Book 5

Paper Thin
sometimes we can be just like paper; easily ripped into tiny pieces.

My lips rested softly, still awaiting a reply from him, my question was out in the open now. But I continued to wait, and soon opened my eyes to meet the handwriting that was blurry because of the closeness. Salty lips were still lingering on the paper; for some reason I couldn't let go. And I never realized when I finally did. My mouth had moved merely a centimeter away, and my breath was rippling the paper back and forth. Or was that the slight breeze? There was no evidence of what I had just done, my whole face was void of any cosmetics and looked more like I had just doused it in sea water. I quickly stuffed the letter into an envelope that I hadn't intentionally been holding then stuffed it down the mailbox. It was the large one on the corner owned by the city post office. I just didn't trust myself to place it in my own mailbox. My hand was still wedged between the opening and the little door that closed it off, making it quite uncomfortable. But I didn't care. The tingling started in the tips of my fingers as blood was not circulating properly. And I still just stood there; my whole body was numb anyway.
A few hours ago I was burning with anger. I had wasted mounds of paper because the pens kept ripping it; my rigid hand was the cause. Whatever was contained in that letter I certainly had no recollection of it now. I can only pray it's not that bad. And if it is? Well I certainly wasn't going to try and dig the darned thing out.
After yanking my arm out of the mailbox I walked the few yards back to pound the front door open. I didn't bother to close it. Cringing, I walked past the still blaring TV; the cause of all this in the first place. But I was headed for my bedroom. The suitcase I yanked out caused an assortment of junk to rain on my head; I swore. Only the few important things were packed, along with minimal clothes, and after the zipper finally closed I angrily stormed out with only the suitcase in hand. Everything seemed to blur until the TV again came into sight. Tell me again why I'm doing this? It's because he forgot you, and so you are going to forget him. I rushed out the door before I could cry again, or try to talk myself out of it. No one could hear the TV that was still on in the now abandoned house.

Opening the door again brought me chills. It had only been months, but suddenly the whole house reeked of heartache and bitter revenge. Flipping the light switches did nothing; it wasn't surprising that the electricity was shut off. But I could see from the light that was still straining through closed blinds. Every footstep towards my bedroom seemed to become part of the eerie environment, but insanity was looming up so I sprinted the rest of the way. All the pictures stabbed deep. So deep I had to touch my chest to make sure blood was not flowing. With a loud bang all the smiling faces were murdered and forced to stare at the top of a bare wood dresser. They were not coming with me. They were no longer a part of my life. The purpose of this trip was merely to gather up the rest of my belongings, so I started clearing the room.
I had finally finished, and was carrying the couple bags out of my room when a blonde haired man came through the front door holding a couple envelopes. "Are you done yet??" He shuffled the letters in his hands, "And who in the heck is Misty...uh...Waterflower??"
Each hand dropped what they were holding and I stuttered my quick answer, "She was...she...was a friend."
It didn't seem to drop the subject for him though, "Oh, well then who is this Ketchum guy....Ash? How come he's sending mail to your address?"
I quickly rushed up and stuffed my bags into his hands, removing the letters, and pushed him out the door with nothing close to an explanation, "Could you just put these in the car? I'll see what's going on and be out in a minute."
One of the envelopes was small, close to square shaped and made out of quality paper; almost fancy. The other was business size and stark white. Each held my address hand printed and were to Misty Waterflower. Each was from Ash Ketchum, yet the small one's return address was a stamp and the business one was printed in black pen. For some reason I flipped the fancy envelope over first; it was sealed with a single golden sticker. After closing my eyes and taking a deep breath I ran my index finger under the flap and relieved the sticker from it's duties. There was a card inside. The one thing I didn't want to see; oh please say that it's an illusion. But it was all too real. The Pokemon League logo was embossed on the front of the card in a ravishing mix of gold and silver; it was daring me to open it. I've never been known as a softie, and that half fold card lying in my hand was not about to defeat this girl. I opened the card......and four words brought me to my knees. I was bowing low to the ground, kissing the toes of a holy prince, begging for mercy as I fought to see through the guilt that was smeared over my face.

I didn't forget you.

But you did! You did forget me you jerk! I wasn't invited then and I'm not invited now. This is not an invitation. My breathing steadied a bit so I brought the card back up to my face to continue reading,

I didn't want to invite you like everyone else.

Thank God I was right, there was nothing to worry about now. After pulling myself off my knees and into a sitting position on the floor I continued,

I wanted to invite you in secret, special, so that everyone would be surprised at your presence.

Everything began to spin; I felt the floor come in contact with my face. Tears started leaking out of my strong willed eyes, and I swore I could hear the blurry world chanting a tune of shame. There were no longer any feet to grovel at, because there was no mercy to be handed out. Reality just struck like a bird crashing into a pane of freshly cleaned glass. It felt oddly similar to the time I had doubted, and hated:

The news had just come on and one of the stories was starting. Dinner needed to be started; I hadn't eaten all day. But when the words 'Ash Ketchum, Pokemon Master' were spoken I forgot all about it. Apparently he had done it, he had won. The story didn't explain everything, but it was enough for me to feel proud, and I was anxious to congratulate him. And then they started announcing the list of all who were invited to attend the celebration in honor of him. All the names listed I knew, I had met all of them. Even Gary was invited! But as they broke for a commercial it hit me that my name had not been there. Perhaps I was forgotten. Scratch that, I was forgotten.

And now I was lying in the same pitiful heap. But I was beating up myself, instead of him. It took strength to do what I did next. I looked at the rest of the card. All that was left was the usual printed, formal invitation stating the date, time and place. Salty drops dripped off my chin and landed strait onto the paper. I watched as it started to pool and dissolve some of the ink, causing a puddle of mild gray. The entire invitation now took a trip across the room; I had flung it like a frisbee. Life is not cruel. It seemed that everyone liked to tell me the exact opposite, but it just wasn't true. Life was wonderful, life was merciful, alive, and loving. People are cruel, and we are cruel to ourselves. But....there was still another letter. And it might hold some relief to my pain; perhaps he reflected my anger back. If he hated me, then I wouldn't feel so bad for abandoning him and myself.
I had to crawl over to the envelope, and my hands were shaking as I ripped open the flap. This time it was sealed with the likable adhesive found on most every envelope. Inside was a single piece of ruled paper. As I unfolded it the passionately sloppy handwriting, original only to Ash, was apparent in dark gray pencil. My face was stinging with threatening tears, but I held them back; this had to be read.

Misty,

By the time you get this I'm sure you'll have already gotten my invitation. As you can see, I didn't forget you. And don't worry, I don't hate you for what you wrote. I thought something like this might happen, but I thought about it after I sent the late invitation. Even though you may think it, I wasn't purposefully trying to anger you. Although I'll admit it can be quite fun at times. It was supposed to be a big surprise not only to you, but to everyone else there. Most people thought I held a grudge against you since you left. I don't want to say too much here, because I could accidentally come close to revealing more of my plan. Yes, it is another surprise, but it shouldn't go wrong. I can't wait to see you again.

Your friend? Enemy?
Ash

How can you go any lower when you've already dug your grave? Not only did he forgive me, but he....seemed like he, cared for me. I suddenly found myself thinking about how he must've felt when I didn't arrive at the celebration. When I didn't return the letters. When I never called. My body was again flat on the floor; it was lying in a pool of guilt. It felt like millions of tiny wounds were suddenly re-opened; blood was flowing. Like the smallest paper cut they stung, like the largest gash they ached. Misty was dying. I had become that girl again. The letter was brought to my lips and I kissed it out of love. Apologies were owed in massive quantity, yet there was nothing more a dying girl, no....now woman, could offer. The kiss had landed right near his signature, where I could now make out a mark where writing had been erased. Even though no one could tell what had been written, I could. There was no reason behind it, but I knew it had once read:

Your friend? Enemy? Lover?

"Yes! Yes!" I heard a voice so similar to my own screaming, "I will! I...I do! Finally I will love you, now that I............can't....."
And I can't hold on. Every finger is becoming too weak, too numb. Pain will eventually get to the point where it isn't. There were no more tears, blood, voices. I was Misty again, and the only thing left I felt was guilt. I was guilty for wounding him. But this fiery young woman was slipping away. And it was all because of a stupid mistake; I had literally committed suicide. But it was all my own fault. I was too short tempered, too....doubtful. It seemed like I never really trusted friends, or family. I couldn't even trust the man I loved. I couldn't even trust myself to admit it in my own mind. And thus the world is better without me. Isn't it?

I felt myself breathe again. Strength came back to my legs, so I stood up. The scraps of envelope and the letter were in front of me; the card was elsewhere. There was something I had to do before I moved on though. Carefully I pulled a piece of paper off the desk and found an envelope and pen. My hand was shaking, but it didn't disguise my handwriting that hadn't changed,

Ash,

Misty is dead.

I hesitated, thinking of so many more things to write, so many more thoughts to transfer. But I was too frightened to go on. He would have to move on with the little information I gave. Misty truly was just a friend now. She was, because she no longer existed. And I'm so sorry Ash for......everything. The paper was carefully folded, and ever so carefully placed in the envelope. I sealed it, addressed it, and stuck on a stamp with almost mechanical movements. The house was left just like before, but immediately when I stepped outside I was a different person. I was the person I had forced myself into; my new identity that was sickeningly normal. Like everyone else I placed the letter in my own mailbox.

A beautiful girl was seen running towards a convertible parked in the driveway; red hair rippling with every step. Or was that the slight breeze?

end

Authors Notes: This is my first fic with a sad ending, I'm actually more of a happy ending person myself. Perhaps it's a little weird and OOC, and it may end a little suddenly. But plots and inspiration can be weird like that. I hope you enjoyed it non-the-less, I actually really enjoyed writing it! ^_^ And I do understand that many people will probably not understand it. For them, I'm sorry. It's quite the odd story, what can I say?

This story is © Rainflower
Thank-You to Nintendo and Game Freak for letting me use their characters (even though they don't know it).
All original Pokemon characters, etc. are © Nintendo and Game Freak, not me!