He always waited.

But he didn't know who or what he was waiting for, exactly.

Inside of him, a passion for an unseen force left him burning, singed with the vague impossibility of it all. He wandered the streets, desperately searching for the enigma that was a better love than he ever had in his long years. The boulevards he traversed, the roads he crossed, mocked them with their tire-stained gravel and their trashed curbsides.

Quite truly, not even the stones he walked upon wanted to see the agony in his eyes and the turmoil in his step.

The people brushed by him, feigning minor concern for this elderly, miserable traveler. Many asked him probing questions, about what was wrong or where he was going. He never answered; he had lived here in Viridian City for his entire life, from his callow years as a curious youth to the rain-soaked funeral of his deceased wife of forty years. There was no need for direction. If he wished to, the old man could maneuver his way to the PokeMart with his eyes closed.

But he never did, because that's not where he wanted to go.

He wasn't sure where he was going at all.

Somehow, it felt he was searching for a vagabond that didn't want to be found, the dark cloud of his incessant pursuit hanging over his head like a churning thunderstorm that was about to burst. A vagabond that was always running, cheating the old man out of peace of mind—a vagabond that only whispered in his ear and allured him when he was assisting young trainers.

The sinister force would only kiss him then.

Because of this, when he wasn't hunting for the dark power that compelled him to cry empty tears, he scoped out every child that had a Pokeball strapped to their waist and offer to show them how to capture a Pokemon, although he was almost completely sure that they already knew. To the boys and girls, he put on the façade of a feeble, senile elder that simply wanted to showcase his former trainer's skills to them.

Yet what really hid behind the mask was an addiction. The specter mustered cataclysmic laughter into the shells of his ears when the children finally left him, pleading softly with him to keep looking. And, of course, the old man would oblige, just so he wouldn't feel alone for just a little bit longer. The entity never entered his dreams or his daydreams and escaped from his sights as an evasive shadow setting in the evening sun would. So the old man would amble the alleys and main streets, crying out in suffering for the elusive lover that he had never seen, that brought him so much pain and so much pleasure.

The old man knew that he would never meet ambiguous body. Some might even tell him it didn't exist. If he told anyone, that is, which was implausible. This secret was his own. His own to hold lovingly to his breast, as it struck his heart fiercely like a knife.

As it slowly ebbed his will away. As it slowly killed him.

But he didn't mind that.

He knew the missing number would be there when he died.

Waiting as he had waited.