“Not another ice storm…” Thought the fiery red-head as she mopped her gym’s floor. The red-head’s husband had promised that after finishing up with his last challenger he’d help his wife mop the gym up since her sisters refused to help. This red-head’s name was Misty Ketchum, gym leader of Cerulean City and wife of world renowned Pokémon master, Ash Ketchum. The floor was so filthy from a prior battle she had with a young opponent earlier in the day. There was mud and skid marks trailed all over the entire gym and nearly everything was shattered all over the place. It was such a horrid wreck that Misty had to close the gym for the rest of the day. That small, brunette girl she battled today had a ton of gumption and determination that Misty found highly admirable. Although the child had lost she was still persistent and vowed to return tomorrow she was also very courteous and offered to help clean up the gym and pay for some of the damages after she apologized nearly a thousand times. Misty of course denied the offer and instead suggested the girl go train so she would be more powerful the next time they battled and told her not to worry about the damages and most of it was Corsola’s fault anyhow.
Ash usually got done at the Indigo Plateau at around seven and it was now half past eight and Misty was starting to become worried. If he was going to be late and couldn’t make it why hadn’t he called her? Everyday Misty would take a train to Cerulean from the humble little abode she and Ash resided in in Pallet Town and Ash would drive his corvette to the Indigo Plateau. They were both now twenty-six and been married for a little over a year now. Misty’s concern grew fiercer as another half hour, which felt like a half of a lifetime, passed with no sign of her Ash. Misty decided to call her husband. But, when she telephoned his cell all she got was the answering machine.
“Ash, it’s me…it’s about eight thirty now and you promised to be here more than an hour ago. Well, please give me a call when you hear this…I’m starting to get worried, the forecast says heavy ice storm. Okay…bye, Ash, I love you.” Misty said, leaving her message as she then proceeded to ask her sister’s advice. “Daisy, has Ash contacted you at all recently, I tried to call him but, he didn’t answer the phone?” Misty asked nervously as she clutched a mop in one hand as she peeped through her sister’s bedroom door.
“Like, no, Misty! He totally bailed on you because he like probably didn’t want to like clean because cleaning is like…disgusting,” Daisy replied.
“Sounds familiar…like some other family members I know…” Misty growled, “Daisy…that isn’t like him though…even when he jokes around…he usually tells me by now.”
“You are like overreacting he’s probably at home! Like, why don’t you phone up Mrs. K or Brock or something but, don’t bother Tracey because Lily and Violet are helping him pick out an engagement ring for me!” Daisy said.
“Aw, really?” Misty squealed.
“Yeah!” Daisy said in the same squealing, excited tone.
“Congratulations, sis! I’m just surprised it took Tracey longer than Ash to propose, Ash,” Misty said but, then became nervous as she thought of her beloved husband again.
“Misty, try Mrs. K’s, ” Daisy insisted as she saw the anxiety on her face, “He probably forgot,” Daisy said. Misty nodded, hoping this was the case as she walked over to the phone, throwing the mop down and started dialing for her mother’s-in-law.
“Delia?” Misty said nervously as Delia answered the phone.
“Oh, hello, Misty, shouldn’t you be back from the gym by now?” Delia asked with a yawn as Mr. Mime swept the carpet in the background.
“That’s just it…Ash promised to swing by over two hours ago, I called but he didn’t answer…please tell me he’s at home?” Misty said wishfully as she saw Delia grow an expression of concern on her face as well.
“No…Ash didn’t stop by here…I’m going to check at your place,” Delia said with the same worried scowl Misty had on her face as she hung up the phone.
“Great…Ash isn’t at his mom’s either…maybe he’s watching the Pokémon Backer Cup at Brock’s, wasn’t that on tonight?” Misty thought as she punched in her best friend’s number.
“Hello, this is Brock the rock speaking?” Brock said as he answered the telephone.
“Brock, it’s me,” Misty replied.
“Hey, Misty, are you watching the game?” Brock asked excitedly, thinking this was a social call.
“Brock…is Ash at your house?” Misty asked timidly, ignoring his trivial statement.
“No, why?” Brock answered, growing concerned by the troubled gleam in Misty’s eyes.
“…I thought you might’ve invited him over to watch the tournament so he blew me off…” Misty said in a contemplative voice.
“Misty, Ash would never blow you off? Besides wouldn’t I have invited you too?” Brock said, making a good point she hadn’t thought of. “Is everything alright Misty?”
“Yeah, I-I guess…it’s just Ash usually gets done by seven and it’s nine…and he promised to be here…he didn’t call and won’t answer the phone,” Misty explained.
“Maybe he’s at Mrs. Ketchum’s?” Brock said and Misty couldn’t help but smile as she was now Mrs. Ketchum as well.
“I tried there…” Misty stated.
“Try his work then,” Brock suggested.
“Alright…call me if you hear anything, Brock.” Misty said.
“Will do, give me a call too…you’re freaking me out a little, I mean…I don’t wanna freak you out but, Misty…” Brock began, regretting speaking.
“What, Brock?” Misty said in a stern voice.
“Look out the window…” Brock mumbled as Misty turned and glanced out at the thick sheets of ice that were coating the road, the icy snow that was falling in clumps and the icicles that were hanging off the gutters. Misty felt sick to her stomach when she looked out the window, she hadn’t even noticed the horrible weather and her eyes started welling with tears.
“Hey, Misty, this is Ash were talking about?” Brock said in reassurance as he saw upset the young gym leader had become.
“I know, I know.” Misty replied, that thought did ease her mind. Ash was crowned Pokémon master at the record-breaking, tender age of sixteen and saved the world a few times, let’s not forget.
“Well, Brock, I’m gonna call the Indigo Plateau now, bye.” Misty said as Brock said goodbye too and they hung up the phone. Misty punched in the digits of her husband’s work next and much to her dismay they said he left three hours ago, getting let out early because of the lack of challengers due to the heavy weather. Misty was staring out the window as her mind raced through thousands of worst-case-scenarios when she was startled by the ring of her phone and feared what the person calling might have to say. Hesitantly, she answered the phone.
“Hello?” Misty said as her heart pounded at of worry for her beloved Ash.
“Misty…he isn’t there did you contact him yet?” Delia said, her words stuttered, she was the only person who could possibly feel just as sick as Misty right now.
“No…the league said he left three hours ago…” Misty said in monotone and Delia relinquished a frightened, heart-aching sigh.
“…The ice,” Delia cried in a whisper and Misty felt her lip tremble.
“I see it, Delia!” Misty screamed back at her, unintentionally raising her voice due to her stress and tension.
“I know, dear, I know, I am just as nervous as you!” Delia said back in a harsh tone as you could hear her words tremble.
“I’m sorry…” Misty whispered as she massaged her temples with her fingertips.
“It’s alright, I know you must be nervous, as his mother I know exactly how you feel,” Delia said, “But, my-our Ash can get through nearly anything Misty.” Delia said, more so trying to convince herself rather than Misty.
“…Delia, I-I’m going to go find him,” Misty stated.
“Misty, are you crazy? It’s a blizzard out there, don’t you dare I don’t need my son and my daughter-in-law out there!” Delia snapped, “Misty, you’ll only endanger yourself, you’ll get lost or hurt…not to mention you’ll hurt my grandchild!”
“Delia, I have to, what if he’s lost or hurt…or-or- or...” Misty cried, not being able to finish the last sentence, “I didn’t even tell him yet!”
“You didn’t?” Delia exclaimed.
“I’m too afraid…” Misty whimpered.
“Afraid of what?” Delia asked.
“…That he’ll be mad at me and hate me…” Misty said in a questionable voice.
“Why on earth would he be angry with you? Misty, Ash loves you he tells me that all the time, he loves you so much, dear, he’ll love to hear that he’s going to be a father,” Delia explained.
“Well, if I don’t find him he might never be a father, I’m sorry Delia but, I vowed to be there for Ash for richer or poorer, better or worse, sickness and in health as long as I live and intend to stick to that vow!” Misty yelled in a determined voice.
“…Misty, no!” Delia yelled.
“I’m leaving and I’m taking my Pokémon!” Misty shouted as she slammed down the phone. Misty put on her heaviest coat that was blue with white lace strung all across the edges, it was a Christmas present from her fiancée, at the time, two years ago. Misty then put on her gloves, wool hat, heavy snow boots, and a long turquoise scarf.
“Daisy, where are the keys?” Misty stated harshly.
“Like, I don’t know you don’t have top be so mean about it? Misty Ketchum, I swear to God you better not go looking for that husband of yours in this weather!” Daisy yelled stridently in a bossy tone.
“Daisy, I have to! If Tracey was out there what would you do?” Misty replied and Daisy stared down at the ground without an answer, “But, Misty…look at the ice…”
“I see it, that’s why I have to go find him!” Misty cried.
“…Okay, here…” Daisy said as she reluctantly placed her car keys in her baby sister’s hand.
“…Don’t crash my car!” Daisy yelled teasingly as she gave her sister a tight squeeze.
“Like, be careful…okay?” Daisy said, “Take Pokémon with you!”
“I am, I am, don’t worry,” Misty assured as she gave her sister a reassuring nod and left for her sister’s brand, new, Mercedes Benz. Misty sat down in the bitter, cold, leather seat and revved up the vehicle. She took a deep breath and began to drive slowly since the roads were practically paved in ice. “Where would Ash be driving…I guess to Cerulean so he could be on any of these back roads from here to the Plateau…wormadam it….” Misty thought to herself. “He’s probably on route 3 or 4, someone in Cerulean would’ve spotted him…what if he’s somewhere and not even on the road and I just get myself into trouble…me and the baby.” Misty continued pondering as she quickly snapped back into action and remained a steady focus on the road. Misty’s heart was pounding inside her chest as the anxiety grew deeper and deeper as she drove through route three and four without spotting her husband. “Why didn’t that man just answer the phone!” Misty screamed to herself in frustration. “Or send a Pokémon out or something!” yelled out as she approached Pewter City, the entire metropolis was pitch dark, probably an outage because of the brutal weather. Misty knew she couldn’t drive through Pewter with no light source except headlights in a blizzard. She pulled the car over and slammed her head up against the steering wheel and began to weep uncontrollably. She wished now more than ever that she had some sort of flying type Pokémon that could scour the area in search for her spouse. Her grief soon converted to anger at Ash for all she knew her search was in vain and he was tutoring some kid on battling strategies and just didn’t bother to answer the ringing phone. What if he was having an affair with another woman, had he stopped loving her, though Misty severely doubted this was the case? He could be at a bar, though Ash tended to avoid bars at all costs because of all the attention his presence would create and drunk people drawing attention towards him was the last thing Ash wanted. Misty’s mind was racing through a million possibilities as to where Ash could be, what he was doing, or what happened to him. Misty sat in Daisy’s car crying for about twenty minutes when suddenly the city’s power seemed to regain itself because the city lit up simultaneously. Misty gained a sense of hope as she subsequently started the car and began to drive through Pewter, keeping a sharp eye. “When I get my hands on that man!” Misty mumbled then started thinking if, if she’d ever get her hands on Ash again but, quickly cleared the vile thought from her mind and kept driving through Pewter, eyes peeled. Misty drove through every aspect of Pewter City and there was no trace of Ash. Her heart kept thumping inside her chest as she prayed to God to let him be alright. Now she was all the way out at Victory Road and her hope was diminishing as clumps of sleet were pattering down on the windshield. Where was her husband? She was inside a nice heated car but, what if he were outside in this bitter cold. The thermometer in Daisy’s car read 9 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s absolutely freezing. And along with all the ice and snow, and not to mention, the wind chill? Thinking of these things made Misty’s heart race and the anxiety grow so she tried to keep them out of her mind. Suddenly, as she was driving Misty unexpectedly caught a yellow corvette on its side on the curb of the road. It was Ash’s. Misty’s heartbeat increased as she slammed on the breaks and rushed out of the car, not bothering to close the door. “Ash!” Misty cried in a panic, “Ash! Ash! Are you in there?” Misty cried in a frenzy as she peered into the window and saw Pikachu hop up. “Pikachu, where is Ash?” Misty demanded.
“Pika-pi!” It cried as it frantically pointed to downwards and Misty did a hard swallow.
“He-he’s underneath the car?” Misty cried and Pikachu nodded with tears streaming off its face. “Why the hell didn’t you help him?” Misty screamed and Pikachu started crying even harder. But, Misty had no time for trying to decipher Pikachu’s chatter as she rushed to the other side of the car and indeed found her husband underneath it. Misty froze in her tracks, she didn’t even know if he was alive. She hesitantly came closer to him and could see him shivering, one of his legs was squished behind a tire. Misty knelt down next to Ash. He was shivering like crazy, his lips were purple, his teeth were chattering so fast they were probably chipped and ice was coated his face. Ash only had a light sweat jacket on. Misty gingerly placed her hand on his cheek as a tear slid down her face and landed on Ash’s face then she held him in her arms and muzzled up all her strength not to break into tears.
“Ash, Ash, speak to me!” Misty cried as she stroked his hair.
“M-m-m-misty, i-i-is th-tha-that you?” Ash forced out as he let out airy mumbles from the cold.
“I’m right here, Ash!” Misty cried as she gripped his hand and her eyes widened from the cold as she fought the impulse to release his hand due to it feeling, literally like an icebox.
“C-car, flipped over f-from i-ice c-couldn’t s-stop it. P-pikachu o-okay?” Ash asked as he shivered.
“Yes, yes Pikachu is just fine!” Misty cried as she pressed her cheek up against his. It was freezing. Ash let out a happy moan from the warmth of Misty’s face.
“Y-you’re gonna g-get c-cold, Mist.” Ash muttered.
“I’m going to get cold?” Misty cried.
“S-sorry, I-I heard cell phone r-ring, c-couldn’t get it.” Ash explained.
“No, shhh, shh, it’s not your fault!” Misty cried as tears drenched her face, “I’m going to get you out of here, I’m gonna move the car!”
“No, Misty, t-too heavy, y-you’ll h-hurt yourself t-trying, y-you can’t, i-impossible,” Ash tried to explain, you could tell all the effort put into his sentence.
“My Pokémon will help!” Misty demanded as she dug through her pockets for her Poke’balls. “No…” Misty whimpered, “Where are they?” Misty said in disbelief as she had a flashback of leaving them on the hat-rack right outside the door. “No!” Misty screamed as tears came riveting off her face in denial.
“M-Misty, isn’t y-your fault, a-accident,” Ash said comfortingly as he started to whimper from the extreme cold. Misty started to push up against the car as hard as she could, which probably wasn’t very good to do in her condition.
“Come on!” Misty screamed as she tried to shove the car as hard as she could but, obviously it didn’t budge.
“Stop!” Ash demanded and Misty fell to her knees and began sobbing. Misty rushed back to Ash’s side and took off her scarf. “Misty, what’re y-you doing?”
“Giving these to you, don’t argue with me! I’m not gonna let you freeze to death, understand!” Misty said in persistence as she lovingly wrapped the scarf around his neck and tucked up to his chin, then gave him a peck on the cheek.
“Misty, y-you’ll f-freeze,” Ash said.
“I don’t care, you’re gonna die!” Misty cried as she forced him into her gloves. Then Misty took off her coat and tried to get Ash to wear it and Ash shook his head. “Ash Ketchum, do as I say!” Misty yelled.
“M-Misty…I-I didn’t w-want t-to t-tell you this, b-b-but, I d-don’t think I have that much longer don’t w-waste the coat on me,” Ash insisted, refusing to take the coat from his wife.
“Ash, that is nonsense, I’ll call the police in a second but, you better put this coat on because I am not putting it back on!” Misty yelled in a sweet kind of tone and Ash reluctantly put the coat on.
“Misty, I can’t breathe right, I can’t keep my eyes opened, m-much l-longer.” Ash panted.
“Yes you can, you’re Ash Ketchum!” Misty cried, “Pokémon master extraordinaire!”
“Misty, l-let me talk to you, I-I’m serious!” Ash cried and Misty heard the angst in his voice and knelt beside him once more. “I’ve been l-lying here in the snow f-for over f-four hours I-I can hardly believe I stayed alive as long as I have…maybe I hung in just to s-see you one last time.”
“Ash…” Misty cried, “No…” she sniveled as she caressed his ice cold face in her relatively warm hand.
“Misty, I don’t want to leave you, I’m sorry…” Ash trailed off, “But I just aren’t strong enough…t-take care of Pikachu, okay?”
“We both will!” Misty cried.
“Don’t let M-Mom kill herself…she’ll g-go nuts wh-when she hears.” Ash asked.
“Ash, I’m gonna go nuts, you aren’t going to die, I’m calling the ambulance and the fire department!” Misty cried.
“Misty…they won’t g-get here soon enough.” Ash said.
“Ash…I love you, don’t go, I can’t live without you!” Misty begged, crying hysterically.
“I love you too, Misty, so, so much.” Ash replied. “But, don’t stay alone…”
“I won’t be, Ash, I’ll be with you!” Misty insisted as the tears drenched her face.
“G-Gary, he likes you a lot! He’d take good care of you, he’s a professor.” Ash said, “You’re too beautiful to be all alone, Misty.” Ash said as he ran his glove covered fingers through her hair.
“Ash!” Misty screamed, starting to mildly hyperventilate. “Ash, you can’t die, not just for me and not just for Brock, Pikachu or your Mom!”
“…who else is there, everyone else would move on easily…” Ash said.
“They would not! But, that’s not the point! Ash, I-I’m pregnant,” Misty announced and Ash’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. “I-I hope you aren’t mad…”
“Mad? I’m so happy!” Ash exclaimed and started chattering his teeth again. His grin of sheer joy faded into a frown, “Misty…our baby…probably won’t know their father…tell ‘em about me, okay?”
“Shut up, Ash!” Misty cried, “I am calling 911, now!” Misty demanded and Ash closed his eyes through the anxiety. Ash knew he was fading, barely holding on but, he let Misty try. Misty ran to her car which was up a slope, her eyes were fogged over, blurring her vision as she kept slipping up the slope, leaving her frozen. Misty finally got up the little hill coated with ice as she ripped open her purse and grabbed her phone. She immediately dialed 9-1-1.
“Hello, hello, please my husband’s stuck behind a car I need help!!” Misty screamed in terror.
“We’re sorry the operating system is currently down, we apologize for the inconvenience and hope that you continue using the Kanto telephone service,” The machine-operated voice spoke as Misty chucked the phone on the ground as hard as she could and kicked it down the icy street.
“NO! Answer the God damn phone!” Misty screamed as she started bawling hysterically as she ran back down the hill to the corvette’s window and began shouting to Pikachu. “Pikachu, why did you do this!”
“Misty, it’s not Pikachu’s fault!” Ash stuttered as Misty went back to Ash.
“Ash, they won’t pick up the phone…I-I don’t know what to do! Ash I feel like I’m going to throw up!” Misty cried as Ash caressed her face.
“Hey, hey, come on, now, don’t get to worked up, it’s not good for the baby,” Ash said, “I-I always wanted a-a baby…tell our kid that their daddy did love them, okay?”
“You tell our baby that!” Misty screamed in denial.
“M-Misty, c-can’t b-breathe!” Ash said in an exhausted yelp.
“Ash! I-I don’t know what to do!” Misty screamed, “You can breathe, Ash, come on!” Misty cried as tears rained down off her face like Niagara Falls. Ash’s breathing became a very hard panting and he started to sweat and mumble in pain. “Ash, I’m here, I’m here!” Misty cried as she squeezed his hand and as his he started breathing heavier she squeezed his hand, subconsciously, even tighter, trying to hold on to the person she loved more than anything in the world. His breathing started to slow and Misty saw that as a good thing at first.
“Misty, I-I…” his voice trailed off as his breathing got even slower, “l-love you, more than…” Ash muzzled up his last strength and breath “…anything…take…go-….care….my…baby… …” Ash worked out.
“I love you, too, Ash! I love you! I love you! My, God, I love you!” Misty cried as his breathing decelerated gradual until his chest wasn’t moving at all. “A-Ash!” Misty screamed as she shook him, “Ash!” Misty screamed as she frantically started shaking him and then backed away from his body and cupped her hands over her mouth to muffle her screams of hysteria. “…No…this isn’t happening…” Misty said, “God, this can’t be happening!” Misty cried as she squeezed her eyelids shut and tears riveted out as she bit down on her finger so hard it bled. Misty went back up to her husband’s body and started to rock it whispering soothing words of comfort into his ear. “God, why? God, please, don’t take him, I love him, my baby needs a father! I need my husband!” Misty screamed up to heaven in anger. The snow was falling lighter as it slowly turned to rain which melted the ice off the streets and the snow off the grass. The snow was now almost completely vanished, not that Misty cared, she wouldn’t care about anything until the birth of her child. Misty’s world was over, she wanted to die. But, since the snow was no longer there and rain had taken its place Ash’s leg could easily be slipped out from underneath the car. Ash’s life had been taken on a matter of minutes. The sweet, lovable, strong, healthy, twenty-six-year old man had lost his life, which had so much promise for the future, in a matter of minutes. She would never stop loving him, nothing in the world would stop her from loving him. As the rain splattered down intertwining with her heavy spilling tears Misty was holding him in her arms and noticed that his leg slipped out from beneath the car, giving Misty the striking realization that her husband lost his life on account of minutes. The world is a cold place, a very cold, cold, chilling place. Nobody knew that when Misty used the term; a cold heart is a dead heart that it wasn’t a metaphor it was a literal statement. For the chills carried with Misty from that night wouldn’t be from the bitter, overwhelming cold but, from the chilling pain of the loss of the man who meant the most to her, her husband, Ash Ketchum, the Pokémon master who lost his life to such a warm yet such a cold heart.