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I remember, I remember that guy...

It was a normal day, warm and sunny outside. despite the beautiful weather, I decided to stay in and play some Pokemon. Pokemon... Pokemon Red, I think. Yes, Red. It was a fun game indeed, although- It kept me indoors for long amounts of time, unhealthy amounts. My skin got pale and I developed insomnia. All I could really think about was Pokemon Red. My fingers tapping away at the buttons, making every virtual movement as precise and careful as possible. It grew to the point where I never went outside, my friends left me, and I had forgotten how to communicate. At the time I might as well not have had a mouth- I never moved it.

But that was later on, once I had forgotten about him.

I was mid-way in the game, pretty much. I was traveling through one of the routes, battling through onslaughts of trainers. My Charmander (I always choose the fire-starter) was racking levels quickly. It was a great moment, at the time. Then, I had finally gotten to the bugcatcher. He was like any other bugcatcher- Pushy, but confident to win, somewhat. I quickly opened the menu to check on my Pokemon- It wasn't a good sight. My Charmander was poisoned by the weedle I had fought previously, and my other, weaker PKMN where either fainted or extremely low on health. Like my Charmander. I had figured the bugcatcher had lower-level Pokemon, since my lack of any real world activity lead me to play for hours, grinding for hours. The bags under my eyes poked at me, and I stared at the screen, thinking if I should really go to battle this Bug-Catcher.

And, I didn't. I didn't battle him. I decided not.. Although- my decision was a big mistake. Such a mistake that you would think of even when forgotten. The discrepancy that stings at your bosom every moment of the day. Such fault had lead a textbox to appear, once I had passed away from the Bug-Catcher. A textbox that made my eyes lock immediately to it, but not wondering why it was there. Before reading the words, I had thought it was a message saying my poisoned Charmander had fainted. The thought was shattered once I actually read it:

"Hey! Aren't we going to battle?"

A separate box appeared, with the choice of YES and NO.

I selected NO, of course.

"...Fine!.. But, promise me we'll battle another time?"

I thought another choice would appear, so I readied my fingers to press NO once more. But no box ever appeared, so I pressed A again, hoping that this wouldn't escalate further than it should.

"O.K.! Thanks! I'll see you when you come meet me. In the meantime, so long!"

I continued my journey, walking down the grass path.

MONTHS LATER

It happened.

I had become the champion.

The Pokemon Champion.

I decided to retrace my steps in the game, just to recap on all that I had done, and maybe do a few glitches. After a while of reminiscing on my wonderful journey to become the Champion, I had finally reached that route. That route, once I read the numbers, I automatically realized that was the route of the Bug-Catcher, and thought It would be funny to see what he'd say now. Once I went further down the route, it seemed more haunting then before. The screen seemed to get darker every step closer I took to the spot of the Bug-Catcher. The sounds seemed to- dim. As if they where ebbing down away from the game, escaping the horror that was to be seen. And now, I only wish they had taken me with them. I finally reach the location hottest to where the Bug-Catcher was, and my screen was almost pitch black. At this point, I wanted to stop this. But what was I going to do? I had nothing to turn to.

If I stopped the game, I couldn't go outside. There was nothing to do outside. I couldn't go make some food, and I couldn't go to sleep. I lived with a room-mate who was out all the time, and it was a tiny apartment room, the size of about half a kitchen or an entire fridge. I would be stuck in the same rutt, with nothing to think about. The only thought that would be stuck to my mind is the game.

I thought about that, before approaching the Bug-Catcher any closer, I thought about it. I thought hard, harder than I had ever thought. And I cried, tears streamed down my cheek as I bit my lip, and approached the bug catcher. I approached him with no pride or respect. And He talked, he talked.... 

"...." The Bug Catcher said...

Suddenly, a battle transition commenced, but with no sound. No sound at all.

The Bug-Catcher was on the other side, with my character in front.

I didn't throw my Pokemon out, and neither did the Bug-Catcher. It was a staredown for a while until he finally said

"Where were you?...." His sprite seemed more grim and darker. And he wasn't in the same cheerful pose as most trainers are usually in. He was standing, not straight, but hunching down only a little.

"I thought you'd come back, but you never did..."

"I had nothing else to do... I had no where to go..."

"I stood there for, a YEAR!"

My eyes were stretched huge, my mouth was hanging low. I noticed that my character was expressionless, but the trainer was filled with emotion, sadness. I felt as if the Bug-Catcher was a real person.

"My body is ruined. I never ate, I never drank, never moved."

"I ate the grass to stay alive, now I'm used to the bitter taste."

When the trainer had said that, I had just then noticed that he was damn near anorexic!

"It was like I was trapped, trapped in a room."

"With only one thing to focus on"

After that was said, the game cut silent for a while, as if it was giving me time to think. And I had realized the horror, the very horror of why this Bug-Catcher seemed to special to me, of why this NPC was so different from the rest, why I felt I had a connection with it...

The Bug-Catcher was a representation of ME.

This thought stabbed me quickly, and I threw my gameboy with all the emotions I had stored inside of me. But, even when the screen blew to pieces from the might of my throw, It seemed to still be there, saying that there was no escaping from the life I had morphed for myself. I could feel It grip my neck and whisper sharply into my ear, "It's your fault." The words didn't drown out of my head, they sat there, floating in my little sea of isolation. "Your fault, your fault, your fault..." They never stopped. They never did. I can hear the words just as I type this out. Although, I cannot deny the sounds, because I cannot destroy what is true. It is my fault.

Although, there is one way to end the sounds. And that solution is to not just end the sounds, but end it all.

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