Let me begin by stating I don't believe in magic. It is simply a variation of illusions and the trick of the hand. For I am a girl of science, one that believes almost anything can be explained through logic. Reason I say almost is because something happened...something even I can't figure out. Now before you close this note, and get on with your own life, let me repeat that I only list the facts and the facts go like this...
It was a quiet, sublime morning, which was a near impossible task in my household. Had it not been for the fact, my siblings were off, whether at work or studying at institutes, the home would have been a buzz of chatter and life. Yet the peace did little to stifle my unsettling nerves that creped along the vertebrate of my spine. I took to work automatically, eating a simple meal of cereal with a plastic spoon. Mind still hazy with fatigue, rehearsed muscles pulled on clothes and brushed at the mess of wavy locks that rippled down my shoulders. My mother called from the living room, warning me that if I didn't hurry I'd miss the first day of school. A moan escaped my lips, along with what I assumed to be a, "Fine, coming". Today began my life as a high school student, but it also meant relinquishing my past friends to attend a new institute, in which I was utterly alone.
Somehow I managed to head to school on time and even find my homeroom. We discussed the class rules, and even got a short introduction of ourselves. As I discovered, people each knew each other from the local middle schools, leaving me the oddball which no one had any idea existed. I paid little focus to any dialogue, mind only focused on the new Pokémon game that had been secretly stashed into the front pocket of my bag. Absent mindedly, my fingers ran along the surface, hesitating over the power button for a moment.
Before I noticed, classes came and passed, and soon came the period commonly known as lunch. Our teacher notified us that we could leave any items in the room during this time, to avoid having to lug it throughout the building. I abruptly strewed my bag across my desk, but not before grabbing the addictive game that had plagued my mind. It settled comfortable in my jeans while I grabbed the small paper bag that contained my scheduled sustenance that would last till dinner. Then I took to an empty wooden table, out of earshot for the rest of the students. No one approached me, or even acknowledged my presence in the cafeteria. In a way, I appreciated the barrier that shielded me, while the device that had made its way into my fingers blinked to life. The title screen loaded and I entered in my gender and a new name. Three poke balls appeared before me, a female Chimchar, a male Piplup, and a male Turtwig. Instinctively, I selected the Turtwig, seeing as I often took a passion in grass types. Rapidly, my fingers clicked keys naming the Pokémon Lin, due to remembering it represented the word "forest". I began my adventure, the timid Pokémon quickly exceeding level three.
That was when my head shifted slightly upward, watching fellow peers tossing away garbage and heading back to class. It was then I noticed my uneaten lunch, my stomach releasing a faint rumble. One hand still gripping the game, I devoured an apple, then half a sandwich. I dumped the rest into a nearby bin and headed toward my classroom, bent over the system as I walked. With luck, I avoided the twists of the hallways and the occasional rushing body, back into the room. Many eyes drifted over my image, peeking nonchalantly to examine the interest in my hands. I scoffed at them, savoring the fact that they didn't have a Pokémon as special as Lin. But as I sat in my desk, I realized the mistake I had made.
Hands plucked the game from my grasp, the boys looking at the screen with twisted grins. Pathetically, I attempted to seize my property from them, only succeeding in putting smug amusement on their faces. I longed to wipe the arrogance from their mouths, yet the teacher cleared him throat, my head turning to lock on to him. It was then I discovered I was the only one still standing up. With my cheeks a bright scarlet, I took my spot, eyeing the boys with evil intent. They simply shrugged off my cold shoulders, throwing me faces when the teacher wasn't looking. I put up with it, not in the mood to get into trouble on my first day.
Again, hours spiraled by, yet my head only held thoughts of ways to punish the bullies and retrieve the game. Unfortunately, I did not have the boys in any other classes for the rest of the day and I hadn't seen them even after much avail. Finally, as I was headed down the steps of the school, my shoulders lowered in defeat, I spotted them casually lumbering down the sidewalk. A fire burned within me, a desire to have Lin returned safely to me, consumed my logical senses. I bolted down the steps, charging in front of the group with an outreached hand. The males stood bewildered in front of me, till the eyes configured who I was. With a thin smirk stretched across his cheekbones, the tallest boy handed the DS to me, and then proceeded around me with his hands in his pockets. For a moment, I stood there, still, wondering why it felt too easy. Hadn't I accomplished my goal? For Lin was now again safe in my safety, away from the stark clutches of such ignorant beings. Then it hit me on the head
with a frying pan.
I stumbled with the switch, flipping the power button on. Like always, the screen booted up, along with the pleasant title screen. Yet as I eased open my Pokémon page and clicked on the stats of Lin, I knew something was wrong. Instead of the cute, friendly pal that had attached itself to my heart, I saw the mangled mess of flesh and bone. His once mossy skin tone was now a sickly repulsing mass of searing goo, while the branch that had adorned his head was mangled, along his blood stained feet that jutted out bones. A scream tore from my lips that echoed down two blocks. Yet no one came to ask what was bothering me to behave such as this. No, they only gave confused stares before deciding that I had indeed, lost my mind. Fury scratched at my heart, mingling with the terror that rocked me in my heels.
I didn't remember heading home, yet I was outside my school one moment and in my room the next. Somehow I knew my mother had noticed my vacant expression and asked how my day went. My response was blurry though, just as my eyes were as I sprawled across the comforter on my bed.
Through the haze, a rectangle used for interaction appeared along the bottom of the screen. Don't be upset. I sniffled, wiping the weeping disgrace form my eyes. Despite the fact that this was an inanimate object, I was furious and snapped back, "Why not!? Those creeps mutated you! So tell me why I shouldn't be upset?!" The screen opened to Lin's status, the gruesome figure sending goose bumps along my arms. Because we are together again, for you rescued me, and for that I am thankful. We are friends, are we not? My head felt fuzzy, like it was filled with cotton balls. Still I selected the Yes option that lit the side. The Pokémon only seemed to abruptly nod; a curving smile enchanted his unnerving image. That's good, because the other Pokémon are frightened by me. But your different, you appreciate the things unseen. So I'll do you a favor. I can keep you safe, just as you had for me...
Then with that finished, the game booted, before switching off. Confused, I started the system again, finding Lin missing. That meant I had no other Pokémon beside the Bidoof that Lin had managed help secure. I had yet to name the female Pokémon but couldn't wrap my mind around the idea. Instead, I left it as it was, before I shut the screen. Now I was agitated, for my precious pal had disappeared. That night, I laid under my sheets, wide awake, facing the electronic with twisting thoughts. A deep foreboding lingered in my brain, answered as I made the trip to my homeroom in the morning.
Rumors spread fast amongst my classmates, yet the latest new had been proved true in an early morning television broadcast. It focused on a teenager that had fallen down the stairs just before dawn, succeeding in a hard blow to his head. The identity of the victim had been released, and I knew right away that my sick stomach had been correct; it was the tall boy that had tampered with my system.
When the lesson began, I feverishly asked for the bathroom pass. After a short lecture about using the restroom before or after class, he excused me and I snatched my bag from its spot. I sprinted to the girl's room, checked that it was clear, and booted up the Pokémon game. Just as I thought, Lin was back and he seemed even more pleased about himself.
Are you happy now? Now he won't pick on you again, he learned his lesson. My mind attempted to assess what was happening before me, only resulting in a nervous breakdown. "You did that?" I mumbled, clutching at the sides with bruising strength. He only responded with a childish giggle, enhancing his demented body.
I left that day, my mother picking me up early with great concern. Not only was I pale, my breathing had increased, while my heart stammered to keep up. The nurse hustled me out, signing me off as a sick student. My mother settled me into my bed with a cool glass full of water. Just as her comforting presence floated out, the game flashed to life.
Despite the fact that I had indeed shut it down, I flipped it open. Lin's stats were once again open and the black box hardened on the screen. You're still depressed. But you should be happy, it means you don't have any more problems, and we can be together forever. My eyes skimmed the words, unsure if it was meant to be English. "I'd wish you would just leave. I didn't want you hurting others. That's not what friends do." The box darkened, forming bolder letters. Then what do friends do? Vaguely awake, I sighed. Even I had no words to make him believe me, so I switched subjects. "That's not important, but what is, is that you harmed another human being. But I want to know how. Aren't you only pixels or a line of zeros and ones?" Now I noticed a hint of anger stir of Lin's expression. How can you say that? I thought we had a connection. Connection that was it!
Lin was a part of my game system, which meant he could be traded off. Frantically, I placed him up for trade and selected a Cherubi, any level and any gender. So long as it meant escaping Lin, I would put up with rough training all over again. Lin declines the trade. I blinked at the text, repeatedly confirming the trade, only for the same box to appear. Lin is getting irritated, he wish you would stop. However, I remained stubborn until at last the screen dimmed to a black space. Only Lin appeared to inhabit the space, the calming features shattered with nothing but a cry blasted from the speakers. I scrolled down the volume, a small jolt spreading from my fingers. A dot of red beaded my index, with the skin barely broken. The cry continued for several minutes, my head thumping loudly against my ears.
Love me, love me, love me, love me, love me, love me, love me, love me, love me, love me, love me , love me, love me, love me, love me
It repeated over and over, growing softer and more hoarse each time. Horror-stricken, I shook in tremors, breathing in exasperated gasps. "Leave me be!" I shouted back. This time he stopped, cutting off in midsentence. Because of our deep relationship, I will heed your words. But assured, I will return.
With that, his image faded, and a pillow of smoke billowed from my console. I sniffled, tossing the system out of the window from the third story. It cracked the screen, broke off into pieces, leaving it unable to be played ever again. Never mind that I had destroyed my escape from this warped world, I had managed to discard Lin forever. Or so I thought
Four years passed and I had drastically shed my awkward skin. Now I had a multitude of friends, high grades, and a decent life overall. Lin was the past, and the past had long since been forgotten. Until one day, I headed to the park for a children's gift exchange. Intensely locked on to his DS sat a boy, isolated from the rest of the screaming, laughing kids. Curious, I headed over and he peeked up at with wide brown irises. He held out the device to me, mouthing "For you". I took it expecting a drawing or some random game that he was locked in. Instead the screen was black except for the small white text.
What do friends do?