If you can't tell, I'm kinda having writer's block with Sincerity, so I'm pouring my ideas into short stories instead. ^_^;;

The reference to an 'appropriate name' could either be taken as sarcasm or bitterness. Sarcasm if you take Joy to mean happiness, or bitterness if you take it to mean the Japanese Joi (which is a woman doctor).

One of a Kind
by Leto

What a way to live. Everyone in this life has their problems, and multitudes of them, but - from a not fully unbiased point of view, of course - I think my childhood was one of the worst.

My parents were okay. Somewhat detached, somewhat condescending, somewhat controlling, but never cruel or dangerous. My social status was okay, our family's financial situation okay... in most aspects, I was a normal, fairly well-off kid.

No, with my childhood, I was deprived of something vital to everyone.


I had 4 sisters, one older and three younger. We grew up together, and because we looked so similar - the clone outfits and hairstyles didn't hurt - people thought of us as one person.

Even from the beginning, I was a little different. My hair was a slightly darker shade, my interests different. My first word was different.

Our parents had named us after our mother and grandmother. Joy. That was also the name of all our aunts and female cousins. I don't understand coincidences like that, but there never seemed to be a male child born into one of our families.

It is ridiculous, but for some reason, it was like we were being breeded into a job.

Our name, too, was appropriate. I didn't feel it.

Is it really necessary that all Pokemon Centers are run by female nurses named Joy?

Anyway, I didn't want to be like everyone else. From the start, we were made to fit into a mold... my other sisters didn't seem to mind. My older sister even said it gave her a sense of belonging, of knowing where she fit in the world and not having to find a place for herself.

But it wasn't for me. While the others were studying quietly, I'd be outside climbing trees. While the others pinned back their hair into the neat defining loops, I pulled mine into a short ponytail. While the others were getting their first Pokemon, a Chansey, I'd be off asking for an obscure Pokemon, like a Mr Mime. Something a little unusual, like me.

The most important thing was thinking of my future...

Maybe it was foolish of me but unlike the others, I had no interest in being a career woman. Call it what you will, but my biggest dream was to fall in love, get married, keep a house and have children. No grand aspirations, but in my family, it was enough.

Enough to get me scorned by the rest of the family. But I scorned them. I scorned them, and pitied them, for not having the guts or the will to stand up against an unnegotiable destiny set firmly for them.

I had to run away, and then I did meet a man. He was what I'd wanted, and he respected me. While my sisters were all at medical school, I was getting married, young but with a big smile and hopes.

We set up a home, we set up our lives and developed a routine for living. But unlike the routines at home, these were tolerable. These were negotiable. These were my own routines.

We both loved Pokemon, and one day he told me he'd always wanted to go on a Pokemon journey... I told him to go. He'd not expected that, but I couldn't hold him back. I know what it feels like to be held back from things, you know?

So my husband of four years left me. He never returned, never rang, never sent a letter. I have nothing but memories of him, and a kind of foolish hope that I'll find out what happened to him.

A couple of weeks after he left, I found that I was pregnant.

So I had my house and my child, but it wasn't the scenario I dreamed of as a young girl. A single mother without a job, and without a career training to fall back on. My sisters were doing better than me, and my cousins... but I couldn't go back to them.

Even if I was alone and struggling to pay the bills, provide for and care for for my child, I could make my own choices.

You know what? My child was a boy. The first boy.

He grew up loving Pokemon too. Just like his father, and just like me. I encouraged that, and his room is full of Pokemon merchandise now.

Pokemon merchandise... his room is full of that, but not him.

He left, as I was afraid he would, on his own journey. I couldn't restrict him. I wouldn't.

He calls, every now and then, but not often enough. I get so worried for him, and fear he'll suffer his father's fate... disappearing mysteriously from my life, and from everyone's lives.

Oh, my sisters, my cousins, please look after my Ash if you see him.... may he come home safely.

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