouldn’t have put me in danger like that,” she said, her voice shaky, before she reached up and wiped her eyes of the tears that had formed.
Sighing out loud, Brock leaned back in his chair once more as Misty laid back and closed her eyes.

"I don't know your face no more
Or feel your touch that I adore
I don't know your face no more
It's just a place I'm looking for.”

“We know you have to be worried about you when you don’t eat, Ash,” Erika said Ash she watched her friend stare at the slice of pizza in front of him. His head bowed, he sighed and slumped his shoulders over.
“Ash…” Sakura said and glanced over at Erika worriedly. This was affecting him more than they thought.
“Misty will come around, Ash. Your friendship is strong, it can survive anything,” Erika said kindly.
“But…she could’ve died… I mean, if she had and it was my fault… I mean…she could’ve…” he stammered, a few tears dripping from his eyes. He wiped his hand over his eyes and looked up. “She’s my best friend and it’s my fault she’s lying in a hospital bed…”
“It’s not your fault, Ash,” Sakura said.
“But I could’ve stopped it from happening!”
“You can’t live your life like that, wondering if you didn’t do this then this wouldn’t have happened. It’ll drive you crazy…” Sakura replied.
“Sakura’s right. And blaming yourself isn’t helping.”
Ash sighed ruefully. “I guess you guys are right, I just… I wish she’d talk to me…”
“She will, Ash, just give her some time…” Erika said, a soft smile creeping onto her face. He forced a stony smile and nodded, before turning his gaze back down to his untouched food.

“We might as well be strangers in another town
We might as well be living in a different world
We might as well
We might as well
We might as well…”

Gary had a snide aura about him; he walked with his nose in the air and the sort of stance that told people not to mess with him.
‘Hospitals are just so dull!’ he thought as he walked down the silent, white corridor towards the ward Misty was in. He’d gotten his sister to call and check the ward for him, pretending she was one of her closest friends. Brock had left as Gary approached the hospital, and luckily they hadn’t crossed paths. As he approached the counter, he waited around the corner, noticing that a nurse was carefully watching Misty’s door. Knowing that she wouldn’t let him inside, he took a coin out of his pocket and carefully threw it past the nurse. In the silence, the sound of it hitting the ground stood out, and the nurse turned and bent over, glancing around the floor to see what the sound was. Taking this as his chance, Gary slipped past the desk and into Misty’s room, unnoticed by the nurse.

“I don't know your thoughts these days
We're strangers in an empty space
I don't understand your heart
It's easier to be apart.”

“We have to get going, Ash. Why don’t I take you home so you can get some sleep?” Erika offered but Ash shook his head in refusal.
“No, it’s okay, I think I’ll stay. Misty might want to talk later…”
“Alright, but make sure you get some rest sometime soon, or you’ll burn out…” Erika warned, though her tone was kind.
Ash nodded, sadness present in his eyes.
He waved as the girls walked out, before making his way to the lifts. He pressed the ‘up’ button and waited for the lift to come to his level. When it did, he stepped in and pressed the button for level four. He’d always hated lifts, and was glad when the ride was over. His hands in his pockets, he walked slowly to the ward in which Misty’s room was situated. Lindsay smiled at him kindly as he walked through the doorway and nodded as he opened his mouth to ask if he could sit by Misty’s door again. A slight smile touched his lips as he thanked her and he walked to the plastic chair. It was then that he noticed that Misty’s door was slightly ajar, allowing him to see through to where she was laying in bed. However, his shoulders slumped and his eyes closed, as if he were in pain, at what he saw.

“We might as well be strangers in another town
We might as well be living in a another time
We might as well
We might as well
We might as well be strangers
Be strangers”

Gary Oak sat next to Misty’s bed, holding her hand in his and talking to her softly. She smiled softly and closed her eyes as he kissed her hand softly.

“For all I know of you now
For all I know of you now
For all I know of you now
For all I know...”


To be continued…

(Lyrics are from the song ‘We Might As Well Be Strangers’ by Keane.)

Hope you liked this chappie. I know I’ve been evil with the whole cliffhanger thing again, but you guys have come to expect that from me I’m sure. ^_^

Love and light,
Sarah.

CandyMandy
23rd July 2005, 5:56 AM
Awww...pooor Ash;-;tis so sad...but a very nice chapter:) Keep up the good work,The song was a nice touch:D...can't wait for the next chapter!
~Candy Mandy

Chaos_Control
29th July 2005, 12:13 AM
T_T I know how ash feels...

Dubble Flux
29th July 2005, 12:40 AM
That was another excellent chapter. I just wish it was longer. Or at least, I hope the next chapter is REALLY soon. Not to pressure, just anxious for another good chappie.

~One Bad N.W.A.

Kojho
29th July 2005, 3:06 AM
I love it!!!!! Great job, just as great as the first time I read it!!!!!

Kawaii_Cherry_Blossom
31st July 2005, 11:06 AM
Hearts and Minds

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom


Notes:
Finally I've caught you guys at Serebii up to what I'm actually up to with this fic! I'm sad to break it to you that I haven't even started the next chapter. :( But I'll hopefully get onto it soon! Of course if you review I might just be more inclined to start it... :P :D

-

Previously on Hearts and Minds…
Jessie told James to forget about everything they shared, because of what happened between himself and Cassidy;
Sabrina read Jessie’s mind and didn’t like what she saw;
Duplica found herself talking to Butch, and they decided to meet after school;
Ash saw Gary and Misty together in her hospital room


Chapter 10
Growing Up

Sabrina sighed ruefully as she walked home from school, dragging her feet. She couldn’t believe she’d been so unlucky as to get paired with Gary for a school assignment. She knew that she shouldn’t make predictions about the future, especially about her own life, but this time she wished she had. Maybe then she could’ve avoided this.

Suddenly, she halted.

Sabrina could feel someone near her, and sense an aura of bitterness and resentment. As she turned, she saw a tress of long, red hair disappear around the corner – red hair that could only belong to Jessie. Quickening her pace, her long, black hair flew behind her as she followed. She wasn’t sure why she wanted to talk to her. The logical part of her knew it was a bad idea to speak to her but the other part knew that she needed help.

“Jessie, wait!” she called out, her smooth voice piercing the silence of the neighborhood.
As Sabrina rounded the corner, she saw Jessie halt, before turning. A growl escaped her mouth and her face angered as she saw Sabrina standing there.
“What do you want?” she snarled, putting her hands on her hips.
“I just…” Sabrina bit her lip. She knew this was a bad idea, she could feel it. But somehow, she couldn’t keep it inside - even if this was Jessie that she was apparently caring about.
“I want to help you… I know what’s been going on,” she stated simply, standing still on the spot as she spoke calmly.
Jessie, however, was exactly the opposite. Her blue eyes glazed over with anger at Sabrina’s words.
“What are you going on about? What do you know?!” she practically shrieked, and Sabrina could tell she was anxious.
“I know that things for you aren’t good and…I know how you got that black eye…”
“I tripped over the other day,” Jessie argued matter-of-factly.
“Don’t lie…” Sabrina stated
“What the hell? What, do you think you know everything about me? What have you been reading my mind?!”
Sabrina glanced down for a moment, before looking back up at Jessie. Right away she wished she hadn’t. As she stood there looking at the fire burning up in Jessie’s eyes and her fists clenching, she wished she could run. But she didn’t.
“Who the hell do you think you are, you b!tc#!” Jessie shrieked, taking a few steps forward and pushing her face up to Sabrina’s. Sabrina didn’t flinch, keeping still.
“You have no f^&*#%@ right to invade my privacy like that!”
“But I…”
“Don’t even try to stick up for yourself! I could have you expelled for…”
“Jessie, listen!” Sabrina called out, sticking her hands up and taking a step back. “I didn’t tell you this to make you angry! I know it’s wrong but so is what he’s doing to you.”
Jessie didn’t reply, so Sabrina went on.
“I know it’s hard for you but you can get help. If we go to the police you could get him put away. They’re really serious about these types of crimes these days you know…”
Sabrina stopped talking, her voice fading into silence, as Jessie took a step towards her, looking both calm and extremely angry.
“If you ever, ever bring this up again with ANYONE, I will see to it that my life will be the least of your problems,” she threatened, her voice malicious. “So if I were you, I’d shut up and use your freak brain for something a little more useful, like getting some friends.”
That said, Jessie gave Sabrina one last glare, before turning and stalking away.
Sighing, Sabrina watched her go, her red hair disappearing into the leafy green trees of the suburbs.

-

“Misty…?” Ash’s eyes burned with hurt as he pushed through the door of her room. She looked up at him, and he couldn’t tell whether she was angry or glad that he was there.
“What…what are you doing?” he asked, looking half shocked and half upset. He glanced at Gary, who was grinning at him snidely, to further his point.
Misty shrugged as if Ash’s feelings meant nothing to her, and rolled her eyes.
“Not that it’s any of your business,” she began, and Ash frowned. “But Gary loves me, and all of this has helped me to realise that I love him too.”
“But…he hurt you!”
“No Ash, you hurt me. It’s your fault I’m in here. All your fault!” Misty’s words edged a knife further into Ash’s heart. He felt its sting with every word she spoke, and his eyes brimmed with tears at the pain.
“Oh, look at that, Ashy-boy’s crying!” Gary laughed.
Ash took a step back, wiping his eyes of the tears that threatened to spill.
“Please, Misty… Don’t do this to yourself…”
“Wake up, Ash! You destroyed our friendship,” Misty’s angry voice accused as he shook his head.
“No…”
“Wake up, Ash! Wake up! Wake up!”
Ash shot up, startled. As he opened his eyes he saw Lindsay standing over him, her usual kind smile gracing her face.
“What…?” he asked, confused, as he glanced around.
“You were dreaming,” she explained.
“Dreaming?”
“Well, that almost seemed like a nightmare to me, but…”
“Where’s Misty?” he asked suddenly.
“She’s resting, where you should be.”
“What about Gary?”
“Gary…?” she looked confused. “Oh, that guy with the out of control spiky hair who was here earlier? I sent him home because Misty didn’t want to see him,” she explained, and he sighed with relief.
“Ash, Misty’s resting. Why don’t you go home and get some rest yourself…” Lindsay said softly, and he sighed.
“I really want to be here just in case…”
“I know that, but I think all Misty needs is time. She’ll come around, I’m sure. But you need to take care of yourself.”
Ash nodded.
“I guess so… But please call me if anything happens…”
Lindsay nodded, that same smile on her face again. He stood slowly and she walked him through the corridor.
“Misty’s lucky to have a friend like you. You’re a really good person,” Lindsay said kindly.
“Yeah…just not good enough…” he replied sadly, before giving her a slight smile and wave, and walking out of the corridor.

-

“Sabrina!” Erika called out as she saw the raven-haired girl walking further down the street. Upon hearing her name, she turned, looking sort of surprised to see Erika standing there.
“Hi…” Sabrina said quietly when Erika was standing in front of her. “Erika, right?”
“That’s right,” Erika replied, smiling. She began walking again, ushering Sabrina to follow.
“I didn’t know you lived here,” Erika said.
“Yeah, my house is just down that street,” Sabrina pointed to the street crossing theirs on the right hand side.
“I’m sorry I haven’t gotten the chance to talk to you more often. I hope you don’t think I’m a snob!”
“No, that title is reserved for too many other people,” Sabrina said, her tone serious. Erika laughed.
“Yeah, our school is full of characters, but you get used to it after a while. There are lots of really great people too,” she explained. Sabrina nodded, not replying.
“Speaking of characters, I heard you got paired with Gary for an assignment,” Erika said, and Sabrina let out a sigh.
“It’s just my luck. But it doesn’t matter. I’ll probably end up doing all the work anyway.”
“You shouldn’t let him get to you. He’s intimidating but I’m sure you can take him!”
“I don’t know… I think it’s better just to stay away. People like me and people like Gary just don’t fit. We’re like…two pieces to two completely different puzzles.”
“Yeah, I suppose. But still, I’d like to see someone boss him around,” Erika replied, giggling.
“Well I can be kind of bossy,” Sabrina said, a slight smile creeping onto her face, making her dark eyes shine for a moment. “Well, this is my house,” she said a few minutes later as they stopped in front of a one-story home with white stone bricks and a white picket fence.
“Wow, that’s a beautiful garden,” Erika commented, looking at the roses planted in perfect rows around the other assorted flowers that lay in the yard.
“Thanks,” Sabrina smirked slightly. “My mom.”
Erika laughed.
“Hey Sabrina, do you think you’d want to come out with us sometime? Apart from the dramas involving Ash and Misty at the moment, we’re really a nice bunch of people,” Erika said kindly.
“Really?” Sabrina asked, looking genuinely surprised at the question.
“Sure, of course.”
“You’re not scared that I’ll read your mind or predict your future or something?”
“I think it’s really cool that you can do that, but I’m sure you don’t use your powers for personal reasons like that.”
Sabrina glanced at the ground, feeling guilty at what she had done to Jessie. Turning slightly, she opened the flap to her letterbox and took out a single piece of folded paper. Curious, she opened it, and her face turned pale at the words. Scrawled in red ink were the words ‘We know where you are’.
“Sabrina?” Erika asked, looking puzzled as the girl stood staring at her mail. “Is everything okay?”
“Um…yeah…” Sabrina answered finally, shaking her head and folding the piece of paper up. Tucking it in her pocket, she forced a smile onto her face.
“Um… I’ll let you know,” she replied.
“Great, I hope you can come!” Erika replied, still looking slightly confused. “Well, it’s starting to get dark, so I should get home… Take care, Sabrina,” Erika said kindly.
“Thanks,” Sabrina replied, still seemingly lost in her own thoughts. Erika turned and walked down the street towards her house, waving at Sabrina before she disappeared from sight.
Opening the piece of paper once again, Sabrina stared at the words. Terror rose up within her as she read them over and over, before pinching herself to check if she was having a nightmare. But she wasn’t. She just hoped that this was a joke set up by one of her fellow students, and not her past coming back to haunt her.

-

Cassidy stared longingly out the window at the sun slowly disappearing on the horizon. Sunsets always reminded her of herself and Butch, because they always used to watch them together. She shook her head then, and willed herself to stop thinking about him. She understood that he would probably never forgive her, but still, she couldn’t fully accept it. She wasn’t sure that she ever would. All she knew was that she felt empty.

Suddenly feeling a force inside her belly, Cassidy put her hand over her stomach.
“Wow…” she said in awe. “It kicked…”

-

Ash’s eyelids were growing heavy as he stepped inside his house. He felt the pull of tiredness grasp him but he wasn’t ready to sleep yet. He was hungry, thirsty, upset, and just wished Misty would say at least one word to him.
“Ash?” Deliah stepped out of the kitchen, wearing a light blue apron over her jeans and pink shirt. Her hair hung loosely in a ponytail and her eyes filled with relief when she saw that Ash had walked through the door. She had seen little of him in the past week and she was worried about him.
“Hey sweetie, I’m glad you’re home,” she said softly, walking up to him. He mumbled out something that must have resembled a ‘hey’ or ‘hello’, as he stood with his head facing the ground. His posture was loose and he looked like he could collapse any second. But when he looked up at her, the main thing that she noticed was the sadness in his eyes.
Without another moment of delay, Deliah pulled her son into an embrace and held him like she did when he was little. A few moments later, she pulled away.
“Misty still won’t see you?” she guessed, although she already knew the answer.
He nodded downheartedly.
“Dinner’s ready, why don’t you come and have something to eat?”
“I’m not that hungry…”
“You should keep up your strength. Come on, Ash, I made your favourite,” she said with a smile. Finding himself smiling slightly, he followed her into the kitchen, wondering how his mother got to be so good at manipulation.

-

Cassidy knew she should be angrier at her mother for what she had done, but she was the only person she had left. She didn’t quite know how to feel about it. In one way it was good but it also had consequences.

But when she thought about it now, when she came out of the abortion clinic, she had known that there was something wrong. She felt empty and miserable emotionally, but on the inside, she didn’t feel any different. It was only yesterday that her mother had told her that she’d told the nurses not to go through with the operation, but to tell Cassidy that they had. And because Cassidy was under 18, they did so.

Confused, Cassidy was unsure of what to do next. She’d been thinking about it all day but hadn’t really gotten anywhere. As much as she wanted to, she knew she couldn’t run back to Butch, because the baby definitely wasn’t his. Her mother had told her that when the baby is born, the hospital will find some nice foster parents for him or her. But being a foster child herself, Cassidy wasn’t sure if she wanted that for her child. She had grown up feeling like a part of her was missing, and she constantly wondered who her real parents were and what they were like.

“Cassidy,” her mother called as she knocked on the door, before walking into the room. She was a tall, thin woman who’d inherited a lot of money when her husband had died. She looked slightly stressed out as she stood there, watching her daughter hold her stomach.
“The baby just kicked,” Cassidy told her, a smile gracing her face.
Her mother didn’t reply, and instead walked to Cassidy’s bed, before taking a seat. Glancing up at Cassidy, she patted the place next to her. Cassidy took the hint and sat down.
“I’ve been thinking,” her mother said slowly.
“So have I,” Cassidy replied, but it seemed that her mother ignored her.
“Having this baby is the right decision. You agree with me, don’t you?”
“Yes, of course,” Cassidy replied, without a moment of thought.
“Then…you know you can’t stay here,” her mother said. It took Cassidy a moment of thought to register what she had said.
“What?”
“I called your aunt Rose, and she said that she’s happy to let you stay with her until you have the baby…”
“You want me to go?”
“It’s the best thing for you, Cassidy. I’ll tell everyone you’ve taken some time off for a holiday, and no one will ever know. If you stay, people will talk. They’ll ruin your reputation. Your future will be destroyed…” her mother explained, her voice sounding desperate. Cassidy had to wonder whether it was her or her mother’s reputation and future that she was worried about.
“I don’t know,” Cassidy finally replied, a minute later. She turned away from her mother, who put a hand on her shoulder.
“I know you’ll make the right decision,” she said, that desperate tone in her voice once again.
Cassidy opened her mouth, but couldn’t find the words to form an answer. She knew she couldn’t change her mother’s mind. She heard her leave a few moments later.

Leave… It was a big step. She’d lived her all her life, this was her home… And she wasn’t even entirely sure that she wanted to give up her baby.
If she didn’t, though, she wasn’t sure that her mother would want to know her. The only other person she could turn to… Cassidy stopped that thought in its tracks, but a moment later, took it into consideration.
Certainly there wasn’t any harm in asking him whether he would be interested in helping to raise the baby. He seemed like a respectable sort of person. And if she used her mobile and took its caller ID off, he wouldn’t know how to trace her.
Maybe, just maybe, she’d luck out and come across someone who, in this world full of selfish people, would be willing to help her.

-

Ash took a drink from his glass of Coke, feeling full. He hadn’t realised he was so hungry until he started to eat. His mother, who was sitting across from him, took a drink from her own glass, not taking her eyes off of her son. Their meal had been almost silent, but from observing her son, Deliah knew it was time for her to interfere. She couldn’t stand to see him so unhappy, his eyes so dull.
“Ash?” she asked quietly, her eyes fixed on his as he glanced up from his plate. “What’s going on?” she asked simply.
He stared at her, a somewhat blank look on his face, before glancing down again.
“I told you what happened…”
“I know, sweetie, but is there something more to the situation that you’re not telling me? I mean, you said two boys were having a fight and Misty got in the middle, but why did she do that? And why isn’t she talking to you? I’m afraid I don’t understand…” she said sympathetically, and although Ash was afraid to answer, he knew she was only asking because she cared.
Ash muttered a few words, barely forming a sentence, and she put her hand on his arm.
“Ash, you know you can tell me anything. You always have. What’s different this time?” she asked as her eyes pierced into his. “Are you lying to me?”
She looked hurt as she asked him that, and he looked away. Standing up, he picked up his plate and placed it on the sink.
“It’s complicated,” he said, his back still turned.
“That’s okay…” she replied, and he sighed. There was no way he was getting out of this.
“The two people in the fight,” he said slowly as he turned, “were Gary and…” he paused.
“And…?” she asked, questions burning in her eyes.
“And me,” he stated finally. He couldn’t tell if she was shocked then. She leaned back in her chair and seemed to stare into space, an unreadable look on her petite face. He felt guilty for saying it, like he’d disappointed her. And even if she didn’t say it, he knew she would be disappointed deep down. After all, he was never one to get into fights. That was why he hadn’t told her the truth in the first place. He hadn’t wanted her to be ashamed of him…
“You’re growing up, Ash…” she said finally, about thirty seconds later. He stared at the ground, not knowing what to say or do. Finally, she stood and took her own plate to the sink. Then, giving him a slight smile, she pointed to the living room.
“Shall we go sit down?” she asked kindly, and he nodded.

-

Cassidy felt nervousness rise up within her as she picked up her mobile phone. She used it to search for a number she luckily had stored in it, thanking herself for getting it in the first place, and for being too lazy to delete it.
She pushed the call button and pressed the phone against her ear. A dial tone followed, each ring sending chills down her spine as she became more and more nervous. Finally, a male voice came through the receiver.
“Hello?”

-

Duplica felt a sense of relief wash over her when she saw Butch walking in her direction. His head was down and he looked sad, but at least he’d come. Of course, she’d had her doubts. But there he was, a few moments later, standing in front of her.
“Hey,” he said, and she smiled back at his frown.
“Hi, how was your class?” she asked cheerfully.
He thought about it for a second, before giving a reply, “Really quite boring.”
Duplica laughed.
“Do you think year 12 is fun for anyone?”
“Maybe the nerds,” he said with a smirk, making her laugh.
He felt good, then, as she was laughing at his joke. He wasn’t really in the mood for kidding around, but he loved making people laugh and smile. Cassidy always used to laugh at his jokes…
“Are you okay?” she asked, having noticed the frown that spread itself across his face.
Nodding, he motioned for her to walk with him, and she did, blushing at the same time.
“It’s hard,” he said after they’d been walking for a few moments.
She glanced at him as they walked. He was looking at the ground again, as if it held the answers to all of his problems. Or maybe it was because he didn’t want to face the world.
“But it will get better.”
“How can you be so hopeful?”
“Because…” she replied, “Bad things happen, but so do good things, right?”
“Maybe,” he said, almost mindlessly.
They approached a bench in the middle of a small park, covered in lush green grass. A swing set stood to the right of them, and two children, a girl and a boy, screamed in delight as they played on it.
“Do you want to talk about it?” she asked him, but he didn’t reply. He sat down on the bench and she sat beside him.
“Sometimes it helps,” she added encouragingly. Butch nodded and glanced over at the children playing on the swings.
“Cassidy and I have known each other since we were about that age. Our parents were friends,” he said quietly, still looking at the kids. “You know, you think you know someone…”
“It was a terrible thing she did…”
“But she lied, too. We promised never to lie to each other, and she didn’t keep her word. How could I ever trust her after that? She just…betrayed me completely, more than once. If she loved me, she wouldn’t have done that? But where did I go wrong? I…”
He stopped then, when he felt a hand on his arm. Duplica’s hand rested there comfortingly, a slight blush on her face at the same time.
“Don’t blame yourself,” she said kindly. “It’s not your fault.”
It was such a simple thing for her to say, but somehow, she said it in a way that made him believe her. Sighing, he rested back against the chair.
“It’s going to take time,” she continued. “But you’ll get there, I know it.”
He couldn’t help but smile then. This girl who he hardly knew had complete faith in him. And maybe it was because she liked him, as he’d heard through the grapevine, but what mattered right now was that she was there.
“Thanks,” he said simply, and she took her hand away, placing it on her lap.
“Anytime,” she gave him a smile.

-

“Hi, is this Randy?” Cassidy asked into the receiver.
“Yeah, who’s this?” he replied. He sounded drunk.
“It’s Cassidy.”
“Cassidy…” he considered the name, and she heard a laugh in the background from another male.
“Oh, oh Cass babe!” he said, before laughing. “How you doin’?”
“I’m pregnant,” she said without a moment’s hesitation. She’d decided not to drag it out, but to cut right to the chase.
“Gee girl, you get around don’t ya?” he joked.
“No, you don’t understand,” she cut him off angrily.
“Yeah listen, I gotta go, it was nice to hear…”
“It’s your baby!” she snapped, and he went silent.
“What?”
“It’s yours,” she repeated.
“Are you sure?” he sounded afraid, in disbelief and like he didn’t care. An interesting mix of emotions. She heard the background noise fade and figured he must have been walking away from his friends.
“I’m positive,” she stated bluntly.
“So why are you telling me?” he said after a few moment’s silence. Cassidy was taken aback by his lack of kindness, though she wasn’t that surprised.
“Well I thought… You might want to have a part in your child’s life…”
“What? You’re keeping it?” he asked, and he seemed angry at her.
“Yes…”
“Listen, I don’t got no time for a baby,” he said. “I’m busy, you know, and…”
But that was all she needed to hear. Disappointment weighed heavily on her heart as she muttered out the words, “I understand, forget it,” and hung up the phone.
Realising she was shaking, she sat on her bed and felt the sting of tears in her eyes.

That was her only other option. Now she had no choice… She was leaving. She’d always hated running away from her problems, but now, what choice did she have really? Reaching over, she pulled her wallet out of her bag and opened it. Butch’s smiling face stared back at her, and she looked at it sadly, wondering how her life had spun so far out of her control. All she’d ever wanted was simplicity. Not that she had anyone else to blame but herself…

Cassidy smiled sadly and pulled the photo out of its plastic cover. It was time to let go, to say goodbye. Though she’d told herself that there weren’t any chances left for her and Butch, in her heart she still hoped, and prayed, that he would forgive her. But like wanting to learn an entire subject an hour before an exam…well, it wasn’t going to happen.

-

When Ash and Deliah were seated, across from each other on the floral couches, he waited for her question, and sure enough, it came.
“Why were you fighting with Gary, Ash?”
“Well…”
“I want the truth,” she spoke sternly this time, though he could see the care in her eyes.
“I told you he and Misty were going out…” he began, feeling enraged even as he spoke the words.
“Yes.”
“But, well…you can’t tell anyone this,” he pleaded, and she nodded. Knowing he could trust her with his secrets, he went on. “He tried to force her to do things she didn’t want to do…” he said vaguely, and his mother looked shocked.
“You’re joking.”
“Unfortunately not,” he replied. “At the party she went to the bathroom and she looked upset, so I followed her. She was in there crying, and after some coaxing she told me what happened, and I was so angry, you know, I couldn’t believe he would try that on her…” he paused then as he felt his cheeks flush. But if his mother noticed, she didn’t show it.
“So then…I don’t know what happened. We just… Almost…” he stopped, feeling sort of uncomfortable talking about this with his mother. He thought he saw a faint smirk dance across her face, but it was gone as quickly as it had come.
“You almost what?”
“Well, I guess we…uh…almost…” he stuttered. “Kissed…”
“Ah!” his mother cried, throwing her hands in the air. “My little Ash is growing up and finding love!”
“Mom!” he snapped, embarrassed by her sudden outburst.
“Sorry, sorry, it’s a mom thing,” she composed herself. Ash gave her a strange look.
‘Right… I’m glad I never have to be a mom…’
“What happened then, Ash?”
“Gary walked through the door,” he stated bluntly.
“Oh…”
“So then one thing led to another and we were fighting, and Misty jumped in the way and got thrown back, and well, you know the rest…” his voice was soft, Deliah could tell the memory was painful for him.
“Misty told Brock that she can’t believe I’d be so selfish and that it’s my fault she got hurt, because I should never have gotten involved in a fight…”
“Oh, Ash…” Deliah said softly.
“But she’s right. I don’t fight people; I’ve never been like that… And because I made a stupid decision, Misty got hurt really bad.”
Deliah didn’t reply to his words right away. She sat pondering for a moment, as if thinking back to her own memories.
“Sometimes love can make you do strange things,” she finally replied, and he was slightly taken aback.
“Love?”
“When you really care about someone in that way, you’ll do anything to protect them. Even something that’s completely out of character.”
Ash always got freaked out when his mother went all philosophical, but this time, much to his dismay, she was making sense.
“You really love her, don’t you?” she asked then, though she already knew the answer. She expected Ash to freak out, get up and walk away, deny the accusation loud and clear and tell her to never even contemplate it again, but he didn’t. Instead, he was fiddling with the sleeve of his black zip-up jacket. A few moments later, he glanced up at her, his eyes filled with so many mixed emotions.
“I think I do…” he uttered, before glancing back down. “I think I do…”

-

The next day…

-

Misty’s eyes opened slowly, fluttering as they adjusted to the light. Someone had just come through her door, and a moment later she discovered it to be Lindsay, her nurse.
“Hey, Misty,” she said brightly. Misty always wondered how she could be so happy all the time, when she worked in a place like this, so full of pain and suffering.
“Hi,” she replied softly, and then yawned. Glancing over at the time, she found it to be 7 am.
“How are you feeling this morning?”
“Fine, I think…”
It was true, Misty had been feeling a whole lot better in the past day. Her wounds were healing, the physical ones anyway, and she felt like maybe she could face the world again. Or at least try.
Leslie then began checking her heart rate, pulse, and other things that Misty didn’t bother paying attention to. She scribbled on her clipboard and nodded, a slight smile crossing her face.
“Well, Misty, it looks like you’re right to go,” she said a moment later.
“Really?”
“Definitely. You’re healing fine. You just have to make sure to take it easy. I don’t want you playing sports or doing anything too strenuous.”
“Right, sure,” Misty nodded.
“I have to check it with your doctor, but as far as I can see, we’ll be able to discharge you today.”
“Thank you for everything,” Misty smiled gratefully. “You’ve been so helpful.”
“Oh, it’s nothing; you don’t need to thank me. I’m just doing my job,” Lindsay replied with a slight laugh.
“You know, Misty,” she said as she was about to walk out the door. “I meet a lot of people in this job, some good, some bad…”
Misty nodded, her blue eyes curious.
“But I know how to recognise a true friend when I see one. And I know how to recognise love, as well.”
Glancing down, she tugged at her white sheet.
“You’re talking about Ash, right?”
“I’ve never met someone so…”
“I know, me neither,” Misty surprised her by cutting in. “But that’s why it hurt so much, when he…did what he did.”
“He’s trying,” she said simply, with a wink. “But let me tell you…” she began, and Misty looked up curiously again.
“I’ve never seen someone so in love. You see it in the movies and read it in books, but to see it… It’s rare.”
Looking uncertain, Misty nodded slowly.
“Don’t let it slip away from you,” were her final words as she slipped out of the room.
The words ‘Ash’ and ‘in love’ didn’t really match very well in her mind. He’d always been the blubbering, loveable idiot that she’d grown up with. But somewhere inside, she knew Lindsay was right. She just didn’t know if she could step over her pride and have some faith. One thing she did know, however, was that if she didn’t, she would regret it.


To be continued…


Hey guys! First off thanks for the reviews! :)

I've decided that, since Hearts and Minds is becoming my own little soapie, it should have a theme song. I went through my music collection and picked out 9 songs that were quite sentimental to me in high school and now. You might not know some of them so the lyrics are below. They're all heaps good songs that I think suit the story. All you need to do is pick the one that you like best! I'll then choose one for the story, based on everybody's votes.


“Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Sixpence None the Richer

“Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know, they won’t win…”

“Away From the Sun” – 3 Doors Down

“‘Cause now again I’ve found myself so far down
Away from the sun
That shines into the darkest place
I’m so far down
Away from the sun
That shines to light the way for me
To find my way back into the arms
That care about
The ones like me, I’m so far down
Away from the sun again
Oh no
Yeah
I’m gone…”

“I’ll Be” – Edwin McCain

“I'll be your crying shoulder
I'll be love’s suicide
I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life

The greatest fan of your life
The greatest fan of your life…”

“The Reason” – Hoobastank

“I’ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

And the reason is you
And the reason is you
And the reason is you
And the reason is you…”

“Wier” – Killing Heidi

“Will you…
Will you make it in the end?
Through all the twists and bends
And will you fulfil your dreams
It’s not as easy as it seems…”

“These Days” – Powderfinger

“This life, well it’s slipping right through my hands
These days turned out nothing like I had planned
Control, well it’s slipping right through my hands
These days turned out nothing like I had planned

Soon enough it comes
Soon enough it comes
To tie us down…”

“When We Were Young” – Human Nature

“Yesterday’s have been and gone
Summer days that seemed so long
All the things we did when we were young
We had our share of smiles and tears
It’s been the same all through the years oh yeah
We even shared our favourite songs
When we were young…”

“Dare You To Move” – Switchfoot

“I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before…”

“On My Shoulder” – Westlife

“Na na na na na na na…

You can put your head down on my shoulder
A little warmth when it gets colder
I don’t know the things that you’re going through
But you can put your head down on my shoulder
Wait the storm till it blows over
I know you’re there for me too
So I’ll be there for you…

Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na…”



Love and light,
Sarah.

Kojho
31st July 2005, 7:25 PM
Great job, I love it!!!!!

The theme song idea is great, I'll have to spend more time looking at the songs.
Keep it up!!

Peace

Nylf
31st July 2005, 10:21 PM
;330;Anyone who has half a mind would have guessed I would turn up here soon. Brilliant! I have never been one for soaps, but this is good.
;359; I love it!! So good.
;373; Well written, with numerous twists and turns. It's on my A-list, alongside Love is Confusing and The Beast Riders. Also that AAML set in Sootopolis, I forgot the title.
;307;YAWWWWN!!!!
;249-d; I hate it!
;330;,;359;,;373; Shut up Jack!

Dubble Flux
1st August 2005, 1:58 AM
Very excellent chapter! Poor Ash... hope things go all lovey-dovey soon with him and Misty. I don't really have an opinion for the theme song thing. I'd be more into something like Changes for a theme song about people's lives.

~One Bad N.W.A.

Chaos_Control
4th August 2005, 11:54 PM
;373; Well written, with numerous twists and turns. It's on my A-list, alongside Love is Confusing and The Beast Riders. Also that AAML set in Sootopolis, I forgot the title.

You mea nFate and Destiny of Friends by Water Spirit?

Anyway, I love this comic. I just hate what you're doing to ash. and I don't know if it can be a soapopera. They're neverending.

Nylf
5th August 2005, 6:01 PM
;373; No, I meant the one where Misty is Wallace's assisstant, and May catches Togepi, and Misty and Ash fuse minds Yu-Gi-Oh style. I think it was "Sootopolis, City of Love". I haven't read the one you said.

Chaos_Control
6th August 2005, 10:33 PM
Dunno why. It's been there for over a year. Here's a link:
http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=14334&page=1&pp=20

Can you give me a link to the one you're talking about?

Nylf
6th August 2005, 10:43 PM
;373; Ok here you go:http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=26054

Chaos_Control
24th September 2005, 3:25 AM
Whens the next chapter!?

miloticmaster
13th February 2006, 6:07 PM
oh my u r the best story writer every.ive read so many borring stories before i made a profile but ur book was so good i signed up.please pm when u finish your next chapter.thank you this is the best story plot go sell this to gamefreak theyll probly make it into a pokemon movie
.

miloticmaster
13th February 2006, 6:07 PM
oh my u r the best story writer every.ive read so many borring stories before i made a profile but ur book was so good i signed up.please pm when u finish your next chapter.thank you this is the best story plot go sell this to gamefreak theyll probly make it into a pokemon movie
.

firewater
13th February 2006, 10:01 PM
I enjoy this story a lot and it is one of the best ones I have ever read

Geek 2.0
2nd March 2006, 3:30 AM
This is th greatest fan fic ever!!!! It's so good i had to sign up just to say that and my friends who aren't into pokemon are reading this too email me when your next chapter is done. I cant wait!!!

miloticmaster
28th April 2006, 4:13 AM
I wonder when she puts in more pages of the story?

oreo754
2nd May 2006, 11:30 PM
I love the story so far!! It rocks!!!