Chapter One: Samuel Lea
I scraped my nails down the cheap dish in my hand. The crusty grime collected under my short nails. I frowned and quickly ducked my hand under the water; attempting to rid the old food stuck on my fingers.
"Best you keep scrubbin', Samuel." Barnella, the housekeeper, said. "You can wash up afterwards. Won't be the las' time you got grum under them nails."
"Yeah, 'cause this is a dirty job." I muttered.
"Never said it wasn't. You got yourself into it, you get yourself outta it." That was true, this was my punishment. Whenever I talked back to Mother and Father, I was elbow-deep in cold, brown water, scraping dishes. I had quite a mouth when I was a kid, but I usually behaved. It wasn't often I was doing the dirty jobs.
I looked over my shoulder at Barnella. She was folding our fancy handkerchiefs. I knew what that meant. "Party tonight?" I asked.
She nodded. "Yep. 'Fraid we're not invited." Typical. I turned back to my work and continued. There was nothing to say. It wasn't like I really wanted to attend my parents party, I just hated being left out. I always hated being left out. Who did like it? It makes you feel like you're not good enough.
Of course, that led to me thinking in my room that I wasn't good enough. That was an often thing. Countless times Barnella has gone into my room just to sit and hug me. I hated it when she did it, but she did it anyways. It did help sometimes, though.
I ran my fingernails over the last dish in the giant sink. I put it in the large pile. "Done." I quickly grabbed a towel and started picking at my dirty nails.
"It'll take some time 'fore you'll get them clean." Barnella said. I heard the agitation in her voice. She looked over and rolled her eyes. "You're doin' it wrong." She walked over and threw the towel on the ground. She used her long nails and picked the grime.
I scowled. "Ew?"
She sighed. "This is how I used t' do it. Remember?" She gave me the look; the look that implied many things at once. This time it implied, "well you should remember, Samuel."
Yes, I did remember. It had probably been a year or two since the last time she picked crust from under my nails. "I remember, Nella. Still gross." She examined my nails.
"Alright. Go play 'fore the party." I nodded and took off. I left the washroom; entering the large, black-and-white kitchen. The backdoor was there. I ran to it and entered the patio, the newest addition to Saydan Manor. It was closed off with special netting and had fancy outdoor furniture; nothing incredibly exciting.
The patio door swung open and I cleared the few steps leading down to the yard, and then I was gone. I sprinted out to the woods that separated Saydan Manor and Hearthrome.
Hearthrome was an okay-sized town. Compared to nearby Solaceon, which was a small farmland, it was a good sized. But compared to Sunyshore, a place I've heard great tales about, it's not much. Sunyshore was the biggest city in Sinnoh. The champion before the current champion came from Sunyshore, and it sort of became a big draw. I didn't understand it. He was a Water Type trainer, and carried the 'proud' name of Wally. Everyone adored him. And then when the current champion came into the picture, Wally just stepped down and became the Gym Leader of Sunyshore.
Rocky is what they call the champion. There are rumors that he beat all the gyms in both Johto and Kanto—and of course, all the gyms here. How he, a Rock Type trainer, beat a Water Type is a mystery. Most say that he just let Rocky have the title. That blows my mind to no end. Why on Earth would you let someone just take your hard-earned title?!
Of course, since he came over from either Kanto or Johto, he's all about letting people come over no-problem from other regions. There's nothing wrong with that, but that's the only thing he does. Both he and Wally were all about being neutral. So, they don't do anything spectacular for our region. They just are adored by the commoners.
Except for me, I couldn't care less about them. They don't try to make me do anything, so I leave them be. Besides, who was I to care about politics? If you could even call it that. My father cared about it all, not I.
I dropped my thoughts once I reached the wagon nearby. That wagon was constantly filled with fresh hay, but never left and never had anyone around it. It was nicknamed The Phantom Wagon. And that was the meeting-place for my group of friends.
There was Haystack, Tails, and Cloud. Haystack was a gangly little guy, but he lived on a farm in-between Hearthrome and Solaceon. One day he was doing work in the top of the barn, and we all went over to get him, and Tails yelled "Hey!" and he fell out of the barn and into a large haystack. We fell on the ground laughing, and that's how he got that name. Tails was a tomboy. She grew up with all brothers, and a mom who passed away while she was a baby. But, she always wore her hair in two Ponyta-tails, so she was dubbed Tails. I think she's very proud of her nickname, unlike Haystack, but after a while it grew on him. Cloud never officially got a nickname. No one really knows if that's his real name or not.
The things was, the three of us, Haystack, Tails and myself were all outcasts, and one day the older kids were picking on us, and Cloud stepped up and protected us. He then became an outcast himself, and he started hanging around with us. He told us to call him Cloud, and we did.
"Hey, it's Richie!" …Yes, that was my nickname. Because I lived in Saydan Manor and my parents were Endell and Annette Saydan, the most respected people on this side of Sinnoh. It was either Richie or Sammy, both I wasn't happy about, but it was better than being called Samuel all day.
My friends welcomed me to The Phantom. Haystack popped his head out of the hay on the wagon. "It is. 'Bout time you showed up, Richie."
"Yeah, we thought of a game." Cloud smirked, "it's called snag some food, because I'm hungry." Cloud was a loner. He didn't have family, he lived in a shack. He 'snagged' his food when he was hungry. Haystack and Tails had 'snagged' food for him before, but the most I've ever done is bring him bread from Nella's pantry. I wasn't "gutsy" enough, as Cloud had said.
"Get your own food, we're not your slaves." Tails said. She put her hands on her hips. "You better not think that."
Cloud chuckled. "Don't be so offended."
"I have a right to be offended." She raised her eyebrows.
"Stop making it a big deal." Cloud waved her off and looked at me. "So Rich Stuff, word on the street is that there's a big party at your place tonight."
I nodded. "Apparently."
Haystack jumped out of the wagon excitedly. "Want us to come crash it?!"
"Tempting, but no. I'd spend the rest of my life scraping dishes with my nails."
Haystack sighed. "Yeah, I'd be rakin' Miltank dung 'til the day I die if my parents ever found out."
"Well, I wouldn't be caught, but if I was…I'd be locked in my room for an eternity. My dad already worries about me too much." Tails said.
"That's the problem with having parents and people looking after you. I could do it, I wouldn't pay a consequence." Cloud smiled proudly.
"Except if that little thing called the police came to find you." Tails reminded.
Cloud shook his head. "Nah, I would get out of whatever cell I was put into. Done it before."
"Yeah right." Tails rolled her eyes.
"You know you could come over to my house." Haystack said to me. "We could terrorize Miltank while your parents do their thing."
"Sounds fun, but I think I have to be home for this one. Nella told me to get home."
"Aren't you supposed to tell the housekeeper what to do?" Haystack gave me a look.
"Well, my parents do, but…"
"But, Richie has to listen to her until he inherits all of his daddy's money." Cloud smirked and messed up my hair. "Let's do something. I'm bored."
"Tag?" Haystack loved tag.
"Hide an seek?" Tails suggested.
"We could have a battle." That was one of my favorite things to do. I was in trainer school, along with Tails and Haystack, but it was summertime; no school. But we still had our rookie Pokémon; a Staravia and Magikarp. The Magikarp was there just so our Staravia could have something to battle, since we're not allowed to catch Pokémon or even partake in battling others.
"C'mon, watching you guys battle is so stupid. We should watch a real battle." Cloud looked behind him and towards the gym. "Here's a deal, next time Ramona is battling, we go and watch her. We'll meet behind the gym. Got it?" The three of us nodded. "Alright, I'm gonna go snag some dinner from the market before everyone leaves. Catch you kids later." He took off towards the marketplace.
Tails sighed. "It's starting to get dark…I have to go too. Good luck at home tonight, Sammy. See ya Haystack." She waved and sprinted towards the other side of town. Me and Haystack looked at each other.
"Just me and you." I said.
"Hey, we should go see if Mom's got some Moo Moo Milk to spare." Haystack grinned, and I nodded. We started for Wormsley Plantation, the smallest "plantation" ever. But Haystack's family was proud of their farm, so you had to respect it.
Rather soon we were walking through the field behind their old house. We got to the backdoor and entered the living room. "Jefferson Wormsley!" Haystack's mom bellowed. "You did not finish your work in the field today, and I had to send your sister out to finish the job." She shook her head in disappointment. "You better not let it happen again, Jefferson." She really wasn't a harsh mom, she was just loud. She was actually a really nice lady.
"Don't worry Mom, I won't." Haystack smiled sheepishly. "Can Sammy and I have some milk?"
Mrs. Wormsley lightened up. "Of course you two can! I'll bring you some right away." She walked into the next room and quickly returned with three bottles. She handed one to Haystack and the other two to me. "Here you are. Take some now and save some for later." She winked.
"Thank you." I smiled. She patted my head and left the room. "I better get home. Stay out of trouble, Haystack."
He laughed. "Yeah right. Bye, Richie." I rolled my eyes at my nickname and started home.
"Samuel Lea!" Nella whispered hastily at me. I closed the backdoor quietly behind me. I heard slow music playing and a bunch of voices, the party had already started. She put her hands on her hips. She was wearing her actual housekeeper uniform; she only wore it during parties. "Where have you been? I told you t' be home by the party!"
"I'm sorry, I went out to Wormsley Plantation." I whispered.
"O' course you did. The one time yer parents say they want you t' attend supper!" She led me towards the back staircase. She looked over her shoulder. "Marcy, take over." I didn't even notice the extra hands were working in the kitchen.
We walked up the steps and in my room quickly. My suit was laid on my bed. She ran into the bathroom and I heard her start the water. "Scrub up then get yourself ready, you hear, Samuel Lea?" She gave me the look. I nodded and quickly got into the bath while she went back to the kitchen.
I dressed in my suit and walked over to the mirror. My hair was sticking up everywhere. I quickly combed the brown locks into place, then headed back down to the kitchen. Nella examined me. She frowned. "Samuel, you need t' learn how t' put them bowties on correctly." She undid the bowtie then quickly got it into place. "There, now you're the handsome kiddo your mama and daddy will love t' see." She smiled. "Now wait in the living room 'til you get called in for supper."
I nodded and walked into the next room over. The living room was the only room with a television. It was one of the largest rooms in the whole house, but it wasn't a room my parents entertained in. They stuck to the dining room and sitting room; two rooms which I was only allowed in for dinner.
My hands were shaking. I was quite nervous. This was, really, the first time I had ever gone to one of my parent's parties. I didn't know who, or what, to expect.
The door opened. My dad stepped in. "Samuel, come here." I approached my father. He was quite an intimidating man. He dressed in formal apparel, suit and tie only, and stood nearly six feet tall. He loved his height; he always stood proudly. That added on to the intimidation. But the main thing was the four or five partners he had always accompanying him. They were a powerful bunch, and if you saw five or six suits coming your way, you'd be scared to death.
"Son, be on your best behavior. I expect nothing but the absolute best." He put his hand on my shoulder. "That's a good rule to live by. Trust me." He winked, but there wasn't a sense of playfulness ever. My father was nothing if not serious.
"I will. I'll be good, I promise." I slightly smiled and he led me into the foyer. A mass of people stood around, holding glasses oh-so elegantly and laughing politely. A man, probably my father's age, strolled over. He held the seriousness my dad had; I could see it in his eyes. His blonde hair was combed fashionably, and his suit was wrinkleless.
"Maroon, this is my son, Samuel Lea. Son, this is Maroon, my new advisor."
Maroon bowed and held his hand out. "How do you do, Samuel Lea?" His voice was light, but his grip on my hand was strong. "I quite admire your name. My grandfather worked for the first Samuel Lea, and I appreciated him so."
"Yes, Maroon's family has been corresponding with ours for generations. Once I heard he was in the area I had to get him here and offer him this position."
"And I gratefully accepted." Maroon smiled. "You'll be seeing a lot of me, I'm afraid. That is why your father wanted us acquainted." Maroon stepped next to Dad. He was probably only five feet tall. Dad towered over him; that's why he liked him so much, I bet.
We stood around for a few more moments, then Nella announced dinner. We walked into the formal dining room. My table was extra-long as everyone sat down. I sat in-between my dad, who sat at the head, and my mom. Nella and the other hands sat the large bird and all of the sides on the table. She made up mine, my moms and my dad's plate first.
"So Endell, have you heard that the champion is thinking about making hunting illegal?" One of the men asked.
Dad shook his head. "I have, and it's absolutely ridiculous. Hunting is recreation, practically a sport, and he just wants to take it away?"
"Well, I think it's because they don't want you hunting and killing Pokémon, Mister Saydan." Someone else said.
"Of course that's what it's about. I know they have banned such things in other regions, but Sinnoh is one of the oldest regions in the world. Hunting and eating Pokémon is an old practice, because we're old and historical. Am I right?" Most of the people nodded or grunted their agreement. Dad grabbed his Staravia leg and took a large bite. "And, it's also quite delicious." We laughed. I took a bite of my meat. Staravia wasn't my favorite by far, it was much too dry for my liking, but when it came to Goldeen and Magikarp, I did eat my fair-share of meat. It was really good and filling. Nella was a vegetarian; I couldn't be one if someone forced me. I tried going for a long time without meat, and it was awful.
The dinner continued. I ate my plate, and then a slice of Nella's best berry pie. Then I was sent up to my room.
Barnella escorted me upstairs, as my mom suggested. We sat on my bed. "Did you have a nice time, Samuel?"
I nodded. "It was fun…I hope I can get to go again." I did hope that that wouldn't be my last formal dinner party. I felt incredibly important going.
"Good. An' don't you be worrying 'bout that. You'll be goin' again. You're gettin' older now. More mature." She patted my head then kissed my forehead. "I'll be up late cleanin' up your mama and daddy's mess, so you better go to sleep when you're s'pose to." She gave me the look and I nodded. "Night, Samuel. Sweet dreamin'."
"Goodnight Nella." She left the room and closed the door behind her. I laid back in the bed. Now that was fun. I smiled. And I'll be going to more. I scooted off my bed and walked over to my balcony. I looked out into the starry night sky. It was a beautiful sight. The stars were extra sparkly tonight, as if they knew I was admiring them.
That was the first time I heard the words echo around my head.
"You are of great importance, Samuel Lea."
Authors Note: Hey! This story, showcasing the life of my OC Samuel Lea, (pronounced Lee, not Leah. Yeah, I know your thoughts.) is filled with lots of tone-changes, time-jumps, and more! Haha. I really challenged myself as a writer, and thanks to this story I've grown a lot in my writing. Because of that, this is the best thing that I've written (you'll see towards the end of the story...Hah) and my favorite thing that I have written. I hope you all enjoy!
Thanks for reading!