It was freezing cold outside as I took the trash to the trashcan. I swear that mom and dad cleaned the house in the dead of winter just to torture me. My name is Danté. Mom always says that spring-cleaning should be done before spring so we don’t have anything to worry about it in the spring. I say that they do it to torture me with the freezing cold winds. Our entire family is just like a bunch of packrats so every time spring-cleaning comes around, we always have a lot of junk to throw out. My friends always pick on me because wild pokémon were dead scared of me for some reason. Wild pokémon will go to my other friends but not me. Everyone says I’ll make a bad trainer someday. So because of the constant picking, I stay home most of the time. Anyway, back to the trash. This load wasn’t so bad. It’s just a bunch of old newspapers and old towels. The last bag I put in there this morning had my old smelly gym socks. At least the temperature was up a few degrees than earlier this morning. I stood near the trashcan and prepared myself for the stink of my gym socks by breathing through my mouth. I lifted the lid and looked in as I lifted the trash bag I was hauling. I was surprised at what I saw. It was a small yellow ball of fluff. I thought someone had thrown an old doll or something into our trashcan. Lousy kids, too lazy to use their own trashcans, I thought to myself. Then it moved. I picked it up. It was a pokémon! I made a quick inspection of the creature. It was a half dead, nearly frozen pikachu. It probably got locked in the trashcan looking for food. I quickly put the trash bag in the trashcan and rushed the pikachu into the house. The pikachu reeked of my old gym socks. As soon as I stepped foot in the house my mom smelled the socks.
“You didn’t get your socks out of the trashcan did you?” She asked.
I didn’t answer and made my way to the bathroom. I drew a warm bath. I soaked an old beach towel in the warm water and wrapped it around the pikachu. Mom came in to see what I was up to. I quickly explained the situation to her and she quickly gave me some instructions for warming up the pikachu. She ran into the kitchen to heat up some milk for the pikachu, muttering something about hypothermia. I slowly laid the pikachu in the warm water. The pikachu began to shiver. Mom came in the room with one of my old baby bottles that mom refused to throw out, and an ear thermometer. She handed me the bottle as she leaned over the bathtub. She checked the pikachu’s temperature and then the temperature of the water. She told me wait for fifteen minutes before taking the pikachu out, then feed it. Mom knew exactly what she was doing. She used to be a nurse’s assistant in the nearby PokéCenter. Now she was a doctor in a nearby hospital. This pikachu was lucky as it did not have hypothermia or freeze burn. The fifteen minutes passed slowly. The seconds felt like minutes, the minutes like hours, but I could hear the march of time. After the eternity that was fifteen minutes, I carefully lifted the pikachu out of the tub. It wasn’t shivering anymore and it no longer stunk of my old gym socks. It opened its eyes. I offered the bottle to the pikachu and it gladly drank. I carried it into my room. Today’s cleaning activities were over and I needed to look after the pikachu anyway. Mom came in the room as the pikachu had finished with the bottle. She looked the pikachu over.
“She’s gonna be alright. She just needs to be kept warm and she needs a lot of rest.” Mom said.
“It’s a she?” I asked.
“Yes.” Mom said as she left the room.
I constructed a small bed out of a cardboard box and a pillow for the pikachu on my floor near my space heater. I wrapped the pikachu in an old blanket I had and set the space heater to its lowest setting. I lied down on my bed and stared down at the sleeping pikachu until I too fell asleep.
The next morning I awoke to the pikachu’s smiling face. I was startled and jumped up in bed. Then my brain kicked in and I remembered the pikachu. She sat there smiling at me. I returned her smile. She came up to me and hugged me.
“Pikapi!” She said.
I hugged her too.
“I’m glad you’re alright.” I said.
“Pi! Pikachu!” She said.
We let go of each other. I sat in thought for a moment.
“I guess I should name you.” I said.
Pikachu nodded in agreement.
“How about ‘The Electrocutioner’?” I asked.
Pikachu lowered her ears and shook her head.
“Okay. How about ‘Electro The Magnificent’?” I asked.
“Chu.” Pikachu said while shaking her head.
I sat in thought for a moment. I looked over at one of my Piers Anthony, Xanth novels and then the idea came to me.
“I know the perfect name!” I said.
Pikachu’s ears perked up as she listened intently.
“Electra.” I said.
“Pi! Pikachu!” Pikachu said happily.
“Then Electra it is.” I said.
Then we heard a loud rumbling. Then another. It sounded like a herd of Tauros had stampeded past my window. But then I realized that it was our stomachs. The aroma of mom’s “after spring cleaning big breakfast bonanza” wafted into my room. I then realized how hungry I was. I didn’t eat dinner the night before because of all the commotion with Electra. I picked up Electra and carried her downstairs into the kitchen. Mom and dad had already started eating. There were eggs, bacon, blueberry waffles, fruit, orange juice, and milk. Mom always outdoes herself when she cooks big like this. Dad was busy banging away on his laptop. Dad’s a novelist. He was working on his latest pokémon novel. Dad had gone on a journey in his youth and decided to write about his adventures. His main pokémon was a charmander that evolved into a fully-grown charizard. The charizard passed away recently. Ol’ Char, as dad called him, was a joy to have around, mostly because he was tall and really strong, so yard chores got done in no time. Mom placed a plate full of fruit in front of Electra as I helped myself to some waffles. Electra and I ate ravenously. It was a Saturday so I just plopped myself down on the couch to initiate my Saturday ritual: Saturday Morning cartoons, till noon then sleep the rest of the day. Electra curled up on the couch next to me and snoozed the entire morning. Once noon came around we ate a quick lunch and I lied down on the sofa for the rest of the day. Electra curled up on my stomach. Hey, she needed rest right? So did I. All that spring-cleaning in the dead of winter really takes it out of a guy. Sunday came quickly and as was tradition in our home, we went to church for the usual hour of hearing how we’re all going to hell in a hand basket. The preacher at our church doesn’t like pokémon so I had to leave Electra at home. My school was one of the few that didn’t allow pokémon on the school grounds so I had to leave Electra at home all day. Everyday at three o’clock, Electra would plant herself in the window and wait for me to come home. It was a good ten-minute walk from my house to school. Whenever I would come home, she would be overjoyed. She would leap on me and lick my face. Even on my worst days, Electra would cheer me up. Just one year left and I could go to Pallet town and get a license. I’d be fifteen when I get my license. On my island, the trainers aren’t allowed to leave until fifteen. Even though I wasn’t an official trainer, Electra and I went around the outskirts of our city and trained. Our city wasn’t as big as others. We had our own police force and our own PokéCenter. We were just a small nowhere city in the middle of nowhere. The only way to get to another city was to go to our local airport or seaport and fly or sail to the mainland. Our city was built on an island. The pokémon training was easy as most of the pokémon on and around our island were water types. Electric pokémon were never found in the wild on this island, which got me to thinking, was Electra abandoned here? I decided to address the issue to her. We were in my room. Electra had gotten the hang of the Pokémon TCG and had built herself a deck, consisting of mostly psychic and electric pokémon. I like psychic and electric too, but I was using my fire and physical deck this time, and I was losing big time. She had her Kadabra out and the only pokémon I had left was Machoke, which was in the arena. Of course, Electra won. We started gathering up our cards for another round. I decided to break into the subject.
“I noticed something the other day Electra.” I said.
“Pi?” She asked.
“This island is home to a lot of water type pokémon. There are no wild electric types living here. It got me to thinking, how did you get here?” I asked.
Electra lowered her head and a tear fell from her eyes.
“Were you abandoned?” I asked.
Electra turned around and slowly nodded. I picked her up and hugged her.
“It’s okay. I’m not going to abandon you.” I said.
She turned herself around and hugged me back. I could feel her tears soaking into my shirt. I figured that someday I would find the jerk that abandoned her and really let them have it. No pokémon deserves to be abandoned, especially not Electra. As time went on, my friends stopped picking on me. Electra and I became inseparable. Soon we could tell what the other was feeling just by tone of voice. Electra was someone I could talk to when I needed a sympathetic ear. Electra was my living journal. I told her everything, every deep dark secret that I had. She knew everything about me and wasn’t going to tell anyone. She was my pokémon. She was my confidant. She was my friend and closest companion. She knew secrets about me that not even my parents knew. She was, in fact, a pokémon version of me. We even swore that nothing would separate us. Not natural barriers, not Team Rocket, and probably not even death would separate us. A lot of my other friends were kinda jealous because of our close friendship.