A Talk in the Street
It was a bright summer morning the day I decided to take a walk in down town Cerulean City. It was warm outside (around 75 degrees Fahrenheit I think) and the sun shone brightly down from the sapphire sky, casting its golden rays on the waking world beneath it. Just the same I pulled on my well worn, over coat and drew it tightly up to my chin, shivering slightly as I did. I was always cold now.
I stalked stiffly towards the front door of the small, plain apartment I had inhabited for the last couple of months, untangled my pale left hand from between the immense folds of my black coat, gripped the cool metal door knob, and flicked my wrist slightly downward. The door swung open slowly with a soft click and I shivered slightly as the warm air from the outside world washed over my clothing swathed body.
Stepping out into the warm sunshine, I hunched myself lower into my over coat so my face ended up half hidden in its high collar. Then I began to walk, out the door of my room (locking it securely behind me) and into the hustling crowds of people that flowed over the down town sidewalk.
I cast my dark eyes down at the paved sidewalk beneath my heavily booted feet, dirty blond hair hiding the upper half of my pale face. I avoided all eye contact with the general public as they made their own ways through the city streets.
Cerulean was a large city with many, many people (and Pokemon too) rushing this way and that, their colorful clothing flashing in a hurried blur passed my over sensitive eyes, dodging vehicles that inched their way along the crowded streets, honking their horns vigorously as if they could make the line of cars ahead of them move faster. People were shouting, rushing, talking, laughing, everything, as they went. Some people sported expensive clothing. Some carried many shopping bags with many children huddled around them, tugging at each other’s hair and laughing as they ran shrieking from the playful wrath of the one they had offended. Others carried a Pokemon or two on their shoulders and held themselves higher than the rest, a sign of an over confident Pokemon Trainer.
The buildings of the city were immense as well, soaring hundreds of feet in the air, commanding the total attention of sightseers with their great looming shadows cast over many square yards of ground. There were shops selling books, clothing, candy, food and just about every manner of item you could wish for. Street vendors called out to the bustling crowd, attempting to catch the attention of a willing buyer. All this I had already seen so none of it was new to me. I locked my gaze firmly on the ground beneath me, lest I fall and run into someone.
Suddenly, a startling loud noise sounded right next to my left ear. I didn’t even flinch. It was a car horn. I raised my gaze casually, hoping not to attract any attention in this great throng of people, in order to see what the disturbance was.
I lifted my eyes just in time to catch a glimpse of a large dark-blue station wagon as it swerved sharply to the right, narrowly avoiding someone or something that was darting foolishly across the busy road. As the car passed I saw what it was the car had so narrowly missed. It was a slight young girl (about seven or so) with pale skin, flushed a healthy pink, and flaming amber hair that glistened brightly in the early morning sun pulled back into a sloppy ponytail at one side of her head. She darted nimbly across the road her bright red T-shirt and jean shorts that complimented her hair, flashing in a blur as she ran. She leaped onto the sidewalk and stood, flicking her bright green eyes around her as if searching for something.
That was when my curiosity got the better of me. I began to approach her. “You’re as curious as a cat, Danielle Kupeman!” My mother used to tell me almost everyday of my fifteen years. If my all-too technical brother Brad happened to be in the room this would then lead to a long
discussion on how curious a cat exactly was, and if the term “curious as a cat” actually fit its meaning. At this point I would usually exit the room, rolling my eyes as I went.
“Excuse me?” I called softly, as I neared the young red head. The girl’s head shot over to stare at me with those big, innocent green eyes. She began to hop from one foot to the other, as if nervous.
“Are you talking to me?” The child asked straightforwardly, staring me straight in the eyes. I glanced quickly away. No one had looked me in the eyes directly since…then.
I nodded slowly.
“What do you want to talk to me for?” She asked curiously, cocking her head slightly to the side, causing her lone red pigtail to flop lazily onto her right shoulder.
My mom was right. I was too curious. “Well,” I began timidly, raising my eyes to meet the young girl’s big ones. “I was just wondering what a little girl like you was…”
At this her innocent face twisted into a scowl, her small hands moving to clasp each other behind her back. “I’m not little!” She muttered fiercely, defiantly staring me straight in the eyes. “I’m seven!”
“Of course you’re not little.” I went on with all seriousness. Secretly I was trying not to smile. Children usually did this when they reached that age; I know I had. Brad had too. “You are a big girl now, aren’t you.”
The girl nodded gravely, her red ponytail bouncing up and down as she moved. Then she grinned, revealing pearly white rows of teeth with a gap where a front tooth had gone missing. “I’m Misty! What did you want to ask me anyway?”
“Danielle Kupeman.” I nodded to my new acquaintance. “I, um… just wanted to ask you what you were doing out here by yourself.” I was bolder now but still listening carefully to every sound that passed me by. A flock of Spearrow screeching high above me in the vast sky, occasionally joined by a Fearrow or two. The whistling and shrieking of the wind through the buildings. The crinkling of paper held by people out in the streets. The constant whizzing of cars passing me on the road.
The young girl, Misty, glanced quickly down at the pavement, staring at it as if it had suddenly become very interesting, scuffing her red sneakered foot in the dirt, her hands still firmly clasped behind her red T-shirt. “Well, it’s a secret.” She said clearly to me. My hopes fell. I was just too curious, I told myself; I had no business butting into other people’s matters. And yet, this girl fascinated me. Maybe it was her joyful attitude or the pure innocence of someone who still expects only good to come from life that captured my attention, I didn’t know.
Almost immediately after this thought had entered my mind Misty’s head snapped up and a wide, joyful grin spread across her young face. “But I can tell you if you want!” She suddenly began to hop from one foot to the other, glancing this way and that is if she had suddenly remembered what she was doing, looking for something. This girl was energetic.
“Sure.” I shrugged. Like I said before, I was curious. This spunky seven year-old seemed so excited and full of life that it just infected me and I found myself beginning to feel excited too.
Misty quickly rose up on the tips of her red sneakers, cupped a pale hand around her mouth and leaned forward, bouncing excitedly. She was the picture of someone who knew a grand and wonderful secret and just wanted someone to tell it to. “I’m running away from my sisters!” She spoke directly in my ear, in an excitedly loud whisper, grinning up into my face as she moved back onto her feet.
“Running away from your sisters?” I asked, my voice suddenly full of concern. Misty cautiously glanced up and down the street before nodding her head vigorously in agreement. “But why?”
At this Misty suddenly began to giggle, small bursts of laughter rocking her whole joyful little body. She clapped her hands over her mouth as if to hide or stifle the incessant giggles wracking her entire body. Then she glanced up at me and her grin spread wider. Just looking at that happy child began to infect me and I soon found myself wanting to laugh right along with her; something I had not felt in a long time. A small smile escaped my lips, a real true smile, none of those fake, strained smiles I had given in the past few months.
“I…I switched…” The girl attempted to gasp out through her giggles. Whatever she had done she though it was very funny. “I switched…Daisy, Violet, and Lily’s show Pokeballs with empty ones so that…that when…when they went to release their Pokemon during their show nothing came out!” Misty managed to choke out between gales of unstoppable laughter that pealed from her mouth.
I felt a small smile form on my lips. This girl was so happy and carefree, playing jokes, and laughing, and most of all, having fun. She was so easily delighted, even from the barest practical joke played on older sisters. Misty, I found, would look around at the world, analyze her situation and make the best of it. She was too young to decide to sink down into the bottomless depths of despair, but if she could I didn’t believe she would.