Author’s Note: Love is such an unusual concept, huh? Not only that, but it’s a blast to write love from all points of view, such as that of a trio of friends suddenly divided.


Um, since I don’t know the English equivalent for the name of May’s little brother, I’ll just pretend he’s in Petalburg City with his dad.




-                       Realize                        -

-                       By Brian                     -




            I always thought we’d all be together forever, and that nothing would change that. I mean, you know, not in the literal sense, but figuratively. Okay, so they left the journey at one point or another, but they always managed to come back…


            But, as I sit here, training my pokémon in the Ever Grande City Pokémon Center, I realize that maybe I was wrong.


             It came as quite a shock when Misty returned after spending a year in Cerulean City. We were on our way to the Sootopolis City Gym when we saw her there, standing there, a smug look on her face as if to say, “I told you I’d be back.”


            I hadn’t expected her to be there, but nonetheless I was ecstatic. After all, she had been my best friend for nearly four years now, and I did miss her. So instead of May and I battling Wallace for our Rain Badges, we decided to walk around the city and get reacquainted with Misty.


            Brock had asked her a barrage of questions, like how she was doing, what was she doing, was she eating properly, did her Politoed learn any new attacks, and many more questions that had been asked too fast for me to recall.


            She had said that being the gym leader of Cerulean City was much better then she thought it would be. Not only had her skills as a trainer increase dramatically, but she brought back a sense of pride and respect to the Cerulean Gym that rivaled that of when her mother, Rose, ran the gym.


            I had teased her, saying that she was so into the gym that she was going to plan on staying there and take over permanently.


            The solemn smile that appeared at the corners of her lips confirmed my fears, much to my disbelief.


            “I’m sorry Ash…but that’s the truth. I’m planning on staying in Cerulean…I just wanted to tell you in person, and so that I could wish you luck in the upcoming battles ahead...” she had said, trying to get me to cheer up.


            “And Ash…I’m going with her.” Brock had interrupted, causing me to gasp in surprise.


Why would he want to go with Misty?


            And that’s when it hit me, like a ton of bricks. They were always so close before, and they would always do things together when they thought I was sleeping. He had been acting strangely despondent during the many nights we spent in Hoenn, and I often wondered whether it was because Misty wasn’t here, or something else. Never did I imagine that they were so close…


            I had looked closely, and realized that they were standing side-by-side, both of them holding each other’s hand.


            “Please Ash, please understand…” Misty had said as soothingly as possible.


            It hadn’t worked, since I had ran off after that, despite the protests coming from Misty, Brock, and May.


            I didn’t want to listen to any of it…I didn’t want to have all my friends leaving…not again…


            When your two best friends are in love, where do you fit in? You can’t just expect them to follow you around when they have better things to do…


            I didn’t want to be left alone…not like when I first started out on my journey…


            Before my journey started, I used to belong to a group of just three friends. We were called the “Color Crew” back in school, but we thought of it as a compliment. I was Red, Gary was Blue, and Amy was Green.


            While Gary and I had aspirations to be great pokémon masters when we grew up, Amy had different views of how she was going to go about her journey. She said that she wanted to do it alone, so she could find herself. All of us had lost one or two parents, with me having lost my father, while Gary lost his mom and dad at an early age, but Amy had never even met her parents; she had been raised by her grandmother her whole life.


            As we all neared our tenth birthdays we all started to drift apart. Gary had grown arrogant (although now he’s the same old Gary I used to know), and Amy didn’t talk as much as she used to. I must’ve grown up in reverse, since I had become immature and probably even more arrogant then Gary ever was. I thought I was gonna be the best trainer ever, and that nothing could beat me…


            I had stopped my run and leaned against a building, struggling to breathe. I didn’t want my two best friends to leave me, just like Gary and Amy. I also didn’t want to be just someone they knew, someone they forgot about as they went about their own lives together…


            I had heard footsteps behind me, and I had been frightened for a second that it was Brock or Misty. I really didn’t think I could handle talking to them, fearful that I might somehow reveal something stupid, like how I liked Misty-


            Thank heavens that it was just May, although a confused and frightened May. She had never seen me act this way before, so it was no surprise that she was slightly afraid to talk to me.


            “Ash…?” she had asked timidly, hands behind her back shyly, “You going to be okay…?”


            I had snorted and turned away. “Does it look like I’ll be okay?”


            She had flinched at this, which caused me to feel a little guiltier. “Why are you upset, Ash…?Is it because you love Mi-”


            “No,” I had responded quickly, “it’s not that. I like Misty, but I would never stand in the way of the love that she and Brock share. I just…I just…”


            By this point I had slumped against the building, hoping that somehow it would help me relieve the mixed emotions I were feeling. “I just always thought that my friends would stick by me…”


            She had sat down next to me and put a comforting arm around my shoulder. “Things change, Ash…you can’t always expect the people you love and care about to be always beside you…”


            I had sighed at this, wondering where she was going with this. “Why can’t things stay the same?”


            She had looked at me and smiled. “Well, if things had stayed the same, we wouldn’t have met at all. I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that life brings changes…”


            A small smile had found it’s way on to my face. “You’re right about that May. But…I just…I don’t want to be alone…”


            “You won’t be,” she had whispered, taking my hand into hers, “I’m still here, aren’t I?”


            After that May and I walked back to the gym, where I had apologized to Misty and Brock for the way I reacted. I told them that I wished them all the best in life, and that they should call every now and then. It was tough seeing them leave on the S.S. Tidal, knowing that I probably wouldn’t see them again for long while…


            As May and I get ready for the Hoenn League Tournament, I realized that if Gary and Amy had never left, I probably wouldn’t have met Brock and Misty. If Brock hadn’t left, I wouldn’t have met Tracey. If Misty hadn’t left, I wouldn’t have met May.


            While Pikachu and I get psyched up for our next battle I manage to flash a quick smile at May, who blushes and turns away.


            I won’t ever forget the experiences I shared with Gary and Amy, nor will I ever forget the adventures I had with Brock and Misty…


            For every change that life throws at me, I’m going to be ready for them. I realize this now, and that will make me a better trainer in the future…


            And as I steal a glance at May getting ready for her first battle in the Hoenn League Tournament, I know that this will also make me a better friend…




-                       End                  -




            After all the angst I’ve been writing, a little fluffy Ash/May story is always nice.


            No matter what life throws at you, you’ve got to learn to adapt and change, because without change we cannot grow. At least, that’s what I think…but then again, it’s 1:57 AM, so…place some evil laughter here.


            Wrote this one relatively quickly, as the words just flowed out from my head and onto Microsoft Word, the preferred brand of electronic-paper for the everyday writer.


            Next stories:


            Relent – How does Ash feel when he finds out that his father is Norman, the Gym Leader of Petalburg City? How does May feel, knowing that she has a big brother in Ash?


            Reality – When everything you’ve done for the last four years has all been an illusion, what do you do? How do you react, when you see what could’ve been…?