By Kawaii Cherry Blossom
Disclaimer: I don't own Pokémon, or the song 'Fragile' by Delta Goodrem. The rights to both are property of their respective owners.
Rating: M15- Mature themes
Summary: Taking a break from Pokémon training, Ash returns to Cerulean City to spend some time with Misty. But as he catches up with his best friend, he learns that much has changed since he once knew her… Or did he?
Ash – 18
Misty – 18
"Sometimes I feel like I'm alone
Sometimes I feel like I'm not that strong
Sometimes I feel so frail, so small
Sometimes I feel vulnerable
Sometimes I feel a little fragile…"
"I wish I could help you. I wish I could understand what happened, what made you do this to yourself. The doctors say you have anorexia. I wonder if you knew that… I've been reading about it. I can't believe you went through that alone. You should have called me. I would have dropped everything and come right away… I hope you know that. I hope you know how much I care about you… It scares me so much to think that if I hadn't come to see you…
I don't know if you can hear me, Misty, but please just know how much I love you… And know how much everybody, all of your friends and family, love you and are here for you…"
My hands are shaking, I've just realised, as my words trail off into the still air. Biting my lip, I lift my right hand up and brush piece of orange hair off of Misty's pale face. The doctors said she's sleeping, since she has hardly any energy in her body. They had to insert a tube (they called it a nasogastric tube, to be precise) inside of her to feed her. It was hard to watch because she looked like she was in so much pain… She struggled and tried to push the doctors away but they succeeded in the end because she was too tired to protest. She did manage to yell out to me, saying how much she hates me, however. I asked if the tube was completely necessary and they said that if she didn't have some food pumped into her right away, she'd die.
It was then that the seriousness of the situation became apparent to me. I was so focused on finding out what was affecting Misty that I didn't think of how far it could go. She could have died. She could have died alone, not knowing I care, thinking I didn't. It's a painful realisation when you think that the last conversation that you had with someone could have been your last. I tried to think about what it would be like if the worst had happened, but it was too painful. I know it sounds corny to say, but without Misty in my life, I'm…nothing. She's my other half; she made me who I am… And there's no way I'm going to let her slip away.
I realise I'm crying and wipe my tears away. I want to be strong for her, though it's hard to remain that way. Seeing Misty like this is a shock, especially when she was always so strong in front of me. I wonder if that was an act. I wonder if this was affecting her all along, and I was too stupid and immature to notice it. When I spoke to Brock on the phone he told me not to blame myself, but how can I not? If only I had visited her more often, instead of only thinking about myself. If only…
My thoughts feed the despair that has been creeping up within me, causing it to grow and tear on my heart. But suddenly, a slight stir whips my attention to Misty, and I see her eyes slowly flutter open. Except for the beating of her heart monitor, the air is still and silent, as if aside from Misty and myself, the world has stopped. I don't take my eyes away from hers as she glances around the room. A mixture of confusion and shock quickly plays across her face and her breathing grows heavier as she takes in her surroundings. She doesn't speak, and nor do I, as she does so. Still, I don't take my eyes off of her. Finally, she glances at me in distress and our eyes meet for a few moments. I want to say something comforting, something to make her feel better, but I'm lost for words. After a few moments, she takes her eyes away from mine and stares up at the ceiling, the same anguish and despair still present in her eyes.
"Misty…" I finally speak, though I've no clue what I'm going to say.
But she doesn't answer. The only action she makes is to close her eyes, as if doing so will make the pain go away and shut out the world. Desperately, I take her hand, wanting so much to let her know that I'm here for her. But to my disappointment, she pulls her hand away and lays it across her stomach.
"Just go," her voice, though soft and crackly, says.
It feels as if a tonne of bricks have been dropped upon me, like my fears have become a painful reality. She hates me.
She hates me.
I wait for a few moments in hope that she will say something more, but she doesn't. Her now open eyes remain fixed on the ceiling as she stares at it intensely. Bowing my head painfully, I stand and glance at her one more time. She doesn't move. So I slowly exit the white room for the white corridor, and sit on the white waiting chairs. I put my head in my hands wondering why everything can be so white here when everything at the moment is so black.
I wish more than anything that I could jump out of that window right now, and run away, never to return again. If only I had enough strength to move and I wasn't hooked up to all of these machines and this stupid tube. I hate hospitals and this is why. They're so daunting and frightening… I knew it was a mistake letting Ash stay with me. How could I have been so damn STUPID!
Oh what am I saying? I've always been stupid. I'm so stupid and good for nothing. Why would Ash want to help me anyway? I don't mean anything to him. He was just lying when he said he loves me, because he feels sorry for me. Nobody cares and I don't either.
They're feeding me food through a tube which they stuffed down my throat. That really hurt. And now I'm going to get really fat. Even fatter and uglier than before. I have to get out of here. I don't know why they put me here in the first place. There's nothing wrong with me. I'm merely getting by in life. I don't see what's wrong with trying to achieve something.
But no… What am I saying…? I want to get better. I want to be able to enjoy life and I want to believe in myself again. Perhaps the doctors here can help me to do that.
Oh please. Get real Misty and don't be stupid. You have no choice. There's no way out unless you reach your goal. There's no way I'm letting you be free, not until we've achieved what we set out to. We do not give up.
Why are they doing this to me? Why is Ash doing this to me? He's just proved that he really doesn't care. Now all that I've worked for is going to fly carelessly out of the window. All that hard work for nothing. I'm going to get fatter and fatter, I can feel it. My stomach feels gigantic already, it's a wonder they didn't ask me if I was pregnant. What am I going to do? If they'd left me alone I know I could've accomplished what I set forth to. But now…
Upon hearing the door creak, I glance up to find Brock entering the white room. What is he doing here?
"There's nothing wrong with me," I start, almost defensively, but I can't help it. I already know what he's going to say and I can't bear to hear it.
"If that were true," he speaks, his tone serious, "You wouldn't be lying in a hospital bed."
I fight the urge to roll my eyes but I do glance away, as I cast my eyes towards the shadows on the ceiling. When the shadow begins to resemble a piece of pizza, however, I quickly look away.
"What did Ash do, tell everyone?" I mutter sarcastically, not expecting much of a reply.
"He's only trying to do what he can to help," Brock replies, his stature unmoving as he keeps his eyes fixed on mine. "He's really worried, you know. It looks like he hasn't slept in days."
This time I do roll my eyes.
"It's all for nothing. This is just a big waste of time," I reply, slightly angered.
Brock pauses and rubs his chin with his finger for a few moments.
"Misty, I know that something in your head is telling you that, but I also know that deep down inside, you know the truth. And I don't understand because you've never been one to be controlled…" he trails off and I glance away as I feel tears well up in my eyes.
Weak bitch… Stop your crying. It just shows how weak you really are…
"But I just wanted to let you know that when you do realise that, you have a bunch of people who care about you to help you through," he says softly and I still can't meet his gaze. Trying to burn a hole in the wall with my stare seems the better option.
"Especially Ash," he adds, and a single tear falls out of my eye and down the side of my face. I'm too tired to wipe it away. And I guess he's noticed because his next words are:
"You're gonna be okay Misty, you're gonna be okay…"
But I'm not. I'm afraid and I feel so alone. It's like being trapped in an invisible room, where you can see out but nobody can see in, and no one can see where you are. I just want to be free. Free of him. I want him out of my head… I want him to go away… I want someone to save me. I want someone to take me away from this awful place. I want…to be skinny.
I want to be loved. And popular. And accepted…
"I'll let you get some rest," Brock's voice breaks me out of my helpless thoughts. Turning my head towards the wall, I nod slightly and he walks out of the room, the soft click of the door closing filling the room.
"Any luck, Brock?" I glance up at Brock as he exits Misty's room. He sighs slightly before moving to sit down beside me.
"She seems very…divided," he says quietly.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, it seems like she's trying to break through the voices in her head but they're too strong. You can tell that she's being tormented inside."
I nod slowly, taking in the words as they make me even more fearful.
"I just wish I'd come to visit sooner…"
"Ash, you couldn't have known."
"I know…" I sigh dejectedly. "I called Misty's sisters before. They said they're going to get on the next plane out and be here as soon as they can."
"That's good," Brock replies. "What did the doctors say?"
"They said that she has anorexia…like I told you… They put the tube in to feed her because she was so weak and they said she has to keep it in until she's able and willing to eat on her own. They think she'll be in the hospital for a while…" I explain, finding it painful to recount the news.
"Well, I have no doubt that she can pull through."
"Me either," I nod before letting out a sigh. "But I just wish she'd let me inside…"
"She will in time, Ash, but you have to understand that her head is most likely telling her that she's not worthy of anything good."
Nodding slightly, a yawn overtakes me and I'm made aware of how tired I am.
"Ash, why don't you go back to the gym and get some rest. I can stay here with Misty," Brock offers but I blatantly refuse.
"No, I want to stay here with her… I won't sleep even if I try, anyway…"
"Ash I can tell that you really love her. And I'm sure that your love will pull her through…" Brock says kindly and I smile slightly.
"I hope so…"
The next morning…
"Ash!" Brock's voice startles me out of my sleeping state and I open my eyes quickly, despite the painful sunlight that slaps them as I do so.
"What?" I murmur out as I fight the urge to lie back down, pulling at me like a rope tied around my arms.
"Misty ran away."
His words hit me like a slap across the face, like sudden pain wafting through you at an incredible speed, leaving an aftermath of worry and fear.
"What do you mean? When? How?"
"Sometime this morning. We don't know anything. All I know is that I went into the room when I got here just now, and she was gone. They're calling the Police to search for her."
I can do nothing but stare at Brock, the utter shock of the news sinking into me as each second ticks by on the clock hanging above us, on the hallway wall. But right away, I know what I have to do, as does my body as I turn and put on my jacket over my black t-shirt.
"Ash, where are you going?"
"To look for her!"
"Ash!" he calls and I impatiently turn, throwing him a look that says 'hurry up'.
"…Be careful," he says, sighing slightly.
I nod and our eyes meet. I can tell that he knows I need to do this, so he doesn't ask any more questions or try to stop me. So without any hesitation and with a lot of fear and worry, I go.
If someone asked me to draw what I'm feeling inside, I'd draw a storm. There'd be lightning crashing down upon a dark grey, miserable sky, and heavy rain beating down upon the earth. A terrible wind would echo across the land, painfully forcing the rain onto anything it touches. I feel like I'm the person trying to break through that storm. You know, the person that you see struggling down the street with an umbrella that's blowing inside out because of the wind that's so strong. Their hair is flying everywhere and each drop of rain that falls upon them is like a pin being forced into their skin. My umbrella is the shred of hope that I've managed to desperately grasp on to. But it's wearing thin now, the wind blowing it out of my reach. I wonder what I'd do if I lost it completely. Do I want to find out?
No. I know the answer is no but still, it seems too big an ask to try and brave it, face it, and find happiness again. Happiness seems so out of reach that I see no point in bothering to try. And not only that, I'm so completely afraid to try. Sometimes he tells me that if I eat, or if I do or don't do something, that Ash or my sisters or Brock will suffer. He threatens me, and I'm so weak that he's easily able to gain control over me.
But still, I want to try. I don't think I can. But I want to…
I don't want this storm to be a picture of my reality. But I think maybe it's who I've become. Perhaps this is just who I am…
The rain beating down on me is barely noticeable as I trudge through the puddles on the sidewalk. The grey sky above suggests more rain is to come as I hear the unmistakable sound of thunder in the distance. But still, it means nothing to me as my mind and body ride on the need to find Misty. Doubts plague my mind like a disease. What if she's hurt? What if she's been kidnapped? What if she's… What?
Orange hair, and a slim figure dressed in baggy pants and a tank top, catch my eye. Frozen, I stare ahead and close my eyes for a moment, praying. And thankfully, when I open my eyes again, she's still there, sitting at a bus stop alone, her head bowed, shaking from the cool air that surrounds. I pause for a moment, realising that I have no plan as to go about bringing her back to the hospital. But then, I guess I should take the road my heart leads me down.
Swallowing hard, but welcoming the relief that washes through me, I take a few steps forward until I'm standing beside her, facing her fragile figure. She doesn't move, nor does she acknowledge my presence. Keeping my eyes on her, I take off my denim jacket and wrap it around her. She flinches but accepts it, still not taking her eyes from the spot she stares at on the floor. Slowly, I sit beside her, not taking down my guard in case she decides to run away.
"I'm fine," she blurts out, her tone quiet but full of defense.
"No, you're not…" I counter quietly. She closes her eyes, as if in pain, and purses her lips together.
"I know…" she replies a few moments later, a slight sob falling out with her words. Again, she closes her eyes tightly, and for a moment I believe she's trying to block the world out by doing so. A few moments pass and I keep my eyes on her, worry emanating from my soul. Slowly and gently, I put my hand over hers, which sits resting on her right thigh. Thankfully, she doesn't move away, and I squeeze her hand gently.
"I'm going to see you through this. I'll be there every step of the way. You don't need to be afraid…"
"You don't have…" she begins, but I cut her off.
"I want to. Because I love you. And there isn't anything I wouldn't do for you," I look into her fear-filled eyes intensely. I want her to know how much I mean the words I'm saying. "No matter what, I'm going to be here, through everything, just like you were there for me."
She stares at me for a few more seconds, before turning her gaze to the bleak, gloomy sky above. The rain falling down around is grows heavier, its pitter patter echoing eerily around us.
"You don't understand how strong he is…" her small voice says.
"The voice in my head…" she admits, closing her eyes tightly once again. I don't speak for a few moments, but don't take my eyes off of her either.
"You're stronger," I grasp her hand tightly and give her a supportive smile. "We're stronger."
She looks my way for a few seconds, questioning whether I'm sincere, and when she looks away again I can't tell whether she got an answer or not. Leaning her head back against the glass wall of the bus stop, she sighs and lets another tear fall devastatingly down her cheek.
"I believe in you," I finally whisper, a final, desperate plea to catch her and pull her up from the ledge she's fallen over. I reach up to wipe her tears away, my finger brushing against her soft skin. Still gazing ahead worriedly, she turns to look into my eyes. Giving her a small smile, I lean forward and kiss her softly on the cheek, before pulling back. I search her concerned eyes for a sign, to tell whether she's okay with this. She doesn't respond as she stares into my eyes, and I take this as a positive sign as I lean forward once again, before pressing my lips onto hers softly. The kiss lasts for a few beautiful seconds before we pull away. Her worried stare still darkens her eyes, but as she turns back to look towards the sky, she leans against me softly, putting her head on my shoulder.
I feel almost relieved, though I know this is only the first step of many that are to come. But it seems that I've been able to pull her up from that dangerously high ledge. Now all I have to do is keep her up there… I know that somehow, things are going to work themselves out. Anorexia isn't going to be an easy enemy to beat; if my experience in Pokémon training has taught me anything it's not to underestimate your opponent. Many people think I'm a naive fool for believing in hope and love and faith. But I believe that as long as one has these three things, they can pull through. All of my faith and hope and love is here; ready for Misty to accept it, and hopefully accept her freedom from the monster that is plaguing her.
Maybe there is a way.
Maybe there isn't.
But maybe there is…
A little fragile…
Wow. I must say, I never anticipated this fic getting to be this big, but here I am at the end! I know the ending probably wasn't what you expected it to be, at least somewhat anyway. Upon the request of a friend (Teneal!) and because I just can't help it, I had to put the fluffiness in at the end! But I didn't want to sugarcoat it and give it a completely happy finale, because anorexia isn't something to be happy about. Nor do I think it's something that is ever truly over. This fic was meant to show you that, and I hope you guys have a better understanding of what eating disorders are and how badly they can affect people (not only the sufferer, but the people close to them as well).
Thank you to all of you who read and reviewed, it means so much to me, so PLEASE know how thankful I am!
If you have any comments or feedback, I'd love to hear them! Oh yeah, and if you haven't heard the song (Fragile), you should try and find it and listen! Delta Goodrem is trying to crack the American market in a few weeks, so all you Americans – get into her, she's the best! Hehe.
Thanks heaps guys. I love you all.
Love and light,