valley, the say, you are going,” he sang softly, the words to
the old, old song ringing through his mind. The trainer walked
forward through the early morning darkness towards his favorite
place, the old river that ran through Vermillion Valley west of
Vermillion City itself. He meandered past the Pokemon Center. How
long had it been since he had been inside there? Too long. He glanced
inside, and the Jenny inside spotted him. He quickened his pace. He
hadn't paid the last bill that they had sent his way.
Within moments, he was past, and once again, he was safe. He had tried being a trainer, and had started out with a small fortune. Within a year he, like most trainers that set out, was nearly bankrupt. Now he was living in a two-bedroom house with ten other trainers, all desperately trying to pay their bills. They by battling, and he by an actual job.
He wasn't sure what had broken him out of his euphoria of youth. Maybe it was spending nine years in the same old crappy shack constantly wondering where his next meal was coming from. And....things had gone downhill since his last visit to the Pokemon Center.
He didn't like Pokemon Centers, not since....he shook his head. He didn't like to think about those times. “I will miss your bright eyes, and sweet smile...” the song flowed forward without stopping, but time seemed to slow as he tried to sort through his thoughts. He was thinking of Abigail.
Abigail had been beautiful. And she had been obsessed with shopping, which had been a factor of him losing nearly all his money. Not all of it, but a small part of it. She had had at least five dozen dresses, and each of them complimented her figure more than the last. The way that her blonde hair had draped down over her neck...he shook his head. It had been a long time, but he still missed her.
He still remembered the day it happened.
He and Abigail had been out battling. A particularly tough trainer had challenged him that day. The other trainer had a Tyranitar. It had been a mistake to send out Abigail against it. While the Jynx did have an advantage over it, the Tyranitar had an advantage over her as well.
He had ended the battle when he saw that her bleeding was reaching a dangerous level. “For they say you are taking the sunshine....” he sang, but now the song was mournful and full of melancholy.
The Joys fought to save Abigail, but it was too late. He took her to Lavender Town, and Professor Fuji gave her a burial. One of the Cubone that attended her funeral tried to leave with him, but he wouldn't have it. The death of Abigail had soured him on Pokemon training forever.
That had been the lowest point in his life. He had had no money, no future, no Pokemon—and he wouldn't inflict the life of a trained Pokemon upon another—and, quite frankly, no will to live. It had only been his own fear of taking his own life that had prevented a suicide attempt. He had managed to get a job in a factory, but his performance had been steadily dropping. It was only a matter of time until he was fired.
So here he was—broke, in debt up to his ears, a dead-end job. How could life ever get back to what it was? “That lights our pathway each day.” he finished the song, and lowered his head to his chest. He sighed and sat down on a nearby bench.
He heard the familiar rumble of a motorcycle, and he sighed. Here came Jenny to kick him off the park bench again. Except he had only just sat down. He looked up to see a rather attractive young woman pulled up next to the curb several feet from him. She took off her helmet and pulled a map from a pocket in the rear of the motorcycle and studied it, completely oblivious to him.
She looked up at the road ahead of her, then back at her map. Then she glanced around, and noticed him for the first time. “Excuse me,” she said, stepping off of her motorcycle and putting down the kickstand. “Can you tell me where the gym is? I'd really like to get to the next city before tonight.”
The trainer pursed his lips to deliver a sarcastic remark, but at that exact moment, the first beams of light streamed into his field of view, and he was captivated by the sparkle of the russet waterfall in front of him. Something stirred inside of him, and he glanced to his right, towards the gym. He paused for several moments, then looked back at the girl and smiled. “I can do better than that. I'll take you there.” Her smile finished the conquest that had begun moments before.
He glanced once more at the horizon.
A new day had dawned.