"How about this one, Hilda?"
Skyla held up a tiny—and I meant tiny—blue dress, forcing it into my hand and pushing it against my chest. She took a step back, furrowing her eyebrows in thought as she scrutinized me. The hem of the dress barely hit my thighs, and I wouldn't deny that my curves wouldn't necessarily appreciate this dress once it was actually on me. The cut of the dress, on the other hand, was entirely conservative; it didn't dip enough to even give a hint of cleavage. But after a minute, Skyla smiled, snapping her fingers and nodding.
"I like it," she announced, bouncing forward and taking the dress back from me. I couldn't say that I agreed with her, and when I glanced at Elesa, it was clear she agreed with me. "This dress says, 'Look how sexy my legs are, but you're going to have to wait until later to find out what's on top. And later specifically means after you propose to me. Then, this dress will come right off, and we can make love all night long!'"
Elesa and I exchanged a mocking look, and she reached forward and snatched the dress from Skyla. Sure, it was a nice dress to wear to a club, perhaps, but that would be because I was looking to get felt up. As for a fancy dinner that happened to include a marriage proposal, I didn't think the dress said, "Marry me." And I had gone way past the stage of trying to get my future fiancé in bed, so worrying about that was pointless.
"I'm the model here, and I don't like it," Elesa snapped at Skyla, throwing the blue dress onto the pile of accumulating dresses in the corner of the large dressing room. They typically reserved this space for brides trying on wedding dresses, but I knew the manager of the store—not to mention, I would be here trying on wedding dresses soon. This was just practice.
I smiled at Skyla, attempting to be a bit more comforting that Elesa. They got along great, but Elesa had an attitude that wasn't always compatible with Skyla's carefree demeanor. That, of course, was expected. Elesa trained electric-type Pokémon, whereas Skyla trained flying-type, so it was only natural that their personalities clashed.
"Sorry, Sky." I touched her arm, and the pout vanished from her lips. "I need something elegant… something that says, 'Yes'. I don't want to intimidate him; I bet he'll be really nervous about proposing, and if he knows that I'm going to say yes just by looking at me, that may relieve some of his stress. What do you think, Elesa?"
She nodded, putting her hands on her hips. A few seconds passed before she wandered out of the dressing room and back into the store without another word. She returned with a black dress, a tad longer than the blue dress, but less like something a hooker would wear. It fanned out, perfect for spinning in, and the top was low enough to show a little something but still conservative enough to be appropriate for a fancy restaurant. A little pink broach just below the bosom kept the dress at a level of simplicity.
When Cheren picked me up, all of my friends gathered around me to wish me luck. It was sweet of them, really, to be so concerned with my love life. I had, after all, been dating him for a few years now, and it was only natural that they felt our marriage was of upmost importance to them, too. But they had to know that I didn't need luck. Our relationship was perfect, just like this dress, and the hints Cheren had given me about marriage were enough to guarantee the outcome of this night.
Sure, it had been a little rocky when we first started off. Cheren was intelligent, and I was just the girl who liked to have fun. We had been childhood friends, and even after going our separate ways for our adventures, we kept in touch. After we both returned home, we made our relationship official, and things fell into place from there. I taught him how to have fun, and he captivated my heart. He was my best friend and my future husband.
It was only fitting that the best friend and the heroine marry; any other ending would be impossible. So, tonight, when he proposed to me, I would say yes, and we would live happily ever after. It was the only ending we deserved.
We walked together to the Striaton City Gym, where we would be dining, holding hands and talking. I found myself continuously searching for any signs of a ring on him; there was no bulge in his suit jacket pocket, none in his pants pocket. He probably had it inside his jacket where I couldn't see him. I loved that he was trying to surprise me.
Chili, Cress, and Cilan all came over to seat us when we arrived. It was unusual for two guests to get their own private seating by the three Gym leaders, but I knew them pretty well. Cheren must have mentioned to them what he planned to do, as well, since they kept glancing at my hand as if expecting to see a ring.
The dinner itself was lovely. The food was cooked to perfection, and the service was delightful. But my fingers were itching for that ring, waiting for Cheren to make his move. By the end of dessert, I began to get nervous. I excused myself from the table, fled to the bathroom, and fixed my hair, dress, and make up.
"Just give it a minute, Hilda," I told myself, clutching the edge of the granite counter and staring into the mirror. I took a deep breath, pushing my hair behind my ears before walking back out, ready to say yes.
"Are you all right? You look a little flustered," Cheren asked as I sat back down, and I nodded. He smiled—I always loved that smiled—and reached across the table to grab my hand. "Well, if you're sure you're okay… we need to talk… about the future. Specifically, we need to talk about the future with us."
Oh my. This was it! This was definitely it! Everything that I had ever dreamed of happening was officially coming true. And what girl didn't dream of getting married some day? I was no different than the rest; in fact, I probably wanted it more. Though I had always been fairly independent—especially after my Pokémon League journey—there came a time when every girl wanted a man to dote on her. And that time was now.
So, I squeezed his hand and grinned. "Absolutely."
"Ever since I met you, I knew you were someone special." Cheren lowered his gaze to the hand he held, running his thumb over my skin. "You've been my best friend for years, and I appreciate all you've done for me. Bianca, too. I don't know if I've mentioned enough how much you mean to me, and I appreciate that you taught me that pure knowledge isn't the answer to everything. If you hadn't beaten me all those times, I probably wouldn't be who I am now."
Whether intentionally or not, I certainly did change Cheren's attitude towards the world. When we each left on our journeys, we met up occasionally and battled; much to his chagrin, I won every time. It killed him, I knew, to be defeated by someone who knew less about Pokémon than he did. But without our battles, he never would have realized that there was more to battling than just knowing skill sets. He needed heart, too.
"I thought this would be really difficult," he continued, his blue eyes flashing back up to mine. "You look lovely as always, so I thought I might get all tongue-tied. But you look like you truly understand the situation. I appreciate that, Hilda. I really do. You're making this whole thing so much easier for me."
"Oh, of course!" I exclaimed, but I cleared my throat and let him go on.
He pulled his hand away from me, reaching into his jacket. I held my breath, expecting him to come out with a ring, but he pulled out a tiny Poké Ball instead. "You know I'm going to the Pokémon Academy in the fall." He held the Ball out towards me, spinning it on the very tips of his fingers before catching it in his vice grip again. "This is the perfect opportunity for me to get serious again. We've had a lot of fun, but I think you understand that this I need to become more serious for the Academy."
At this point, I began to feel a bit like a bobble-head. I secretly wished he would just get on with it, but I said, instead, "I do understand—whole-heartedly."
"Great. That takes a load off my shoulders." Cheren put the Poké Ball down on the table and ran a hand through his dark hair. "I won't deny that things change when we age. We have realizations that improve our lives, and becoming more serious is one of those things I just have to do. That's why I think you and I—"
"—should break up."
Cheren and I stared at each other for several seconds as we registered what we both said. It was as though someone took a mallet and pounded on my heart, stamping it into dust. I felt the tears well in my eyes before I could logically think the whole situation through; I couldn't have heard him correctly. We were the perfect couple—two best friends who grew up together and knew each other's secrets and were so desperately in love. This didn't make any sense.
"What did you just say?" I asked, rubbing my hands along the beautiful dress Elesa had picked out for me. It was perfect for the perfect night with the perfect man. So, why didn't this feel perfect anymore?
"We should break up…" Cheren repeated, more hesitantly this time, but the words rang loudly and clearly in my head. Break up. That wasn't even close to get married.
I stood up, throwing my napkin down on the table and putting my hands on my hips. The tears dripped steadily from my eyes now, and Cheren looked more and more uncomfortable as they streamed faster.
"I thought you were going to propose!" I shouted, and his cheeks immediately turned pink. The restaurant, which had been filled with a steady buzz of voices, fell silent. Everyone turned to watch the two of us, and even Chili, Cress, and Cilan dropped what they were doing to stare at us. Apparently no one expected this, but it didn't make me feel any better.
"Propose?" Cheren swallowed, sinking lower into his chair. "Hilda, I've had my life planned out for a long time. You knew that I wanted to go to the Pokémon Academy. And if I want to do that, then I need to be with someone more goal-oriented. You're successful, but you have no ambition. You just do whatever you want. I need someone serious."
I hiccupped now, shaking my head and though this would make it all better. "But I'm seriously in love with you, Cheren."
I stomped as I walked away, refusing to let this be real. If I left, then it never happened. When I returned home, I would crawl into bed, and everything would be all right in the morning. Cheren would regret breaking up with me, and he would come crawling back to me. He would bring his grandmother's ring and propose, and we would have our happily ever after.
But he didn't. When I woke up after a long night of crying, he wasn't there with a ring. And we weren't going to have our happily ever after, and we would never be that perfect couple.
Author's Note: This fanfiction is based off a Broadway musical/movie. There's one song in particular that inspired me to write this, haha, because it's so cute and sad and beautiful. Anyway, I won't say which musical it is yet. I think it may be obvious as the fanfiction continues (or after this chapter, LOL). I would almost guarantee that every person in the world has seen the movie (there is one line in particular that is right from it, I think). But I think the musical is better developed.
Anyway, if you know what it is, yay! How exciting! I'll tell everyone what it is in the end, but I don't want to spoil this whole fanfiction for those who don't already know how it's going to end. Of course, seeing as this is a fanfiction, there will be plenty of twists and turns in this, too.
I will admit… I'm having trouble updating "Speechless". While I get back in the groove for that, I'll be working on other things. Updating will be sporadic for the time being for everything.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon, nor do I own the musical on which this fanfiction is based which will be revealed later.
EDIT/UPDATE - As though it weren't obvious enough before, allow me to make myself clear: This is based off the Legally Blonde musical - a parody of it, in fact. I will never and have never claimed the plot as my own. Thanks for reading.