Categories > Anime/Manga > Pokemon > The Spirit of Alola

15. A Constant in Life

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 15 of The Spirit of Alola

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2021-03-30 - Updated: 2021-10-29 - 1979 words - Complete

The sun had yet to peek over the buildings of Hau'oli city as I step out the front door, throwing a dim pink light over the world as it struggles to cast the shadows back into their holes, even from so far away yet. The air is still cool, and the last of the night-dwelling Pokémon can be heard rustling into their nests on the north, south, and east sides of my home. I see a Persian, its dark Alolan form blending well into the shadows of the bushes, creeping along, silent and unnoticed by anything but me.

I walk over towards the fence facing the sea and sit down on the top of a table, placing my bare feet on the bench, not wanting to miss the rising of the sun, my favorite time of day. My coffee mug was still hot, wafts of steam rising in the still morning air.

I'm alone outside, Hop having wandered off into the backyard to explore the deadened trees and bushes once more. There's no Pokémon behind my house, the tall fences and sludge-filled lake having insured this, so I wasn't too worried about her getting into any trouble. Hop is a rather strong Pokémon anyway, so, in most cases, any problem she got into, the clever Delcatty would be able to get out of.

I was woken up late last night by my husband giving me some medicine, but in my bleary state, I can't recall what it was for, though the blanket he threw over me and gently tucked me in with was comforting and warm. It didn't take me long, in my still exhausted stupor, to fall back into a deep, dreamless slumber.

Kabir was still asleep when I awoke this morning, but that's nothing new for me; he's never been much for early mornings, and the sights of a rising sun have never filled him with the same wonder as it does for me. I did notice his white cane was sitting by his bed, which left me concerned for Tinsel's health. She seemed uninjured and quite well when I woke her to check her over, though.

I'll have to ask Kabir what happened last night while I slept, I had thought to myself as I went downstairs to make a pot of coffee for the still sleeping household. Though I'm a rather poor cook, one thing I am very good at is making the caffeinated beverage.

Further confusion abounded for me, though, as I threw the now empty bag of coffee away and noticed a pile of broken glass in the bin and a bit of paper towel with a few smears of blood. Then, in the laundry closet that I opened to throw a used towel in after my shower, I saw a still damp blanket lying in the basket within.

I don't remember that being there before. What on earth happened last night? I questioned myself curiously. I decide to ask Kabir or my sister when I saw them later in the morning.

I still felt tired from yesterday's events, but the fresh sea air was helping to wake me and fill my weary body with strength as I breathed in the clean scent. Taking a sip of my coffee, I look out over the beach, the waves gently moving and early morning birds flying overhead, hoping to catch a sea creature for their breakfast.

A lone figure can be just barely seen standing along the shoreline, statued in the wake of the ever-drawing sea. They are too far away for me to make out more than a vague silhouette at this moment. I wonder curiously who this stranger could be.

Squinting to allow my eyes to adjust to the light, I slowly began to make out a few more features; girlish curves, short hair, thin, muscular build, shoulders hunched, and their head down. I stand and stride over to the steps leading down to the beach to get a closer look, the stranger still not noticing me. No, not a stranger. It's my sister.

I rush down the uneven steps towards her form, the sound of the waves cutting off the noise of my approach as my bare feet slap against the rocky path.

"Anya," I call out.

I see her figure jump, unprepared for the arrival of another being, the movement taking me by surprise.

Anya has always been aware of her surroundings, even as a child. Kabir and I used to make a game out of it, trying to be the first to catch the ever-vigilant girl off guard. I could probably count the number of times our attempts were successful on one hand.

"Sashi, what are you doing down here?" She asks in an angry hiss, not meeting my eyes. She's trying to hide something in her voice, but it doesn't take me any time to catch on.

"Anya, what's wrong?" I push gently, reaching a hand out and grabbing her arm.

"Nothing's wrong. I'm just going for a walk," she says, sounding defensive as she shrugs my hand off and turns away.

"Oh really?" I say, unconvinced, "just a walk?"

"Yes, can't a girl go for a walk by herself in peace around here?" She retorts.

"Not you, and certainly not on the beach. You hate the ocean." I answer back. "What are you doing out here?" She doesn't respond.

The sun has just tipped over the tops of the buildings and trees, a soft yellow and pink glow lighting up my sister's face.

She turns away quickly. "Like I said. I'm just going for a walk." Her fists ball up.

"Did you get any sleep at all last night?" I ask, my voice growing softer again.

"I'm not tired if that's what you're trying to get at." Her voice still sounds hard, but I can hear the pain underneath very clearly now, as she struggles to control her emotions.

"Can I at least join you on your walk?"

Though she doesn't respond, she starts walking, away from the rising sun, one slow step after another. Our faces are hidden in shadow. Her fist is still clenched, and her shoulders are shaking.

We walk like this for some time, the sun rising behind us, slowly bringing warmth to our backs. The land Kabir and I own, casting its own daunting shadow. Ever present and ever-looming.

The dark etches in the land cast by night slowly seep away, banished by the sun, crawling back into their homes amongst only the deepest gullies and caves. Our own shadows diminish from long serpentine forms to short human-like shapes as the sun begins to brighten, changing from the soft yellows and pinks of sunrise to the stronger whites of day.

Our slow amble has not brought us far, even though we walk on in silence for a very long time. Finally, though, Anya's shifting pace comes to a halt. I keep my eyes down and stare at the water as it moves restlessly across the sand, back and forth, back and forth, constantly swaying, always having somewhere else to be. It's one of the few constants in life.

"I miss him so much," her voice is so low and soft that I nearly miss it before the seas' constant pull grabs the choked words and sucks it out into its depths.

I don't know who's voice spoke beside me, but it didn't sound like my Anya. She's always been the stronger twin. Always the more clever, the more carefully articulated.

She, who would get Kabir and I out of trouble just by the use of her cunning words, even if she had to twist the truth to do so. She, whose voice pulled her away from the family's normal routine of Pokémon care and propelled her into her own world of human medicine. She, who could talk with a fire, brighter than any on this planet, setting alight flames in the hearts of those who listened, but whose speech could be so caring and gentle to the suffering families whose loved ones she couldn't save.

I look down at a long scar on her left arm, marring her soft caramel-colored skin, and think about our childhood;

I wanted to climb a tree so I could see the ocean over the hills behind our house. Anya had tried to talk me out of it, but my stubborn self went up anyways. I climbed so high that the tree swayed beneath me, tossed about by the slightest of breezes. It was hard to hold on, and I became too scared to climb back down, dizzied by the height. I closed my eyes and started crying, fear engulfing my fragile child mind.

A Beedrill nest wasn't too happy about my noise, and they dove in to attack. I let go of the trunk in fright and felt my body fall towards the waiting ground. It was Anya who stopped my descent, probably saving my life. I came away with mere bruises and cuts, bawling my eyes out as they stung on my cheeks and arms.

Anya didn't get off as lucky. When I landed on her, I heard a snap, loud and gut-wrenching. Still, she pulled me to my feet and scolded me for being so reckless. Then she helped me back to the house, speaking soothing words to me to hush my sobbing.

Our mom took one look at the two of us coming back into our garden and ran over, yelling in fright. I expected her to scoop me into her arms and let me bawl my tiny pains away when instead, she pulled my sister up and left swiftly in the car, leaving my youngest siblings and me to stay behind at the neighbors home. They treated my scratches and put ice on my bumps, giving me candies and sugary drinks, telling me over and over again how brave I was.

Anya didn't come home until the next day, her arm in a cast. Having never shed a single tear. Never giving a hint to the pain she had felt. Instead, she stayed stoic in the midst of her own severe pains, shielding my eyes from her mangled arm to soothe my minuscule hurts. The scar showed now, puffy and ugly, forever marring her skin.

I found, even now, she can speak better than me. Where she, her heart filled with pain and grief, whispers out words of the torment in her life, I find myself to be without even a voice. I have no words to soothe an aching heart, not the way she can. I can't think of how to pull the pain out of her life. It will be a scar that she will carry forever, just as the one on her arm. I failed to give her words of comfort then, and even now, I fail.

I reach out and put my hand on her shaking shoulder. The look she gives me nearly breaks me more than the pain in her voice. Tears streak down her face, darkening the skin wherever the wetness touches. Her eyes are puffy and red, the deep browns echoing her heartache.

Her knees give out, and she collapses to the ground, holding herself up with one arm. I move down with her, unable to react fast enough to catch her falling form. She lays her head on my shoulder, and I wrap my arms around her, trying with all my strength to hold the broken pieces together. Her body shivers as she sobs her heart out.

Behind, the waves crash, drowning out her gasps of pain. Water swells up underneath us, soaking our legs, then drawing back into the ocean, unconcerned by the scene before it, swaying back and forth, back and forth. One of the few constants in life.
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