Bitter rivalry

Here's to two graves, set side by side, neither on top of the other.

Watch the fragile-winged Butterfree flit through the trees in ever young, ever unburdened, Pallet Town. A place of beginnings (and endings, don't forget) Watch two children playing in the field. Their eyes hold all the spirit and wonder of life, of pure doing without meaning and together they run, past the white petal flowers and the sighing oak trees until they reach the river. It doesn't matter whose foot touches the water first because when the mothers come both of the boys are smiling.

Come back to the field, it's been a few years and one boy sports a red cap( that his daddy gave him and he'll wear it forever) and the other newly cut hair(he heard that spikes are what's cool and he'll wear that look forever) They run once again eyes holding all the old fun with some thing new, that seems to make it all the more invigorating. There's the fire of competition as they urge their little legs as fast as they can go. One is first and his smiles is of dreams (five minute ones) coming true and everything in the world is much brighter from where he is, in front and he likes it there. A glance behind him shows-

The second boy stands without a smile.

There stands a lab on the edge of old grass-growing-free Pallet where the Tauros run, and eager excited (unprepared) trainers get their first Pokemon. Two boys who haven't seen each other since their kid-years, meet again with an awkward hello. One hand searches for a new companion and the other snatches the one that will beat his (a testament to their new found rivalry) They must have a battle according to the age old laws of proving yourself. Things have changed since they were six because the winner is different his time (or maybe they haven't changed since there was a winner and a loser with a frown on his face)

Blue feels satisfaction when the blow knocks the Pidgey to the ground. It was easy and he loves it, just another obstacle gone fast, fast, fast, so he can run all the faster.

Red's victory is tempered by another emotion when the Ratata falls in one hit. Where was the battle and the fight? It's missing and all he can do is look forward to more obstacles that will make it harder to pass.

The spike haired boys runs as fast as he can but he's not looking forward he's looking back where eager eyes are moving ahead at the kind of pace that only picks up speed.

All the cap boy can do is look forward and he sees a boys back there every time, ahead of him but the distance always shortens.

A stadium and a battle (it's always a battle) makes them stop their motion and fight. The title of champion (wasn't this what he wanted?) passes from one to the other and now they've both had it so they're equal right? Oh but it's not at all.

Suddenly he realizes that he's passed everyone by and there's no where go.

Suddenly he realizes that now he's the one whose behind, striving and striving to never catch up.

"You beat me." is all Blue says and he hangs up the phone. Red doesn't comprehend. What would life be like if you never got beaten? (soon he will know the answer)

This time the caller is different with one more reluctant to speak.

"I'm the best now. And there is no one left to beat." Blue doesn't understand at all.

The mountain humbles him, but only as he's climbing. When he reaches the top he is king again, why won't some one push him off of this hill? It's the farthest he can go and now all he can do is look down.

He likes running the gym but when ever he hears the words of champion there's now where to look but up.

A wizened Alakazam could tell you 80 years past before anything changed.

The red sun sunk down and the blue sky reached up. And the men-no longer boys then knew.

Later the press would exclaim and argue, mourn and wonder about the two boys who were friends, then rivals then-

Both found dead with smiles on their faces

Go back to Pallet Town and hear the beginning before you understand the end.

Twp boys play in a field of lost dreams and goals met, and when their feet touch the river bank they've both won and they've lost, they're two humans whose roads against all odds ended in the same place and they're happy.

Any one who's won or lost might understand, that now there's no looking forward or looking back, just meeting eyes with smiles that hold only the friendship they had from the beginning but lost in needless fights, in their bitter rivalry

After all

Only in death are we equal

and they were