Odds & Evens
With Ma gone, everything was odd.
It was just me at home now, and I didn’t know what to do. Get help? Move on? Sit here and cry? No, Ma wouldn’t want that. She’d want what’s best for me. But what is best for me? I suppose that is an odd question.
But that’s okay, I am odd, after all. There is only one of us home, and I have to stay and protect the tree. Yeah, Ma wouldn’t want our tree to be lonely! Ma loves this tree, and she loves me too! And I can’t leave something that Ma loves!
But I don’t understand. I’m lonely, and Ma loves me. Why would Ma leave me if she loves me? That’s odd.
But I am odd. I mean, my name even has “odd” in it! That’s right! People call me Oddish, but Ma just calls me Odd. Why does she think I’m odd? Well, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Ma loves me!
So while Ma is away I have to stay here and make sure the other things Ma loves don’t leave! That’s right! I’ll do all I can to make sure that the tree is safe and I’ll also protect Ma’s stuff! I’m sure Ma will love me even more!
But for now, I should go out into the forest. After all, I can’t keep Ma’s stuff safe when my tummy is growling!
The forest sure does seem gloomy today. I wonder why? Maybe they’re all sad that Ma’s gone. I know I’m sad, but that’s okay, because Ma loves me! Ma loves me, our tree, and all her stuff! Of course, Ma would never leave what she loves!
Oh, look! There’s Uncle Saur! Uncle Saur is real funny. When Ma was around, the three of us did all kinds of fun stuff together. When Ma was around, sometimes we would go on adventures in the forest! When Ma was around… Man, I wish Ma would get back sooner!
But that’s okay, because Ma will come back eventually! Yup, because Ma loves me!
Well, I talked to Uncle Saur but he just seems sad! He kept going on about these weird creatures with their magic spheres and how they were taking my friends from the forest, but that’s real odd. Everyone knows that spheres are the least magical shapes there are!
He offered to take me in now that Ma was gone, but of course I told him that I have to look after all of Ma’s stuff. Well, I guess I need to get back to the tree. You never know what may happen when you go for a walk. Last time when Ma went for a walk, she didn’t come back! But that’s okay, because Ma loves me, our tree, her stuff, Uncle Saur, our friends, and the forest! Ma would never not come back!
5 YEARS LATER
It’s been some time now since Ma left. I wonder if she’s going to come back. No! I can’t let myself think like that! Of course Ma will come back. That’d just be odd if she didn’t.
But more friends keep leaving. I wonder if they are with Ma. Yeah, they’re probably with Ma. I’m sure they’re all going to come back super happy!
Uncle Saur says that he keeps seeing more and more people with those magical devices. He just tells me to stay in the tree and that he’ll bring me food so I don't have to leave. But that’s odd. Why can’t I go out exploring? I want to see Auntie Flora, Cousin Rose, Old Man Guss, and even Farmer Pi! I miss Farmer Pi. Farmer Pi grows the best fruit ever. I should ask Uncle Saur to bring me some!
In the meantime, I have to keep the tree clean. Even with Ma gone, I’ve made sure that the place doesn’t fall behind. Every day I wake up, do some organizing, wait for Uncle Saur, clean some more, and then go to sleep. It seems boring, but nope! I love helping Ma, because Ma loves me!
See? There’s Uncle Saur now! I should go say hi!
10 YEARS LATER
It’s just me and Uncle Saur now. Everyone has left, and I’m beginning to wonder if they’ll ever come back. I know that Ma loves me, but if she loves me, why hasn’t she come back yet?
Uncle Saur moved in with me, since I told him I can’t leave my tree. He still tells me not to leave the tree, but I’m strong enough now. Yup, I’m stronger than ever! In fact, I look just like Ma now! Uncle Saur now calls me Plume, but that’s odd. Why would he call me something different just because I look different? He says it’s a part of growing up, but that’s still odd to me.
I’ve been growing up for a while now, and so has the forest. I’ve seen the forest on its good days, and I’ve also seen it on its bad days. I feel bad for the forest. Countless numbers of weird creatures keep coming in with no care for anything! Some of them even step on the plants! Don’t they know how hard Ma and I worked on growing those!
It makes me mad, but Uncle Saur calms me down and tells me to hold it in. But that’s odd. Why should I hold it in when I can let it out? You wouldn’t hold in your love if you love somebody. Ma never held in her love to me. And I never held in my love to her! It’s just odd!
The days are now becoming really routine. Uncle Saur does most of the work now, and I just stay in the tree and protect Ma’s stuff. I bet that when Ma comes back, she’ll bring lots of cool stuff with her! Yeah, Ma loves cool stuff.
I remember one time when Ma and I were out on an adventure, we found a rock that had a leaf in it! It makes me sad that it disappeared a while back, but when it did I became super strong. I’m sure Ma won’t even be able to recognize me now!
20 YEARS LATER
My company has now dwindled down to none. It’s downright odd, in both numbers and in life. Ma’s not coming back, nor are any of my other friends. It makes me angry that they didn’t say goodbye. Why didn’t they say goodbye? That’s odd.
Uncle Saur seemed pretty strict before he left. He told me lots of things. Things I probably didn’t need to know. But that’s okay, I appreciate everything Uncle Saur did. I can’t remember when he left- time keeps alluding me. All I know is that it was a while ago.
He told me that when he was young, he came across this endless sea of dirt. While trying to escape his surroundings, he got lost. But while he was lost, he came across a small pond of water.
He said that he felt saved when he found the water. He wanted to make a place where other friends felt safe too, and so by using his own roots, he created this forest. He says that it took a lot of hard work to make the forest, but when he finished, he felt super proud.
I suppose that sounds right. Most people would be proud of helping others. He was certainly proud of helping me, that’s for sure.
He, unlike my other friends, said his goodbyes to me. I saw him leave with my own eyes, and he told me for a fact that he was never coming back. He just walked away from the tree, and told me not to follow. That was very odd. I still don’t know his motives, but I wanted to respect him.
So for now, I’m still protecting Ma’s stuff. There have been a few of those weird creatures coming through here, but it’s not a problem now. Uncle Saur taught me how to defend myself, and I swore to him that I would protect the forest while he was gone.
The creatures were trying to throw those weird spheres at me, but they were no match for my poison attacks. Along with the creatures, I did meet some new friends. They tried to attack me at first, but when they realized they couldn’t win they gave up and praised my strength. That was odd to me at first, but I got used to hearing the sentiment.
What do you know, I see another of those weird creatures now. I wonder what faces I’ll get to see this time.
It was Ma’s.
It was Ma’s face that I got to see. I really couldn’t believe my eyes; I thought she was never coming back. I didn’t think she would recognize me, but she said that she would be able to recognize me even if she was blind. I’m not if she was telling the truth or not.
Inside the tree, she told me all about her travels. She said that the man who she was with was very nice and treated her well, but I fail to see how kidnapping can be considered nice. But that’s okay. The only thing that matters now is that Ma’s home.
She told me about all the places she went and all the sights she saw. She said that they were all amazing, but none so amazing as the sight of my face.
She showed me a picture of her kidnapper and her, along with five other friends. She said they all got along well, and that made me happy. Along with the picture was a blue ribbon that had some weird markings on it. She very proudly told me that she got that for winning something called the Pokémon League. I don’t know what that is, but that’s okay. I just let Ma continue telling her stories.
Though I felt bad asking, I had to let out my curiosity and ask Ma why her kidnapper brought her back here. She went silent for a moment, but soon smiled. Apparently he was getting too old to battle, and wanted to let his victims go back to live where he caught them. I didn’t ask any more questions after that. I was just happy that Ma was home.
We spent the next few months together and went on adventures like we used to. She apologizes every day for not being there with me, but I always tell her that she doesn’t need to apologize.
Life started to make more sense with Ma around. Things just fell into place, and we lived everyday sharing stories and finding objects we deemed neat. We slept up in our tree and watched the sun rise over the forest in the mornings. At night, we watched the sun set and the moon rise. Uncle Saur’s forest was truly magical. Time seemed to be rewinding, but of course that was impossible. The forest had changed, Ma changed, and I changed too.
Everything becomes odd with time, but with Ma back home, everything was finally, after all this time, even.