A Realistic Pokemon RP
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If there was ever anything good about losing most of your hearing at a young age, it was the ability to stop listening to your father’s frequent stories that seemed to be on repeat.
But let’s be real-it all around sucked.
At first, the school assured your mother (overworked, stressed, alone) that it was only a cold. Maybe a virus. A bit of nausea and the shivers wasn’t that bad, the school nurse promised as she petted you on the shoulder. Maybe just take him to the doctor, Miriam. Keep him home a few days. He has a light fever.
Light fever turned into moderate fever. Moderate fever turned into rush-your-son-to-the-hospital temperature. You vomited in the backseat and told your mom it was probably just the flu, like the nurse said.
As it turned out, you were absolutely wrong. Your temperature wouldn’t drop and your symptoms were too severe for you to go home, giving you an unexpected three-week vacation from school and homework as you tossed and turned in a hospital bed. You went home fitted with shiny new hearing aids to combat the severe hearing loss caused by infection and shiny new self—esteem problems to match.
In retrospect, that was one of the things you could never forgive your father for missing on his ‘great pokemon journey.’ A year later he was home, loudly boasting about his new league victory and asking you in his always-booming voice when you’d go about getting your own pokemon. I have connections, he’d say. I can get you any kind of pokemon you’d like. You’re my son after all, Akiva. Nothing’s too challenging for you to train.
You looked at his new favorite pokemon, his Pangoro, and silently and vehemently disagreed. At ten years old and not at all the tallest in your class, Pangoro towered over you and you were pretty sure he was of a mind to step on you when your father wasn’t looking.
Weeks passed. Months passed. Years passed. You were more interested in not losing your hearing aids than getting a pokemon. Your father went to another region. Beat another league. Told more stories.
You never forgave him for making your mother raise you and he never got over your lack of interest in becoming a champion.
Mishka was an accident. Leaving food out for a stray meowth didn’t really count as catching one, in your opinion, and when she started coming inside as the weather got cold, you counted her as a friend or a pet who slept on the blankets at the foot of your bed.
When your father came home again he was one part surprised and three parts furious. A meowth isn’t worth it, he bellowed (yelled, threw a tantrum, spontaneously combusted.) Get rid of it and go get something better. Pangoro-still the favorite-agreed with nods and grunting sounds that sounded homicidal to your less-than-working ears.
And so in a true show of parental loyalty and individualism, you flipped you father off, grabbed Mishka, and went out the door to your new favorite hangout: the Celadon Game Corner.
And later when you came home if your father was still yelling….well you’d taken out your hearing aids three blocks back just to be safe.
Three months after your twentieth birthday, the celadon game corner (still your favorite place to be) previewed their newest grand prize-a shiny vulpix. One in a million shot at winning it, but someone has to, they said. It should be you, they screamed in the faces of slot players to override the mumbles of it being rigged.
They shook the raffle bucket in front of you and told you that they were running a special, that you could get five tickets for the price of four and a half. You looked at Mishka, still your only friend and still your father’s favorite target to glare at, and shrugged. Why not, you asked her, and she agreed with a tilt of her head. Tell you what, you told her, pulling the money from your pocket that was somewhat earned and somewhat taken from less-than-expertly picked pockets. (Everyone needed a hobby after all.) I win this thing, I’ll take both of you on some weird, cross-country journey, okay? You laughed as you said it and Mishka chuckled as well. Swear on my honor.
Two days later when they announced the winner you were sure your hearing aids were in wrong and you were hearing things.
It took you four and a half years to make your way through the pokemon league challenge. The first six months were the worst-you had no idea what to do and your Vulpix, nicknamed Lucky, had few natural gifts apart from the color of his coat. You loved him, all the same, but love didn’t win battles. Neither did a Meowth more content to groom her coat and sit on your shoulder than bite anything on a battlefield.
But you managed, and even came to like it, though you never really found the love for throwing hoards of pokeballs that anything that crossed your path. Four and a half years later you stood at the end of the elite four with your friends and stared at your last opponent. The champion’s waiting, the trainer told you with a grin on their face. Just go on through-
You turned on your heel and refused to go another step towards the ‘champion.’
Sinnoh was much the same, though you didn’t even manage all the gyms before you took off to Unova. When your father called, yelling, and asked you why you didn’t challenge Kanto’s champion, you turned off your hearing aids and yelled into the phone that you couldn’t hear a thing and videochatting was broken. Everywhere. In all the centers and hospitals and anywhere else.
To spite him, you stopped collecting badges and victories and decided instead to do something drastic.
Like hop on a ship without listening to the destination.
Two weeks later and with more-than-a-little confusion, you rolled up on the shore of the Alola region with less than enough money in your pocket and tendrils of regret clawing at you feet as you walked.
Maybe this was a mistake, but you wouldn’t know until you tried to work it out.