Somewhere Beyond the Sea
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon.
I think I’m falling in love with the water. Whenever Brock, Dawn, Pikachu, and I stop by a river, stream, or lake, I experience this strange sort of feeling. It’s not a bad feeling; in fact, it makes me happy. I can’t quite describe it, though. It’s almost like the feeling I get when I win a Pokemon match (which, frankly, happens quite often—I don’t like to brag, but I’m pretty good, you know). Anyway, water seems to produce this feeling that leaves me happy, confused, scared, and sick to my stomach all at once. It’s strongest when I’m by the sea.
This feeling has plagued me for some time (well, I shouldn’t say plagued, because it’s not a bad feeling), but I haven’t really been able to make much sense of it. I think I’m slowly starting to put two and two together, though.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I associate water with Misty. Misty’s my best friend and—
Sorry, Pikachu. Well, Misty’s my best friend apart from Pikachu, my first and most loyal Pokemon. She’s the gym leader of Cerulean City back in my homeland of Kanto. Misty loves and trains water Pokemon; in fact, she loves everything that has to do with the water. I think that’s why the water makes me think of Misty.
What of the strange feeling, though? Well, I’m getting to that.
I should explain that Misty and I traveled together for years through Kanto, the Orange Islands, and Johto. Brock and Tracey may have come and gone, but Misty was always with me. She was the one constant in my life—
Sorry again, Pikachu. Anyway, Misty and Pikachu were the two constants in my life. I could always count on Misty to be there to offer me advice about Pokemon and life in general and to cheer me up when I was down and to route for me during matches and to, well, keep me in line and prevent my ego from blowing up to monstrous proportions. Of course, I could also rely on Misty to tease me and to whack me with her hidden mallet.
Then it all changed. On our way back to Pallet Town (my hometown) from the Johto League, Misty received a call from her sisters stating that she needed to come home. Her bike that Pikachu and I had wrecked had also been repaired, so she had no reason to stay with me. Misty said goodbye and went home to Cerulean.
At first I was happy. Misty could no longer bug me about her fried bicycle and I would no longer be subject to her abusive words and mallet. I was free! The feeling didn’t last long, however. As I traveled to Hoenn with only Pikachu by my side, it felt like something was missing. Then I met May, a girl just starting out on her Pokemon journey, and I thought I would feel complete again; when Brock rejoined my group I was especially sure of this. I was wrong.
May was so very nice. She didn’t care that Pikachu had ruined her bike or that I often did stupid things (although not as frequently as I did when I was with Misty) or that my ego was large. She never teased me or bugged me about her bike or yelled at me or whacked me with a mallet or called me “Mr. Pokemon Master” in a sarcastic voice. May was everything a person could want in a friend. Why was I so unhappy then?
Don’t get me wrong—I like May a whole lot and it wasn’t her who made me unhappy—but there was someone I was missing. Yup, it was Misty. (Bet you couldn’t have guessed that one!) Never in my life had I thought that I would miss Misty, but I did...very much. There was no one to keep me in line or to deflate my ego or to tease me, and my one constant traveling companion (besides Pikachu), the one person I had thought I could always count on to be by my side, was gone.
Yes, I said it. I missed Misty, and I even missed the way she teased me. You see, our arguments were, well, fun to be honest with you. They were what made us who we were; we wouldn’t have been Ash and Misty if we didn’t argue. These arguments were what made Misty different from other girls; I didn’t have to be afraid to argue back lest I should hurt her feelings, because neither of us took the arguments that seriously. We only had them because we liked to tease each other, not because we disliked each other. In fact, I think our arguments were a testament to the strength of our friendship and relationship. Misty and her arguments had become a part of me, and that was a part of me I had now lost.
I had to grow up very quickly after Misty left. When I had started out on my Pokemon journey I knew next to nothing, but Misty was always there to teach me and to show me the ropes. I knew I never had to be afraid because if I messed up I would always have Misty to help me out.
Well, after she left and May became my new traveling partner, I found myself in a totally different position. Suddenly I was without Misty to help guide me, and not only that, but I now had taken a new Pokemon trainer under my wing who was almost completely reliant on me to show her how to do things and to teach her the lessons that needed to be learned. In other words, I found myself in the position Misty had been in when she had met me. I’d like to think I did a better job with May than Misty did with me, because, well, I don’t have her temper and I’m, well, a better Pokemon trainer than her (but don’t tell her I said that), but I also realize that I was probably a far more frustrating pupil than May could have even dreamed of being.
Something inside me changed when I journeyed through Hoenn. I was calmer, cooler, more collected, less arrogant, no longer overly confident, and, well, more mature. I was even capable of being a mentor to a new trainer. As much as I hate to admit it (and I really do hate to admit it), I think I have Misty to thank for that.
That’s not all that changed, however. As I said before, I had lost a part of myself when Misty departed. I found myself feeling lonely even though I was surrounded by my traveling companions May, Brock, and Max. I often had trouble falling asleep at night and found myself looking at the stars and having my thoughts turn to Misty; was she looking at the stars then, too?
Of course, this is also when I started to experience that strange feeling, which was, naturally, especially strong whenever we were near the water.
More on that later.
I should mention that Misty gave me an extremely odd gift when she left me. Just as she was about to leave, she presented me a piece of cloth (which I later learned was a handkerchief). Honestly, I thought it was just about the dumbest gift ever. I mean, come on—who gives someone some stupid piece of fabric for a departing gift? I put it away in my backpack and promptly forgot about it.
Then one night when I was feeling especially lonely, I remembered the handkerchief and took it out of my bag. It was quite neat looking, really, with its yellow zigzags, even though it was a wimpy shade of pink. It kind of reminded me of Pikachu’s tail set against a pink background. Somehow I found comfort in that.
As I was holding the handkerchief and feeling less lonely by the minute, May woke up and noticed me practically snuggling with my gift (how embarrassing!). She asked me what it was and I told her it was a gift from Misty. “Oh, that’s an interesting gift,” she said. “How so?” I questioned. “Well, it’s just that when a girl gives a guy a handkerchief...never mind,” she replied. I begged May to finish her statement, but she refused, saying that someday I would figure it out myself. I still haven’t figured it out.
As for that strange feeling, it has grown stronger and stronger over time. I only experience it when I’m by the water or when I’m thinking about Misty. It’s a very odd feeling, this feeling, one that makes me feel happy and scared at the same time. I love this feeling.
Lately I’ve been thinking about Misty more than ever. Not only do I think about her when I’m by the water or at the ocean, but I also find myself thinking about her whenever I’m about to have an especially important Pokemon battle, hearing her voice in my head cheering me on, or when Dawn and I get into an argument or every night before I go to bed.
Somehow I don’t think it’s normal to think about someone as often as I think about Misty. I also don’t think it’s normal to experience this strange feeling, even if it is a feeling I love and welcome. Isn’t it strange to suddenly love the water, too, just because your friend loves it? It’s all so very strange, but I think I’ve figured it out.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think I love Misty.
Now, I’m a pretty smart guy (although Misty would probably tell you otherwise), but I’m still quite proud of myself for coming to this conclusion; it wasn’t easy and I didn’t even have any help from anyone. It certainly took me a long time. Still, I’m almost positive that I’m right. Why else would I only experience this strange feeling, a feeling that is so good and enjoyable, when I think of Misty and only Misty? Why else would I feel a palpable excitement and a burst of happiness while near water, which I associate with Misty? The truth is that Misty makes me happy and I miss her terribly, and this feeling is so, so good (despite the fact that it scares me), that I can’t imagine anything feeling better. People say that love is the best feeling in the world, and I think I’m experiencing it.
I never thought I would fall in love, that love was only for wimpy people and girls. All I wanted in life was to become the world’s best Pokemon Master; that, I thought, was what was most important. Somehow, however, I’ve found myself wanting more than that. It isn’t something I’d planned on, but somehow it feels right.
Of course, being in love is difficult I’ve learned. I don’t know how to tell Misty that I love her and I don’t even know if she loves me back. I don’t want to say the wrong thing and ruin our friendship forever; it’s too important to me (in case you can’t tell). I’d like to think that I’m a pretty desirable guy (smart, talented), but who knows if Misty feels the same way I do? Perhaps I’ll never know. For now I’m just content to think about her and enjoy this feeling.
It’s hard being in love with someone who’s so far away, but I think that’s why I’ve fallen in love with the water. When I’m near the water I feel a connection with Misty, a closeness that I don’t feel anywhere else. It’s comforting.
I just wish there was more access to the water in Sinnoh.
What did you guys think? Was Ash IC or OoC? Some people have told me this may be a bit too mature for Ash, and perhaps they're right, but it's hard to write a love story from Ash's POV!