Seen May 26th, 2019
Posted April 12th, 2018
29 posts
3.2 Years
Chapter Eleven

“... So that’s why you should listen to me when we need to forfeit the battle,” Brenda was explaining to Ren how he should avoid getting knocked out, when a preschooler bumped into her legs.

The preschooler, who hadn’t been paying attention, fell backwards and started crying.

“Oh easy there,” Brenda said, lowering herself, and offering a hand to the child. “You were just startled, but fortunately you only hit your butt.”

As he took Brenda’s hand, another preschooler approached.

“Sam don’t be silly. You shouldn’t cry just because you fell,” the child said.

“It’s ok,” Brenda told both children. “Sam is just learning, and besides there’s no reason to be ashamed about crying when something hurts.”

Sam gave her thanks, and both boys were on their way back to what seemed to be a small kindergarten. Next to that house, was another with a large enclosure and quite a number of pokemon, including rare and foreign ones.

Curious, Brenda decided to take a look inside.

“Welcome,” an old lady said as she entered. “This is the Unova Daycare, Route 3 branch. How may I help you?”

“Thank you, but nothing in particular,” Brenda smiled. “I only have one pokemon, so I can’t deposit him, even if I wanted to.”

The old lady bowed, and sat down on a chair behind the counter.

Two children, of similar age as the prior two or a little older, were in the daycare with their pokemon. One of them was a mothim, and the other was a sewaddle.

“Wow, your pokemon has already evolved to its final form,” Brenda couldn’t help noticing.

The two children looked at Brenda, with round eyes.

“That’s because bug pokemon evolve fast, and I’ve taken care of Mothy with all my heart,” said the girl.

“My Doodle hasn’t evolved yet because I just caught her yesterday,” the boy said, but he wasn’t in a cheerful mood.

“My Ren hasn’t evolved either,” Brenda told the boy, with hopes of comforting him. “But I think that increases the surprise-factor, doesn’t it?”

“Surprise-factor? What’s that?”

“It’s when you don’t expect something, and yet it happens. Surprises are fun, and more if it’s concerning pokemon.”

The children remained thoughtful for a moment, and then the girl smiled, while the boy just shrugged.

“I won’t have a surprise-factor,” he said, pointing his mouth. “Because my parents want me to release Doodle.”

“Why is that?”

“They say I’m not big enough to take care of a pokemon. Even though I told them Sasha is the same age as me, and she already has a mothim.”

Brenda knitted her brows in empathy, since her mother had also not allowed her to have pokemon in the house until she graduated pokeschool.

“That’s a pity,” she said. “I don’t really understand adults who don’t want children to get a headstart taking care of pokemon. I only see benefits, and no cons.”

”I don’t know what a con is, but I think so too,” the boy said.

“Yeah, even if Tom wasn’t paying attention to Doodle, I’d make him,” Sasha agreed.

“Sis, would you please talk to my parents? Maybe they need to talk to an adult, because we’re just kids,” Tom pleaded, raising his sewaddle. “Please help, please please?”

“Wait you guys,” Brenda stood up. “I’m not an adult yet myself. I’d like to help, but I don’t think I can change your parents’ mind.”

However, the children echoed each other with please-s, that in the end she was forced to see Tom’s parents.

Brenda stayed at the kindergarten and its little park, playing with the preschoolers, until the time came when parents would pick up their children.

Having grown up an only child, and with two friends who had older siblings, Brenda had had little experience taking care of little children. That is why at first, she was uncomfortable standing among all the children, even when Tom and Sasha were kind enough to invite her over to play.

However, she did end up making friends with the other children, thanks to Ren. The children approached her, curious about her partner. Many of them had never seen a Riolu before, and the few that did, boasted about knowing of them.

Unexpectedly, Ren did not seem to have trouble mingling with the children. He was roughly the same size as them, so he was able to play with the same toys, swings and slides as the children. From Brenda’s perspective, she was rather glad that she had been convinced to stay, if only to be able to see Ren laugh happily like he was while playing.

While Ren played, Brenda chose to help out the caregivers by tending to injured children and cleaning the kindergarten.

Finally, as the sky started to turn orange, Tom’s parents showed up.

They were well-dressed in formal suits. The father was a tall man, who seemed to maintain a smile on his face, while the mother, though good-natured, seemed to be more strict.

“Mom, Dad, this is my friend Brenda,” Tom introduced her to them. “I met her today, and she is a trainer, and she has a Riolu.”

Ren was standing just behind Brenda, peeking at Tom’s parents.

The two adults offered their hand, and Brenda locked each in a handshake.

“She’s going to tell you why I should keep Doodle,” Tom said, and then ran off to where Sasha was waiting for him.

His parents were left confused.

“Doodle? That little boy, whatever could he have meant by that?” the mother asked.

“Doodle is the name of his Sewaddle, madam.”

The lady sighed.

“Oh, so he still hasn’t released that pokemon.”

“No, he hasn’t. He carries her everywhere, and every so often releases her out of her pokeball to play with her. Doodle also seems quite happy to play with Sasha’s Mothy, too.”

Tom’s mother looked at Brenda in something close to awe, but this time the father spoke.

“I take it you have spent your day looking after Tom,” he said. “Thank you for that, but if you might be implying that we should keep the sewaddle, I’m afraid we may waste your time unnecessarily.”

“I already told Tom that I wasn’t sure I could change your minds,” Brenda replied. “But at least hear me out. May I ask, have either of you been a pokemon trainer?”

Both adults shook their heads sideways.

“Do you know that Tom wants to eventually become a pokemon trainer after he finishes pokeschool?”

“Yes, we know. However, he is still young, and his mind is bound to change,” the father said.

“Whether or not he becomes a pokemon trainer,” Brenda continued. “Only fate will decide. However, I’m a firm believer that growing up with pokemon will only nurture his innocent soul.”

Brenda scratched her nose, a little embarrassed at what she would say next.

“The truth is, I’m only now realizing that there is something neither pokeschool or your parents can teach you, unless you spend time with pokemon.”

“What is that, if we may ask?”

“The difficulty of building a strong bond with pokemon,” she said. “As a child, I tended to be liked by wild pokemon I’d just met, so I imagined that earning the trust of my partner when I became a trainer would be the easiest part of my journey. I have to - I must admit I was wrong. Ren and I still have a long way to go, and he reminds me of that in the way he battles.”

Brenda laughed, and petted Ren’s head.

“‘A strong bond between trainer and pokemon can make the impossible to become possible’, Professor Juniper always said. However, it takes time, and most importantly, determination and effort to build. I’ve only been with Ren a few days. I’ve gotten injured because of him. I’ve bought the wrath of a friend because of him. Even then, he’s my partner, and I want to dedicate every moment of my career to build that trust between us. That’s why I support your son’s willingness to make friends with Doodle. He will learn that Doodle is not just a doll, which does things the way he wants, but an individual with her own mind. Why not start to build a bond now that he’s young? If he becomes a trainer in the future, their bond which was fermented over the years may open doors that would have otherwise remained shut.”

The three of them did not speak much following this, and Brenda felt sorry for Tom that she was unable to draw in his parents a change in mind.

With polite farewells, Brenda parted ways with Tom’s parents, and asked them to give him her regards.

Just as she was reaching the point where Wellspring Cave’s entrance was visible, Ren and her were stopped by a voice shouting Brenda’s name repeatedly.

Upon turning around, they were surprised to see Tom running and panting.

“What is it, Tom?” Brenda asked, lowering herself to match Tom’s height.

“You forgot your reward,” he replied in between puffs of air.

“Reward?” Brenda batted her eyes, and then wondered whether it was a gift from the caregivers for helping them in the day. “It’s fine. Go back, and tell the caregivers that I volunteered my time, and so they don’t have to give me anything in return, will you, Tom?”

Tom shook his head frantically.

“No, it’s not from them,” he said, taking something out of his pocket. “It’s for talking to my parents. They’ll let me keep Doodle now!”

Brenda’s face lit up instantly.

“I’m so happy, Tom. I don’t need a reward, you’ve given me one already, by taking away my sadness.”

Though she said this, Tom insisted that she have her reward.

It seems I’m weak to demands from kids, she thought and chuckled, as she opened her palm to receive said reward.

“What’s this, a pokeball?”

It was something she was definitely not expecting.

“See what’s inside,” Tom encouraged her.

Brenda nodded, and pressed the button on the pokeball. Together with the familiar opening sound, a sewaddle appeared.

“What, but Tom,” Brenda started. “You just told me your parents allowed you to keep Doodle.”

“Yes, they did,” he replied, giggling. “This is not Doodle. She’s Doodle and Mothy’s daughter.”

The recollection that she had met Tom and Sasha at the Daycare flashed in the back of her head.

“Granny had told us that if you put a female and a male pokemon in the same Daycare, sometimes they’d find your female pokemon holding an egg. So Sasha and I tried it out, and it was true! When it hatched this morning, this little girl came out of the egg.”

“If you don’t become a trainer, Tom, you should become a pokemon researcher. You’re already doing wonderful experiments!”

Brenda laughed, and Tom giggled again.

“I want to be a trainer, just like you, Brenda.”

“Thank you, and thank you for the gift too. I’ll treasure my Sewaddle just like you do your Doodle, remember that.”

Brenda gave Tom a little hug, and waved her hand until he was out of sight.

“What do you think, Ren?” Brenda asked, as she petted the Sewaddle. “Do you think you can make friends with her?”

Ren looked at the green larva, who looked back at him with drowsy eyes. Then, he looked away with furrowed brows, and crossed his arms.

“You say that now,” Brenda snickered. “But I’m sure you’ll become good friends.”

Brenda picked up the Sewaddle, but it did not struggle to set herself free. Rather, she seemed wholly unconcerned about what was happening in her surroundings.

“I guess her nature is quiet, calm or relaxed,” Brenda noted. “I’ll name her Leaf, for she has one large leaf on her head, even larger than Doodle’s, I think.”

Leaf returned to her pokeball wholly composed, much like Ren had never done, and the three of them carried on with their walk to Nacrene City.