He was disgusted with everything. He was so bored, that he wanted to just pour gasoline over everything and set it ablaze, Joker-style. Why? Well…
He had just begun adjusting to his new life, to his new home. He had really hoped that moving away from the city would bring him the peace he needed. Yet the desired serenity never came. He would have to go about his daily routine disguised, change his usual routes every two days and never stay in the same spot for more than five minutes. If not, the annoying questions, the selfie requests, the needless praising would come rushing like a tsunami.
He wasn’t regretting that he became the Champion, not at all. It was just that he never really wanted the fame that followed. It was not unlike a cult of personality. In fact, he’d heard a rumor that a cult actually existed, but he did not want to believe it. He didn’t really need worshippers. All he wanted was peace.
It was just a regular Friday. The weather was really pleasant that day; not a single cloud in the sky, and a soothing breeze was making the temperature just perfect. He was strolling down the park, on his way home, when the phone suddenly rang. He put down his groceries and checked the name on the screen. With a hint of a grin, he picked it up.
“So, you really bothered to call” he said, grinning.
“Yeah, I was getting bored here. Thought I’d might visit. The others told me they wanna meet too. Next week sound good?”
He was so elated, yet he dared not perform his happy dance, because that would attract unwanted attention.
“Need you ask? Bring ’em all here! I’ll be waiting!”
“Thought you’d like it! Are you dancing right now?”
“Screw you, I’m not ten anymore!”
“You’re outside and you don’t want to be seen.”
“…well, here’s an idea: shut up!”
“I will. Gotta go, chief. I’ll see you in a week.”
“I’ll be waiting…!”
He picked his groceries up again. The excitement made him tremble. His friends were coming to see him. The ones who saved him so many times, the ones he could always rely on. Sure, they did go their separate ways after everything was over, but it was nice to know they had not forgotten him. He looked at his pal, who had opened the ketchup bottle, and patted him gently on the head. As he did, he accidentally dropped his hat. It was worn out, probably because of all that snow it had to endure in that mountain for three years… until that boy defeated him.
He was actually thankful for that defeat. It got him out of his isolation and back into the real world. He travelled a lot after that. He saw places and people he hadn’t even imagined. He even landed a job in those islands, together with his best friend and greatest rival. But he had grown tired. He wanted to retire peacefully, and he didn’t want to be remembered simply as ‘the Battle Legend’. He needed to see more things.
He arrived at his place. His pal had already entered the house through the open window on the upper floor. He dropped the groceries on the couch and went upstairs. The device was still on the desk. When did he use it last? Why was it there? He couldn’t remember. He went and grabbed it. As he skimmed through the data, his eye caught the one entry that he went through the greatest of lengths to obtain.
“Apparently, it appears only to those people who are pure of heart and have a strong desire to see it.”
And his desire was strong, and his heart was pure as gold, yet there was something missing. You see, before he had finally found it on that remote island, Red had to learn one important thing; the world is such a vast place. One should not fixate upon a single thing. It was the adventure that mattered. The goals can be achieved, but not if they become obsessions. And it took a single defeat in that snowy peak to learn that. He still remembered the fire in that boy’s eyes, his excitement at the prospect of facing him…
“Blue is coming next week. Boy did I miss him. Didn’t you… Pikachu?”