I gazed at the stars lazily. The night was a calm one, my belly was full and I was tired, but sleep would not come. My mind was troubled just like a ship fleeting a stormy sea. I had to understand why, so I left the warmth of my sleeping bag.
The moon was little more than a stroke on the sky and I could barely see a thing, so I reached for my travelling bag, which stood tall and proud close to where I was trying to sleep. I took a matchbox from one of the many pockets.
I lit the match, creating an orange orb of light around my hand, and then proceeded to approach the campfire, already extinguished. I used the match to set it on fire again. I blinked as an explosion of illumination clarified my small camp, revealing it was surrounded by trees and more trees, with an occasional rock or bush prowling around the dark woods.
I sat down close to the fire and let out a sigh. I was now enlightened.
The problem was that I was wasting time. I had set off on a journey to become yet another champion wannabe like my father wished, but to be frank that was no my dream. I just wanted to have a cosy, normal life, with a routine and no big adventures waiting at every corner. I wanted to study, get a job, maybe marry and get a kid or two, nothing too important, but good enough to keep me happy and satisfied.
I reached for my jeans’ pocket (I was not very keen about sleeping with pyjamas in the hearth of the wild) and took a red and white ball from it. I pressed a button right in the middle of the ball and red and white broke in two. The lower half, the white one, spat a scarlet laser, which hit the ground that gained shape that, then, materialized.
The one who came from the ball was Mudkip, the Mud Fish Pokémon who had a huge head topped by a fin and with yet another fin serving as a tail. It was mostly blue, except for the external orange gills which sprouted from both its checks. I sat down to be levelled with small creature and then fixed my gaze at it.
Mudkip had been my starter Pokémon, the Pokémon I had received as the first of supposedly many Pokémon in my journey as a trainer. The little guy was nice and energetic, and seemed to like battles a lot. How could I make it happy if battles were not what I longed for?
The Mud Fish Pokémon nudged my head, perhaps sensing my troubled state. I scratched my chin, pondering. Mudkip seemed to understand when I talked, so maybe I could discuss the matter with it? It was worth a try.
“Mudkip...”, I began with a sigh, “Say I stopped takin’ you into battles. Would you be happy?”
The Pokémon fixed its stare on my eyes for what looked like a lifetime before nudging me gently again. Was that yes, or was it trying to comfort me before giving away the bad news?
“Would you... be happy by just bein’ my companion, say, not my brother in arms, or whatever?”, I questioned, insecurity shaking my words.
“Kip, Mudkip!”, Mudkip squeaked happily before jumping to my lap, prodding my hand. I hesitated, but then I decided that what he wanted to be stroked. I caressed its head fin, finding the sensation better than to pat the fluffiest of Zigzagoon.
“You understand, then...Oh, Mudkip, I hope we both can be happy...”, I said, more to myself than to Mudkip.
I kept on stroking Mudkip as tears rolled from my face to the ground. Sorrow had not provoked them, but happiness; happiness for knowing I could count on someone to be on my side for everything.
As dawn painted the sky with pink, I thought that I could never thank Mudkip enough. To face my father I would need any and every assistance possible.