Summary: I don’t hate her anymore; I’ve come to accept it. She loves him, he loves her. And here I am, sitting in the shadows of their love, silently loving him...
Shipping: Pokeshipping & one-sided angsty Advanceshipping (May's side)
Sometimes, my heart aches for his acceptance, yearns for his love. Thankfully, the longings are few and far between. It is not his love to give me; it was long ago given to her.
I used to hate her for that.
But it doesn’t matter now. I don’t hate her anymore; I’ve come to accept it. She loves him, he loves her. And here I am, sitting in the shadows of their love, silently loving him.
I know this; I’ve always known this. And yet, each time he smiles at me, I find my heart breaking a little bit more. Not for me, most times (though I do still love him, make no mistake).
No, my heart breaks for him.
You see, her parents went off on a holy pilgrimage when she was a little child, maybe two years old. They left her, and her three older sisters, to do what they wished with their lives. This just so happened to be going on with their mother’s birthright—their grandmother’s old gym. And they lived together, the four of them, and grew up together as bright, beautiful stars. They led bright, beautiful lives, and were happy in their ignorance of their parent’s intent in the pilgrimage.
Just last year, her parents came back. They brought back with them the traditions of a culture long thought to be lost to our generation—the earliest of Kanto-based religions, known only as Caantu. You may notice the similarity to the word “Kanto.” This isn’t a coincidence; the region was named for the religion. The Caantuiites are a wide spread people, but thinly so; few people with much space between them. This is probably not the best thing for a dying culture, but it is how it has been.
Anyway, her parents decided it was high time their lovely daughters experience their life as God intended it for them to live. So they brought the girls back to the gym, taught them the ways, prayers and thoughts of the Caantuiites, then closed the gym and set off for a quiet part of Kanto.
For a time, it was though the four girls had disappeared off the face of the earth. His smile faltered, and his innocent eyes—dark, rich brown ones I loved so much even then—grew heavy with concern. The hop in his step was gone, and he had forgotten how to laugh. He told me one day the reason why—he loved her, and now she was just gone.
My heart broke for the first time that day. Hearing that my hopes had been for nothing, my affection for a taken man. And just like that, a little corner of my heart snapped off, falling into the deepest wretched corners of my soul. I put a hand to my chest, as if that could somehow dull the sudden pain.
When the pain did not lessen after many days time, I sought him, and tried to cheer him with jokes, food, games—all the old things he used to love, and that I loved to watch him do. He attempted a smile for me, but it was false. The both of us could see that. He just didn’t have it in him.
When a month of this had gone by, and that small, weeping corner of my heart had bled itself all but dry, I tried to rouse his stubborn competitiveness. Even though I was no good at it, I battled him with all my heart, determined to set him back to normal. Well, I won that day…and lost as well.
I won the Pokémon battle, and lost another bit of my heart, seeing all his enthusiasm truly gone.
After another month of tried and failed attempts to get him back to normal, and my sobbing heart was sore and aching with empathic pain for my friend—and secret love—I decided that, if nothing else would bring him back, I would go and find her.
And so off I went, into the dank wildernesses of uninhabited Kanto. I saw things in there I couldn’t begin to describe, even if I would ever want to tell someone of such a revolting sight. I traveled for what felt like years, but was actually a week and a half, until I found their house.
I walked to their door and the first thing I saw was a patch of red, facing away from me. The selfish part of my heart (the part that had not broken yet) told me Run! Get away from here quick! before she sees you. Get away now, and you can tell him she wasn’t there.
I couldn’t. That wouldn’t let him heal, but affirm his worries. She was only half lost to him now, but would be completely lost to him if I left now.
So I knocked. She looked up at me, and smiled. A true, happy smile, full of life. She was happy here, in the presence of her God and surrounded by His Kingdom of Earth. I told her why I had come. The smile left her face. She confirmed my fears—she loved him too, and would do anything to be with him again. My heart began to crack in two.
However, she told me, it could not be.
Why? I let my face show confusion, though my heart was secretly soaring (oh wicked, selfish creature that it was!).
Caantuiites can only marry Caantuiites. It is a way of life; a tradition, a law, whatever you call it. There is no way around it, either. You have to be born a Caantuiite, or you can’t be one at all. You cannot leave the faith. It was hopeless, she said. My love for him is so strong…yet it seems so wasteful.
No love is wasteful, I wanted to say. Instead, I convinced her to come with me, back to society for a brief moment. Just long enough for them to see one another, to revel in their love, and then decide their way. Though my heart broke to say it, I wished her the best.
It was a greater surprise to me than to anyone else that I truly meant it.
When I called and let him know I had a surprise for him, I was truly excited. When I saw him on the horizon on that day, I was truly nervous. And when they ran into each other’s arms, jumping and crying and shouting and declaring their love for the world to hear, I was truly happy.
My love had found his love. Even if it weren’t my love that was his love, it made him happy again. It made him laugh again. And, oddly enough, that was all I really needed. For me to be content, he just needed to be happy.
For a day—for one long, endless day—he was just that.
However, the sunset came, and with it came her departure. They made many promises—I’ll find a phone and call you, I’ll write every day, we’ll find a way to be together—and shared one last kiss before she left.
I think my heart finally fell apart then.
I realized, at that moment, that he would never be truly happy. She was what made him happy, but she was lost to him. So, even though the next few days he was all smiles and joy, I could not join him in jubilation. I knew what would come…even if he were too blinded to see it himself.
Each day since that day, my heart has been crumbling. Already scattered across the farthest reaches of my spirit, it now begins to wither and die, vanishing into the intangible eternal emptiness of the soul. Somehow, this hurts more than my heart breaking did.
And somehow, this doesn’t hurt at all.
That’s heartache for you—the pain is the essence of the joy.
A tear comes to my eye, and I let it trickle down my cheek. He comes to me and brushes it away, smiling in that new, bittersweet way of his.
It’s okay, he says. You don’t need to be sad, May. You’ll be okay.
It’s not me who I’m sad for, I want to tell him. It’s not me who needs to be okay.
But I don’t. How could I? How could I tell him to be happy, to live without Misty? How could I tell him that?
So instead I smile softly. I know, Ash. Thanks.
*sighs* Came to me randomly when reading a Scholastic Writing Competition entry. And sort of based on some people in my own life. Not that they'll ever know it. Regardless...this one's for you, Buraian-kun. *candle*
Reviews greatly appreciated.