The story of a romance between a good girl with a strong sense of justice and a gang leader aspiring to be a mafia lord... Will such a past ever be revealed to the one who came into existence as a ...
Don't Give Me Diamonds
Diamond 01: Give Me Memories
Ash never thought that when he stopped at Pallet Town, taking a break from his journey, he would be caught up in his mother's spring cleaning. The young man pictured a calm visit in the company of his mother, Delia, his girlfriend, Misty and his dear friend, Brock, albeit a short visit since he had another pokemon tournament to attend soon. It was a small tournament in Viridian City, a tourist attraction more so than an official competition, but it had a nice cash price and Ash was saving up for something important.
He went up the stairs that led to the attic where Misty had disappeared to a few minutes earlier. He snuck up behind the redhead, though he made no effort to hide the sound of his footsteps, he didn't want to startle Misty into dropping the vase she was cleaning. Ash wrapped his arms around Misty's waist and rested his head on her shoulder.
"What do think?" Misty held up the now clean vase, "your mom mentioned wanting a vase to put flowers in, she thought she had one up here. Could this be the one she was thinking of?"
"It looks right to me," not that Ash saw a huge difference between one vase and another.
"I think it's very pretty," it was not a surprising statement coming from Misty, given that the vase was painted in shades of blue and decorated with ocean waves. "We should show your mom."
"In a few minutes..." Ash kissed her neck.
Misty placed the vase down on top of a pile of boxes, turning around to face Ash, "look who decided to stop ignoring me."
"I wasn't ignoring you, I've just been busy... by the way, I have another tournament coming up," Ash confessed.
"Oh... I haven't heard of any major tournaments, which is it?" Misty inquired.
"It's a small tournament in Viridian City, the shops around the area are sponsoring it, probably to attract tourists. They say the Viridian gym leader will participate in the final match, so the winner of the tournament will have to face him. Do you remember when I got my Earth Badge years ago? It was against Team Rocket, I never saw the Viridian city gym leader," Ash recalled. "Thinking back on it, maybe we should have stayed back there and made sure the real leader was okay, with Team Rocket having taken over the gym like that he might have been hurt. I suppose there's no use in thinking about that now; it looks like everything turned out well in the end after the gym was repaired."
"I see," Misty's face, which had looked a bit tired before, brightened at the explanation. "You want to face the gym leader because you didn't have a chance to battle him before."
"Yeah, plus there's a really good cash price," Ash smiled and Misty frowned. "What is it? What's wrong?"
"Nothing Ash," she pouted, tired of Ash's seemingly greedy attitude recently. She also felt excluded, as if he was keeping a secret from her, one that Pikachu and the rest of his pokemon knew, but Ash had not shared with her, denying he was hiding anything when she asked.
"Misty..." as she walked away in the crowded attic and he followed, they tripped and pulled each other down when trying to regain their balance, bumping into more boxes and causing an avalanche, thankfully far enough from the vase not to knock it down.
The loud noise summoned Delia to the scene, who found her son and Misty digging themselves out from under the pile of boxes, "are you both alright?" She rushed to help set them free of the avalanche.
"I'm fine, are you okay, Misty?" Ash who had landed on top, was the first to get on his feet, extending his hand to help Misty up.
"Yeah, I'm alright," she accepted the help and observed the disarray of boxes, some of which had been opened by the impact, the old tape unable to hold together after such a long time, spilling their contents on the dusty attic floor. "I hope nothing was broken."
"Don't worry about it," Delia began to sort through the random items, "these boxes have been here for a long time, I've forgotten what's in them by now."
Misty saw a sparkle and picked it up. It was an earring, which had fallen out of an exquisitely decorated golden box with clear crystals. Misty placed the earring back in the box and picked it up, surprised by its weight. "What beautiful rhinestones!" She wondered why such lovely jewelry was stashed up in an attic and not sitting with dignity on Delia's dresser.
"Rhinestones?" Delia looked up with curiosity; she received the heavy box from Misty, who obviously didn't notice it was made of gold, otherwise she would have mentioned it. She must have assumed it was gold painted iron to explain its weight, an accurate imitation of a golden box, but an imitation none the less. That was not the truth and Delia knew it, the box was made of gold and the decorative crystals were diamonds. The jewelry didn't include a single rhinestone; they were all real diamonds, very expensive and very nostalgic. "Oh my, I had forgotten these..."
"Shouldn't you keep them in your room? They're very pretty," Misty observed.
"Yes, I should," Delia smiled, forcing the turmoil of emotion that had surfaced to stay calm for just a little longer.
"Mom, who is this?" Ash held up a brown wooden picture frame, it was very average looking, unlike the elegance contained in the image it held.
Delia stared at the picture. For some time, she had that frame in her room, Professor Oak's guest room where she stayed when she first moved to Pallet Town, then her bedroom in the little house she was finally able to afford after establishing the only restaurant in the small town no one previously thought was sufficiently large to support a food establishment, but it proved to be enough.
In the distant past, she would look at that picture before falling asleep and wonder what he was doing, if he thought of her, if he missed her or if he had moved on. She questioned her choice to leave him and to keep her pregnancy a secret. Then she fell asleep and dreamt of a happy time forever lost to the past, waking up with renewed determination and also renewed regret.
When Ash was born, the little boy soon occupied her dreams with expectations of a bright future. Her son gave her strength because she new he needed her to be strong for him. She still kept the picture in her room, albeit her other mementos had been stored away.
One day, little Ash who was a little over a year old, toddled over to her nightstand and reached for the picture, stretching his little body until he grabbed hold of the edge of the frame and pulled the picture off the table. The behavior was unusual, Ash was certainly a curious little boy but his mother had taught him to ask, rather than grab things. He listened most of the time, pointing at the object of his curiosity and letting out a stream of hasty baby babble with a few words mixed in.
"Ash, honey, be careful not to break mommy's picture," Delia extended her hand, but Ash didn't give her the picture right away.
Instead the boy curiously looked at it, recognizing the image of his own mother, "mama..." he paused, examining the image of a man next to her. He had been over to Gary's house before, another boy his age; Gary had a grandfather, a mother and a father. "dada?"
Delia should have seen this coming; kids are smarter than they're given credit for. "Yes, that's your dad." She never mentioned his name, but she saw Ash's face brighten at the confirmation, then look puzzled, as if wanting to ask where his father was and being unable to find the words to do so. "He's on a journey, he's a pokemon trainer." From a certain perspective, it was the truth.
Delia didn't directly lie, she instead told Ash bits and pieces of the truth, carefully selected to sound interesting but ambiguous. Giovanni had started out as a pokemon trainer, traveling from one city to another.
After Ash finally let go of the picture, Delia deemed it too dangerous to keep in such a visible place and put it away. She didn't want Ash to become too curious about his father and search for him when he was old enough to do so but still too young not to be easily convinced. She didn't want Ash getting caught up with the mafia.
It was, as expected, not the end of Ash's questions, far from it, it was only the beginning. When Ash seemed to wonder about the missing picture, Delia would tell him an exciting story about his father and his pokemon and that would keep him entertained. Soon the boy no longer searched for the picture, instead asking for stories.
As Ash grew, the picture he saw as a toddler was forgotten and he came to understand that, though his mother was happy to tell him stories, she had no intentions of revealing the identity of his father, and Ash would feel bad pressuring her. Though he was young, he knew that people didn't live forever; maybe his father had passed away tragically and his mother would be sad if she was pressured to talk about it. However, something in the way his smother spoke hinted that his father was still alive somewhere.
Did they divorce? Did he abandon her? The second theory made little sense to Ash. He would expect his mother to be upset if that was the case, but she didn't speak badly of his father, though she might be sugar coating the stories. Maybe they divorced, handling the situation as adults did and somehow agreeing to go their separates ways. Ash didn't really understand it, but he believed he would when he was older and with that theory, he remained patient.
The subject of his father was one of the few, probably the only, topic in which Ash was patient. The boy was very impatient otherwise and he could be quite stubborn too, much like his father. His curiosity knew no boundaries and he asked about everything, especially pokemon. He was fascinated by the creatures and their mysterious powers.
Strong, independent and with an iron will, Ash reminded Delia of Giovanni in many ways, thus she took extra care in guiding him down the right path and teaching him not to give into the temptation of power.
Years later, that little boy stood before her, now a young man and though he was taller than her now, his eyes still looked at her with the same curiosity of that year old boy who wanted to know his father. The boy who had to settle for ambiguous stories, spoken often, casually and cheerfully, while holding so many untold secrets.
Delia forced herself to smile, "he was my boyfriend," she didn't lie, the picture screamed of a formal date. One with live music, dancing, tuxedos, dresses and jewelry, diamonds... "I should put these away," taking the golden diamond filled box and the picture, Delia turned away. "oh, the vase, I knew it was around here, thank you for cleaning it!" She picked it up as well and left the attic.
Delia placed the vase on the living room table on her way, glanced out the window at Brock who was hard at work cleaning the carpets in the yard and petted Pikachu as she made her way down the hall to her room. Even the pokemon were helping with the cleaning so it should be done soon.
She closed her room's door and locked it, knowing she would only be able to hold back for so long, then collapsed into a disarray of emotions with quiet sobs. She pushed herself to her feet and placed the jewelry box on the dresser and the picture on the nightstand, refusing to hide the items any longer. Then she let herself fall into bed and buried her face in the pillow, her imagination carrying her to a time so long ago.
She tried to compose herself and got up, walked over to the dresser and retrieved a little black box from the jewelry box and from it a ring. Rhinestone on silver, one would assume at first glance. Yet the sparkle was too brilliant to be false, a diamond, a diamond on white gold, a diamond that large? They would still be wrong.
She slid the platinum diamond ring on her finger; it felt heavy and it and reminded her of her sorrow during the occasion that should have been happy. This was the first time she ever wore that ring, but the action could have no significance after so many years.
She saw herself as a young girl, dreaming that one day, her prince would come, handsome and strong, to offer her a diamond ring and ask for her hand in marriage. When she grew up she found that she didn't like diamonds after all, she preferred love.
To be Continued
Talk about a long introduction, Delia and Giovanni's past story will begin to be revealed in the next chapter. This story was inspired by a dream, which was inspired by a song, which I was in the mood to listen to after completing the mini-site "Endless", which I made to participate in the Pokethon, a Pokemon fan site and shrine marathon which is currently running.
The story obviously has differences from my dream so it's not random, but the dream was relatively organized so it turned out pretty similar. Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon... oh the possibilities if I did.