Hello everybody, I'm Writer4fun. I'd like to thank you, the reader, for finding this story under a mountain of Pokémon stories as well as a lot of Latias & Latios stories. Lake Valor forum user Endrew Swiftwind drew the cover photo to give it a nice touch. Enjoy and have a good day :)


Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon but I do own my OCs.

Mauville was the most interesting city in Hoenn because it never failed to change people. Anyone down on their luck could catch a break and suddenly find themselves rolling in money. People living the high life or making an honest living could succumb to greed, find every way to get ahead of the next person, only to lose it all despite having enough to live comfortably in the first place. The only things that kept me steady were a solid home environment, my job, and a goal to reach Ever Grande City to compete against the best trainers.

Living on the far southeast side of Mauville City was practically reserved to large waterfront homes or smaller apartment complexes in the shadows of those large homes. We were one of the few true houses in that area but it wasn't as nice as some of the newer apartments. As far as I was concerned, the space inside was more important. The only thing that annoyed me was a lack of space to play outside.

There was no front yard since we were right on a main street surrounded by other houses that were converted into apartments and our backyard was too small for me, my younger sister Sadie, and my younger brother Lucas to play in at the same time. The one saving grace for the people living on the southeast side was the beach on route 118 since it was a short walk away.

"Kids! We're leaving in five minutes! Make sure to put some sunscreen on!" my dad yelled as he was packing the beach bag in his room.

A day trip had been planned the moment he was given a Saturday off from Cycling Road Security by his manager. He worked Tuesday to Saturday but most of his shifts were overnight. Dad wasn't necessarily a workaholic, but he took advantage of the overtime pay for holidays, snagged extra shifts when people called in sick, or traded shifts when he had the chance.

"Ryan, give me anything small that you don't want to carry. I'm going to ride on the bike this time," my mom added as she was packing her personal bag.

"I'm 22, mom. I can handle my things," I lazily replied while I sat on the couch waiting for everyone else to finish. "Lucas is 17 and Sadie is 18; they're old enough to carry their stuff too."

She let out a sigh. "I know that, but I'm offering to help. I know working as an overnight janitor downtown can make you cranky at times during the week, but be nice today. Please? We haven't had a day trip together in months and it's the first weekend the beach is officially open." Easy for her to say.

"I'd kill to have your hours, mom. Monday to Friday? Clocking in at 8:30am and leaving at 5:00? Are you sure that I have to know everything about bikes? Can't I just do grunt work like stock shelves?"

She sighed softly. "We've talked about this, honey. Even if I brought you in, you would still have to pass Rydel's written and field tests about bikes. Then there's the test for the actual position. You've never really been interested in cycling which isn't a bad thing; everyone has their tastes. He only wants the most knowledgeable people in every position which is why I'm the top sales associate as opposed to being in the repair shop."

She had been a little antsy over the past few weeks since Rydel announced two assistant manager positions were going to be added. The company was expanding their business overseas and a lot of employees applied. Her knowledge about bikes was solid, but she wasn't sure if it was good enough to win out against seasoned managers from Mauville Hills who oversaw the luxury apartments and the staff every day. Since cycling was a popular hobby around the city, some of them probably had enough bike knowledge to compete for the spots.

The money they brought in was enough to keep the roof over our heads and keep everyone fed, but there wasn't much wiggle room for anything fancy and it showed when we were at school or if anyone came over. None of us owned a Pokédex or PokéNav despite it being a mass-produced item, basic trainer gear like clothing and backpacks were adequate yet clearly outdated, and we were teased for it when we all were in school. Since I graduated a few years ago, I've had less pressure on me because I didn't jump into the trainer scene but my siblings still were somewhat picked on by kids who had the newest gear.

"Everyone ready? Let's get going," my dad cheerfully said as he led us out the door.

The walk over always felt peaceful during the day despite the environment of the southeast side; going back at night was a different story. Once we got past the last complex, it was like a new world. We put down our towels and surveyed the beach. A lot of people were out in addition to some food trucks parked down by a different entrance. The waves weren't that aggressive and the wind was mild. An ideal opening day for everyone.

"Everyone should get some sun," my dad said staring at his ball. "Torkoal!" It materialized looking happy to be somewhere besides home or work and rolled around in the hot sand.

"Or enjoy the flying conditions," my mom added. "Go Pelipper!" The water bird Pokémon immediately noticed the lack of wind resistance and started to fly in place until she told it to go wherever it wanted on the beach.

"I'm going to do some drills away from everyone else then relax," Lucas noted before trying to sneak away.

Mom put her hands on her hips and stared at him. "With Electrike? Really?"

"Yup. We haven't done drills on the beach in a long time." I could sense another argument coming before she gave up.

"Just don't bother anyone else, please?" Lucas smiled and ran to the other end of the beach where nobody was sitting.

Ever since he heard about the Pokéathlon competition in Johto from his gym teacher, his dream was to win an overall gold medal in each of the five categories. Then he upped his goal to winning an overall gold medal while also winning all 15 events. Electrike was caught during a day shift when a cyclist complained about it blocking the way. It was a tenacious Pokémon that was adamant about staying in shape so it was a perfect match for Lucas.

"Can I have my notebook please?" Sadie asked before she went to lie down. "Castform will just soak up the sun if you let it out."

"I thought your weather notes were for home only," I said wondering how she could be thinking about work on a day like this.

"Ryan, a little extra work goes a long way for what I want to do," she shot back.

I let out a deep sigh. "Whatever. It's not like the Weather Institute is going anywhere."

"You're right. However, I could lose my intern status for not doing my job before I go back there in a few days. Castform isn't mine either so if I lose the internship then I lose Castform. If I keep going above and beyond, then they'll probably hire me full time."

"I still think you should catch another Pokémon just in case someone challenges you." She tossed her notebook aside and glared at me.

"You know what Ryan? Just because you're the best battler in the house, doesn't mean you get to tell me how to deal with Pokémon!"

"That's enough!" my dad grunted while he sat up. "We're here to relax. No more arguing. Call out Ziggy so he can get some sun too."

I held his ball in front of me. "Fine. I still hate that nickname you guys gave him but he responds to it. Let's go Zigzagoon." My tiny buddy closed his eyes with his belly facing the sun after a few minutes.

Zigzagoon was the typical alley Pokémon scavenging for food when I saw him a few years ago. He wasn't too happy about me interrupting his dinner but was too weak to really hurt me so it was an easy capture on my part. It took him months before he realized that his life on the streets was going to be a thing of the past and for him to completely trust me.

An hour passed and we decided to set up the umbrellas to avoid total sunburn in case someone fell asleep. Lucas briefly stopped by before going to get some food. I followed him with Zigzagoon until I thought I saw Wattson in a beach chair. A dark green floral pattern shirt with tiny lightning bolts mixed in was enough to prove it was him if the white hair and yellow jumpsuit didn't do it.

"Excuse me… Wattson?" I mumbled, unsure if it was a good idea to bother him on what I assume was his day off or at least time off before he had to get back to the gym.

"Huh? Who's there?" he mumbled while rubbing his eyes. He stretched before looking at me. "What can I do for you?"

I dreamed of walking into his gym and sweeping him for the Dynamo Badge or at least being a gym assistant. He has always been involved in charity work around the city, especially making sure New Mauville was habitable for electric Pokémon and making sure tourists respected their habitat. The man was a goofball, yet serious when he needed to be. He was the one person in the city that I was afraid to approach in a formal setting. Had I gone to the gym to ask for a job, I probably would've gone on my knees to beg and had a nervous breakdown. I felt more relaxed approaching him here.

"I was wondering if I could… work at the gym," I shyly requested. I didn't have the guts to challenge him right now with just one Pokémon and I doubt anyone would lend me theirs.

His facial expression went from annoyed to curious. "Well, where do you live?"

"Not too far from here. I'm on the east side of the city. Technically the southeast side."

"Ah! Homegrown assistants are the best ones! The league doesn't always understand that when they try to send me new ones hahaha!" His boisterous laughter still hasn't quieted down after all these years. "I don't see why not. I could always use an extra hand around the gym. Are you still in school?"

"I graduated a few years ago and am saving up to become a trainer."

"Good, good. I can respect that. Is this Zigzagoon your only Pokémon?" It climbed me before resting on my shoulder.

"He is."

He hummed before putting his hands together. "Tell you what, meet me tomorrow morning at 8:45 and we'll go from there. I'm glad you're interested in helping out!" Keeping my poker face was hard, but I did it.

"See you tomorrow!" He waved me closer so we were eye to eye.

"Thanks for not challenging me to a battle right here or anything like that. I don't have any Pokémon on me," he whispered while having a huge grin on his face. "I left them at the gym. Yup, I definitely needed this time off hahaha! Thank goodness that the beach opened this weekend! Have a good day young man!"

Our encounter replayed in my head for the rest of the day even though I told everyone about it when we went back home. I had everything planned out for my long day before I went to bed. Zigzagoon understood what was about to happen and was adamant about sleeping outside his ball so he could wake me up if my alarm didn't. I somehow managed to fall asleep earlier than everyone and I woke up before my alarms went off.

I threw on clothes that made me look like a trainer instead of a janitor. A simple white athletic shirt with cargo shorts was more ideal compared to what I usually wore to work. Most of my shirts had bleach stains or had holes from not caring about what happened to them; the same could be said for most of my jeans. The other thing I worried about was anything smelling like chemicals or the janitorial closets since the laundry detergent wasn't as strong if the washer was filled past a certain point. After a quick sniff, it wasn't going to be a problem.

Mom left me a lunch on the kitchen table which brought a smile to my face. It had been years since I've felt like a kid since she and dad used to do this all the time. With Zigzagoon trotting beside me all the way into the city, my life felt more open and I realized that mopping floors or cleaning bathrooms in an office building was the dumbest thing I ever did.

Electric Pokémon statues lined the entrance to the gym as the sun started to rise. A receptionist let me in after I had to wait for her to see me but I was still a few minutes early. The lobby felt welcoming and smelled like a freshly cleaned hotel room. Even if I was going to do grunt work for Wattson, it already felt better than my previous job.

"Wattson is in his office. It's down the hallway to the right," the receptionist said while handing me some information sheets.

"Thank you very much."

Large portraits of various electric Pokémon lined the hallway to his office. Smaller ones were on his desk while one giant lightning bolt was on the back wall. Wattson was checking his computer for any scheduled battles until I went to take a seat.

"Glad to see you showed up young man! You're already in a better position to get the job. After a day like yesterday and today being Sunday, I wouldn't want to come to work either. Anyway, fill out this form. It's a basic employee form for us to keep on file."

I quickly filled it out until I came to the part about other jobs and availability. Wattson gave no indication of how much he really needed me but I didn't want to sound like this job wasn't as important after I asked him to work. The one thing that works in my favor is that I work overnights so it's not like scheduling would be a problem. On the other hand, I would be more exhausted than normal. I figured it would be better to note my other job as I continued down the form.

"Okay Ryan, let's see what we have here," he mumbled while looking it over. "Good… good… hold on. What's this other job about? Janitorial work overnight?"

"Yes. Is there a problem?" I asked innocently while also hiding my fear.

"Not really from a scheduling standpoint. Are you going to be focused when you come here?"

"I can adapt my lifestyle. It's also only Monday to Friday." He leaned back in his chair.

"The league paying someone that isn't all there while working at a gym isn't really a responsible thing to do."

My jaw dropped and I shot him a confused look. "Gym assistants get paid? I thought this was an unpaid position." He laughed longer than usual before composing himself. He then pointed to the papers that the receptionist handed me.

"You'll work between 30 and 35 hours a week here since it's a part time position. Based on what you put down, I think you'll be happy to know we're out of here well before midnight. The only thing that may be a concern to you is that you will be paid slightly less than your current job. How does that sound to you now? Those papers have more details if you decide to stick around."

It took every ounce of my energy to keep a straight face. Crying out of joy, jumping around like a lunatic, hugging Wattson to death, and cheering with my hands in the air were acceptable responses if I didn't care about professionalism. The stress of working a mindless job with awful hours was gone in a snap. My path to becoming a trainer was simpler.

"Sounds fine to me. I'll give them my two weeks and then I can start here after that."

"Excellent!" He stood up and shook my hand. "Let's meet some of the crew today. I think Shawn and Vivian are in for the morning shift." Wattson led me to the field after he filed away my paperwork.

A lanky man about my age wearing a tank top and ripped jeans was working on the scoreboard while a woman a few years older than me in athletic attire was setting up the referee's area. They both looked wary of me but acknowledged my presence with a handshake once Wattson called them near the sideline.

"Vivian, Shawn, this is Ryan. He'll be working with us in a few weeks."

"Oh! Where are you from?" Vivian asked, still unsure about me.

"Eastern part of the city. Southeast if you want to nitpick." Her face softened up but now Shawn was skeptical.

"Looks like you stayed out of trouble for the most part to ask for a job here. Maybe the east side has gotten better since I moved away from there a few years ago. We'll know what you're really like in a few days."

Vivian punched his shoulder. "That's not how to treat a new employee! Can't you put you bias aside for good? Not everyone from the east side is a snob or criminal."

"Working on it," he said unenthusiastically while rubbing his shoulder. "You're the exception."

"Shawn, see me after your shift. We talked about this," Wattson said with his hand on his forehead. "Anyway, I think an introductory battle is in order to see where Ryan stands in terms of holding his own against challengers. The rules are one Pokémon per side and the battle is over when either Pokémon is unable to battle. Who wants to go first?"

Shawn started to walk to a trainer box. "Me. Hope you know your stuff," he taunted with his back to me.

"When you get picked on in school but are good at something, you can shut people up by challenging them on your terms. Guess what I was good at?"

"Big talk for someone using the school's Pokémon in a strictly controlled environment. Go Voltorb!" The ball Pokémon came out itching to fight with sparks surrounding its body.

Battle class was conducted in schools across the region with each school's Pokémon to lower the liability so he was technically right. Borrowed or not, I still wiped the floor with everyone. Some people took it harder than others and wanted a piece of me after school if they even had a Pokémon; Zigzagoon was always ready for a fight. Arguing with Shawn wasn't going to do me much good since he would just put me down or discredit what I say.

"Zigzagoon, let's go!" This was our first trainer battle in weeks so it was good to see him pumped.

"Voltorb versus Zigzagoon. Begin!"

With all the trash talk beforehand, neither of us wanted to make the first move. Add in the fact that I bothered the gym leader on his day off and I knew I had to prove myself. The tension felt amplified because it felt like a loss meant that my application would go to the trash can. Wattson was surprisingly okay with a standstill; I caved in to the pressure first.

"Use Baby-Doll Eyes!" His beady eyes stared at Voltorb until Voltorb hopped back a little bit from the awkwardness. Not only was it a good move to start the battle, it also helped it get food from humans on the street back before I caught it.

"Fight back with Screech!" A piercing sound reverberated through the gym forcing everyone to cover their ears. "Now roll in for Spark!" It wasted no time ramming into Zigzagoon.

"Tail Whip!" Furiously wagging its tail made Voltorb and Shawn look at each other in confusion. "Headbutt!" It sprinted into Voltorb and sent it sliding across the gym floor.

"Typical behavior coming from an east side thug. Charge Beam!"

"Pin Missile!"

The stream of electricity met the dozens of pins in the center of the field. It looked like a stalemate until Voltorb put a little more effort behind its attack. Its attack powered through the stream of pins and got to Zigzagoon. He got up immediately but his breathing was labored.

"Rollout! Keep up the pressure!"

With little distance between us, the first hit was weak but it rolled back by Shawn to create more room to gain speed. Zigzagoon was too tired to dodge the second hit and it put him close to the sideline. Voltorb circled back for the third hit and sent my Pokémon against the wall when it didn't try to dodge.

"The fourth hit is going to end the battle! Roll in for the knockout!" Zigzagoon got up and was leaning too far to the left to launch an accurate Pin Missile as a counter but I had an idea.

"Wait for it…" I mumbled under my breath as it got closer. "Now! Go left!"

It threw itself to the side to dodge and Voltorb ran into the wall. The impact was so hard that it was rocking in place trying to reorient itself and shake off the cobwebs.

"Screech! You need to stall until you can see straight!"

"Use Headbutt!" Zigzagoon got behind Voltorb before ramming it into the wall. The look on Shawn's face said it all.

My method of using our surroundings to our advantage has gotten us frequently yelled at in the past. Was that attack more brutal than a normal one? Yes. Was it a cheap shot? Some would argue that using the surroundings is smart while others preferred to rely on ability alone. Was it a legal maneuver? Yes. Unless a referee or outside person intervenes, either side can do what they want in a battle. I've stayed away from back alley battle rings or battling people in an empty area because there were no rules in those battles. There was only mercy if it was granted or if the Pokémon was recalled in time. People will always complain in a formal setting but legality wins out over emotion.

I worked on organized battling with Zigzagoon from the day I caught him but he still has his moments. The first few days were rough with him attacking me or even the other kids in after school battles since he saw humans as a threat and couldn't run away. Part of it was that as an alley Pokémon, it was about staying alive. If it took anything to win or live to fight another day, a Pokémon would do whatever it took to survive. I took Zigzagoon out of the alley, but couldn't take the alley mentality out of him; I'm not sure anyone ever could.

"Voltorb is unable to battle. Zigzagoon wins!"

Not the best battling, but a win is a win. I kicked myself yet again for getting rid of Sand Attack for Pin Missile because my strategy outside of battle class was to be a nuisance for as long as possible. Once the opposition's stats were lowered, then we'd headbutt our way to victory since we were lacking in the raw power department. Unfortunately, ghost Pokémon ruined that plan so type coverage was needed to at least draw out the battle. My plan often left my opponents frustrated although Shawn had a different reason to be upset.

"I knew you'd fight dirty! That's all east siders know how to do! This isn't the schoolyard!" I was tired of him running his mouth.

"Since you know so much about the east side, I think you should already know that a lot of us find a way to make things work and get crafty. It's not against the rules to attack from behind or ram another Pokémon into the wall. Maybe if you didn't send my Pokémon closer to the wall, then this wouldn't have happened."

Wattson sprinted to the middle of the field. "Enough! Shawn, wait in the stands until we're done. Vivian, it's your turn to battle. Same rules apply. Ryan, take this Super Potion and heal your Pokémon." I did so as Vivian took her place in the opposite box; Shawn dragged his feet to the stands and sat with his arms folded. It was scary seeing Wattson go from carefree to serious.

"That last battle was interesting," Vivian noted trying to find a balance between applauding my effort while not trying to make the situation more awkward. "Do you have another win in you? Go Meditite!"

Ah Meditite, a Pokémon with an unusual typing that annoys dark users and gives ghost users something to think about. What's more frustrating is that it can be used as a mixed attacker if someone wanted to take the time to develop both special and physical attacks. Most people focused on the physical side since Mega Medicham had more power in its physical attack and Pure Power for its ability. However, a special attacking Meditite or Medicham would catch someone by surprise or seriously throw a wrench in their strategy.

"We do. Go Zigzagoon!" I hustled to its spot not caring about a potential fighting move or two in our opponent's arsenal.

"Meditite versus Zigzagoon. Begin!" Wattson yelled as he threw up the flags.

The best move was to limit the damage as soon as possible. "Start with Baby-Doll Eyes!"


My attack still took effect before Zigzagoon was held in place. Meditite eventually slammed it against the ground. He charged ahead feeling upset that he was easily manhandled and was tossed aside yet again. I needed to bring him back to his senses.

"Think for a second and use Tail Whip!" His bushy tail wagged while he moved in closer and Meditite's guard went down. "Headbutt!" With him in close proximity, he got off a clean hit.

"Use Bide," Vivian calmly ordered. Meditite closed its eyes and sat in place. It didn't flinch when Zigzagoon shuffled back to create some space; this was our chance.

"Pin Missile!" It fired off two separate rounds that hit Meditite in the chest. "It's not going to fight back! Pin Missile again!" More needles flew Meditite's way and now it was visibly in pain.

Vivian was nervous throughout the ordeal until she saw that it was still conscious. "Release!"

A big wall of energy was sent Zigzagoon's way while he tried to outrun it. When the light dimmed down and the dust settled, he was out cold. Normally he would be able to grunt in frustration when his body quit on him or roll around until I called him back. It was the first time I've seen him so calm.

"Zigzagoon is unable to battle. Meditite wins!" She walked to the center of the field and waited for a handshake.

"Oh! Hold on a second," I mumbled to myself while jogging to meet her. I forgot that was considered common courtesy. "Good battling."

"You too. That was a risky move to attack knowing what was going to happen." I stared at her blankly. "Do… do you not know what that attack does?"

I stared at the ground. "No." By this point, Wattson came over as Vivian tried to look me in the eye.

"Let me get this straight: you've never seen this attack? Have you even heard of it? Most Pokémon avoid attacking so they don't take double the damage when it's time to release the energy. They only do it if they're certain they can get a knockout."

"Maybe when I was younger," I sheepishly replied.

"Now now, it's alright. People can't remember everything," Wattson said while patting my back. "Ryan here did good considering Zigzagoon is his only Pokémon."

"I guess. So, what is he going to do today?"

He looked over at Shawn still sitting in the stands. "Well I wanted him to work on different things but that'll have to wait. You can give him the tour since out first challenger won't be showing up for another hour. I'll figure something out for later after the rest of the morning staff comes in. Come on Shawn, let's go."

The rest of the shift flew by with Vivian explaining how to manage the gym. Whether or not she knew about my janitorial job, the first thing she showed me was the massive storage area. There were cleaning supplies, repair kits, toolbelts, medical kits, banners for public events, maintenance signs, and anything else to make sure the gym could stay operational. Aside from my duties for the day, I could train in a special area in the back when I had some down time. Battling prospective challengers wasn't going to happen until I had more experience under my belt but I had a place to train.

The gym also had a day care area for Pokémon to be watched for anyone willing to pay a fee. All types and temperaments were allowed if they were registered beforehand. It wasn't a full-blown day care service like the one just outside of the city so Wattson made a few changes. The big things were a one Pokémon limit per trainer and if an egg was suspected in the equation, a staff member would have to get the Pokémon Center involved. For any minor injuries, there was a healing machine hidden away. The rest of the morning staff from all departments rolled in as we moved throughout the gym.

Shawn's attitude and a slightly smaller paycheck were minor inconveniences when stacked against the benefits the gym had to offer. I still had to be introduced to the afternoon crew at some point so maybe they'd give me a better welcoming. Learning to properly interact with everyone walking in off the streets looking for help would be another endeavor for another day. A trainer walked in looking for a badge as expected so we were forced to stop the tour.

She was a young teenager with all the confidence in the world as she walked up to us asking for a battle. Not every gym allowed for the leader to be challenged right away and not every gym wanted to waste a trainer's time with assistants; Wattson mixed it up depending on the day. Vivian accepted her challenge and signaled to an Ever Grande Conference referee to get started.

Marshtomp was her Pokémon of choice although she didn't look happy when Vivian threw out Meditite. It dawned on me that I'd fit in as a niche trainer here since a lot of challengers bring in at least one ground type. Wattson probably had his own plan to handle challengers thinking they could waltz through the gym with a type advantage as their only advantage.

The challenger won in convincing fashion and beat Shawn's Voltorbs in what felt like record time. I was forced to decline the battle since I was a new assistant so Wattson was dragged out of his office. Despite Magneton's Magnet Bomb and Supersonic to make Marshtomp hurt itself to the point of fainting, it was too weak to handle her Loudred. He laughed off the loss while handing over the Dynamo Badge for her efforts.

"Congratulations on your victory! Take care now!" he yelled as she left the gym. "Always good to see young trainers that have more than one strong Pokémon so early in their journey," Wattson said as he turned to us.

"She still looked nervous when Vivian used Meditite," I quietly pointed out.

"Young trainers get rattled when they walk into one type of gym but don't face a Pokémon of that type. I think she'll be ready for it next time," he said with a smile. "Now here's where you come in, Ryan. I need you to fix up the area while these two fill out their battle sheets. Clean any debris off the field and patch any holes in the walls. Everything you need is in the storage closet."

"Are you sure I can do it by myself? What if I mess up?"

He leaned in close. "The only way you mess up is if you don't do it hahaha! All the instructions are there and it doesn't have to be too pretty. Just fill in the holes and a regular maintenance worker will take care of the rest for now."

Quick drying cement bags were near the front of the storage area so they would be easier to carry over. With a little water and some mix, the holes that we created were filled. An older gentleman stopped by to smooth it out before using his Slugma to speed up the drying process. I swapped the bag for a bucket of paint and made the wall look new again.

The rest of the day sped by with each trainer passing through. Wattson mowed down most challengers with Volt Switch while still handling ground types when he needed to. Only one other battle resulted in a hole in the side wall. Looking back on my battle with Shawn, getting a Pokémon close to the side wall was a hard thing to do; the field was almost as big as the ones at Ever Grande City. His last battle was a win so his morning and early afternoon battle record was 5-2.

"Let's see… 3:15? I think I could use a break before the evening battles. Ryan, you're all set for today!"

I shot him a confused look. "Come again?"

"You're done. Go home!" he cheerfully exclaimed.

"Same time tomorrow?"

"I want you to come in at 3:30 tomorrow afternoon. There are a few more assistants that you need to meet. Remember to look over those papers. See you tomorrow!" We shared a handshake before parting ways.

For the first time in years I could do something immediately after work. It was the perfect time to visit the cafés in the food court near Mauville Hills because it was between lunch and dinner and nobody would have to battle for a spot to eat. Apparently, I stuck out like a sore thumb since the people there wore business casual attire. Even the cashier shot me a weird look so I took that as a sign to take my sub combo home. When I got home, I scarfed down the meal and turned on the television to relax.

I couldn't wait until tomorrow.