Attention: English is not my mother tongue, but I want to improve my writing style and reach a broader audience.

Chapter 1: Wild again

To be wild again, no one's child again,
yeah I wanna see those eyes in the mirror
full of fire again..." – Wild again by Starship

The summer residence with a rustic atmosphere and vintage furniture was where my family and I habitually spent our holidays. It's a place I could never call home. It was overstuffed with luxurious frills and tawdry. The only pinpoint of light in this restraining space were my grandparents and my loyal companion Growlithe. They all went to great pains to make my sojourn more bearable, but on that night, I had already taken a decision. My parents and my fiancée Jessiebelle were excitedly planning our common future. The ladies giggled and cackled while spelling doom for me. My father, a rigid man of the world, had always tried to enthuse me with his passion for golf, horse races and poker, but my heart had always beaten for only one form of sport – PokéRinger. I remember observing the competitors being in accordance with their flying and levitating Pokémon. It wasn't only their grace and elegance with which they started their triumph that inspired me - it was their freedom.

„Right, James?" Jessiebelle pinched me, interrupting my thoughts. I turned around, completely having lost the thread of the conversation. „Excuse me. I was miles away," I apologised, hoping that my family would pardon this faux pas. My fiancée placed a hand on my left thigh, making me cringe. „We were talking about the wedding, darling. Your mother proposed to drive up in a snow-white carriage pulled by beautiful Rapidashs," she smiled at me. I nodded approvingly, even though I wished to stall this unpleasant affair. Jessiebelle had always been a self-opinionated and hasty person, but she had good sides too. Unfortunatley, she had lost her positive qualities in the course of time. My fiancée had devoted her life to controlling my every step by now. She and my parents endeavoured to turn me into an abulic gentleman. My table manners, my enunciation and my, in their eyes, vile demeanour were on trial. I desperately glanced over to my grandparents. They were privy to my intentions and ready to do everything in their power to support me. I would leave them and Growlithe reluctantly, but I was not well suited to the task. I was the prisoner, the puppet on a string who would finally take the chance to break free. Jessiebelle noticed my mute exchange of glances and intervened right away. She wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me. We locked our lips. I had to tell myself over and over: „Forgive her. Time heals wounds. She still loves you, even if the scars on your body tell a different story..." Years ago, I enjoyed her kisses, her jaunty and frisky flirt. She had always been cocky and affectionate, but after all these contretemps I had definitely renounced love.

She stood up and ushered me to our bedroom. Closing the door behind her, she began to undress my upper body. Her gaze fell on the countless hideous scars covering my back. She began to hug and kiss me without batting an eye. I would accommodate her for one last time.

It was shortly after midnight. I was lying next to my fiancée who was sleeping calmly. Sometimes, she would talk in her sleep. „James, I'm going to teach you how to eat. You're not doing it right, James. Let me show you," she murmured. I sighed deeply, twirling the gilded engagement ring around my finger. I had alwas been against a forced marriage, but my parents insisted on wedding Jessiebelle. There was no way back. I had to escape this nightmare full of torture. They wanted to break my spirit in any way possible and I didn't want to permit it.

I was absolutely convinced of my attempt at flight. The rucksack was packed, Nanny had provided me with a loaf of bread, a bottle of her freshly brewed ginger tea and a nest egg. Pop-Pop would stand guard and make sure that no one would witness my 'jailbreak'. „James," their eyes were streaked with tears. „Please take care of yourself. Don't talk to strangers, don't let them shortchange you and don't fall in love with the wrong person," I shushed my grandmother.

„Nanny, I will take care of myself, don't worry. I'm a grown man and believe me, love is out of question, I'm through with relationships," I kissed her forehead and gave my grandfather a firmly defined hand-shake. It was hard to fight back tears. I must confess that I wept easily. This final farewell was a painful matter. I kneeled down next to my dog. Growlithe howled quietly, licking my hand as I pat his head for a last time. „I'm going to miss you, buddy," I snivelled, wiping the tears off my face that had eventually cleaved their way out. Without turning around, I ran off into the dark of the night.

I ran and ran until my legs hurt and until the blur of tears would entirely block my view. Did I already regret my decision? No. After so many years of rigorous and agonizing education, I was finally free. No one was here to reprimand me, no one was here to break me. I took a deep breath of liberty. My journey to become a freelance Pokéringer began. I poked around in search of a night's lodging. It was utterly silent and pitch-dark around me. Suddenly, my eyelids drooped as I grew tired. I fell asleep on a cold hard bench for a bed.

„Well it started out
down a dirty road
started out
all alone..." – Learning to fly by Tom Petty