Hey, everyone. :) This is a very simple, very short one-shot. I'm not sure how apparent it is that this is a Pokémon fic since there aren't any outright Pokémon references but I assure you it doesn't belong in the Non-Pokémon Fics forum. There's not much else I can say. Read on.
He had left that morning. He his bag the previous evening and had driven away as soon as the sun became visible in the eastern sky. She had been there the entire time. She was in his room, watching blankly and hopelessly while clothes and food had been stuffed into the black hiking backpack. She had been standing in the driveway, waving stiffly and holding back tears while he and his mother had pulled away in their light blue SUV. And now she was sitting at the end of the old, rotting, wooden dock, her toes dipping into the ocean, clouds passing overhead, and waves crashing intermittently on the beach a few yards behind her.
In her hands was the softball they had played with the last few months of school. She felt with her fingers every fault and dent put into it by many hours each day of batting, throwing, and catching. Remembering the day he had hit the ball into the woods, she even smiled. It had landed in a river and they had both dived in to retrieve it. That was the happiest she could remember being in a long time. From that day onward, the majority of his free time had been spent studying, mapping, and preparing. She had helped, of course, and she’d be lying if she tried to convince herself that they didn’t have a good time – they always had fun together – but the knowledge that he would be leaving soon weighed on her mind ceaselessly, invading her thoughts just as she was beginning to forget and enjoy herself. There had been several times when she had left his house early, mumbling some vague, made-up excuse as quietly as possible so he wouldn’t hear the tears in her voice.
Acting on a quick impulse, she pulled back her arm and threw the ball into the sea. As soon as it left her hand she regretted it and even though the softball itself floated in the water, her heart sank. She wasn’t going to get it, though. She told herself – repeatedly – that holding on to every memory wouldn’t help her. Still, she felt physically ill having to watch the ball bob within the waves.
Three months. That’s what he had told her every day leading up to his departure. He would only be gone three months and get back in time for them to start their final year of high school together. It was comforting to hear but she knew in the back of her mind that nobody who left ever came back, at least not as the same person they had been when they left. She had known people and seen things that made her wonder why anyone would leave. Was it worth losing one’s innocence just to see the world? She didn’t think so.
However, she would give anything to go with him. They would change but they would be changing together. It made her mind run wild at the thought of traveling with him. She knew if they had gone together it would have been the best summer of her life. And they had been through many great summers.
She thought back to the bike rides through the fields in the north and being taught how to spin the handlebars full circle as she rode. She remembered the piano lessons their parents had signed them up for together and how angry the teacher had gotten when they spent the entire time talking and making up dirty songs. She glanced around to make sure there was no one near enough to see the stupid grin on her red face. She then looked into the water and thought about the night they had snuck out to the beach and swam together, only getting out when she swore she felt something brush past her feet. She still remembered how the salt water tasted on his lips when he finally got the courage to make a move. To this day, she couldn’t go swimming without replaying every moment of that night in her head. It had all been so good and warm. She couldn’t believe that it was over. In fact, she wouldn’t believe that it was over. To her, there was no way that the memories they had made together could be forgotten and pushed away. There was too much happiness to dismiss, no matter what a summer on the road did to someone. With this momentary piece of comfort, she smiled slightly.
Gently, something tapped her foot and she leaned over to look. It was the softball, pushing against her toes. She reached down and grabbed it, feeling the same contours and cracks she had felt before, dripping, but still exactly what she remembered. For the first time, her mind stopped looking back and began to peer forward, specifically to the final day of summer vacation, when she would be sitting on his porch. He would be back. They would be together again. She thought this, even said it aloud, and she let herself believe it.