Holy Matrimony — an epilogue
Attention: Since English is not my mothertongue you might find some spelling mistakes or syntax errors. I apologize in advance. My mothertongue is Swiss-German so I normally imagine a sentence in German and try to translate it as well as possible into English, sometimes there is a lack of vocabulary or I don’t find a match or the appropriate idiom but I want to improve my English and become a better writer. Another thing I want to make clear is that I use „…” to introduce direct speech! „ are not commas but the German quotation marks, just to avoid confusion.
Holy Matrimony — An Epilogue
James kneeled down next to his favourite pet. „Well, Growlithe, please take care of my parents. They need you here. I’m simply not made for this high-society lifestyle, it doesn’t suit me. I’m better living the low life with Team Rocket plus, I like my freedom,”
he ruffled his dog’s fur. Growlithe had to accept his decision, but the look in his eyes revealed that he was going to miss his owner. He gave a faint howl, causing James to snivel. The lavender-haired man tried to suppress his tears, he found it difficult to leave his pet behind, being aware of the irksome circumstances at his parent’s manor, but something deep inside urged him to go out in search of his team-mates. „Don’t cry for me,” he sobbed, stroking Growlithe’s head for the last time, before he got ready to catch up with Jessie and Meowth.
James began to run as fast as his legs carried him. His thoughts were with Jessiebelle. He attempted to burn down the bridges to his dreadful memories of a botched past. He would no longer be the shadow of a man, forced to a violent reeducation accompanied by countless lashes that left constant marks on his skin. The pain would never be calling again. They wanted to turn him into a showcase model, a decent gentleman with a broken will. James could no longer endure these chicanes and tortures, he wanted to be free and waive all benefits of a worry-free life. He was willing to hazard the consequences. Team Rocket was always living on the breadline, but no one would compel him to change his character, therefore he preferred a misery business. He used to cry in the night. It was a cowardly behaviour, a desperate attempt to vent his feelings, but he needed to finally get a grip on himself and escape from this situation full of terror and worse than any nightmare.
He remembered that they had left their hot-air balloon in the nearby forest. James battled his way through the thicket until he reached the partially destroyed means of transport. It wouldn’t take him much time to fix the hole in the balloon, a few stitches sufficed. James jumped into the basket and stepped on something hard. He looked down, spotting one of Jessie’s emerald green earrings. She must have lost it this morning, shortly before they came across the missing person’s report. He picked it up and rolled the piece of jewellery between his fingers. James bore Jessie’s delicate face in mind. That coquettish smile when she was about to come up with a new „brilliant” plan to catch Pikachu. Her infectious laugh and the sincere thanks in her eyes when James used to carry her to a makeshift sleeping possibilty, Jessie being too tired and weak to take a few steps. James recalled the feeling when she weeded out the orange sweet candies, knowing that those were his favourites and that’s when he realized how happy she made him. „Oh, Jessie,” he whispered, safely storing the earring in his trouser pocket.
For the first time in his life, James wondered whether love still existed in another place. A marriage with Jessiebelle was inconceivable, but a relationship with Jessie wasn’t such a fanciful thought. They had spent so much time together and every short small hug and unintentional touch felt right. The tormenting past with this southern battleaxe had left a bitter aftertaste and James wasn’t sure if he could ever develop feelings again, but the idea of turning back to Jessie and resuming their forlorn hunt evoked emotions which he had never felt before. He yanked back the handle and the balloon flew hundreds of feet up into the air. James fetched the binoculars in order to watch out for his team-mates.
Meowth was trying to keep up with Jessie. She was staring ahead full of melancholy.
„Oh well, guess James chose to hang up his Team Rocket costume,” she assumed, sighing at the loss of a loyal partner. Jessie had to admit that working for this criminal organisation without James by her side made her more than sad, she was devastated. She wondered whether Meowth could relate to human emotions and if James’ decision affected him too. The cat-Pokémon’s facial expression bespoke disappointment.
„I guess all that money and luxury was just too tempting for James to give up”, he speculated. Jessie hung her head, looking at the ground with an aggrieved expression and sighed again. The sorrow grew more profound each minute she thought back to the times with this pathetic guy who knew how to cheer her. In this sadness there was no past or future, she hoped that sleep would rest her weary mind. „I guess you’re right,” Jessie worried, attempting to accept the choice James had made.
The Team Rocket-member was still on the look for his fellow agents, until he spotted two figures strolling on a dirt road right where the end of the path met the horizon.
James’ heart was about jumping right out of his throat, he had finally traced them.
He took a leap of faith and a deep breath.
„Prepare for trouble,” today it was James who struck up their motto. Jessie and Meowth looked up into the sky, recognizing their friend right away. „Hey, it’s him,” the cat-Pokémon shouted. This common sight took a load off Jessie’s mind. All the mundane worries of the last few hours had been muted and all there was to know about was this moment. She felt giddy with excitement. „James,” Jessie called his name full of deep longing, it was an exclamation of astonishment and relief. „Make it double,” she continued, starting to run along the meadow. Her partner lowered the ballon, stretched out his arm and reached for her hand, lifting Jessie into the braided basket.
„I guess we’re not going to get rich this time either,” she expected, trying to keep calm and not showing any emotion, even though she was overjoyed to be reunited with her comrade. James scratched the back of his head, he knew that he was acting clumsily. He had imagined this to be a strange situation that could end in an akward silence. The rhythm of his heart was beating like a drum. „Guess not, they wouldn’t give me the inheritance,” he replied, relieved that he wasn’t going to be married off to Jessiebelle, albeit he had to forego a large sum of money. Rather poor as a church mouse than a life in a captive state.
„Oh, there’s always next time,” strangely enough, Jessie wasn’t disenchanted at all that their fraud didn’t work out. „We may not make a lot of money,” she turned to him, „but we sure have got our freedom”, she said enthusiastically.
James nodded in agreement. „Yeah, double trouble time, right?” he reached out his hand.
„Sounds great to me, James,” Jessie responded, shaking his hand. They stared deeply into each other’s eyes, enjoying the moment and the fact that nothing could separate them so easily.
Suddenly, Jessie became doubtful.
„Why didn’t you want to stay?” she asked. James took his hand away. „You could have had a life in luxury, free from cares and a permanent roof over your head,” she began to list the advantages of being a noblemen’s son.
James shook his head. „Even if we roam, I know this place his home,” he answered. „I’m not a bird perched in its cage. I want to break free and enjoy my single livelihood, without obligations and high demands,” James said. He noticed that Jessie was saddened by this statment, he had clearly struck a nerve.
„Oh, so it’s really just because of your freedom?” she murmured, rather disillusioned by his assertion. James grabbed her hands, softly caressing the knuckles. „No, Jessie. Don’t get me wrong,” he spoke under breath, getting that tingly feeling all over again. There was so much he wanted to tell her, realizing that they might be kindered spirits.
„Despite our losses and defeats, despite blasting off on a daily basis, despite our simple feasts and the fact that we use to sleep outside in the rain and falling snow, I came back, back to you Jessie,” he closed up on her. Gazing into her sapphire blue eyes he could see a memory.
The flames were licking higher, the only passage was obstructed. The sweat drenched James’ skin. He could feel the thumping of his heart against his chest. His fingers were curled into a fist, nails digging into his palms. He swallowed hard, looking down into the lake of fire that would soon devour them. Ash asked his Bulbasour to extend his whips to the other side, building a tentative bridge to cross the blazing flames. James shivered with fear.
„I can’t cross that inferno, Jessie and Meowth you go ahead, I’m staying here,” he cried, his eyes tightly shut. „James! James! James! James! James!” Jessie slapped him a couple of times. „Snap out of it! Let’s go, we’ll cross together,” she proposed a blissful smile on her face. James blushed a little. „Oh, Jessie,” James clung to her, „please don’t abandon me,” he wimpered, the angst prevailing. „Don’t worry, I won’t leave you,” she promised, stroking his arms.
James was jolted back into reality. „Jessie, I will never forget your encouraging words down in that shipwreck. Thanks for saving me,” he lifted her chin. „I need you,” he whispered, all his thoughts suddenly colliding. „Not only today, but always,” she never left his mind. Jessie was that stable force, his one stability in a world filled with chaos and disappointments. This new and unknown feeling stretched throughout his entire body, making him feel complete.
„I just want to forget about the miscarried attempts to catch that yellow rat, our failed missions and the fact that we might be the most untalented agents that ever worked for Team Rocket. Let’s just take the time and make things right in our own way,” his hand wandered up to her cheeks, pushing one of her hair strands behind her ear. Jessie turned red, completely overpowered and slightly overwhelemed by his attempted rapprochements and that poetic vein. Her heart was fluttering at his voice. James approached her. She was standing frozen from excitement. He leaned in a little closer, their foreheads touching. James could no longer fight against the thoughts that were going through him. She was beautiful, unique and poised. He wanted to taste her lips, her smell of lotus and pomelo flooding his senses.
James clasped his hands on either side of her face and kissed her, not innocently like a tease, but passionate and demanding. Jessie returned the gesture, her arms reached out and tangled around his neck. She relished the moment, undisturbed, in such a great height, entirely cut off from the outside world. The kiss was slow and soft, comforting in a strange and unfamiliar way. Their lips parted. His hands rested below her ears.
„Before I forget,” he fished the earring out of his trouser pocket and presented Jessie with the jewellery. „Oh, I thought I had lost it forever,” she picked it up. „Remeber when you made me a birthday present of them?” she recalled that night when James was hiding a small gift box behind his back. He had been extremely nervous, not sure whether she woul like them or not. James had originally stolen them from his mother’s jewel case as some kind of memory. Nosing about his belongings a couple of years later, he hit upon them and decided that they would definitely frame Jessie’s porcelain face in the most elegant way.
James took her hand and squeezed it softly. „Let’s leave the world behind.” Jessie nodded and together they enjoyed the breathtaking view of the sun casting its golden rays down upon the clouds, turning them red and purple.
„Hey James,” Jessie said, still observing the grenadine pink sky.
„Yes?” he wondered.
„I feel like we forgot about something,” she presumed.
„Hey wait! You forgot Meowth,” the cat-Pokémon yelled, flailing his arms.