Chapter 7: Regret

I could put my arms around everey boy I see
But they'd only remind me of you
I went to the doctor and guess what he told me?
Guess what he told me?
He said girl you better try to have fun
No matter what you do, but he's a fool
'Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you (Nothing compares to you – Sinead O'Connor)

„Argh!" I bashed my head against the farm door. How could I screw this up? Jessie was an amazing young woman, enthusiastic and with a good sense of humour, but my past had put a spoke in my wheel. Dark shadows had caught up with me. That was the moment I realized that I could never get completely rid of my parents and Jessiebelle. I was haunted, haunted by their mocking grimaces, pointing their fingers at me and laughing out loud. I sat down on a hay roll, hanging my head in shame, wishing the ground would open and swallow me up. Would I ever be able to atone for this errant step? A lonely tear rolled down my cheek. „Jessie," I whispered scarcely audible. Having abused her confidence made me feel like a grifter, like a cheap quack. She had slowly but surely started opening up to me. Step by step, just as much as she wanted to reveal and I had nothing better to do than once again ripping her heart to pieces. „You're a fool! A lousy, miserable fool!" A seeping rage came over me. Clinching my fists, I pounded at the farm door. I was frustrated, disappointed and finally sank to the ground, completely exhausted. Sobs came out of my throat, I cried like a baby which made me hate myself even more.

„Buddy, what's wrong?" A voice interrupted my pifitful lamentation. Meowth was standing in front of me. He looked glum. „Oh, Meowth! I botched things up. Jessie's gone. She's gone because of this horror memento," I flipped the ring between my fingers. „She didn't even give me the chance to explain everything to her. She just turned around and left me," I burst into tears.
„Jessie left in a hurry and she was crying," my feline friend said. „I could see her driving off. What happened? Why did you upset her? I thought you were getting along and that you liked her," Meowth sat down next to me. I snivelled, wiping the tears off my face.
„I like her a lot. She's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. She's feisty, yes, but in a good way. I like her navy blue eyes, her soft lips, man, her kisses made me feel dizzy, an indescribable feeling," I rhapsodized.
„What? Wait a minute, you kissed her?" Meowth was totally perplexed. „That was fast."
A smile played around the corner of his mouth.
„What?" I looked at my friend. „I had to kiss her. She's the first person that makes me feel free. I was able to breathe a sigh of relief in her presence. I felt independent, I felt worthy and appreciated. Let me tell you something, Meowth, Jessie restored my faith in humanity! I was able to lose my hold of Jessiebelle and her endless tortures." Running my fingers over the scars on my left arm, I noticed Meowth's incredulous look.
„What happend, Jimmy? Tell me," he asked.
„Okay, but it's a nasty and evil story. Many years ago, I fell in love with a girl named Jessiebelle. She was able to seduce me with her charm and coquettish manner. My parents were very pleased with my choice since they were good friends with her parents. We used to spend time together, we dated, we loved each other, we had fun, but suddenly, her nature changed. She became bossy, demanding and violent. If something didn't suit her, she would hit me, she would flog me." I stood up, turning my back to Meowth so he could see the scars, souvenirs of my nightmarish yesterdays. The cat was speechless. „I swore to myself to never love a girl again, until I met Jessie. She made my heart race, she made me feel...whatever, she is gone and I've got an important tournament coming up. Let's concentrate on my PokéRinger career."
Meowth didn't give up so easily. He jumped onto my shoulder.
„We're going to fix this, Jimmy. Trust me. Just give me an arrow, a crossbow and a couple of days, okay?" he winked at me. I wasn't quite sure what he was up to, but I trusted Meowth and nodded my head approvingly.

Three days later...

Jessie was sitting next to the window. Even though Mrs. Fletcher was a highly qualified and wise teacher, Jessie wasn't able to pay attention to a single word she said. She was talking about care and aids and how to deal with injured Pokémon, but somehow, all this seemed pointless. The young woman was listlessly scribbling doodles on her notebook, until someone craved her attention. A blonde guy nudged Jessie with his elbow, handing her a small sheet of paper that was folded together. She unwrapped the message and blushed. That was the third time this morning that someone asked Jessie for a date. That blonde man named Alick made a reliable impression, so she smiled at him. Since that messy incident, Jessie tried everything to forget James and his strong hands wrapped around her waist. She decided to take things easy. „You and me?" Alick whispered. Jessie nodded her head, attempting to catch at least the last five minutes of Mrs. Fletcher's presentation.

Despite everything, Jessie had to admit that she liked her new college place. The professors were supportive and helped her joining a research department right away. She would be in charge of treating minor injuries of poison type Pokémon, her favourites. Her classes were rich in variety, educational and practically orientated. Along with home health care, bioethic and an introduction to salutary berries, she would also attend lectures on breeding and on human and Pokémon relationships. A bit of variety was provided by Pokémon showcases she really had a knack for.

Gathering all her books, she walked out of the classroom to meet up with Alick. He was leaning against his locker, talking to his friends. She swallowed hard. They were gesturing, laughing and her name fell every so often. „They're making fun of me," Jessie thought. She could just walk up to this group of clowns and beat them up, but she was tired of fighting for a loyal companion. „You wanna bet I can get her?" Alick yelled with laughter. Jessie sneaked away unnoticed, cleaving her way through the school crowds and hiding in the chill-out room. Sitting down on a chair, she buried her face in her hands. „Why do I always get to the wrong people? Why can't there be a decent and courteous man who fulfils my every wish? Who takes care of me, who supports me, sticking to his guns? James," she muttered his name. It seemed years ago since they last met, but only three days had past since that unpleasant twist. „Forget him, girl. He's a liar, he's disloyal like the rest!" She frowned at the thought of her former friend. Anger rose high in her.

„Jessie?" she turned around. „Who's there?" Jessie asked, inspecting the room. A small creature was sitting on the window sill. The sunlight blinding her, she narrowed her eyes to a slit. „It's me, Meowth. James sent me," the cat jumped down the sill.
Jessie snorted disparagingly. „Tell him I bid him good riddance. He can go hang!" She turned around to leave the room, but Meowth got in her way.
„Listen, let him explain what happened. Let him tell you his story. Come'on, Jess, snap out of it!" The feline Pokémon insisted on having her ear. Jessie sighed deeply.
„Meowth. It's not your fault, but I don't want to listen to any excuse. He lied to me, that's a fact and I'm not a toy, I have feelings, too. I don't expect you to understand human nature, but it's over," she grabbed her books, pressing the door handle.
„He got hit! He got tortuerd to the bones," Meowth told her.
Jessie paused for a moment.
„That's not my problem," she replied in a calm tone, „I can't change his past."
„But you can improve his future! He wants to free himself from these chains of torment, he wants to live a normal life with friends he can trust, with you and me. He likes you, Jess, even though you're hoggish and pert. He said that your kisses made him feel dizzy and this man is truly attracted by your wise. Give him a chance to clear things up. Call him," Meowth looked at her full of expectation. „He likes me? Did he really say that?" she followed up on Meowth's statement.
„That guy is utterly in love with you, Jess. He lionises you. Release him from his sorrow, he's sorry. There's an important PokéRinger contest coming up, just check out the local newspaper. That's where you're going to find him," with these words, Meowth jumped out of the window.
Jessie thought for a moment. Meowth's words made her feel warm all over, but how many heartbreaks will it take until she would get some common sense? Did James say the truth or would he only exploit her, too? Is there a reason he kept this secret? Was he trying to forget and push his past to the back of his mind? Would she give him a second chance or would she once and for all accept the idea that love is nothing more than suffering and endless disenchantment?

How will I know if he really loves me?
I say a prayer with every heartbeat
I fall in love whenever we meet
I'm asking you what you know about these things
How will I know if he's thinking of me
I try to phone but I'm too shy (can't speak)
Falling in love is so bittersweet
This love is strong, why do I feel weak? (How will I know – Whitney Houston)