I was browsing the Writer's Block topic, when I glanced at the Weekly Prompt thread, I was inspired for the first time in ages. For anyone who needs inspiration go check out LightningTopaz's prompts, because they are awesome.
Dreams Never Die
“So why did you become a Pokemon trainer?”
It was such a simple question.
Unfortunately it didn’t have a simple answer.
“Why do you want to know?”
“Because I…” and it was her companion’s turn to falter. “I just want to know, I guess.” He shrugged his shoulders in an attempt not to look interested in her answer.
She sighed. Today was not her day. “Well, why do you want to be a trainer?”
He gawked at her. Wasn’t it obvious? “I’m gonna be a Pokemon Master, that’s why!”
Whatever response he was expecting, it certainly wasn’t the bittersweet smile she gave him. Before he could question her… was it doubt?... her expression changed to that of arrogance. “So that’s what you think, huh?”
Now he was indignant. “Of course it is!”
“Do you even realize how many trainers start out believing the exact same thing?”
“So?” he spat.
She shrugged. “I’m just saying that you’re just one in the thousands of new trainers that get their license every year. Most of them are like you, they start their journey thinking they can become a Master, until the reality sets in.” After pausing to snort she continued, “A decent chunk of them won’t even last the first year. Once they challenge for a few badges, they realize just how hard it is and quit-”
“I won’t quit!”
“However the more stubborn ones,” a humorless chuckle escaped her lips, “do tend to last longer. But at the end of the day at least half of them will give up before five years.”
If looks could kill… well she might be in trouble right now.
A wry smile appeared on her face. “So tell me Mark, do ya wanna be a Master of Pokemon? Do you have the skills to be number one?” The old jingle that she had heard on TV as a child was still so easy to recall.
“WHAT!?” he bellowed. “You think this is funny!? Well you know what? I’ll show you! I’ll show everyone! I won’t ever give up!” His brown eyes were glaring viciously into her own. “I’ll keep going and going no matter what. I’ll never quit, and then one day I'll be the Master, and you and everyone else will know you never should have doubted me.”
Her cerulean eyes hardened. “Do you really mean that?”
“Of course I do,” he growled.
“Because the day will come when training is not as fun as it was. It’ll be hard, it will hurt, you’ll make friends and enemies, and may end up not knowing which is which anymore. You’ll think you’re making progress, but then you’ll get annihilated in your next battle. You’ll see or hear about someone beating a Gym Leader with ease only to be destroyed yourself. You might make it to the league, just so you can get humiliated in front of thousands of people,” she trailed off, her eyes glazed over. Suddenly he got the feeling she wasn’t talking to him anymore.
“You’ll be insulted and want to fight back, but that may or may not blow up in your face. Before you know it, you'll find yourself in situations you never could have imagined and won’t know how to deal with it. Then you'll see things that no one should ever see, and find out just how insane the world is. You’ll tell yourself you don’t care, but then you’ll go and find him and he won’t wake up…” she started to choke on her words.
“And then you’ll realize... that you did care, but now... it might be too late... and even if it wasn’t... years down the road... it will be… so what was the point? And… after that… you’ll lose… the only ones… left… that cared… all because… they trusted you…” she whispered. Finally the emotion she had been fighting forced her to let out a sob she clinched her eyes shut.
Mark was speechless. Whatever fiery retort he had been holding in since the start of her speech was long gone. Just who was this girl anyway?
Once she regained some of her composure, she noticed what had happened and looked away in embarrassment. The awkward silence continued for several minutes as she berated herself and he simply didn’t know what to say.
“I ran away from home.”
“Huh?” Mark blinked at the statement.
“You wanted to know why I became a Pokemon trainer, didn’t you?” Her voice sounded casual, yet her eyes looked dead. “Well that’s the answer. It wasn’t the first time actually, but it was the first time I took any Pokemon with me. I told my si- them that I wasn’t going to come back until I was a… a Master. I did pretty well until…” she paused to scoff, “ Let’s just say everything went to hell. Anyway I ended up breaking my promise, got completely distracted, and before everything was said and done I found myself right back where I started.”
Though he didn’t want to admit it, Mark was incredibly interested at this point. “So what did you do?”
“Well nothing at first,” she sighed. “Then everything just went downhill from there. I just… I messed up. I messed up really bad… It’s not something I can fix either. I didn’t know what to do, and somehow I ended up out here.”
He raised an eyebrow. “You decided to come here… to a village that most people couldn't even find with a map?”
She gave him a wan smile. “Pretty much.”
“Wendy, you’re the weirdest person I ever met.”
“Trust me,” she laughed, “that just means you haven’t met very many people.”
A comfortable silence settled over them after that. The younger boy found himself half paying attention to the random Pidgey that feeding in the field in front of them, and half glancing at the teenaged blonde who was now sitting beside him. He knew now that perhaps his dreams weren’t going to be as easy to achieve as he thought, but still…
“I’m not going to give up.”
“Oh, you do, do you?” he mocked.
She nodded. “I don't want you to.”
He gave her a curious look. “Then why…?”
“Because this world needs dreamers," she said softly. "So that no matter how bleak it gets, when everything goes wrong, and there’s no reason to hope anymore... Someone out there has to show the world that there is light in the darkness... hope that never fades… dreams that never die…”
She found herself looking at him, a sandy haired, ten year old boy that was full of childhood innocence, and still had the passion that was needed to achieve his goal. It was bittersweet… part of her found it heartwarming to remind herself that the world wasn’t as jaded she thought… yet it was painful… so painfully familiar…
“Never give up your dreams...”