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Hey Nida, do you have time for a little chat today? No, it’s not about your performance – you were doing great out there! I know, but the point was to work on practicing your rear kicks, and you really are improving with those. They’re called practice matches for a reason.
Come on, don’t be like that! You’re not ‘practicing to lose’, you’re – Hey, look at it this way: even the champs lose half their practice matches. That’s how they know they’re getting the right level of challenge.
Now that’s not… Alright, I admit your recent battles have all been pretty rough. That’s not your fault; it just means we need to find some new people to practice with. You know, Darren’s in town – how would you feel about some matches with Fiona? The seel, remember?
...ah, I think his trainer’s been pretty busy lately. I’m not sure if they’d be- Really? Today, you mean? Oh. Well… look, I know you’re eager for a rematch with Thrasher, but I don’t know if you’re quite ready for that now.
I’m not saying you’re weak, I’m just saying you should get more practice before- Alright, fine! If you really want to, you can fight him. But just look at this video first. See, he knows earthquake now. And- No, you can’t just ‘jump over it’! That’s not how it works.
Look, this isn’t some cheap TV drama. Being angry at someone doesn’t make you fight better. If anything, it’s the opposite! It might sound boring, but what really wins battles is diligent training, careful preparation and good strategy. I hate to say it, but if you rush into a fight with Thrasher now, you’ll lose, and he might not give you another chance after that. Just… give it some more thought, okay?
Wait! Before you go, there’s something I need to tell you. It was why I wanted to talk to you in the first place, actually. This admittedly might not be the best time for this, but I’ve been putting this off for too long, and I feel like if I don’t get this off my chest now, I never will. Nida, I have a confession to make. I… I’ve…
I’ve been training another pokemon!
And it’s very serious between us now.
Yes, Nida, this is the source of all the petty lies, the threadbare excuses, the last-minute changes of plan. The weekend I came down with a nasty case of ‘humanrus’? Really just us working on polishing up her Extreme Speed. Those three days I spent in Saffron ‘helping my dad put together IKEA furniture’? Secretly preparation for a gym match with Sabrina. That time I had to travel to Sinnoh for ‘long-lost Aunt Ethel’s funeral?’ Actually a furious week-long crash workshop developing her routine for a cool contest.
I’m sorry, Nida. I’m so, so sorry.
You have to understand, I never intended for it to go this far. We met during that day you were visiting your family east of Viridian. I was on a walk, preoccupied with my thoughts. Worrying if… If you were going to stay with me, or if you were going to move back into your parents’ den. I was too distracted to notice the alert on my phone about the mankey migration.
They fell upon me like a tidal wave of fur and fury, screeching, scratching, biting. I thought I was done for. But then she came. Strong. Graceful. Brave. With her roar move, she was able to scare most of them away, and then we fought off the last few together. We worked so well with each other that she asked me if I was a trainer. I said yes. She asked if I was looking for a pokemon to train. I told her about you.
She said she didn’t care.
How could I have told her no, Nida? She had just saved my life! Dozens of people die to mankey attacks every year – you have no idea how close I came to death that day. And her eyes, Nida – if you had seen the incredible, soul-deep longing in her eyes when she said she’d been searching for a way out of the wild – a way out of having to kill to eat, a way out of the cold, the rain, the violence… there was no resisting eyes like that.
Of course, I only said that she could stay with me until I found another trainer who’d take her. I just thought I’d give her a few battle tips in the meantime – nothing wrong with that, right? And I did look for other trainers, Nida – I swear I did! But she never seemed to like any of them very much. Meanwhile, we were making more and more progress with her training. She was growing increasingly ambitious, too, and kept begging me to take her to a gym match. I finally acquiesced, intending to tell the gym aide that I was only providing transportation for her, that she didn’t have a trainer. But then the aide said that for administrative purposes, he had to put someone down as her trainer, and I didn’t know it was going to get registered officially-
Huh? What species is she? ...I don’t really think that’s important, Nida. No, she’s not one of the really rare species – it’s not about that, Nida, I would’ve said yes to any pokemon in those circumstances – Look, I really don’t think that’s a helpful comparison to- Okay, okay, she’s an arcanine! Are you happy?...yes, she was a growlithe when we first-
That’s- I- It’s not like that, Nida! I swear, it’s not like that!
Yes, I had to buy the fire stone myself. Yes, they cost about the same as moon stones. No, I didn’t get any kind of special discount on it. But that doesn’t mean I like her more than you! She was just… ready to evolve. As I’ve said before, it’s something that has to wait until the right time, even if feels frustrating in the moment. You know, I think Thrasher might’ve rushed into his evolution – he’s stronger now, sure, but in another year-
You don’t care about fighting Thrasher anymore? But I thought- ...ah. Nida, I- fighting her wouldn’t prove anything. It wouldn’t really be a fair fight, first off, and- wait, let me explain! It’s just – you don’t know any ground-type moves yet, and she’s fully evolved, and- That’s not what I said! I said that evolving too early made you weaker in the long term! Look, even if you won, I wouldn’t stop training her. ...I’m sorry Nida, but we’ve been together for too long now. You have to consider her feelings, too-
Nida, I’m genuinely sorry. I never wanted to hurt you like this when I first started training you. I should’ve told you sooner, I know, but things were already difficult between us then, and-
Nida, please. Please don’t make me choose like this. There are lots of trainers who have two pokemon these days – sometimes more than two, even! We can make it work, I promise! There’ll be no more secrets between the three of us now. You can help each other train, and go to contests together, and- No, wait, come back! I’ll even buy that moonstone for you, I promise!
No, please! I- I still care about you, Nida! Can’t you remember all the good times we had together- winning our first gym badge, that time we stayed up all night in the forest telling each other stories, the- the day we first met- I was too nervous to tell you back then, but- until we met, I had always thought that- that I was never going to get to be a trainer, but you- you believed in me.
Please, Nida, believe in me just one more time! Please…