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October 28th, 2009 (1:49 PM).
Oatmeal? Are you CRAZY?!
In the middle of nowhere.
Alyssa brushed her bangs out of her face as she marked the last answer on her test triumphantly. She gathered all the papers into a pile.
The teacher smiled as Alyssa approached the desk and brought the papers. This was Alyssa’s second final exam, and she only had three more—they had scheduled one for each day. She grabbed her messenger bag as she passed back by her desk and left the room. Greg glanced up at her angrily as she passed his seat, but she smiled rather than let him bother her today.
The atmosphere in the hallway was so much less stifling than that of the classroom; Alyssa breathed deeply, filling her lungs with non-test-room air. She was free for the rest of the day. She knew she should be studying, but instead she went up to her room and changed into her bathing suit. She had an itch to go to the beach.
Alyssa packed a towel into her mother’s old canvas tote bag and slipped on a sundress she never wore. She packed her Styler just in case and headed out, putting on her sunglasses as she went. The sun felt good on her shoulders. The sky stretched above her, amazingly blue, with only light, wispy clouds. It felt so good to be out.
She pointed herself in the direction of Vientown. It wasn’t a long walk to get there, but it was the beach to the west that she was headed for. Her trek took her past the Vientown Ranger Base, and she paused in her walk to look at it. It was a round building; that alone had always attracted her to it, even as a child. She would tug on her father’s hand and point at it as they passed, saying, “Look, Daddy, that one’s shaped like a
! All the other ones have corners!” Inside were Pokémon Rangers doing good work to help people. She sighed happily.
The door opened and startled her. A Ranger stepped out. He couldn’t have been that much older than her; he had dark brown hair and slightly tanned skin. His Ranger uniform fit him well. He was at least a head taller than she was, and he looked so dashing as he placed a hand on his hip and looked around.
He spotted Alyssa. She blushed furiously, embarrassed, as he walked over and offered her a hand. “Hello. Do you need some assistance?”
“Oh—uh—no,” she said quickly. “I was…just…” But words failed her, and she couldn’t tell him what she was
“Where are you going?” he asked. God, he was handsome. He smiled, revealing a huge dimple. Alyssa almost swooned; he had such a gentle look in his eyes.
“The beach,” she said finally. “I’m going to the beach.”
“You look awfully familiar,” he told her. He put his fingertips on his chin and tapped them thoughtfully. “Hey, wait…you look about sixteen. Shouldn’t you be at school?”
“I go to the Ranger School. It’s final exam week, and—”
“The Ranger School!” He snapped his fingers. “I graduated last year, so I know all about final exam week. Of course. That hair…” He reached out and pulled the sunglasses off her face. Alyssa stiffened as he did so. “You’re Alyssa Thompson! I didn’t recognize you without the uniform!”
Alyssa blinked in the sunshine. This extremely handsome boy
knew her name
? She really needed to start paying attention to who knew her. He grinned broadly down at her as she tried to remember him.
“You probably don’t recognize me,” he said. “Last year about this time, I was running to make it to an exam and I dropped my bag, and all my papers went everywhere. Everyone was rushing to their class, but you stopped to help me get all my papers. I’m Ian Walton. I, uh, wore glasses back then.” He put his thumb and index finger together to make a circle and held them up to his face. “And I was a lot shorter.”
And then it clicked. Alyssa remembered handing some papers to a scrawny-looking kid half her size. They did, indeed, have the name Ian scrawled across the top in untidy handwriting. She had thought he was a freshman. “I
remember you…I thought you were a freshman.”
He laughed and rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, I was little.”
“Wait—did you say your last name was
“You wouldn’t happen to have a younger brother, would you?” Alyssa pulled the tote bag off her shoulder and set it on the ground beside her. Walton was Greg’s last name.
“Yeah, I do. Greg. You should know him. He’s always complaining that you’re the top of the class, and he’s only number two.” Ian laughed appreciatively. “I don’t know why he’s so worked up. It’s not like he’s living in my shadow or anything; I wasn’t top of my class, either. I was more into video games than studying, but I had a strange knack with Pokémon. I wanted to be a Ranger so bad. Greg only wants to be a Ranger for the money.” His face darkened. “I guess there’s a few people like that, but…I just wish I could talk him out of it.”
“Greg wants to be a
?” Alyssa shook her head. “I never knew. He seems more like the Operator type.”
Ian laughed. “He does, doesn’t he? Hey, listen…I have some down time right now. Can I walk with you to the beach? We can reminisce about old times that we never shared.”
“Sure!” Alyssa grabbed her tote bag, but Ian beat her to it.
“I’ll get that for you. Oh—here.” He handed her sunglasses back to her, and she smiled as she put them on.
They walked to the beach, talking and laughing. When they arrived, Alyssa spread out her towel and they sat together on the sand.
“It’s really nice seeing you again,” Ian told her.
“It’s nice seeing you too,” she replied.
It would be nice to see you anywhere,
He laughed. “Yeah, but you didn’t have a crush on me for a year.”
Alyssa blinked. “What?”
Ian was blushing, and he leaned back on his hands and looked up at the sky. “Everyone knew about you, Alyssa. You’re smart, really friendly, and very beautiful. People who would start out being jealous of you would end up really liking you. I saw you in the hallway every day, and once I saw you capture a little girl’s runaway Skitty and give it back to her. You smiled at her so comfortingly and acted so surprised and happy when she gave you a hug…” Ian smiled and looked over at her.
Alyssa blushed fiercely and looked down at her ankles. He had called her
, and that had only been the beginning of his compliments. She remembered that little girl’s Skitty. It hadn’t been especially tough. She had thought no one had known; the little girl had wandered onto the grounds looking for the Skitty, and she would have gotten in trouble if anyone had found out.
“I had a
crush on you from that moment on,” he said, and then he laughed. “But you never noticed me. I guess that happens. Now I’m a Ranger, and I’m really happy! You’re becoming a Ranger too, right?”
“Of course!” Alyssa replied, happy that the conversation had turned lighter. “I love Pokémon, and I love helping people!”
“Well, hopefully you’ll get stationed in Vientown with me. Usually they try to station people close to their hometowns…where’s yours?”
“I have a friend who lives in Pueltown…does that mean she’ll get stationed there?”
“Probably. That’s what they try to do, unless the person requests otherwise.” Ian stretched. “What’s your friend’s na—”
Just then, a Zigzagoon came crashing through the underbrush near Marine Cave and scrambled across the beach, a scared look in its eyes. A rather large Krabby was chasing it, clicking its claws threateningly as it went. Ian leapt to his feet, pulling out his Styler as he went.
The Krabby waved its claws around angrily when it saw Ian step into its path. Alyssa sat up on her knees as the Zigzagoon rushed around to cower behind her, pushing its warm body against her back. It trembled pitifully. She tried to turn around to pet it, but it backed away from her hand. “I don’t want to hurt you,” she told it, but it wouldn’t listen; it whimpered and backed away from her, towards the water. Hoping to calm it down, Alyssa pulled her Styler out of her tote bag and proceeded to use it. She captured Zigzagoon easily, and it cuddled up to her happily as she stroked its head.
“Good work,” Ian said, walking up to her. The Krabby followed behind placidly. “I’m going to go see what upset this Krabby so much. You stay here with that Zigzagoon.”
He turned to walk away and Alyssa crooned over the Zigzagoon until he got back, this time without Krabby. “Apparently Zigzagoon over there accidentally got too close to Krabby’s nest. I saw the tracks. The Krabby got angry and chased it away. How’s it doing?”
“Just fine,” Alyssa replied. “He didn’t mean any harm, did you, Ziggy-pie?” She scratched him lovingly.
“They sure are funny Pokémon,” Ian said, putting his hands in his pockets. “He seems pretty attached to you already.”
“Oh, he’s just grateful.” Alyssa kissed the Pokémon between the ears.
“Yeah, that’s how it starts. The next thing you know, they’re your Partner Pokémon.”
Alyssa looked up at him, astonished. Did he really think that this Zigzagoon would want to be her Partner Pokémon? “Hey…what’s your Partner Pokémon? And where is he?”
“Oh, I have a Prinplup. He’s taking a nap at the base. I met him as a Piplup, all alone and abandoned near Puel Harbor, being terrorized by an Elekid. He started following me around, and the next thing you know…he’s my partner.” Ian shrugged. “It’s that random.” A beeping sound issued from his Styler. “Oh—excuse me, hold on.” He picked it up and examined it before giving a tired sigh. “I’ve got to get back to the base.”
“I’ll walk with you!” Alyssa said brightly, jumping up. She folded up the towel and pushed it down into her bag.
“Oh, but you didn’t even get to swim.”
“It’s okay!” Alyssa threw her bag over her shoulder and leaned down to pet Zigzagoon good-bye. “I have to go back to school now, okay? See you later!” She turned and walked off the beach with Ian. Zigzagoon scurried off into the bushes, but two beady black eyes watched her as she left.
Oh my God, you guys!!!!!
You know I don’t normally send e-mails to both of you at once, but OMG I have to tell you guys something!!
I MET A TOTAL HOTTIE TODAY!!!!
His name is Ian. I’ve met him before, but he was really scrawny and little then. He’s a Ranger stationed in Vientown, and he graduated LAST YEAR!! And get this…drumroll, please…he said he had a crush on me for a year!! O! M! G! He is sooooo hot, and I don’t mean kinda hot, I mean REALLY hot, like a thousand-white-hot-suns hot. Hopefully I get stationed in Vientown so I can get his crush going again! Ooohhh boy!
Oh, and another small, trivial piece of information that means nothing to you two, I’m sure…my graduation is the second Saturday of next month. That is one week before your contest, Cassandra, so I’m SURE you can make some time to stay for a while. HM? HM?
I’m expecting you two to stay with me for a while, so DON’T DISAPPOINT ME!!
Love your totally obsessed Ian-lover,
P.S. Belle, I think my student email is just
, thank you. It works, doesn’t it?!?!
Joined Aug 2009
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