Those old Pokemon Friends of Mine

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So, I had three best friends growing up. We all met as the only kids in our school that played Pokemon. It was hardly that popular back then and even when it did get popular nationwide, no one else in our school really jumped on the bandwagon. (I'm using alternate names for these three that are close to their real ones.) So it was just me, "Carla," "Dane," and "Jay." We had formed an unofficial Pokemon Club. As I got to know these kids more, we went from Pokemon Buddies, to legit friends. I was a superstar student, though not Mr Popularity or anything because I had always been an introvert, but the others were unhappy growing up. Of our group, I was ‘the leader’ by default because I was the tallest and oldest looking and most successful student in school. Dane was supposed to be ‘the muscle’ as the obese Indian kid, but technically I was taller and stronger than him, while he was just fat, and he knew this and pointed it out at me. Jay was supposed to be ‘the brains,’ but basically said he wasn't even good at math. Carla was supposed to be ‘the heart,’ but felt I gave them more support than anything else and that she was basically a bitch because she learned it from her mother. So I tried to give them roles and support, but they rejected them. Eventually, we all moved on to new schools. Due to circumstances, I ended up in a mentally gifted school, and they all went to the same crappy neighborhood school. I had grown up in a poor but ethnically diverse neighborhood, but Carla was the only real white girl in that neighborhood and back then, people assumed she was an outsider or upper middle class due to her race. And while Dane and Jay were technically minorities, they weren't black or Hispanic, the majority population here, so they didn't exactly fit in either. They were going through hell in Middle School while I was being bussed off to the suburbs every morning. We vowed to stay friends, though.

When Pokemon Gold and Silver was announced and all those new Pokemon from the anime would finally be playable, we thought it'd rekindle our friendship again. And for a while, it did. However, Pokemon couldn't fix the problems going on in our lives at the time. Though I was already tall-ish for my age, I literally had not changed a bit since age ten and now it was starting to get a little noticeable to me. Adults told me not to worry and that I'd get a growth spurt soon enough. Meanwhile, Carla had grown huge breasts and started to be lusted after by older boys and couldn't handle it. Dane got depression, partially from being morbidly obese and bullied. And Jay had social anxiety and really couldn't handle social situations outside of us three as his friends. So, I made them all join a dodgeball team at the local YMCA to boost their self esteem. I was amazing at dodgeball, and Carla and Jay were in good shape too, even if Dane was not. Regardless, I was able to lead them to victory and we even won the citywide finals. So now, we were not only a Pokemon club, but dodgeball champions as well.

As we neared high school, we continued playing Pokemon, winning dodgeball games, and being friends. But puberty changed a lot of us. Well, except me. But the others... Dane kept outgrowing clothes and his mother got pissed at him for it, so sought out help from the school to do whatever he could to lose weight and go to the underfunded gym his school had. Jay had started taking academics more seriously, as pressure from his mom. And Carla...? She had gotten a major growth spurt in one year. She was really only 5'5" for a long while. And then shot up to 5'11" over the summer and despised it. She felt like she was finally started to fit in and gain other female friends and that they all ditched her and called her a freak when she came back to school after the four month break. She tried to lose her virginity to me and claimed she was in love, but I rejected her. I was going through my own crap. I still literally had not grown and was stuck at the height as when I was ten! I thought I had a fatal illness or something and since I was poor like everyone else, our family didn't have health insurance, which meant few visits to the doctor, which meant no way to tell what was going on with me.

Carla, when she turned 18, vowed to join the adult film industry and knew a girl in school whose big sister was already in the industry. Dane, by senior year, had gained considerable muscle tone and was almost at a fit weight. And Jay was going to be valedictorian of his high school. Prom had come around and when deciding to go, we all decided to say "screw prom!" We vowed not to go. I had later found out that, while none of my friends went to their prom at their school, they did however, go to MY prom at MY school! My school's prom was three weeks later than theirs, happening in late May. I can only assume they regretted not going to theirs and that I had let them down or something. That night, Dane lost his V-card to Carla. I don't know quite why, but I felt massively betrayed by them because of that. Not only for going behind my back, but for leaving me behind.

One May morning, I waited for all of them to meet up together before I confronted them. Carla was 6'0" tall, Jay was a 6'1" Asian, and Dane was nearly 6'4". And here I was, the dwarf of the group. They all had literally outgrew me. I cursed them fiercely. Besides the smaller issue of the prom, I was really just lashing out at them for my insecurities. They were all completely terrified of me. All I saw were friends who used to look up to me, now figuratively AND literally looking down at me. I demanded Dane fist fight me, but even with all his time in the gym, he was a consummate pacifist. And Jay had to have weighed 160 pounds max, so he wasn't going to be able to. Ironically, the toughest of those three was Carla, but she wouldn't fight me, even if she wanted to. She instead, tried to "reason" with me. I was ready to tear up. But I didn't. I couldn't show weakness in front of them. I had to appear larger than them and maintain a level of dominance. But later that day, I went home and literally cried. "How did this happen? Why the did my body betray me like this? I lost my friends and everything because of it." For the record, Carla, Dane, and Jay never stopped trying to reunite us. It was me who wanted nothing to do with the and I told myself it was the other way around. It was how I coped with it at the time. I felt my identity slipping away as my body refused to grow into adulthood and was insanely angry and hurt that they had all matured and grown up while I never did.

A few years ago, there was a ten year reunion that their school did. I had no interest in ever attending my high school reunion, but I did stalk theirs. I didn't go in; I watched from outside. I saw "Carla, Dane and Jay" reunite. And I wasn't there. I don't know if they ever talked about me or not. I do know they took pics that ended up on Carla's Facebook, as she's technically the least successful out of the three. Jay is only more notable because of his wealth but is probably less recognizable.

I want to say that I ended up as a janitor or something and that I deserved it. I've never been in a committed relationship besides one that was close to it in 2015. I'm not married. I have no kids. I am not too badly in debt. I really should've ended up way worse than I did. However, I still have NO kids and have NEVER been married, so in a way, I did. I thought I was supposed to be the Champion of our Elite Four. But they transformed and “evolved,” while I never did. So, there is no Pokemon character analogous to me. Even Blue had success after being Pokemon League Champion for one day. I'm more like if Blue was almost Champion, then all his Pokemon died in the Pokemon League halls, then he gained 100 pounds and depression and gained an addiction to Moomoo Milk and had to move back in with Professor Oak at age 35.

Oh well. Guess I'll just start a New Game then.