I was told to keep this part brief by the Pokemon League HQ Publishers, so I guess I'll talk about basic knowledge you're going to need if you're going to read this book in its entirety. I was also told to keep a 'dramatic effect' going for those who don't know a single thing about my life, so hopefully things will be entertaining for you.
This autobiography is written for anyone interested in what a particular Pokemon League Champion went through in his Trainer years. It's supposed to appeal to everyone, so nobody get mad at me when I start introducing knowledge that's common to all Trainers (like what each kind of Pokeball does and how to tell a Pidgey from a Starly). You may use this book as a guide to help better yourself as a Pokemon Trainer, or to simply gain an understanding on several types of Pokemon, an understanding of Pokemon Trainers who participated in the 55th and 56th Johto Pokemon League Championships, or you could use this book to just read at night to help you fall asleep.
When I first received word that I should write this book, I declined the idea for personal reasons. Then, I figured the money made could go to a beneficial cause and agreed to it. I initially started off writing about the recent events, but I decided to take a different approach and 'build up' to them. The most obvious example of this is the fact that I'm going to detail how I ended up becoming a Johto Pokemon League Champion.
I still think the fact I wrote this autobiography is extremely pretentious, but it's for a good cause.
I dedicate this book to my older brother, Professor Gavin Willow, to my parents to a certain point - Jonathan and Mary Willow, to dear friends and those I have the utmost respect for (to keep things fair, I can't name you all LOL).
I also dedicate this book to all of my Pokemon.
But I will name Alice and June. This is for you also. Definitely.
This story is possible from me recording in my journal regularly during the years.
Chapter I - I Wasn't Smiling
"Pokemon are our food, clothes, while also being our friends and, yet, our enemies. Some are weak and frail and there are few that have the power to directly change the world in an instant. They keep the world going just as much as we do.
They're considered inferior to humans, yet they could easily destroy us and our creations if they wanted to. People like me, you, and Red are the ones that keep humans and Pokemon in stride."
- Steven Steele, 46th Hoenn Pokemon League Champion and 2nd Place Winner of the Sinnoh League Championship.
My name is Edward Willow. I am the 56th Johto Pokemon League Champion.
I became a trainer when I was thirteen and a half years old. I was born and raised in New Bark Town, the eastern most Johto town, right on Route 1/29. It's a quiet place dominated by suburbs. New Bark is noted for having a more than decent school system. The money produced in New Bark was so big that it even got its own Pokemon Lab. Families move there to keep their kids from becoming - you guessed it - Pokemon Trainers. I know some of you who are reading this are taken aback or probably straight out offended by how I just worded that. Your history classes (or the ones you're missing out on at this very moment) would've told you that there wasn't really any choice for some kids back then. I suggest you look up the info, but I'll simply say that government wanted two things:more controlled pokemon and less poor and/or stupid kids in the system.
I was a stupid suburban, middle-class kid. I was held back in the 6th grade for failing math, then I failed it again. That was the last straw for me. My parents were both angry at me and sad. The anger made sense to me at the time since I was just a lazy idiot for not wanting to work. The sadness was weird, and stung the most. This wasn't pity, which was funny. Instead, I got the beginning of all the condescending speeches I would hear later on. I wrote this 'speech' in my journal. I can still see the tear stains on the paper. This is from my dad. We were sitting down in the dining room at the table. He was across from me. That table was long as hell that day.
"I moved the family here 15 years ago to keep your brother from being turned to a Pokemon Trainer. Goldenrod is filled with those little bastards with their animals doing nothing with their lives. Gavin wanted to be like them at one point, but he - unlike you - was actually competent in his schoolwork. I moved the family here so he would get those dumb ideas out of his head. Tell me what Gavin is now."
I told him that Gavin is a Pokemon Researcher.
"That's right. I'm fine with that. He became 18 with the highest marks in New Bark High, got a free ride to Cinnabar University, and became a Pokemon Researcher for the lab up the hill. He had a desire to be around Pokemon."
There was a deathly long pause. You know what I'm talking about. I swear my dad didn't blink. I knew the consequences. I had already started crying. I don't think I whimpered though.
"Do you like Pokemon?"
I said no and shook my head violently. He got up, came up to me, and threw me out of the chair by my collar.
"So why the hell did you become such a failure? Why are you stupid? When you were younger, you were smarter than Gavin when he was the same age. What happened?"
I told him that I couldn't care less about Trainers and that I didn't want to be one.
"But you're going to be one though and there's not a thing me, your mother, you, or Gavin can do about it."
I had heard stories of parents hiding their children away if they were going to be forced to be Trainers. I expected the same thing. I definitely wasn't getting it nor would I.
I don't have the rest of the conversation, but I do remember him throwing me again into my room, where I started writing down my thoughts. He was the one who got me the journal.
The saying about how actions speak louder than words applies to my mom in this situation. The moment the school spoke about throwing me out, she began to treat me less as a son and more as a disliked tenant. She gave me the least amount of food in dinner, breakfast stopped completely, and family pictures with only me and my parents in them were put up and stored in the attic. When Gavin was home, she'd become more melancholy than she was due to the news. She kept his food supply constant though.
One day, during the week I was supposed to leave, my mom came into my room while I was packing. She told me that Gavin was going to give me my first Pokemon and that she was working on making lunches for me. I fell out again. I think she hesitated before holding me, like she thought if I deserved it or not. I wasn't looking up at her during the moment, so you can feel free to call me judgmental - because I was beginning to hate her and dad.
I felt nothing from her embrace. To this day, I have no idea if it was my fault that I couldn't.
I forgot how long she held me, but before she left the room, she gave me 400 dollars in cash.
A few days later, Gavin walked me to the Pokemon Lab. At this time, he stayed in my family's home. Rent free I believe. He and I got along pretty well. He used to help me with my homework when I had it and decided to actually do it. We looked somewhat alike. He had the same red curly hair I did back then and just looked overall lanky. I imagined myself to look like him when I got older, except without the glasses since my eyes were fine. As I grew up, I noted how his wardrobe changed from wearing simple things like T-shirts with graphics on them and jeans to slacks and sweaters and polos. In a sense, I looked up to him simply because he was a good friend to know.
He never did attempt to get me into his Pokemon world, nor did he ever bring his work home with him. I grew to respect him more because of that during my time away from home.
The Pokemon Lab was filled with a scholarly aura. Walking in, I noticed that everyone was wearing those stereotypical white lab coats and glasses with goggles over them. The entire place that was laid out in front of me was one huge room - just a large pristine area with several gurneys, sliding tables, desks, and other assorted lab equipment. I was used to seeing Chansey and Blissey in hospitals, but they were here too wearing white caps and pushing carts of what I assumed were chemicals and files.
I followed Gavin through the aisles of desks and groups of people until we got to his, near the back. There was a lone Pokeball on it, the standard red and white variety - the size of a ping pong.
Gavin told me the pokemon in the pokeball on the desk belonged to me. He explained that the lab at the time was having a deficient in infant Pokemon due to parent Pokemon not wanting to breed, so I wouldn't have any choice in which Pokemon I wanted.
I remember laughing in my mind at this, making my stomach churn from disgust.
Gavin apologized for not having the typical Johto Starters, but I couldn't have cared less. He went on to talk about how the Feraligators, Meganiums, and Typholsions were keeping away from each other and that some Combusken from Hoenn produced an egg. He knew I had no idea what the hell he was talking about, so he trailed off. I was already agitated that I had dropped the ball.
I still remember this clearly without the aid of my journal.
I picked up the ball, and pressed the gray button. The ball inflated to roughly the size of a softball. I gently tossed it underhanded on the floor. It popped open and produced that soft exploding sound and white light that I'd get used to eventually. The white light shot out of the ball, like its own mass, jagging every which way until it was competely out on the floor. The light took a form, then went away, leaving a small orange bird that hopped about on its feet. The ball jumped back to my hand, hitting my knuckle, causing it to roll away.
I grabbed the Pokeball the Torchic had came out of, and stumbled back to Gavin and my Pokemon. He gave me the speech about how I should take care of it and how it'll take care of me. His words passed through one ear and went out the other. I had nothing against the Torchic, but I didn't want it. Not in the situation I was in at least. I was being forced to have it simply to make something out of myself because apparently, everyone had given up on me.
I think Gavin sensed this, because he picked up the Torchic and put it in my arms. It felt like touching a summer day itself. It's feathers were warm to the slightest touch, so warm that I contemplated the Pokemon as a pillow. I looked down at it with indifference and, I suppose, sorrow. It looked up at me as thought it figured it could depend on me. I immediately felt sorry for the thing, yet I started to become angry at it for putting that much responsiblity and trust into me. It was an infant and I was a child.
Gavin told me to give it a name. Because of how it felt like the heat of Summer, I named it June.
He took us over to a stairwell in a wall. We went down a floor and entered a small room containing a computer that enveloped every corner.
"This is where you get registered."
The fact that I was being registered into something just made me feel worse. When Gavin explained that I'd receive a Trainer ID of randomly assorted numbers, my dad could've throttled me into the pits of Hell itself. My mom could've stabbed me twenty times in my sleep. The Torchic could've incinerated me.
He told me to stand on the X on the floor, which I didn't notice when I entered. There it was, big, red, and forboding. I figured that if I stood on it, something heavy like a piano or a Golem would crush me.
I put June down, who just tweeted innocently and stared at me with a cocked head. I stood on the X. A camera descended from the ceiling - its big black lens staring at me.
"You should smile, Ed," said Gavin. I shot him a side look of intolerance. I was surprised that he was serious. I didn't smile though.
The picture of me that popped up on screen looked so miserable.
A slot opened up above the keyboard. A small red slab was ejected out of it. Gavin took it and handed it to me. He called it a Pokedex and told me to try it out on June. The thing fit into my palm perfectly. A pokeball was engraved on its lid, with a small lens representing the button. I opened it up, revealing two screens on the top and bottom.
I aimed the lens over to June. The screens started blinking green with the top one saying SCANNING in big red letters scrolling. A bar extended across the bottom screen. Once it filled, a picture of a Torchic appeared on the top. The bottom contained information such as height, weight, and the footprint. The device started talking in a cool, soft, female voice. I nearly dropped the thing from being caught off guard.
"Torchic. A 'Chick' Pokemon. A fire burns inside of it, so it feels very warm to hug. It launches fireballs of 1,800 degrees F."
I could see why it was called a PokeDex.
Gavin told me that it contains information on the 493 known Pokemon in the world and that it would be my greatest asset in my adventure.
His words echoed in my head like an annoying screech made when someone takes their nails across a chalkboard. I yelled at him to shut up. He was smiling. I wanted to punch it off of him. I felt like he was mocking me, like he was glad that he wasn't the son who failed. The image of him being the brother I had loved was being chipped away that very moment.
I found myself crying in front of him and he did nothing about it. I wanted my mom, or anyone, to hold me. I stood there with him just looking.
June just tweeted.
Two days later, I left home. It was bitter. It was in the morning and the sky was still purple. I had expected at least for my parents to drive me to another town and leave me there. Instead, I was made to walk out of my own home. I had to leave my key and close the door. My parents didn't see me out, so I mentally told myself to break myself away from them as I made that long walk out the yard. It didn't work immediately, but I kept telling myself that I'm good on my own, over and over.
Neither of my parents didn't want to look at me that day. I received no breakfast.
I made my way out the of the fence and into town, then to the outskirts. I didn't look back. I took Route 1/29 and made my way to the next town. I had no idea what was there, or even its name really, but I was now out of my own home so I figured I should just go somewhere else to prove this. I also felt like I had other things to prove, but no idea what they were and no idea to who.
My mind then went to think about Gavin. He wasn't there to make up for the lack of an uplifting farewell at home, and the way he acted in the lab before I left was very curious. I was still angry at him, and I started to regret being so vulnerable in front of him. I started to curse under my breath about him as I headed down the route, toting a backpack filled with sandwiches and a PokeBall with June in it.
I remember how the scenery looked that day. The image still sticks to me. I was walking on the commonly tread path - made by people walking up and down I suppose. It was dirt. There were rough circles of dirt stretching toward the horizon. Then there were the trees. A lot of trees. I think I could hear Pidgey and Spearow screeching and Cricketune chirping. I think I remember this day a bit clearly since the noise was annoying, making the sight of the route annoying. Laid out in front of me, straight green emptiness leading to wherever.
I partially felt like sitting down where I was, hoping that someone would find me, and return me to my parents. But I kept walking. I figured that I cried too much in the previous days, so I stopped. I kept walking. It's weird when I look back at it. It felt like a nightmare that I knew was...a nightmare...so I thought that I would wake up from it sooner or later.