They quickly change scenery from the backyard to the front of the house, Jack looks down the path from his home. The day is moving fast and Jack doesn’t want to delay it any more. He hugs his mom for a good full minute and proceeds down the cement path. When he reaches the end, he turns around with his final words, "Tell Dad I wish he could have been here to see me. And I'll miss you a lot Mom. I'll become a great Pokemon Trainer. Trainer’s beware, Jack Kalmer is on the loose. See ya." Jack turns right and starts the walk down the dirt path.
His mom sniffles as small tears start to fall down her cheek as she yells out, "Bye my son, I am already proud of you very much!" As Jack leaves his mother's sight, she walks back inside to continue on with the day but in a down mood.
Jack finishes walking the dirt path heading into his home town, Pine Valley, to finally hit the pavement. Not once did he turn around for fear he may feel discouraged about leaving. With two Pokemon at his side, he feels confident already. A minute later Jack enters the main part of his small town. Pine Valley isn’t that well known in this league as it doesn’t have anything special about it. It’s an average small town with average happenings and Pine trees growing on every block, hence the town name. What really separates this town from all others is there is no Pokemon Center here. The mayor didn’t want that business in a small town.
First he needs to purchase a few more items his mother did not give him such as a map, a belt to hold his Pokeballs, a Badge box and a book called Pokemon Moves
to help him with Pokemon he encounters. Along with those items and the items his mother gave him, in his backpack are a change of clothes (another tan t-shirt and basic tan shorts), a large tan towel to sleep on, some food and a copy of his dad’s journey path. He carries the copy because when Jack’s father started his journey, he went a certain path to achieve his high Trainer status. So, he hopes that Jack will follow along this same path.
He walks around town, going from one place to another, receiving some encouragement from people he knows. The comments only make him think about how much he will miss this small town more. He has lived his whole life here and suddenly one day he leaves. That’s how it happens with most Trainers, but most start at an earlier age and aren’t too attached to the town or city they are from. Jack is seventeen, he can almost start a new life here. Certainly when he finishes his journey, Pine Valley is the ideal place to come back and settle down.
After buying the items he needs, he chooses to exit Pine Valley and move to the next town and begin catching Pokemon for himself. But on the way out is a fast food restaurant. Jack decides to make a last stop here at the popular after school hangout, Meat in a Bun
While he eats his burger he bought, someone walks up to his booth and stands at the end of the table from Jack. The young man is wearing a black rain hat and a brown coat. Jack looks up at him and asks, "Um, may I help you?"
The young man replies back, "What, you don't recognize your best friend anymore?" He begins to laugh and take off his hat and coat and continues to sit down. Jack is amazed that it is his best friend. His name is Michael Collins, whom has been his friend since second grade. His blond hair, brown eyes, shady glasses and overcoat and hat make him look like a cool guy... which he is. He started his journey about three years ago at the normal age of thirteen which would make him sixteen now. Jack has been jealous of the early leave of Michael’s for a long while and despised him for it. But this unexpected meeting shows Jack the friendship Michael still has with him is alive, even though they were separated by three years.
"Been a long time. So, what brings you back to Pine Valley?" Jack questions with a hint of resentment.
Michael puts his hat and coat down on the seat next to him then looks back up to talk. "Well, I just thought I'd come back to see if you have started yet and by the looks of it, you are. I can tell because of the hat you said you would only wear on your journey."
"Yep. I wear my hat you gave to me, and you wear that hat I gave to you. That was the agreement and I stuck with it.”
Jack has always liked the old fashioned hats and Michael wanted an authentic Shelly rain hat, the most respected modern hat company in the league. Michael found a Newsboy hat and bought it for Jack. He had to repay Michael and bought the expensive Shelly hat. The hat doesn’t look like it was meant for rain, more like a fishing hat. Either way, Jack mustered enough money to buy one.
Jack crumples his wrapper up. “You know, you almost missed me.”
"Good thing I found you. But it wasn’t just you I wanted to see, I also came back to take a two week vacation at my family's ranch. I sure miss being back home. Let me tell you something before you leave."
Jack finishes his meal and throws the trash away in the receptacle. They both get up and step outside opposite each other and Michael continues the conversation.
"Now the first week you’re going to miss home but don't let it get to you. It really hurt me and I fell behind in my training. Getting past that moment is hard."
"Your wrong my friend, I am not going to miss home like that. I’ve been wanting this journey for the longest time. There will be uneasiness, but that is expected." Jack starts walking away, leaving Michael behind. “I must get going, the world awaits my skills.”
Before Jack gets too far away, Michael yells out, "You will never be as great as me though. That, I am sure of."
Jack turns around and yells back, "I see you still end sentences with prepositions." Jack smiles, waves, then turns back around and turns the corner and five minutes later he is out of town, into the wildlife on his own journey for the first time.
“It was good to see Michael again. I know he is doing well. He may have three years up on me, but I will battle him and win. While he takes his little vacation, I will be catching up to him and we will see who is the best.” That is just one of his goals: to beat Michael in a battle. His major goal is to achieve every badge from every Gym and test his skills as a Trainer but he will really make up his journey as he progresses. He can easily change goals at any time during this journey, but he will still get all those precious badges every Trainer longs to own.