This was a really random writing exercise I did amidst all the homework I had these past two weeks. It's the document I opened up when I was sick of thinking of the perfect ending for this paper or the best climax for that character, and somehow I got to finish it.
It's really short, all silent and un-exciting and stuff, but it's a one-shot. So enjoy if you can / choose to, and I would very much appreciate reviews.
She had had enough.
For five years, she had put on a fake smile to mask her jealousy as trainer after trainer came in and out of the Pokemon Center’s doors. She could feel – heck, she could smell – the determination each trainer’s presence gave, and she could sense their confidence as they checked and re-checked the eight badges they kept safely tucked in their cases.
My own Pokemon journey! She would always daydream. How amazing would that be? I’d get myself one of those cool Absol or those really cute Mawile, and I’d beat gyms like they were nothing! If only I could get out of this dump...
But she couldn’t.
Hoenn’s sudden plunge into an economic depression took a heavy toll on her family, leaving her mother unemployed and her father’s work as a sailor insufficient to sustain herself and her three younger siblings. She applied for several jobs around the region to help out, from Pokemart clerks to Contest Hall helpers. After months of job hunting, she finally landed a shift in one of the least-known Pokemon Centers in Hoenn – the southern Ever Grande Pokemon Center.
At first she took the graveyard shift, getting as few as three customers in the five hours she worked. In time, she helped around the building most afternoons and evenings, and her overdedication was noticed by their resident manager, granting her with the more suitable and higher paying evening shift. It kept her separated from her family in Fortree, only dropping a call or two every week, but it also kept their stomachs filled. With almost her entire salary being sent to her family, though, she had to accept the fact that she wouldn’t be able to pursue her dream of being a Pokemon trainer.
And it sucks, she would always think with a disappointing sigh.
It was almost midnight, and she was ready to retreat to her quarters when a trainer entered the Center. Letting out an annoyed grunt, she greeted the trainer in the most enthusiastic way she could.
“Good evening. Welcome to the Pokemon Center,” she greeted with forced glee. “What can I do for you?”
“Sorry to disturb you, ma’am,” the trainer replied.
“Oh no, I don’t mind at all, sir,” she said, embarrassed. “Would you like to rest your Pokemon?”
“That would be great,” he winked as he unclipped four Pokeballs from his belt and gave them to her. She lazily deposited the Pokeballs into the healing machine, observing the guy standing in front of her and hoping he was buying her act.
He was a fairly built man, around five foot ten and sporting long, green hair tied up in a bun. He had a square face, a hint of stubble on his chin, and dark green eyes. She sensed that confidence and spirit in him that she always envied, much like almost everyone else who entered the Center’s doors.
“It’ll take around twenty minutes,” she said shyly. “Would you like something to eat while you wait?”
“Nah, I’m good,” he said as he sauntered over to one of the benches and sat down.
For a good five minutes neither of them spoke a word. All the sounds they heard came from outside: the famous Ever Grande waterfall crashing down to the eastern Hoenn sea, the swarms of Zubat and Golbat flying in and out of the nearby Victory Road, and the rustling of the trees and bushes as wind from the sea blew past them.
“So, uhh,” she said in an awkward tone as she went over to where he was sitting, “what brings you to, uhmm, this Pokemon Center this late? I mean, apart from you needing to heal your Pokemon, which is redundant because you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have to, unless you wanted a place to spend the night, and in that case...”
“You talk a lot,” the trainer interrupted, “which is weird since you didn’t seem like you wanted to talk just minutes ago.”
“Oh, sorry about that,” she said, her cheeks beginning to turn red. “It’s just, uhmm, it’s been a rough day, that’s all.”
He motioned her to sit down, to which she reluctantly obeyed. “It’s not that,” he said in a serious tone. “There’s something more, something bigger, that’s bothering you. I can feel it.”
She was taken aback by the statement. Was it really taking a toll on her physical appearance? Was it as big of a deal as this guy thought? Why was she being so affected by this? Why was she asking all these questions?
“I’m sorry if I hit a spot,” the guy suddenly said, noticing how quiet she had suddenly become. “If you want, I’ll just take my Pokemon and be on my way...”
“No, don’t go,” she said with such vulnerability that it interested him. “I have something to say.”
And with that, for absolutely no reason, she told him everything. She told him how difficult it was to see all the determined trainers come in and know that she would never be able to feel what they were feeling. She told him how her becoming a nurse in this Pokemon Center was because of her family, and that if any of her siblings or parents had money-making jobs she’d be out collecting badges by now. She told him that every Pokemon she healed was a pain in the ass, knowing that it was the closest to one she was ever going to be.
“I’m sorry,” she said in between breaths after her impromptu confession, noticing how overwhelmed the trainer looked. “I know this isn’t any of your business, but I just had to let it out. I’m really, really sorry. Let me get your Pokemon...”
“Nah, it’s okay,” he said calmly. “In fact, I agree that you really needed to let all of that steam out, so it’s all good.”
The trainer then stood up and walked over to the Center’s water dispenser. He filled two plastic cups and gave one of them to her, the nurse immediately finishing the cup’s contents in one gulp.
“I know what you mean about your family,” he started as he played with his half-finished cup. “My family really loves to battle, and the moment I got my first Pokemon all they wanted from me was to come home as the Hoenn League champion. I sent them a letter everytime I won a badge, and I’d get a reply that always said ‘keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be a champion in no time!’ Now that I’ve gotten all eight, there’s no stopping me from being the champion they’ve always wanted.”
She saw the determination in his eyes, that same determination she both admired and envied in every trainer she had seen. It made her feel even crappier than she already did.
“But you know what? It doesn’t feel... right. It all seems like I’m doing it for the wrong reasons, like all this is for my family instead of for me, and I just can’t live like that, you know?”
She was very shocked. She found it hard to believe that he meant everything he was saying. What she would give for her family to be as supportive as his!
“Don’t get me wrong, I love being a trainer,” he continued. “I don’t find myself doing anything else. But there’s a difference between going on a journey because you want to and going on a journey because your grandma told you to. In the first one, it’s your own decision, and you’ll only be disappointing yourself when you fail. But that second one? Damn. Having that extra weight is tough – to disappoint your family is one of the worst things anyone can do.”
That hit her hard.
She was seeing herself in him. She wanted to be a Pokemon trainer, and she wanted it badly, but her family wanted – no, she thought, needed – all the help they could get. She knew that she could be out in a random Hoenn route defeating some random Bug Catcher, but she knew that necessity – no, she thought, love – made her stay as a nurse. It wasn’t the best scenario...
“...but it’s good enough for me.” He said, finishing her thoughts. “And whether I like it or not, I’m gonna go through Victory Road and take the Pokemon League challenge holding my family’s expectations high. And all I need now is my team...”
She suddenly remembered why he was here in the first place and rushed to the machine, withdrawing the four Pokeballs he had given her.
“Well, I wish you the best of luck,” she said as she handed him the Pokeballs. He gave her a gentle pat on the shoulder.
“Just take it easy, okay?” He said as he withdrew a small object from his pocket and gave it to her. “And good luck with whatever you decide to do,” he added as he made his way to the Center’s exit.
“Thank you!” She blurted out, tears beginning to form on her eyes as she held the Pokeball tightly.
“We hope to see you again!”