Chapter one: Bad News
I pushed open the glass door lazily to the gymnasium, like I did every morning. I liked routine. It’s simple, easy and you notice things more. I walked past the front desk and nodded at the receptionist, giving a sly wink for a laugh. I saw her look up at me and smile as she always did.
I walked though another set of door, this time wooden and looked upon the familiar sight of the gym, all the exercise machines lined up, metallic and unmoving. A faint smell of chlorine wafted from the nearby swimming pool, leaving an odd smell that mixed in with the lingering smell body odour and of a little metal. Sunlight streamed though the windows, all lined up on one wall and being reflected around the large room with the cleverly placed floor-to-ceiling mirrors, making a reasonable attempt at making a light and airy atmosphere.
I walked over to one of the rowing machines near the back of the room, passing the odd early exerciser, my trainers giving a slight echo on the carpet. When I got I placed my gym bag on to the floor and took off my white coat and red hat and laid them on top of my bag, climbed on to the rowing machine and began working out.
I felt the air-con above me, cooling my arms as I worked out with regular beats, backwards, forwards, backwards, forwards…
I walked though the crowd, my hand in my trouser pocket holding on to a pack of cigarettes as I used my other hand to push people out the way. It was the end of my shift behind the bar and I needed it. Jeez, I need a new job as well but I didn’t care. I finally got to the corridor that led out to the fire exit. It wasn’t that cold outside – actually, it was quite warm being late summer and all, and all I was wearing was my black sleeveless shirt and black trousers with my boots. But as I walk up to that familiar green door, I saw something in the way.
It was a girl I saw in the bar earlier, the girl wearing the white skirt and had all those “fizzer’s”. And she was crying. Joy to me. But as walked past her, she looked up at me with those unusual lilac blue eyes. I stopped and looked at her fragile face littered with tears. I softened my expression and knelt down slowly and leaned against the wall with her. I felt something well up inside me, something funny, like I was only put here right at this moment to comfort this girl I have never seen before tonight. So I just sat there, next to her, smoking a cigarette like nobody’s business.
I dunno how long I sat there, but after about three cigarettes, she just lent against my shoulder and cried on me. So I did what all blokes do when they have a crying girl on their shoulder; put an arm around then and let them cry it out…
I sighed and stopped for a breather. So I met Annabel. Another close and quiet friend of mine. But now I have to leave. So this is it eh? I walked silently over to one of the running machines and set it up, fiddling around with those useless buttons until the damn thing began to work at a steady pace. I always used this time to think. So that’s it, confirmed. I was going to go travelling, my long awaited dream. I’ve done what I wanted in Olivine city; go in the famous Olivine University, get a degree in the studies of various pokemon subjects and hey! I even became friends with the new gym leader Jasmine.
But now I want to leave and explore the world, but that would mean leaving Annabel. Could I face that? Well it’s a good thing I asked to meet up with her later…I suppose. I stopped the machine and looked at the distance I had run. 3km. I shrugged to myself. It a little shorter than I normally ran but it will do.
I walked off the running machine and jogged lightly over to my gym bag and carried it to the showers and changing rooms and dumped the bag on a bench and began taking off my clothes.
As I took my shirt, I noticed a blonde haired man across me look over my direction. As I met his gaze, he looked away sharply and grabbed his towel. It was only now that I realised he was naked and soaking wet from getting out of the shower. I looked away, my cheeks going slightly red and I took of the rest of my sweaty clothes and headed towards the showers. As I walked past the man, I saw him gaze at me with a little smile before walking off to the mirror to check his hair.
As I stood underneath the cascading hot water, I couldn’t help but feel flattered. Ok, I didn’t actually know that bloke was gay or not but…well, I was flattered, and a little freaked. I grinned like a kid and picked up the bottle of shower gel I brought with me and began to wash myself.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The sun shone on my face dimly though the grey and depressing clouds of early spring. I brought my hand up and tucked my red hat down to shield my eyes as I walked towards Olivine’s most famous building – apart from the newly built trainer tower and the gym of course.
I walked along the simplest route, along the seafront and around the quay, my gym bag slung on my back and my bare arms chilled from the fresh breeze. My gaze fell along to the bats moored up and protected by the sea walls, the wide variety of sea crafts, small boats to the large ferry that boarded passengers on the pier.
An old man waved a short hello from a bench as I reached the entrance to the great building. This was where Annabel said to meet her. Actually, this is where Annabel always
said to meet her but when I tried to get her to meet up with me anywhere else, she said no and something about liking it so I never bothered anymore.
I pushed open the large door and I looked within the walls made of stone of the lighthouse, the smell of the sea nearly extinguishing all the other smells. Oh well, better start climbing. As I walked up the cold and wooden steps, I realised that I was glad this wasn’t summer. Then, there would be tourists and trainers all over the place and going up or down would be a serious danger hazard.
After a couple of hundred steps, I came upon the first platform. This was a resting area for the people and I needed it. What annoyed me even more about this place was that Annabel could always reach the top with out needing a breather, whereas I, who works out every morning, need a rest on each ‘rest floor’! Oh well, that’s life I suppose.
I carried on upwards onto the second floor. By now, I could hear the steady moan of the wind from this height and the dirty windows let in blasts of light which burned me a little as I walked past.
On the second platform, I saw the first person in the lighthouse. He was quite young, about thirty with black hair and the clothes he was wearing made him look a bit like a sailor and plus he looked bored. Needing a rest myself, I joined him on the bench he was sitting on.
‘Tired?’ asked the sailor as I sat down.
‘Huh! Understatement’ I replied cheerily. The Sailor grinned and looked in front of him and though the window in front of us and fiddled with something in his pocket.
‘Err…I know this is a bit random but would you mind if we had a battle? I work on the ferry and well…its not leaving for another 2 hours and I’m a little bored and all so…?’ blurted out the sailor. I looked at him with genuine surprise and with a smile because I was right in my assumption on him being a sailor. ‘Err…I sorta noticed your pokeballs on your belt underneath your white coat so I assume you’re a trainer?’ he added uncertainly.
I raised an eyebrow. ‘Yeah, alright then’, I said, ‘nothing like a little battle to cheer someone up eh?’ I added mostly to myself and nodded pleasantly and walked over to the one end of the floor while o noticed the sailor to the same. When I reach the side, I shouted over to the sailor to ask his name.
‘Jack’, he replied and took out a pokeball from his pocket. I reached my hand behind me and took out a pokeball from my belt. I hope Annabel wouldn’t mind me being a little late would she?
‘Lets go Dinner!’ cried Jack as he held out the pokeball in front of him and let it open to reveal the crab-like pokemon known as a Kingler. I raised my eyebrow again.
‘Dinner?’ I said with a smirk. Jack gave out a short and hearty laugh.
‘It’s my little joke, and Dinner doesn’t mind do you?’ the large crab pokemon grinned and waved its large pincer side to side. ‘ok then, send your pokemon out…err…?’
‘My name’s Noland mate’ I said and held out a pokeball, which opened up to materialise into a Kadabra. Both pokemon looked at each other and squared up for a fight, Kadabra spinning his spoon. ‘Shall we?’
‘You’re on mate. Dinner! Start off with a bubble beam to Kadabra’s face!’ yelled Jack as he pointed at Kadabra. Dinner took on a serious face and copied Jack’s movement and pointed his open large claw at Kadabra and fired strange blue orbs that came charging at the psi pokemon. Just as they were about to hit though, I quietly ordered Kadabra to defect the ‘bubbles’ with confusion.
The psychic pokemon’s eyes grew bright nimbus blue and the bubbles were sent flying off back to Dinner in a wave of psychic energy, bubbles and all.
‘Shall we make this a little more interesting?’ panted Jack mockingly, the confusion attack had thrown him off his feet. ‘Dinner! Crab hammer attack!’
‘Kadabra! Reflect!’ I said.
The pincer pokemon scuttled over quicker than I thought and swung his oversized pincer at my pokemon but Kadabra just managed to erect a barrier to defend the blow just in time but the attack still left a ringing sound.
‘Kadabra, disable that attack and use future sight quick!’ I cried desperately at my straining pokemon.
As the pincer pokemon came to attack again, the Psi pokemon brought his spoon in a swinging motion downward and a grey shadow shot itself from Kadabra to Kingler who stopped moving and looked at his trainer for the next order. Kadabra to this moment to concentrate on summoning the future sight attack but Jack ordered his pokemon to use mud shot.
Using his pincer as a gun, Dinner held his claw forward and fired lumps of mud from it at the vulnerable psychic pokemon and sending him flying into the stonewall behind.
I ran to him and knelt down to see if he was ok. Kadabra looked at me and nodded and I helped get back up again.
Kadabra walked forward and glared the crab pokemon just looked back cheerily. Jack looked at me and laughed.
‘Alrighty then, Dinner! Bubble beam again!’ cried Jack to his pokemon.
‘Kadabra! Use your shock wave to burst those bubbles!’ I countered.
Kadabra began spinning his spoon and controlled heightened static electricity shot out of the spoon, demolishing the beam of bubbles from the water pokemon that fired them. I noticed the electric attack cause the air around the crab pokemon to crackle with electricity due to water moisture in the air conducting electricity and I told Kadabra to get away.
Kadabra jump backwards just as the Kingler was shocked from all the static in the air, enabling him paralysed. I leaped up in triumph and punched the air.
‘Finish him off Kadabra! Psycho Cutter!’ I cried, victory shining in my eyes as my psychic pokemon charged forward, his spoon elongating into a blade, readying for the attack.
‘Do you think you’ve won Noland?’ said Jack casually as Kadabra neared his goal, ‘think again mate’.
‘Wha-’. I stopped myself as I saw my grave error. The electrically charged water particles in the air were still floating around Kingler and my pokemon had just ran though it all to reach his target. I saw my Kadabra stiffen just as he was about strike down the crab pokemon and I buried my face in my hand in sadness. Jack finished it.
‘Dinner! Guillotine!’ with Kadabra completely immobilised from the charged up water particles on his fur, Kadabra stood no chance of avoiding the claw grasp his waist and throw him against the wall and knock him out for the count.
I drew out my Kadabra’s pokeball and returned him so that he could have a rest. I sighed and walked over to Jack and held out my hand, which Jack accepted.
‘Well done mate, you deserved that win.’ I said, recognising my defeat as a hard lesson that had to be learnt.
‘No problem, it was fun and don’t be hard on yourself, you know what you’re doing. Oh well, better be off and back down to the ferry’, Jack turned around and began walking down the stairs. ‘See ya around Noland’ called Jack back up the stairs.
I laughed and turned around to walk up the stairs when Annabel walked down on to the floor.
‘Hey Annabel! Err…sorry I’m late, I…err…’ I said nervously. Something about her just made you feel…shy.
‘Don’t worry, I know you had a battle, but lets go up to the top’ said Annabel quietly and she turned back up the stairs.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The distant sound of the sea reach our ears as we stood on the outside platform by the light of the lighthouse. I leaned back on the railings and watched her standing with her arms crossed, Annabel, young and pretty with beautifully unusual eyes, staring out to the sea; hopeful said a little voice in the back of my mind.
I turned my gaze back into the light of the lighthouse and saw my good friend Jasmine tend to her Ampharos. I smiled as I remembered her from University – her famous nickname, ‘the girl of iron defences’ and now gym leader. She saw me looking at her and waved at me and I have a short and cheerful wave back.
‘That was a good battle by the way Noland even though you lost’
I turned a little to quickly to face Annabel. ‘Well, err… thanks Anna.’ I brought my right hand up and held my neck, waiting for something else to be said. She said it.
‘Why did you ask to meet me Noland?’ whispered Annabel, barely audible to me as the wind nearly stole away her words away. I took a deep breath. This is it.
‘Annabel, I’m sorry but…I’m going to go travelling around the world and I’m leaving tomorrow’.
I paused to see anything from my words take effect, the questions, the anger, but nothing happened. She just looked at the sea, which stretched out over the horizon. Listening. Something glittered down her face but she stood still.
‘I’ve planned this for a while now but wanted to tell you but there was so much to do, rent out the apartment and all the paperwork and…I…I’m sorry Anna’.
I couldn’t take this: the silent treatment, the pressure. I put my hand on her shoulder to give some comfort but she shrugged it off and walked slowly away from me to the other side of the platform. I sighed and walked down the steps that led to the base of the lighthouse.
oooookay then, there chappie one, a little boring i think but ok but please comment your thoughts please! and any advice i will recieve graiciously!