Chapter 1

I'm not an unhappy girl. Quite the opposite, in fact. I've always loved the sunshine, the rainbows, the singing birds, and especially the rain. Above all else I loved the rain. My mother had said I'd been like that since I was born. She'd said it was thundering outside when she was in labor, and right when I came out of the womb, there was complete silence. Not a sound was heard, except for the soft pitter-patter of the rain on the windows. Since then, not a day had gone by when I didn't smile at the rain.

I should have been smiling then, too, because it was indeed raining. But for the fourth time that day, I found myself in an armchair with my face in my hands, sobbing softly.

Why here, of all places? Why now, of all times? What had I done to deserve this? Had I really done some great wrong in this life?

Yes, a voice kept saying to me. You know what you've done, it would say. You know what you are. I cried harder, trying desperately to drown out the voice with my tears.

There's no escaping this, you know that, said the voice. No one's going to believe you if you confess. You might as well just kill yourself now. The voice had been saying this for quite some time, and it sounded quite serious. I could do nothing in my defense but rock back and forth on my chair and wait for it to be over.

Which, to my surprise, was rather quickly. The clock struck five. Yellow would be getting up soon. I stood up, dried my eyes as best I could, and tried to make it to the shower before—

"You're up early." Too late. I slowly turned around to see a too-cheery Yellow standing before me, already dressed in her running gear. Her contagious smile quickly shifted to concern at the sight of my tearstained face, however. "Orrrrrr you never went to sleep," she finally added. I nodded and pointed at her in wordless agreement.

"Was it the memories again?" She asked in genuine concern. I could feel my bottom lip quiver for a bit before I finally nodded. "Oh honey, come here," she said, briskly walking over to me to give me a giant bear hug, as only Yellow can muster. I had no choice but to hug back as tight as I could. She was my best friend's sister, after all. The way I saw it, I didn't have much choice.

We held each other for a few minutes before she softly asked me, "It's been six months, Blue. When are you gonna tell me what happened down there?"

"Yellow," I said, "I can't. I just can't do it. You'll never forgive me." I was talking too fast, as if the memories would pour out any second if I didn't keep my mouth occupied with something else, no matter how menial. She looked down at me, breaking our embrace slightly.

"You never know until you tell me," she said softly, smiling at me. I could still detect a hint of concern in her expression, the kind I have been seeing for six months now. Seeing it again made me want to bawl some more. I buried my head in her chest, sobbing harder this time. She held me tighter with one arm and rubbed my back with the other, cooing softly.

Yellow wasn't the type to press anything out of anyone; of that much I was certain. However, it was because of this very quality that she was the go-to girl for any consolation. She didn't mind this at all, of course. See, she was the type of girl who had her entire life in order. She was hot, smart, in control of and at peace with every facet of her life, and not only that, she possessed some sort of inner wisdom about everybody and everything, making her the perfect person to spill your problems to. No matter how mundane someone's problem seemed to be to the outsider, Yellow would ignore all that, and instead look upon the face of her latest patient with an expression of unimaginable sincerity and beauty. And after all was said to her, Yellow would think for a minute, slowly open her mouth, and begin to give the most profound answer any human could have ever come up with. This happened time and time again. Not once did someone walk away from her feeling unsatisfied, as if the advice they were given was somehow incomplete. They always walked away with tears dried, concerns alleviated, and faces beaming. Knowing all this, why, then, could I not tell her what happened six months ago?

If you tell her now, she'll hate you for the rest of her life, I heard in my head. She'll never forgive you for what you are. I tried hard to shut out the voice. 'Have to keep my mind occupied,' I thought.

"Well, it's getting light out," I said after a long silence, breaking our hug. "You and Growlithe better get running, huh?" I smiled as best I could.

Smiling back, she said, "Yeah." She grabbed her belt and took Growlithe's Pokéball off of it. "Stay strong, ok?" She added. "Your Pokémon need you too." And with that, she was out the door.

After staring at the door for a bit in contemplation, I turned and slowly walked into my bathroom to take a shower. Getting undressed and turning on the water, I took a moment to stare at my reflection. I saw a girl, aged 24, with a smorgasbord of expressions on her face. Looking carefully, I could spy the obvious signs of fatigue, stress, and depression, the subtle signs of fear and hopelessness, and even a tinge of anger. Troubling as this all was, what was on my face was not nearly as frightening as what was absent.

I could see no signs of happiness, not a sliver of hope, and certainly not a shred of dignity.

Looking down in defeat, I got into the tub and showered, letting the water gently beat against my face. At least in here, I didn't live in constant fear of the voice. The water even felt like rain, if I closed my eyes and pretended hard enough…

Finishing my shower, I walked into my room and located my favorite book of quotes. Sitting on my bed, I opened to a random page as per my morning ritual and located a quote that read, "You're only as sick as your secrets, but the Truth shall set you Free."

Exasperated by this, I threw the book on the floor. I fell back on my bed, finally exhausted, and began to fall asleep. Many a word flew through my head as I was drifting off, but the last one I would remember for the rest of my life.