Categories > Games > Pokemon > The Spirit of Alola - Book 2 - A Hurting Heart

Chapter 22 - The Sister’s Arrival

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 22 of Spirit of Alola - Book Two

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2023-08-12 - 2071 words - Complete

We stopped more times than I would like to admit but it wasn’t because of who I would have guessed. It was never uncommon for Kabir to be ill or hospitalized and he often took extended amounts of time to recover. He was used to long walks and even though his body was weak from his few days’ stay in a hospital bed, we didn’t wait for him, not in truth.

It was Mel. She tried to hide it, but I could tell she was in a fair amount of pain, but not from any physical injuries. Her green eyes squinted in the sunshine even though the sky had become overcast as we traveled. A few times, when she thought no one was looking, I could see her gulping in air and clutching at her chest. I pushed her to tell us what was happening a few times, but she would either dance around the subject or completely ignore the question entirely. Which was foolish, because the others were clearly aware of her weakened state as well.

Burnet was watching her closely and would most often force us to halt, claiming she saw something in a bush she wanted to investigate, or stopping to pick a random flower or twig up and then examining it carefully before placing it back in the grass after an awkwardly long amount of time. If she couldn’t think of anything, Kabir would ask us to stop, saying he needed to rest, but he always looked perfectly well to me. Even Himiko seemed worried, taking it upon herself to lead the older woman by holding her hand.

When we finally reached Kabir’s place, what would have been a twenty-minute walk, had taken us over an hour. The Professors joined us at the house as there was a lot we would need to catch up on as a group, particularly with the new information I had learned from Doctor Nikol.

“Mel, just tell us what’s going on. We all know you aren’t doing well.” I grumbled with annoyance as we sat down on the couches in the living room. Kabir was in the kitchen, preparing a meal for us with Kukui while we girls talked and minded the children. Even so, I could see movement from the boys, mainly Kabir, his head peeking around a corner periodically to listen in.

She held her tongue, not relaxing back into the couch, but instead sitting with her hands on her knees and eyes straight forward.

“Please,” came the kinder voice of Burnet. “We’re worried about you.”

Instead of the graying woman answering, Kabir called out from the kitchen doorway, “Mom, they’re right. Please just tell us what’s wrong so we can better help you recover.”

“It’s not that I don’t want you guys knowing,” She finally said after another long pause. “I used too much of my power yesterday when I -” She stumbled over her next words, looking more pained at what she said. “When I attacked you. I released too much for my body to handle. Now, though my Psychic powers are returning, it’s taking the rest of me longer to recover.”

“So you’re too weak for your powers right now,” Kabir affirmed with an understanding nod of his head. He had moved from the kitchen into the living room, pushed into doing so by Kukui so he could be more involved in the conversation. He was in the same boat as her most days, but I had never seen them cause him chest pains.

“Yes,” came the simple reply. Her voice shook on just that word, green eyes closed to keep from seeing everyone else.

“Mel,” Burnet moved from her spot next to me and sat on the couch with the older woman. She placed a comforting hand behind her and rubbed circles on her back. “There’s no reason for you to be ashamed of that. It was a bad day for everyone, even the Pokemon. We’re all still recovering.”

The white-haired Professor pointed at the Alolan Raichu in the room. Squall had not returned to playing with Himiko, leaving that to Dangle the Cutiefly. Instead, he sat on the couch next to me, leaning against a cushion, only half awake. Mel hadn’t even released any of her own Pokemon, though it was very abnormal for her to be without one by her side.

The old Psychic found her voice as she spoke, “It’s my fault though. If I hadn’t allowed myself to be consumed by anger, none of you would have been in the state you are.” She shot a glance at me to silence a retort, then continued. “Opūnui would be here too, but instead, he’s stuck at his home trying to recoup from injuries I inflicted. So damn be my own recovery. This pain is my punishment.” Her last words were spat out like a bite of foul food, her respirations increasing until she sounded like she’d just been running.

The curse slipping from Mel’s lips took us all by surprise. I’ve never heard her do that before. At the increase in the woman’s anger, my Raichu’s eyes had shot open. He crawled onto his tail and floated in front of me protectively, his cheeks buzzing with energy.

“Squall,” I whispered, “It’s fine. Sit back down,” He looked back at me as if uncertain, but then obeyed, though he didn’t return to his comfortable position.

After that interaction, it was quite a while before anyone else spoke again. Burnet moved off into the kitchen to help her husband cook. Once the food was ready, instead of moving to the dining area, they placed the meal on the table in the living room. Kabir sat next to Mel on the couch opposite me, Kukui on his right. Burnet and I sat side by side, chewing silently. Mel took a few bites of food, but that was it. I made a silent mental note of this.

It was Kabir who finally broke the silence. “So, a headache and chest pains. That’s what you’re suffering with right now, correct?” Mel responded with a quiet confirmation. “Besides your physical injuries, are there any other symptoms we should be aware of?”

“I’ve lost memory.” Her voice had softened once more. Tempest, Kabir’s Kantonian Raichu, who had been helping in the kitchen had since moved to her side. Mel’s hand slipped from her lap and sat on the Pokémon’s head, her digits finding the pointed ears and rubbing one of them between her fingers and thumb.

“How much?” Kabir appeared deeply worried by this new information. I could understand why, considering the history of his family.

“Just the battle portion. Doctor Nikol filled me in on what all happened, but I can’t recall any of it myself.”

Her son was sitting up straight as if clinging to her every word. “Is anything else missing?”

“Not that I’m aware of, but I can’t exactly pull up every single memory I have.”

The two people outside of our family, Kukui and Burnet, looked at each other with confusion at the strange reaction and seemed ready to ask for clarification, but I interrupted them. “Speaking of a bad memory, when is Athini supposed to arrive?”

Mel took this opportunity to busy herself. She glanced at her phone and responded. “Their plane should have landed by now, but they wanted to stop by the hotel first. It shouldn’t take them too long though, plus they will both be able to fly here with their Pokemon.”

“Anya, please try to be civil when they get here,” Kabir requested, his blind eyes facing me.

“Only if she does the same,” I retorted with a sniff.

Burnet glanced at me. “Do you two not get along?”

It was Kabir who responded with a small chuckle. “Anya doesn’t get along with anyone even on a good day.”

The white-haired woman bumped me on the shoulder with her own, “I think we do alright. You didn’t try to kill me while you were staying at my place.”

“I may have come close at times though,” I continued the joke. The group laughed at this, even Mel joining in with a light giggle of her own.

Kukui was the next to speak. “So, where is your sister coming from? Is she in Johto also?”

“No,” Kabir replied. He paused dramatically with a mischievous grin. “She’s from Kaneko.”

Kukui fairly jumped out of his skin. “What? I haven’t met anyone from there before! This is so exciting! I hope they arrive soon. I have so many questions.” Even Mel laughed more openly at the theatrics of the man. “What does she and her husband do for a living?”

“You’re going to love this. She’s a Professor. Her husband stays at home and takes care of the place and the kids when they were younger.”

“A Professor from the Kaneko Region is coming here?” He was on his feet now, looking like he might sprout wings himself to fly out and meet her.

Burnet had stood too, but it was to grab her husband’s hands. “Alright, calm down. You’re going to frighten them away by acting like that.” She was laughing though, and appeared just as excited. Once she was able to rein him in a little she turned to Kabir and asked. “So, she takes after you in her studies then?”

“She’s eight years older than me. If anything, I copied her.”

“That’s right. Sashi told me about your siblings.” She recalled, nodding her head. Then her yellow eyes widened, “Kabir, I was actually thinking about that the other day.”

He looked confused. “About Athini?”

“No, your little sister, Ila,” Burnet began her tone now careful but eager.

Everyone but Kukui and her looked utterly baffled.

“Sashi told me about her too. How she went missing as a newborn when your mother left. Kukui has a lot of connections from all around the world. If you’d let us, we’d be more than willing to try and help you track her down.” She offered.

“You’d really want to help -“ but he was interrupted by a knock on the front door.

Kukui nearly exploded out of his seat but was stopped by Mel. “This is Kabir’s sister. He hasn’t seen her for a long time.” The Professor quieted at the comment and sat back down, looking embarrassed.

The blind man rose to his feet, his PokeAssist, a blue Sylveon named Tinsel, easily leading him to the source of the noise. She guided his hand to the doorknob with a ribbon and he opened it up, revealing his family.

“Kabir,” The woman said with tired relief, “It’s Athini and Myron.”

Professor Athini Acacia was a thin woman. She stood nearly at the same height as Kabir, who was rather tall himself. She wasn’t wearing her long white lab coat like she would have been if she were back at her home, but she did still have the teal hair clip in, holding back her long blonde hair from her face. I couldn’t see them at this distance, but I knew her yellow eyes would be sparkling with joy to see her brother.

Myron was shorter than his wife but looked just as thin. He had short, fiery red hair that stuck up at odd angles like a bird had nested in it. They both moved into the house and pulled Kabir into a tight three-way hug.

It took a few minutes for them to finish their greeting and start moving into the house. Athini’s eyes swept over the room very briefly as she proclaimed. “You have guests.” She looked towards Mel and Kukui, nodding at them, then towards Burnet and me. Her expression dropped immediately and her voice lowered as she suddenly glared in our direction. “What is she doing here?” She growled, backing up, her attitude switching to pure fury.

Myron jumped at the change and tried to grab his wife’s hand, but she was moving too quickly now. She spun on her heels and marched out the door, slamming it behind her.
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