I always knew if I could ever be a Pokémon I’d be a flying-type. Something that can come and go as it wishes with nothing but the wind as company overlooking the mountains and great oceans.
I also wondered about the life of a wild Pokémon.
Captured ones were trained to battle or be in contests but what about the ones who ran free to do as they pleased?
The outside world filled me with anticipation for warm sun and cool clear skies.
Popping the last bite of scrambled egg and toast in my mouth, I placed the empty dish in the sink and walked to the living room where grandma was watching her soaps, Abra by her feet.
“Grandma can I go outside?” I asked sitting next to Abra.
“Right now? oh honey I thought you were coming with us to Seiya’s doctor’s appointment. You know you’re my favorite assistant.”
I sighed. “I always do though. I go with you, mom and dad to appointments every month. just this once can I please skip it.”
My mom entered the living room then with a laugh, carrying my little brother. “Lon, this is a first. Seiya will miss you, won’t you Seiya?” he didn’t respond.
“Sorry Seiya but I promise to get some pretty picture for your room.” I said giving him a sloppy kiss on the cheek that I knew made him happy.
“Well if you’re going out take this,” her grandmother started going into her purse for a Poké Ball and clicked the button. In flash of blue light a cute orange and black Growlithe appeared letting out a happy bark.
The little pup’s sudden entrance and hyper attitude upset Abra and it stalked off in annoyance.
“Wow that’s you’re new Growlithe, Grandma?” I gasped petting the Pokémon as it jumped to lick her face.
“Yes it is. I’m getting too old to train it though but I couldn’t just leave it all alone at the Pokemon Center. Mind doing it for me?” Grandma gave me a knowing smile causing me to squeal in excitement at what that meant.
I was only 8-years-old so it was against the law to actually own a Pokemon without proper ownership license but many people get away with it by claiming to be the Pokemon’s ‘caretaker’.
Even though it wasn’t official, I, grandmother and mom knew Growlithe was my very first Pokemon.
“Thank you so much grandma!! I can’t wait to show daddy!” I hugged her.
“What will you name him?” her mother asked rubbing Seiya’s back. I thought hard on this as it would be the first name my first Pokemon would keep with it. Suddenly while looking at his sharp teeth poking from an almost smiling muzzle the perfect one popped in my head: Hyde.
“Hyde huh, what made you pick that?” ask grandma giving Hyde a treat from her purse.
I smiled and said, “Because he looks ferocious but he’s really a sweetheart like Jekyll and Hyde!”
This made my family laugh. “It’s a great name Lonnie. Now go on before you miss a good photo op.”
I kissed my family goodbye then ran to my room to grab the blue camera from my dresser drawer. One day it’ll be a high def professional camera but for now I’ll stick with this sticker clad plastic one.
Equipped with my camera and newly named Hyde for the next step to becoming a great Pokemon photographer I headed out to the forest.
“Alright Hyde we don’t want to scare the bugs so make sure you stay quiet.” I whispered and Hyde obediently huffed beside me.
We came to an open field where a swarm of Butterfree danced and enjoy the pleasant nectar of flowers together.
Growlithe leaned down with me as I aimed my camera high enough to catch all the insects in the shot and a beam of light from the sun that seemed to reflect off their wings and cause a glimmer effect.
“Perfect! like it?”
Hyde yipped in approval.
“Great, see anything else we can get?”
The Pokemon sniffed the ground then the air before pointing up in a large tree where a Mankey slept soundly on the limb, one arm hanging down while the other covered it’s face.
“Ooooh,” I whispered. “Never seen a Mankey so up close.”
With a click I captured the lazy Mankey in that pose before it turned over and presented it’s rear end to me probably angry at being woken up.
“That wasn’t nice Mr. Mankey!” I said playfully but the Mankey simply growled and jumped away.
Suddenly another growl reached my ears but not from the Mankey, instead it was Hyde seeming to sound an alarm. “What is it what’s wrong?” I asked running to his side.
Coming from the other side of a bush was an odd sound of something squealing.
another noise mingled with the pitiful sound - shouting.
peeking through the bush It was then I spotted a man holding a Pichu by it’s scruff.
“I can’t believe this! I was promised a male, what am I gonna do with such a useless female.” The man yelled at the Pichu who coward away as best it could. “That damn old woman took my Zigzagoon and I get a Pichu...I can’t believe this - what the?”
His rant was cut short as I clicked my camera at him.
“I am and if you don’t put down that Pichu you’ll get in big trouble.” I wasn’t scared of him! Hyde was close by and ready to pounce at my command.
“Tsk, You and what army?” he grinned “I have all very skilled Pokemon and I only see that one tiny Growlithe. now shoo!”
Pichu cried out in pain as the man continued squeezing her skin.
Pokemon abuse was unfortunately common among people who think they’re better than the Pokemon they own but to see it right in front of me really boiled my blood.
“I got your picture right here!” I held up the camera, showing off his picture on the back of the device.
“Put her down or I’ll show Officer Jenny you are being mean to a helpless Pokemon.”
The man scoffed again and dropped poor Pichu to the ground, crying and squirming .
“Whatever. Take the damn thing, I have no interest in training girls.”
I ran to Pichu’s side once he left and gently lifted her up inspecting the deep bruises along her neck and a red sore under her belly.
“Lets go Hyde we need to get to a Pokemon Center quick.”
Hyde barked in reply and we ran off.
April Neely smiled and coo’d at her toddler to make the pain of the incoming needle less scary.
“Good boy, Seiya. see that wasn’t so bad.” She said kissing Seiya on the cheek as he inspected the nurse pulling blood from his arm.
“Can we expect good news this time Mr. Vern?”
“I’m not sure yet, if these test come back positive we’re in the clear; if not then we’ll let the doctor decide.” The dark skinned nurse finished collected his samples, bandage the boy and handed April a wet towelette
“Rub those on his chest to keep the scratches cool and the doctor will be in soon.” he left the two woman.
April had never been so nervous to be in a hospital and as much as she loved her mother she wished Lonnie was here too.
“April it’s going to be okay.” April’s mother said patting her back.
“What if it’s not?”
“If Seiya does have something wrong with his heart then we just need to support each other like any other family. You’re a good mother and raised your kids well April. Never forget that.”
“but I didn’t even know he was hurting himself like this until yesterday. If only I knew...”
It was then a purple haired woman entered the room with a clipboard and somber expression.
* * *
“I guess we better go now Hyde, nothing else we can do here now that Pichu is with Nurse Joy.” I said existing the Center.
I still couldn’t help but worry for the poor little mouse and where it will go once set free. It could get hurt again and I won’t be there to save her.
“Think we’ll ever see her again?”
Hyde whined in response obviously also upset. he wanted to keep playing but I just wasn’t up for more outdoor time, maybe a nap will feel better.
I made sure I had all my pictures ready to show Seiya, excluding the one of the man.
his room wall was littered with glossy photographs from Squirtles to Ponyta’s although Fairy-types were obviously what he more favored most, I could only snap three this trip I’m was sure that would be fine for now.
Soon the top of the house came to view open windows and all and I ran to the front door.
“I’m home!” I called but no one answered “Anyone here?”
“In the dining room…” I heard Grandmother reply and I instantly knew something was wrong.
Taking out Hyde’s Poke Ball and pointed it at him
“Hyde return. I’ll see you later”
When I came into the dining room the first thing I saw was my mother’s puffy red eyes with my dad standing behind her, his arms hugging her shoulders.
Dad started first, his voice thick. “Honey we have something to tell you. it probably will be hard to understand but you need to know.”
They told me Seiya’s heart was weak and being clogged by his own blood. There is medication for it to keep the arteries clear but we cannot afford on constantly buying the prescription. Insurance won’t cover it either.
Seiya could probably die if he doesn’t take that medicine everyday.
Seiya was one when he became too sick to leave the house and three years old when he had to stay bedridden. because of this stupid medication we have to scrape and scramble to acquire my little brother will never have adventures, become close with Pokemon and even worse never achieve his wish of being a Pokemon researcher like his Uncle Birch.
The world seemed to be crumbling in, everything I once knew was changing for the worst and right now I wanted - no needed - to get away. To see that sweet little Pichu again.
With wavering confidence I entered the Center where Nurse Joy greeted me again and I asked for Pichu.
Unfortunately, I was too late as she was already set loose.
I should’ve known better than to get my hopes up, it was the policy of the Pokemon Centers to free wild Pokemon as soon as possible but still the fact that Pichu was out there unprotected unsettled me and left my stomach in knots.
Was she safe? had she been caught yet and is the trainer a nice one? I could only hope.
Furthermore, When I turn 10 in two more years I will go anywhere and everywhere to constantly keep sending money for my brother, I’ll work as hard as I need and no one will stop me until my brother can step outside all by himself.
I solemnly swear this.