To Care for Him
ACT 1: DIAMONDSHIPPING
Chapter 3: A Mother‘s Story
Giovanni lay back against a large beanbag on the gym floor as his girlfriend played ping-pong with her new pokemon, a ralts. He once met a gifted family in Saffron, a family devoted to the psychic arts, and he was spellbound. To be able to exercise one’s will to affect the environment directly seemed like a miracle, if he believed in such things. Having noticed that there were both human and pokemon psychics, he had decided that the best way to exercise his will was to breed or even create a powerful psychic, so that the genes involved in its nature could ultimately be bestowed upon him.
Exercising his will had become paramount to Giovanni. His mother was developing a covert underground black market and was suppressing his desire to rise through the ranks of this new organization. No matter what he wanted to do, she stood in his way like a giant Snorlax, the rotund giant of a beast best known for its unlimited appetite.
That was why he hadn’t told her yet about his new gym in the basement. If she knew, she’d try to get involved -- no, he thought angrily as he crushed a water bottle in his hand -- she’d take over the operation completely, leaving him with nothing, not even credit. Worse, she might confiscate the rare pokemon he had taken upon himself to collect.
Still, the hope of a powerful immortal existence meant nothing if his mother got involved. He also knew that immortality may not be feasible, so he decided that offspring could give him the immortality he sought. And that was why he felt attracted to Delia. Sure, she was a klutz … but she had a resolve, a strength of will, that he loved. She wasn’t afraid of him or his mother, although she had no idea what his family was up to, yet he found he couldn’t tear himself away. She was necessary -- to gain the immortality he sought. So, despite her immature whining and her klutziness and her naďve thoughtlessness, he wanted her to be his. He was willing to put aside all appearances of superiority if it meant she would be helplessly devoted to him and provide for him access to immortality.
Suddenly, everyone stood perfectly still, their mouths agape. Not a sound could be heard throughout the entire gym. All eyes seemed to be trained on the door behind Giovanni, so he turned and looked and cursed to himself.
In the doorway stood a sleek woman with long black hair, her bright red business suit standing out among all the earth tones of the room. She was furious only initially, as her dark eyes suddenly widened with the many possibilities swirling through her head. It was as Giovanni feared.
She gasped and clasped her hands together as if she were cooing over a newborn child. “I can’t believe it!” she uttered. “All this time I thought my boy was just lazy -- but I see now that he’s just shy!” She hurried to every machine throughout the room and ended up towering over the reclining son of hers. “So, you’ve been developing new training equipment, eh? This stuff could make us --”
“A-HEM!” Giovanni coughed, glancing in Delia’s direction.
Giovanni’s mother whipped around and saw the young girl, gawking at the boss’s sudden appearance, and smiled. “It could make us millions, boy. Don’t you see? People will pay big bucks for pokemon training equipment! File a few patents, slap our logos on them and rake in the big money!” She nodded toward Delia. “And I take it you’ll be handling our deliveries to pokemon keepers everywhere? It’s quite a big jump from delivering lettuce and tomatoes, don’t you agree?” She glanced back at her son. “Don’t you think she’d be of more use to us as a long-term delivery girl? She could see the world, meet new people -- why, the intrinsic rewards alone make me want to dance!”
“Please, don’t,” Giovanni muttered in an embarrassed tone. “Besides, I’ve already asked her to be my partner.”
His mother stared at him in disbelief. She frowned, then turned back to look Delia right square in the eyes. “Let me tell you a little tale of ‘partnerships’, dear,” she said bitterly:
“I was a young girl, maybe nine or ten. I was on the playground, the large sandy patch behind the old day school. We were playing baseball and I was the team captain. It was the girls against the boys. On the other team was this quiet little boy with brown hair who seemed to be thinking far away instead of right then when it was most important to his team. He had only recently been back home after getting lost while traveling. Ditsy little thing, I tell you. In any case, he was the second-baseman, as leadership was not his cup of tea. His captain had ordered him to catch the ball flying from the bat of one my players, but he just stood there like a Slowpoke, oblivious to the world. Well, we got a couple home runs out of that play and his captain was furious. He, the captain, dear, hurled the baseball at me, screaming that I had made fools of the boys. Even though I got hit in the shoulder, I confidently replied that he was correct, but we didn’t need to make fools of the boys because they were doing a great job of that themselves. However, my shoulder really started to sting, and it snapped something in that quiet little boy. He found a rock and threw it at his captain, forbidding him to hurt a girl like that again. He took over as captain, but the captain didn’t like it, so they fought. The cute little quiet boy actually won, and the captain sulked and walked off the playground. We were whipped within an inning. After the game, I walked over to the boy and slapped him, telling him I didn’t need help. He told me I was stupid, that a good leader wasn’t afraid to accept help when he or she needed it. Naturally, being around the age when young children go off on pokemon journeys, I asked him if he had any yet. He said he already raised a young charmander into a charmeleon -- you know the ones, dear, the mid-sized red-orange lizards with flames coming out their tails and a big crest coming out the back of the head. It was love, dear. To have a second-stage pokemon so early in his career -- why nothing on this earth could prepare me for his talent. I looked up to him for so many years….”
“Is there a point to this romantic nonsense?” her son wondered aloud in an irritated voice.
His mother scoffed. “Only that with time everything started to fall apart. He didn’t know how to appreciate his talents and I surely appreciated mine, so our relationship fell flat. I just wanted to warn your new help about the dangers of professional relationships.”
“Maybe you two could have been more supportive,” Delia offered in a timid voice.
Giovanni’s mother’s feathers were obviously ruffled. “I am no one’s maid, girl,” she retorted snobbishly. “Men have to clean up after themselves and support themselves. Their purpose in life is to support me and cater to my every whim!” She began to walk out the door. “Oh,” she said, not even looking back toward her son, “don’t forget -- I want specs and pricing guides for these machines on my desk by tomorrow morning.” With that, she slammed the door shut.