Well, I'm finally posting my Roses and Chocolates entree. Read on, if you don't mind long one-shots.
One summers day, not unlike every other day of the past summer month, or any given summer month for that matter, I was sitting in my dark-blue front of my bedroom computer, checking up on my friends scattered near-and-far over the globe via the internet. While I was doing so, a little ‘ping’ noise sounded. Naturally, I didn’t give the ‘ping’ noise a second thought, as I knew it was only the noise my computer makes to alert me of any new emails I might receive. Sure enough, right after the ping sounded, a box popped up on my screen, reading “one new email”, as it had said on just about every other day of my life. I suspected that it was just another average “what’s up?” message from Sakura, Brock, or Rudy, but that proved to be wrong once I read the sender and subject.
The sender of the email was unfamiliar to me. It was someone going by the name “PikaMaster88@Silphmail.com”. The subject proved to be odd as well, as there wasn’t one. Now growing ever so curious, I clicked the “read me” button in the box and watched as the new email popped up on my screen. As I read the email, my eyes grew wide with surprise.
Since you most likely didn’t recognize b they email address, this is Ash. Ash Ketchum, in case you’ve forgotten. I just wanted to tell you that I’m going to be passing through Cerulean City tomorrow, and I wanted to see you again. You know, just to catch up on things. I haven’t seen you in almost three years, so I’d like to see how you’re faring. I’m leaving my hotel room in Pewter City right now, so I won’t be able to read any reply you send until I’m actually in town. If you want to, meet me at the Cerulean entrance to the old Nugget Bridge tomorrow at 6:00. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you there, and I hope you can make it.
I couldn’t move for several moments, so I just sat there, letting the message slowly sink in. I stood up from the computer and walked over to my bed, lying down on top of it and staring at the roof. I remained laying there for a few minutes, still trying to fully register what I had just read, when one of my sisters came barging into my room.
“Misty, what’s wrong?” She asked, freezing in her tracks when she saw me lying on the bed. “Are you, like, sick or something? Why are you lying down in the middle of the day?” I picked my head up for a minute to see which of my sisters was talking to me and saw that it was the blonde one, Daisy.
“No, I’m not sick.” I told her, lying my head back down.
“Oh, that’s good.” Daisy said, walking over to my bed and sitting down on the edge. “I’m your replacement gym leader for when you get sick, and I know that neither one of us would be happy if I had to battle a challenger.” I couldn’t help but smile at my sisters words, which were entirely true. “So, why are you lying down, anyway, if you’re not sick or anything?”
“I’m just thinking.” I told her, gluing my eyes back to the roof.
“Nothing in particular.” I lied.
“Oh, really?” Daisy said. I tore my gaze away from the ceiling for a moment and saw that Daisy had stood up from my bed and was standing at my computer, reading Ash’s message, which I had left open on the screen.
“Stop!” I shouted, jumping up from my bed and quickly switching off my computer screen. “That’s a private, personal message that I would kindly thank you not to read!” I yelled.
“I’m sorry!” Daisy said, stepping back from the computer and staring at me with a shocked expression on her face. I could understand her bewilderment, since I hardly ever lost my temper. Not since I’d started taking anger management classes, anyway. “Jeez, Misty, I didn’t know you were, like, so touchy about your mail!”
“Well, now you do!” I told her as I started taking slow breaths to calm myself down again. “Now, was there anything you wanted, besides the opportunity to read my personal messages?”
“Yeah, I, like, wanted to tell you that I’m going out to the mall in a few minutes, and I’m gonna need somebody to come with so I won’t get bored.”
“Why don’t you get Violet or Lily to go with you?” I asked her, fully gaining control of my temper now, and putting a calm tone in my voice. “They actually enjoy going with you to the mall, and I have a feeling you’d have a lot more fun with them then you would me.”
“Misty, do you, like, honestly think I would pick you to go to the mall with me if I could choose Lily or Violet?” Daisy asked, apparently oblivious to how rude her question was. “In case you’ve forgotten, little sister, Violet and Lily are both out in Vermillion, doing public appearances and such.”
“Oh yeah. I guess I did forget.” I said as I sat down in my computer chair. “Well, I’m afraid that I can’t go with you to the mall right now. I have tons of gym leader duties that I have to do. Maybe some other time.”
“Okay. Like, suit yourself.” Daisy said, turning around and walking towards the door. I spun my chair back around to face my computer and was about to turn the screen back on when Daisy said, “By the way, who’s that Pika-person that sent you the email?” I turned my chair back around and saw that Daisy was still standing in my doorway.
“PikaMaster88?” I asked, receiving a quick nod. “It’s Ash Ketchum. Didn’t you read the message?”
“No, I only saw the last few lines.” Daisy said. “Who’s Ash Ketchum? The name sounds familiar. Is he the guy from the Orange Islands that visited you a few months back that you’ve been emailing recently?”
“No, that was Rudy. Ash is the boy I traveled with a few years back. We traveled over Kanto, Johto, and the Orange Islands for almost three years before I took on my gym leader responsibilities. He’s also the reigning Shinou Pokemon league champion.”
“Oh, that’s right!” Daisy said, snapping her fingers. “He was the little runt with the hat, am I right? Yeah, he’s the guy you were completely hung up over for a few years.” My sister paused her speech for a moment after this last statement, clearly waiting for me to deny such claims. After a few short seconds wait, she realized that I wasn’t objecting. “Wait a minute, you, like, actually were hung up over this guy?” I didn’t answer her; instead just choosing to stare at her sadly, old memories flooding back to me. “Wow. We teased you about liking him for years and it was actually true? I guess that means if we tease you enough, you’ll give in to anything eventually.”
“Yeah, sure.” I said to her, feeling tears start to well up in my eyes as I spun my chair to face my computer. I didn’t hear another word from Daisy for a few moments, so I assumed she’d left.
“Misty?” She said, proving my thoughts wrong. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I lied, knowing that the quiver in my voice gave my true emotions away. I tried to stop my tears from falling, but I was unable to do so, and became very glad that my sister couldn’t see my face.
“You really did like him, then,” Daisy said, walking up to me and standing behind my chair. “Didn’t you?”
“I don’t know.” I said, turning my face further away from her so she wouldn’t see me crying.
“Yes you did.” Daisy said. “I don’t think I’ve seen you cry since you were six, so if some guy can make you break down, then that must mean you really like him.” Apparently, I wasn’t doing as good a job at hiding my tears as I thought. “Misty, why didn’t you ever tell us your feelings before? If we’d known that you liked him, me and the girls would’ve taken over the gym’s responsibilities so you could travel with him again.” I almost gave myself whiplash as I turned my head around to look at Daisy at this comment.
“Really?” I asked her; not quite believing my sisters could ever do such an act of kindness. Daisy smiled at my question, and put her hand on my shoulder.
“Of course, Misty.” She said in what was possibly the kindest tone I’d ever heard her use. “Look, me and the other girls may always give you a hard time about everything, but you’re still out little sister, and we only want what’s best for you. If you want to go and travel with this boy again, then we’ll support your decision. It’s not like we could ever tell you ‘no’.” I found myself smiling at my sisters rare heartfelt statement, and put my hand on top of hers.
“Thanks, Daisy.” I said. “I honestly had no idea that you guys cared about me so much.”
“Like I said, Misty; you’re our little sister and we love you.” Daisy said, bending over and hugging me. “We’ll just miss you when you start traveling with this Ash guy again.”
“Don’t worry, Daisy; I’m not going to be traveling with him again any time soon.” I said into her shoulder.
“What? Why not?” Daisy asked, pulling out of her hug and looking down at me. “If you like this Ash guy so much then why don’t you want to travel with him?”
“For several different reasons.” I told her, wiping away the last of my tears. “For one thing, Ash is incredibly dense. He knows absolutely nothing about feelings, weather they be his or those of others, and there’s absolutely no point in talking to him about romance. It’ll be a cold day in Nevada when Ash finally comes to terms with any kind of romantic feelings.”
“Alright, so this guy is a little slow: big deal. Just give him a chance and I’m sure he’ll eventually understand his feelings. Maybe all he really needs is someone to help him understand.”
“No. It’s not just that fact alone.” I said, averting my eyes from her in case my tears threatened to come back. “I was heartbroken when I left Ash, and I thought he would feel at least a little bit sad in return about me leaving, but I found out later on that Ash didn’t care about me at all. Less then a week after I came home, he had some new girl traveling around with him.”
“Wow. What a two-timing little punk! You’d think he’d have enough class to wait a full two weeks before getting a new girl, like I do with all my ex-boyfriends.”
“Yeah, but that’s not all.” I told her, feeling my throat starting to become sore from the crying. “That girl ended up on a different path from Ash after about two years traveling together, and the very week she left him, he had another girl traveling with him.”
“Wait a minute, how old did you say this guy was?” Daisy asked. “Isn’t he, like, even younger then you are?”
“He is. I met him on the exact day of his tenth birthday. I was eleven at the time.”
“So…if you’re eighteen right now, that would make him seventeen.” Daisy said, counting on her fingers. “Wow! Three girls to his name and he’s only seventeen! That’s quite a record, even without considering the fact that we don’t even know if you were the first.”
“No, I was the first.” I told her, my voice filled with sorrow. “Before Ash met me, the only thing he cared was Pokemon. Unfortunately, that hasn’t really changed. The day he thinks about a girl before Pokemon is a day we’ll never see.”
“Yeah, that’s a crying shame.” Daisy said in her most sympathetic voice, which still came off sounding kind of obnoxious, confirming to anyone who didn’t know by now that she wasn’t too used to this whole compassionate thing. “So, I guess this means you won’t be going to meet him on Nugget Bridge then?”
“I don’t know.” I said, feeling tears once again start to fall from my eyes. “I want to meet him, if only to see what’s become of him since last time, but I know that I’ll just end up hurting myself by once again seeing someone that I know could never love me.”
“But haven’t you already seen him, like, twice since you left him?”
“Yes, but both times I acted like I was perfectly fine, so he has absolutely no idea how I really feel.” I said as I wiped away a stray tear.
“Aw, come here Misty.” Daisy said, kneeling down next to my chair and pulling me into another embrace.
I must admit; it felt nice to finally be able to cry into the shoulder of someone who I knew cared about me. Now that I knew there was someone in the world that cared, it was nice to finally be able to not hide my feelings.
We just stayed in that position for a few minutes, as I quietly cried into my sisters shoulder. Eventually, I stopped crying long enough for Daisy to get in a word.
“I think you should go.”
“Huh?” I said, not quite believing what I’d just heard.
“I said I think you should go see Ash.” Daisy repeated.
“Daisy, have you not been listening to me?” I asked her. “Why in the world would I want to see Ash? After all the unintentional things he’s done to hurt me, why should I go see him, especially if I know that he’ll never be able to feel anything for me?” Daisy just shrugged at this.
“I don’t know. Maybe because you love him?” With that said, Daisy stood up from her kneeling position and walked off towards my door. “Misty, I’ve never really experienced this whole ‘love’ thing firsthand, so I can’t give you the best advice,” She added, standing in my doorway. “But if you want it anyway, then here it is: don’t give up hope until everything’s written in stone. And even then, you should still keep some hope alive.” With that, she was off, leaving me to think about her advice.
Sighing, I turned back to the computer, and switching the screen back on, read the letter again, and once again, and several more times over.
I just sat there for the longest time, absentmindedly reading the message while thinking about my sisters advice. “Should I give Ash another chance, and risk yet another heartbreak?” I asked myself aloud. “Or should I just play it safe, and keep the remainder of my heart locked up?”
“Well, for one thing, you should stop talking to yourself.” Daisy said, causing me to turn around in surprise to see her walking by my open door. “You know, they say that talking to yourself is, like, the first sign of insanity.” Despite the sudden scare she just gave me, I couldn’t help but smile at my sisters comment.
“Thanks for the advice, Daisy. Too bad it didn’t help me any.” I called after her, adding the latter sentence so only I could hear it.
I turned back to my computer again and read the message for the umpteenth time. “Well, I obviously can’t make this decision, so I’ll stick it to fate.” I said, pulling a quarter out of my pocket. “If I flip heads, I’ll meet Ash on the bridge, but if I flip tails, I erase Ash out of my life forever.” With that said, I flipped the coin in the air, and watched it come sailing down on my desk. It came down at an awkward angle and ended up on its side, spinning as if I had nothing better to do with my life then watch a spinning coin. The quarter stopped spinning after a few seconds and fell straight on its back, fully exposing its print upward for me to see.
“Well, fate, I sure hope you made the right choice.” I said to myself, sweeping the coin back into my pocket. I sat there for several long minutes, wondering if my coin had made the right decision.
* * * * *
Those of you familiar with the Kanto region will know that the Nugget Bridge is that and nothing more: a bridge. There’s absolutely nothing at all spectacular or different about this bridge. It’s just a simple brick bridge leading along the side of the Cerulean Mountains. The only purpose it serves is to give Cerulean City locals a quick path to the northern shore for a fun-filled beach weekend without having to trek through the wilderness of the mountain.
Unfortunately, nobody in the world ever goes to the Northern Cerulean Beach, so no one ever uses the bridge. It also wasn’t built to hold up a car, so you never even see traffic of the automobile variety.
There were once rumors that Team Rocket tried to take over the bridge, but they were never proven true. In all reality, Nugget Bridge is nothing more then a waste of taxpayer’s hard-earned dollars.
So why would anybody want to meet up with one of their oldest and dearest friends here? Well…that’s a good question. Why would anybody pick such a spot for a should-be joyful reunion? It baffles the mind!
But pick this spot he did, and it was at the southern entrance to this very bridge where Ash Ketchum was now standing, waiting, and hoping that his oldest friend might’ve possibly received his email in time, and was on her way to this very bridge right now.
But the day was growing late, and he was beginning to doubt that she would come. In his email, he had told her to meet him at six o’clock. It was currently seven thirty. An hour-and-a-half late: that would be most unlike his friend, he thought to himself. But he’d give her a few more minutes, just in case something else had come up to prevent her arrival.
Half an hour later, as his watch gave a beep to signal the change of the hour, he knew she wasn’t coming. He turned around in despair, realizing that he wouldn’t be able to see his old friend after all, when he froze in his tracks, for there I was, standing at the end of the bridge, staring at him longingly.
He looked even better then I remembered him. He was much older then last I’d seen him, and much taller as well. He was now my height exactly, give or take an inch.
His hair wasn’t too different from what I remembered; still the same mess of jet-black hair that looked as if he’d never seen a comb. I noticed immediately that he was no longer wearing a cap of any kind, which was quite unusual for him. He had also changed his wardrobe sometime in the last three years, which now closely resembled his original attire: a simple black shirt, just like I remembered, only now he wore a blue denim vest over it instead of his regular blue over-shirt. His still wore the same jeans as always, so I guess that at least some things never change.
But one thing I noticed above all other was how mature he looked. The kind, dorky, fun loving boy I remembered was gone, and in his place stood a kind, dorky, fun loving man. His face was more toned then I remembered it, giving it a new shape. His body was much leaner then I remembered as well. His entire body was lean, which I guess comes out of spending seventeen years traveling the world by foot, climbing mountains, swimming through rivers, running from herds of wild Pokémon, and all the obstacles in-between.
The man on the bridge actually looked like a model had just stepped out of a Pokemon trainer’s magazine. I couldn’t help but feel enticed as I looked at this older version of Ash, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel sad.
“Misty?” Ash said, staring at me. Apparently, I also appeared different then he remembered. When last he’d seen me, my hair had been short, and I’d kept it up out of my face in a ponytail. I’d abandoned that hairstyle long ago, choosing now to wear my hair down long, which now reached past my shoulders. I was also a bit more dressed up then last time, for I was now wearing earrings and lipstick, neither of which I ever used to wear. My cloths were also different from the overall and tee he would remember; now choosing instead to wear regular blue pants, although I still wore a similar yellow tee.
“Hi Ash.” I said, trying to put enthusiasm in my voice and forcing a smile to my face.
“Misty!” Ash said, his eyes now lighting up and a huge smile coming to his face. “I didn’t think you were going to come! You’re like two hours late!”
“Yeah, sorry about that.” I said, trying to put as much emotion in my voice as I could, but not succeeding too well. “I would’ve come sooner, but there were things that had to be done at the gym.”
“Yeah, I can understand that.” Ash said, apparently oblivious to the scarce emotion in my face and voice. “I know how tough a gym leader responsibility’s are. I spent the last few days helping Brock at his gym, and it was definitely no walk in the park.” I gave Ash a sad smile at this comment, for his words were very true.
“So Ash, what are you doing in Cerulean City, anyway?” I asked him, receiving a shrug in response.
“It was on my way, so I thought I’d stop here.”
“On your way to where?”
“I’m just traveling around the Kanto region right now.” He said, a smile playing on his lips. “Since I won the Shinou championship, I decided it would be nice to take a break for a while before I head off to the next region. I figured I might as well visit all the old places I didn’t make it around to during my last trip around Kanto. I didn’t visit any of out old friends or visit any of the choice places I wanted to last time around, so I thought it’d be nice to take a mini-vacation.”
“Oh.” I said, feeling my heart sink a little lower. “So I’m just one meaningless stop on you region tour, then.” As soon as I said this, the smile left Ash’s face.
“No, Misty. That’s not what I meant at all.” At that moment, I saw a look of remorse cross Ash’s face, and I knew that at least Ash had improved on his people skills a little bit. He at least saw that his words had hurt me, so that was a vast improvement. “I just meant that–”
“Ash, where’s Pikachu?” I asked, noticing for the first time that the little Pokemon was nowhere to be seen, and deciding to use that fact to take some of the heat of my statement off Ash.
“Oh, he’s back at the Pokemon center.” Ash said, obviously more then a bit baffled at my sudden change of subject.
“Why? Didn’t he want to come?”
“He did, but I didn’t know if you were mad at me or not, and I didn’t want to risk putting him in a line of danger.” It was my turn to be baffled now.
“What makes you think I’m mad at you?” I asked, not aware of ever giving any intention that I was angry with him. In response to my question, I got another shrug.
“I don’t know. It just seemed like you never wanted to have anything to do with me since we parted.” Parted? Now that was a word I never thought I’d hear Ash use. “You know, your replies to my emails were never more then a few lines long, and whenever I called you would always have sudden urgent gym leader business to attend to after just a few seconds talking, and you never once sent me a single Christmas card.”
“Ash, how could I possibly send you a Christmas card if you’re constantly traveling?” I asked, a smile coming to my face despite the tense situation.
“Oh, yeah, I forgot about that.” Ash said, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. “But still, you have no excuse for all the short calls and emails.”
“I guess you just always caught me at inconvenient times.” I said, never before realizing how unintentionally distant I’d been with Ash.
“Yeah, right, Misty.” Ash said in a tone that suggested he believed otherwise, despite the small smile on his face.
“Congratulations on your league win, by the way.” I said, trying to change the subject as quickly as possible.
“Thanks. Were you able to catch it on TV?”
“No, I wasn’t.” I said. “Sorry.”
Hey, that’s okay. You were probably too busy with the gym to catch it, right?” Ash said, deliberately trying to make me feel bad.
“You know Ash, it’s not like I can just send my challengers away and tell them to come back when I’m not watching television!” I said angrily, irritated over the fact that he had somehow guessed exactly what I was going to say in my defense. “I have a large amount of responsibility as a gym leader, and I can’t just put that fact aside.”
“Hey, it’s no sweat.” Ash said with a shrug. I could tell that he was disappointed that I hadn’t been able to watch him in his finest moment, but I was too upset to try to cheer him up. “If your duties as a gym leader kept you busy, then that’s just bad luck, I guess.”
“Yeah. It really was.” After that comment, neither of us really had anything left to say, so the next few moments were nothing but awkward silence.
“So…you wanna go for a walk?” Ash asked after a minute, sticking his hands into his vest pockets. “It’s starting to get a little nippy. Standing here won’t likely do our health any good.” I gave Ash a silent nod and started walking off down Nugget Bridge with him falling into step beside me.
We continued down the bridge that same way for quite a while; just the two of us walking side by side, neither one speaking to the other.
Despite my self-given caution, I must admit; I was enjoying the moment. As I walked along next to Ash, trying to avoid eye contact with him, I realized just how much I’d really missed him. I missed the simple moments we used to share together, like this one. I missed simply walking down a worn and beaten path with my best friend beside me. I hadn’t done so in years, and I’d forgotten the sheer and simple bliss that came out of it. Just knowing that I had a dear friend at my side made me happier then I’d been in a long time, despite the dispute we just had, and despite the fact that I knew it was going to end soon.
Despite my subconscious telling me that soon Ash would once again be gone, I found myself falling back in love with him. I don’t know what was happening to make me do so, but I was. I guess that just finally being near him again was enough to rekindle my old, deceased feelings.
“So…just exactly how long is this bridge?” Ash asked after a few more moments of silence. I smiled at his comment and turned my head to look at him as I continued walking.
“The Nugget Bridge runs along the side of the Cerulean Mountains for exactly two miles.” I told him. “Why? Is the big, bad, Pokémon trainer tired already?”
“No, of course not!” Ash said, starting to walk a bit faster, as if to prove his words. “When you walk an average of fifteen miles a day, like I do, you don’t get tired that easily. I was just curious as to how far the bridge goes, that’s all.”
“Yeah, sure you are.” I said as I moved in front of him and turned around backwards, so we were walking face-to-face. “Or, maybe you’re just way out of shape. If you’re cooking for yourself now, then I doubt you’re eating healthy. Bad diet equals an unhealthy Ash, you know.” I had forgotten just how much fun it was to tease Ash.
“Misty, I’ll be in better shape when I’m seventy then you’ll ever be in your entire life.” Ash said, picking up the pace in his brisk walk even more.
“Yeah, maybe in your dreams, but this is the real world, Ash,” I said, matching his pace while still running backwards. “And in the real world, you’ll never be in shape.”
“Ha, fat chance of that! F-Y-I, Misty, I’m in perfect, almost godlike shape.”
“Yeah, of course you are. Round is a shape, after all.” I said, starting to really enjoy myself again.
“Misty, look out!” Ash said, holding his arm out as for me to grab onto it. I had a few split seconds to give him a bemused look at his strange warning, and then I tripped over a loose brick in the road. I don’t know why there was a loose brick lying in the middle of Nugget Bridge, but there was, and I tripped over it.
Right before I lost my balance, though, I managed to accidentally reach out and grab Ash’s forearm, which resulted in my pulling him over on top of me.
As my back hit the hard brick pavement, I let out a soft grunting noise as Ash landed on my body, momentarily knocking the wind out of me.
“Misty! Are you all right?” Ash asked, immediately jumping up and kneeling by my side. Despite the fact that I was pretty dazed, I couldn’t help but smile at Ash. It was nice to see he still had a little concern left for me after all these years.
“I’m fine Ash.” I said as he stood up, reaching a hand down and helping me to my feet as well. “Thanks.” Ash smiled at me, still holding my hand.
“Any time, Misty.” We stayed in that position for a moment: just standing there, holding each other by the hand and staring at each other.
“So…” Ash said after a minute, before clearing his throat noisily. “Should we be heading back to town now, or did you have some other destination in mind?”
“No, I didn’t really have anywhere specific in mind.” I said, not really wanting our walk to end so soon. “But we’re only a short way from the beach. The same beach where you caught your Krabby, actually. Do you remember that?”
“How could I forget?” Ash asked with a smile. “Krabby was one of my finest Pokemon back in the day.”
“So does that mean you want to check out the beach, or do you want to head back into town?” I asked, deciding to give him the choice of the matter.
“The beach sounds fine.” Ash said, not wasting a moment thinking it over. I smiled at him before turning around and continuing along the bridge the same as before.
Our brief mock-argument aside, we quickly found ourselves at the end of Nugget Bridge with a moonlit Northern Cerulean Beach before us. I had been wearing my favorite pair of sandals that night, so I took that moment to slip them off and set them at the end of the bridge.
The cool sand felt good against my feet, which had been growing sore since our walk first started. Note to self: never wear sandals on a two-mile walk.
Ash also took of his shoes, which he set on the ground next to mine.
“If there’s anything I hate in this world, it’s getting sand in my shoes.” He explained to me as he pulled off one of his socks and stuffed it down the mouth of his shoe. I smiled at his comment and started walking off down the beach. “Hey, wait a second, Misty!” Ash called after me, still struggling to pull off his second shoe. Since I love to torture Ash, you can pretty much guess that I increased my walking rate at his call. He eventually got his second sock off and was quickly at my side once again.
“There’s Bill’s lighthouse.” I said to Ash, pointing high above the beach at a jagged piece of a cliff sticking out above the ocean, some hundred yards away. Atop the cliff was Bill’s majestic lighthouse, shining it’s brilliant light for all to see. Even though boats weren’t permitted to sail around Cerulean beach anymore, due to herds of rare water Pokemon living right off shore, Bill always kept his light on. No one really knew why he bothered with such an expensive feat that served no purpose, though many suspected he was doing it simply because he’d gone mad. I myself knew better, though. I knew that Bill was still trying to find his rare, legendary Pokemon that he’d lost years before. I knew that he was still dreaming about the day the miraculous Pokemon came to his lighthouse, and hoping it would someday return.
But I feared that it was a pipe dream, and that my friend was devoting his life to a futile cause.
“It looks just like I remember it.” Ash said, staring up at the lighthouse in awe, a look of remembrance coming to his face. “Bill must be doing a great job keeping it in order.” I smiled sadly at Ash’s unintended stab in the heart.
“Yes, he does.” I said in a low tone.
“Hey! There’s the spot where I caught my Krabby!” Ash said, running over to a specific spot in the sand.
“How do you know that that’s the spot where you caught him?” I asked. “Every spot on the beach looks exactly the same.”
“No, I can tell that this is it.” Ash said, bending over to pick up a small stick. “I remember that day so well Almost as if it were only yesterday.” He continued, twirling the stick fondly in his hands as he stared off into the distance, remembering days long passed. “I didn’t have any Pokemon with me at the time, so I had to battle Krabby with my bare hands! It was the toughest, the meanest, the most grueling fight I’ve ever been in, but I somehow managed to defeat Krabby, and catch him in a Pokčball!” Ash then thrust the stick in the air with his right hand, balled his left hand into a fist, and placing it on his waist, gave a heroic pose. I couldn’t help but laugh at him.
“Ash, you tried to poke your Krabby with a stick, and when that failed you just threw the ball at him.” I said with a laugh.
“Oh. You and Brock were watching me then, huh?” Ash said, his shoulders slumping as his heroic pose faded.
“Yeah, we could see you from the other side of the beach.” I told him, the last of my laughs fading away. “But it’s nice to see your ego hasn’t changed since I left.”
“Hey!” Ash said, a false look of hurt coming to his face. “I resent that!” I just quickly smiled at Ash again and continued walking along the beach. I heard him drop his stick back on the sand and fall in step behind me, which he knew annoyed me greatly.
“Ash, if you’re going to walk with me, do it where I can see you.” I said to him over my shoulder. Ash then, surprisingly enough, walked up to me and started walking by my left side, perfectly in sync with me. The Ash I used to know would’ve continued walking behind me until I freaked out, so it surprised me to see that Ash had matured in another way.
“You know, I sometimes can’t help but miss the good old days.” Ash said after a few minutes silently thinking to himself. “Don’t get me wrong; I love traveling around the new regions and all, but I just can’t help but miss the older, simpler times we spent in Kanto.” I smiled over at Ash as we walked.
“Ash, you’re starting to sound like an old man.” I joked, getting a chuckle out of Ash.
“Yeah, I guess I am.” He said. “But seriously, I do miss the old times.”
“Why?” I asked, hoping for a certain answer involving yours truly but knowing it wouldn’t come. “What differences are there between now and then?” In response, I got another of Ash’s shrugs.
“I don’t know, really.” He said to accompany the gesture. “I guess because it was just simpler back then, you know. That’s really the only reason I can think of.” My heart sank a bit after hearing his reasons, despite my foreseeing it coming. Ash then turned his head to me.
“And, you know, I miss traveling with you.” He added. My heart skipped a beat as he said this, even though I knew his words weren’t intended the way they sounded.
“I miss traveling around with you as well.” I said quietly, staring down at the sand as I said it. We continued along the beach that way for the longest of times; intentionally avoiding each other’s gaze.
Eventually, I worked up enough courage to ask the question I’d been burning to ask all night.
“So, Ash,” I said, looking up at him for the first time in several minutes. “What ever happened to that girl you were traveling with?”
“Which one?” Ash asked, looking up and meeting my eyes.
“The one that was traveling with you and Brock.” I had forgotten that there had been more then one girl.
“Which one?” Ash asked again.
“The Pokemon Coordinator?”
“The one that had the little brother.”
“Oh. You mean May.” Ash said, nodding his head in recognition. “Yeah, she traveled with me through Hoenn and the Battle Frontier and competed in both the Grand Festivals.”
“Did she win either one?” I asked, trying to sound like I was interested in her career instead of her personal life. Ash shook his head.
“Nope. Unfortunately, she lost in both the Hoenn and Kanto Grand Festivals.”
“What happened to her after that?”
“Well, that was when we parted our ways.” Ash said, drawing a silent breath of relief from me. “She went off to Johto, and I went off to Shinou. I was never really in constant communication with her, so we sort of drifted apart. I’m not really sure what she’s up to these days.”
“And what about the other girl? The second coordinator you mentioned.”
“Her name was Dawn. She was a coordinator that was just starting out on her Pokemon journey when I met her. She hasn’t won any Grand Festivals as of yet.”
“But what happened to her?” I asked, turning my head away from Ash’s gaze and noticing we’d come to the bottom of the cliff. “Why’d you stop traveling with her? Why’d you stop traveling with either of them?” I then received one of Ash’s now oh-so-common shrugs, causing me to roll my eyes in annoyance.
“We just went our separate ways.” He said, apparently missing my eye rolling. “May wanted to do contests in Johto, and since I had no desire to go back there, we parted. Dawn and I never really had much in common, aside from our interest in Pokemon, so we had no real reason to travel together after Shinou.” I couldn’t help but take in a deep breath of relief, which unfortunately was caught by Ash.
“What’s wrong?” He asked. “Why are you breathing like that?”
“Oh…I just love the smell of the ocean.” I lied, silently scolding at myself for being blatantly obvious.
“Yeah, it’s pretty nice.” Ash said, walking over to a log someone had dragged onto the beach and sitting down. “You know, this place is really nice.” He said, looking around the deserted beach. I walked over to Ash and sat down on the log next to him, looking over the beach as well.
“Yeah, this beach is one of the best in all of Kanto.” I said. “Too bad the only way out here is a two mile walk along Nugget Bridge, which results in no one ever coming out here.”
“That’s a shame.” Ash said. “Well, I guess it’s their loss, right?”
“Yep. Pretty much.” I said, smiling. There wasn’t too much conversation after that. The two of us just sat on the log, listening to the soft waves washing across the shore, feeling the crisp wind on our skin, and watching the Krabby’s playing on the far side of the beach. It was all very peaceful.
“So, how long are you planning on staying in Cerulean I asked Ash after a long while of us soaking in our peaceful surroundings.
“I don’t know.” Ash said. “As I said, I wasn’t sure if you were mad at me or not, so I wasn’t able to go into real depth with my plans. Now that I know you’re not mad at me, I guess I can stay longer then I originally thought.”
“Oh. Well, that’s good.” I said, pleased that Ash might be staying for a much longer visit then I had anticipated.
“Can I tell you something, Misty?” Ash asked, staring up at the moon as he did.
“Of course, Ash. Anything.” I said, twisting my body to face him.
“I really missed you.” His words completely threw me off, and I froze up, thinking of how I should respond to that. Luckily for my frozen brain, Ash wasn’t finished with his sentence. “I’ve missed you so much. Every day I spent traveling around other regions I was missing you, and I would’ve given anything for you to have been with me.” This statement completely shocked me. I had never known Ash to be a sentimental person, so that was truly one of the most unexpected moments of my life.
“I missed you too, Ash.” I said quietly, not really knowing what else to say.
“Misty…do you think your sisters will ever be capable of taking the gym over as their own?” Ash asked, bringing yesterday’s conversation with Daisy to mind.
’If we’d known that you liked him, we would’ve taken over the gym’s responsibilities so you could travel with him again.’ Would my sisters really be willing to let me travel with Ash again? Could they be responsible enough to take care of the gym without me? Could I really, finally, once again travel with Ash, the one person in the world who meant more to me then anything else?
There was, of course, only one simple answer to this question.
“No.” I said, tears immediately rushing to my eyes. “I’m sorry Ash, but I can’t just abandon my responsibilities.” Ash nodded his head, still staring at the moon.
“I figured as much.” He said. I was about to say something in my defense, thinking I’d somehow been insulted, when he continued his thought. “You’ve always been a responsible person, so I don’t know why I even bothered to hope you’d somehow changed.” I didn’t have a response to that, so we just sat in silence for several minutes, because, really, how do you respond to something like that?
“Misty, can I tell you something else? Something that I’ve never told anyone before?” Ash said, finally breaking the silence.
“Of course.” I said, not even bothering to try to guess what he was going to say.
“When I was traveling around Kanto and Johto with you, I was happier then I’d ever been in my life.” He said, finally tearing his eyes away from the moon and locking them with mine. “Even today, I consider our traveling together the best time of my life. If I had to give up either my time with you or my Pokemon Master title, I’d give up the title. You meant more to me then anything in the world. You were like my coach, my cheerleader, my mother, and my friend all rolled up into one, so thank you. I’ll always appreciate what you did for me those three years, Misty.” As he finished his little speech, my eyes had finally lost their willpower and were now freely streaming tears.
“Ash, I didn’t know you felt that way about me.” I said in a choked up voice. “All these years I thought I was just the girl-of-the-week off your list, like Indiana Jones.”
“No, Misty.” Ash said, smiling at the strange reference. “You mean more to me then any of the other girls. They were just friends of mine. You were so much more to me then that. You always had enough time be a trainer and to care about me, while the other girls always had other matters to focus on. You were never really one to wear your feelings on your sleeve, yet I could tell that underneath your rock-hard surface, you were a truly caring person. To tell you the truth, Misty, I have no idea where I’d be today if it weren’t for you.”
“Ash…” was all I could think to say. I leaned over and wrapped my arms around him, feeling him return my tight embrace. We hugged for quite a while, and let me tell you; I’d been waiting for that moment for years. “Why didn’t you tell me you felt that way before?” I asked as our embrace ended.
“I don’t know.” Ash said, forgetting to shrug as he did so. “I just figured you got bored of me, since you’d rather spend your life with complete strangers then traveling with me.”
“Ash, you know I had to go back to the gym when my sisters left.” I said, rolling my eyes as Ash’s forgetfulness.
“Misty, your sisters cruise only lasted a year, correct?” I nodded. “Then why have you been gym leadering for the past six years?”
“It’s not called gym leadering, Ash.” I said with a smile. “And after my sisters got back from their cruise and I saw how truly awful they were at taking care of the gym, I couldn’t very well just let them resume control. If I had, the gym most likely wouldn’t be standing today.”
“Well, why didn’t you just try to help improve your sisters battling skills?” Ash asked. I was beginning to feel quite uncomfortable. “Face it Misty: you could’ve continued to travel with me years ago if you had put your mind to it, but you chose not to. I don’t know why, but you did.”
“That’s not true.” I tried to protest, but it sounded false even to my own ears.
“Why bother denying it, Misty?” Ash asked. Unfortunately, along with maturity, Ash had somehow gained the ability to read feelings.
“Look Ash,” I said, caving in. “The truth is, I never came back to travel with you is because I figured I was just a replaceable sidekick that you could dispose of whenever you felt like it. I mean, just a few days after you left me I heard from Brock that you’d found a new girl to travel with you! And just a few days after she left you, you had another girl to replace her! That’s not the kind of behavior that suggests you wanted me to travel with you again!”
“So in other words, it’s all Brock’s fault!” Ash said, jumping to his feet and punching his right fist into his open left hand. “Wait until I get my hands on him!”
“Yeah, it’s all Brock’s fault.” I said with a smile.
“Jokes aside, Misty,” He said, putting a serious tone in his voice. “I’m sorry that I ever made you feel like that. That’s completely the opposite of what I intended. If I’d know that that’s what I’d been doing, you know I never would’ve done it.” I smiled up at Ash; his words making me feel even better then I had before, despite the poor choice of wording.
“Thanks, Ash.” I said. “You have no idea how good it is to hear that coming from you.” Ash smiled down at me and held his hand out.
“Come on. Let’s start walking again.” He said. I smiled up at him again and gave him my hand. He gently helped me to my feet, and we started walking down the beach again, this time along the edge of the cliff.
When Ash had helped me to my feet, he had somehow forgotten to let go of my hand, and since I certainly wasn’t going to correct him, we walked along the cliff side hand-in-hand.
We somehow found ourselves atop the cliff and at the base of Bill’s lighthouse. We quietly walked over to the edge of the cliff, holding hands, and stood on the edge, just staring at the sea.
We stood over the seas for several long minutes, possibly hours. I wasn’t keeping track of time. I was content just standing next to Ash. I couldn’t care about anything else in the world now: if I was next to Ash, nothing else mattered.
“Misty.” Ash said after an unknown amount of time.
“Yes, Ash?” I asked, turning my gaze to him fondly.
“I love you.” He said, completing my wildest dreams.
“I love you too, Ash.” I replied, tears of joy falling down my face.
We stayed on the edge of the cliff for the rest of the night, holding each other tightly, just staring out at the sea. The moment I'd been waiting years for was finally a reality, and I was happier then I ever thought possible.
Any feedback, positive or negative, would be greatly appreciated. Feel more then encouraged to post out any mistakes you saw, or simply point out parts you felt seemed out of place, or if you thought it was just too bland. Thanks for reading!