Well, with school started, I'm not going to be able to update this fic as often, but I have done something you may enjoy (or maybe not), I have rewritten Chapter One of this story, to make you understand Tracey better. So, here it is!
One of Many
“Class, please hand in your homework from last night, pages 396 to 409, please,” said Mr. Ghing. He was a broad shouldered man, with a prominent chin, thick eyebrows, and a thin moustache over his mouth. He had a dull, practiced tone to his voice. He had been a Math teacher for over ten years now, and it was a ritual for him now to ask for homework every day. There was a sudden flurry of movements as the students reached for their papers.
“Was there anybody who was here Monday who does not have the homework done?” the teacher asked. Everyone’s heads automatically turned to the back of the room, staring at an individual who was quietly sketching something on the back of his notebook. The teenage boy took no notice. He had long, dirty-blonde hair falling over his eyes, which were a dark, aqua color. His mouth was curved into a slight frown of concentration. Mr. Ghing shook his head in exasperation.
“Would you like to share your drawing with the class, Mr. Morgan?” he asked. Half of the class tried to hide their smirks. They knew what was coming. The boy looked up, seemingly breaking out of a reverie.
“Oh, no, it’s just a…umm…” the boy replied lamely, trying to hide his notebook. Mr. Ghing slowly paced to the back of the room and pried the notebook from the hands of his student. He looked down at it. The teacher slowly looked back at his pupil, fury etched in his face. The boy gulped.
“This is unacceptable. This means a call home, Tracey Morgan!”
Tracey Morgan was sitting, slouched down, in a stiff-backed chair. A man was sitting next to him, sharing Tracey’s azure colored eyes and slightly bronzed skin. Mr. Ghing was pacing in front of both of them, shaking his head.
“Tracey, this is the fifth time your teacher has had to call me this month!” the boy’s father said, looking at his son. Tracey looked up at his father. His father, however, was not looking at him, but at his drawing. Tracey surveyed it. He was a relatively gifted artist. The Mewtwo pictured was posed for action, with a Shadow Ball attack powering up in his large hands. Tracey thought it wasn’t half bad. Why were the adults acting like he had misbehaved?
“He was drawing this while I was collecting homework this morning. He neglected to turn in the assignment.” Mr. Ghing said quietly. He was looking at Tracey with his cold, beetle-black eyes.
“The assignment was to complete problems 164 to 468, while showing our work! No living human being can do that in one night!” Tracey said, his voice slightly louder than normal tone.
“It’s not only about homework, Tracey,” his father said quietly.
“Then what is it about?” Tracey asked, knowing what the answer would be.
“This is about your obsession with Pokemon. I know you are excited about getting a starting Pokemon, but we agreed-”
“You mean, you agreed, and Mom gave in?” Tracey asked defiantly.
“Don’t get smart with me. Now, your Mother and I agreed education came first. So, in your interest, you are grounded for the month.” Silence followed this statement.
“But Dad, everyone else starts their journey tomorrow-” Tracey protested.
“Not William. He’s going to get a proper education, like you.”
“But everyone knows he’s a nerd, Dad. He couldn’t care less about getting Gym badges, he’d rather be getting A’s!” Tracey stood up, for effect. His father remained calm.
“That doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you are grounded. Now, if Mr. Ghing would like to…”
“No, Dad. I’m not doing school anymore. I’ve tolerated this junk for nine years; I’m not wasting any more time. I’m going to get a Pokemon tomorrow.”
“NO YOU ARE NOT!” Tracey’s father’s voice was suddenly huge, echoing around the small room.
“YOU ARE TO GO TO YOUR ROOM, RIGHT NOW!” He yelled, pointing towards the door unnecessarily.
“Dad, we’re in school.” Tracey said, shrinking away from his father.
“THEN GO HOME AND GO TO YOUR ROOM!” Tracey knew from the look on his father’s face that this conversation was over. He accepted defeat and slouched out of the room.
The following afternoon, Tracey sat on his bed, watching jealously as Professor Oak gave a demonstration about Pokemon to the starting trainers. Tracey looked on as his best friend, Logan, who had beautiful waist-length blonde hair, bright indigo eyes, and creamy-colored skin, picked the Poke Ball that had “Squirtle” labeled above it. He felt a scream work its way up his throat as another kid he knew, Diego, picked a Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur had always been his favorite starter. He fought the scream down. Stay Calm, he told himself. Finally, the line dwindled into nothingness. Professor Oak packed up his equipment and walked into his lab.
There was a knock on Tracey’s door. Tracey ignored it, instead rolling onto his back and stared at the ceiling. The door opened, and his Mother poked her head in.
“Tracey, can we talk?” she asked.
“No.” he replied blankly, avoiding eye contact with her. She seemed to have expected this. His Mother walked into the room and shut the door behind her. She looked at her son. A single tear was glistening on his cheek. She shook her head and opened her mouth, but Tracey spoke first.
“Why am I stuck with parents who hate Pokemon?” His Mom was taken aback by his question.
“Well, for one thing, you know I don’t hate them-”
“But Dad does. And you know that, don’t you?” Tracey looked up with a defiant expression on his face.
“What you don’t understand, Tracey, is that your father has good reason to…dislike Pokemon.”
“I understand that perfectly. But why should he try to prevent me from liking them?” Tracey was speaking in a voice of determined calm.
“No, he doesn’t. But what he-well, both of us-agreed that we can’t let Pokemon take over the whole meaning of your life. You might not be successful, and then you will be back home, and you’ll need some education.” His Mother was speaking in an “it’s for the best” tone.
“You know what? I don’t care. My whole life has been leading up to today, this one moment, and my Dad shouldn’t be allowed to take that away from me. I need to be a trainer, Mom! That’s been my life’s ambition, not to be some old coot who studies Math!” Tracey had no hint of calm, forced or otherwise, in his voice now.
“Now Tracey, let’s not get carried away. I understand what you’re feeling-”
“No, no you don’t, because you guys will never understand how I feel. Never!” Tracey was standing up now. Blood rushed to his head, and anger was coursing through his veins.
“Tracey, this is getting out of hand. Let’s just-”
“NO! GET OUT! I DON’T WANT TO TALK ANYMORE!!” Tracey was screaming at the top of his lungs, without caring what would happen. What he didn’t expect was for his mother to quietly bow her head and walk out the door.
Tracey started to rip his room apart, desperate to take his anger out on something. Just as he picked up his History textbook to tear, a rock hit his window with a dull clunk. He stopped and cautiously made his way to his window. He looked down and made out the figure of Logan in the dusk. He slid open his window. She waved at him.
“What is it?” he asked, in false cheer.
“Come on out, Tracey!” she yelled. Tracey moaned with longing.
“If only I could. But I’m grounded, Logan. You must know that by now…” Tracey stared at her. She had known, right?
“I know that, silly. But I guess that means I should just tell Professor Oak that he can give that Bulbasaur he saved for a certain person away?” Logan smiled as she watched Tracey’s expression. He always had a weak spot for Bulbasaur.
“You’re kidding, right?” Tracey asked, amazed.
“Nope.” There was silence after this.
“Tracey? Are you still up there?” Logan yelled.
“Of course! I was just saying praising Ho-oh for bringing me to this day. Let me get my stuff, and I’ll escape tonight. I’ll be done dinner around eight, so just come then. Thank you, so much!” Tracey waved to Logan. She smiled again and set off towards her house again. He watched her walking with a dreamy look on his face. Her blonde hair was so beautiful, blowing in the wind… wait, that wasn’t right! Logan was just a friend. A very good friend, Tracey thought to himself. He shook himself and looked around his room, realizing this was it. He would be leaving soon, off to experience the real joy of Pokemon! It made him rather sad, to think of leaving his home. Tracey jumped as his father’s voice yelled for him to come down for dinner. He obeyed.
After dinner he nicked some cooking materials and food from downstairs and sneaked them into his room. He looked around. “I’ll be back. I will…” he whispered, as if making a promise to his room. He took up his pack and started packing all that he would need on a long journey: 5 Poke Balls he had managed to nick off of his dad, clean underwear, his travel-size tent and sleeping bag, and a badge case that his Uncle Stephan had given to him for his fourteenth birthday.
“Now for the outfit.” Tracey grinned. He had handpicked this outfit for his journey. It was nothing fancy, really, but he felt it suited him well. He pulled on an alabaster colored T-shirt bearing the phrase Pokemon Master!, slipped into his favorite pair of jeans, dark teal and pocketed. His special, magnetized belt went on, followed by his ash-colored vest. Inside the vest he put his invested money, 3000 yeni.
“Look out, world. Here I come.” Tracey announced. He considered what he said for a second.
“Well, that was corny. Oh, well.” The teen took his final article of clothing, an olive colored headband, and tied it around his long, dirty-blonde hair. Tracey surveyed himself critically in the mirror.
“Not too bad!” he said in approval. He looked one more time around his room, and headed out the door. His family believed in having bedtime right after dinner, and he could already hear his father’s snores. Tracey peeked into his brother Sammy’s room. The two year old was snoozing on the floor, having fallen out of bed. Tracey smiled softly and whispered a goodbye. He proceeded to his sister Courtney’s room. He finally walked down the stairs, leaving a note explaining why he left the house on the kitchen table, and walked out the door for the last time in a while. Tracey looked back at his house, but resisted the urge to run back in.
I can do this, he thought. He called out for Logan. She stumbled out from behind a bush that was hidden behind a clump of trees. She was wearing her favorite outfit, a plain white tank top with a sky blue stripe running around her chest, beige-colored long pants, scarlet trainers, and royal purple wristbands. Tracey blushed when she looked at him, embarrassed at being late.
“Finally. You’ve got everything?” Logan asked. Tracey mentally checked his list.
“All right. Let’s head to Professor Oak’s lab!” Logan exclaimed. Excitement flooded Tracey. He would finally get a starter!
“Well, let’s go!” Tracey said. He and Logan had only taken a few steps when a shout broke the silence.
“Tracey!” It was his mother. Tracey groaned and turned, prepared for the worst.
“You can’t leave without this!” his mother exclaimed. She brandished a large, folded piece of paper at him, a Town Map.
“Mom?” Tracey asked. She smiled sadly and handed him the item. He swiftly handed it to Logan and hugged his Mother.
“I’m going to miss you, Tracey.” She said, in a jerky voice.
“I’ll miss you, too. I’ll miss everyone. You understand, I have to do this, right?” He looked up at her.
“Of course I understand. You better go out there and be the best trainer in the world, young man! Make your mother proud!” She pulled him into a hug again.
“My little boy’s all grown up, now!” she sniffed, openly crying now.
“Thanks for everything, Mom! I’ll call you if I reach Uncle Steve’s house in Vermilion!” Tracey said. He was holding back his tears. But at the same time, he was smiling.
“Don’t come home without the Pokemon League Trophy!” His Mom broke out of the hug and slowly walked back to the house, dabbing her eyes with a tissue.
“Tracey, are you alright?” Logan asked quietly. Tracey nodded. He was shaking uncontrollably, but he started walking. Logan gave him a quick squeeze around the shoulders and the two walked down the path towards Professor Oak’s lab.
To be continued...
So, how d'ya like it?