Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon.

Wow, been a long time since I uploaded here. But this idea came to me when I was playing Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and it occurred to me that I really dislike Norman. Ironic this is the one game where you actually have a father yet he's still an absentee one.


I'd say it's nice to see you, but I would be lying.


Are you surprised to hear that?

You really shouldn't be.

After all, you're a Gym Leader first, aren't you, Norman? You always have been. Sure, Mom has all these cute stories from when I was born and how happy the both of you were, but I just don't believe her anymore. Maybe it's because of how often she says it, the way her voice goes just a little bit too fast. Maybe it's because I don't have any memories of you being around as a little kid - you simply weren't there. Sometimes I felt like I didn't even have a father. Sure, I could tell other kids that you were a Gym Leader and they would be suitably impressed, but when it came to Norman the guy instead of Norman of Petalburg Gym? I felt nothing. No admiration, no annoyance, just a kind of blank acceptance. I felt like Mom could have pointed to any male Gym leader and proclaimed him my father and it wouldn't have made the slightest difference to me. I couldn't tell her that, of course. I knew it would make her upset, even if I didn't exactly understand why at the time, and I wanted my mother to be happy. That you were always away was another fact of life, something I had long since adjusted to. It was only when I was around other two-parent families and realised how people revere and take such in Gym Leaders that I started to realise something wasn't quite right.

Now that I'm older, I've realised something.

I actually kind of hate you.

I hate you for never being there. I hate you for making Mom watch TV obsessively, hoping to catch a glimpse of the man she married, knowing that most nights, you wouldn't be coming home. I hate that you have no idea who I am or what I'm like.

But most of all, I hate the way people think I'm a Pokemon Trainer because of you. That I would want to follow in the footsteps of a ghost. That nothing I did was because I worked hard or wanted it for my own, but because my father happens to be Norman, of course people think I'm just copying you. Your Gym Trainers seem to think you're a great guy, talking about strength and passion, their cloying admiration making me sick to my stomach. Funny, you'd think if you were that strong, you wouldn't only be the fifth Gym Leader.

But I digress.

You talk a lot about pride, about how strange it feels to lose to your child. Personally, I wouldn't look so stupefied. Perhaps all that praise from your Gym Trainers and the little kids who came to challenge you has gotten to your head, because you're actually nowhere near as tough as I first thought you'd be. When I first started my journey, I pictured our battle as a showdown, like two cowboys in a movie. I thought if I finally beat you, I'd look into your eyes and feel a connection. I'd hoped that our Pokemon could unite us, somehow. That I'd finally understand what it was that was so important to you that it kept you away from your own family. I would finally feel like I really was your child.

But I don't really feel any of that. I just feel...disappointed.

After all the absence, the mystery of Norman, why you and Mom got married, the trainers who sang your praises, all that anticipation and you failed to live up to your reputation. You were no different from the others, and there are still three more badges to collect, more Gym Leaders to fight, before the Elite Four opens up to me. I hope they offer me something of a challenge, after such an anticlimax. Some kind of incentive to keep me going while I'm training.

Being a Gym Leader was the only thing you ever excelled at, Norman. And now even your own child is a better Pokemon Trainer than you.

Five down.

Three to go.

You're still talking when I walk away, cutting off your probably pre-prepared speech mid-sentence. I can tell that you weren't expecting that I'd do that, just turn and walk out on you without a backward glance, but you shouldn't be so shocked.

After all, you've been doing it to me my whole life.