Soft shafts of morning sun crept through the blinds, beams of golden light guiding May from her night of no sleep.
Sitting up with a sigh, she caught sight of herself in the mirror and winced. Her normally bright blue eyes were dull, and it was only emphasized by the bags underneath them. What is wrong with me lately, she thought tiredly. She crawled out of bed. The hotel’s wooden floors were cold to the touch. Shuffling to the bathroom, May dug out her beauty bag and slapped her make up on without a care. Her fluttering stomach reminded her of the impending events of tomorrow. She groaned and made herself look into the mirror. “You’ve got this, May,” she breathed, fists clenching the fabric of her skirt.
Breakfast was quiet. Her team felt her unease, and ate in silence. Even she, with her voracious appetite, barely picked at her food. Her father’s letter sat heavy in her pocket, and even heavier in her mind She was just about to get up when an annoying voice assaulted her ears.
“’Sup May.” Drew slid into the booth, his annoying smirk seemingly etched into his face. She really didn’t want to deal with him today, especially since it confirmed her fear of him competing in tomorrow’s Grand Festival.
Biting her tongue, she mumbled out a quick, “Hi,” before shoving eggs in her mouth. Drew held in a laugh at the scene. He had spent enough time with her to know when something was up. It was too obvious, as was the fact that she was trying to hide it. He noticed her pokemon were just as upset. He relaxed into the fine leather booth. The shimmering chandelier was a nice distraction, because he knew he was gonna have a fun time trying to cheer her up. He followed a beam of light one of the crystal decorations reflected and saw it cast a soft rainbow hue over May. His breath was taken away, but the frown on her face ruined the whole thing.
“Did you see Harley or something?”
“What?” she groaned. She really didn’t want to deal with his prying.
“Did you see Harley?”
“No? Why? Did he try to slip into your bed again last night?” He was caught off guard, and she was too. She usually tries to be kinder when bickering with Drew, but her exhaustion and annoyance at her overall life sent her over the edge. Still, bringing up Drew and Harley’s unfortunate drunken make out session was crossing the line. “Drew, I-”
“Whatever May.” He slammed his palms on the table as he got up, catching the attention of the surrounding eaters. “I was actually being nice for once. See you later.”
He tried to walk away, but May was quick in catching his hand. A soft blush made its way to his cheeks, but he managed to hide it. Looking down, her voice was practically empty when she whispered, “I’m sorry.”
He grunted. “Take a walk with me.”
The gardens of Verdanturf Town were brimming with life as they walked through them. The bushes were filled with Combee and Heracross, and Drew noticed a family of Budew burrowing in the soil of an Oran tree. The scents of flowers and berries filled the air, yet May was still feeling upset. She had every right. Her dream was almost over; who wouldn’t be upset over that?
She whipped her head around. “’So’ what?”
He flashed her an amused smile. “What has your panties in a knot?” He laughed as her face turned red in anger and embarrassment. They fell into their usual routine of insulting one another and taking jabs at the other’s ego, but May quickly lost interest. Drew noted that. “Seriously though. What’s wrong?”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” she muttered. He grabbed her hand, giving it a soft squeeze.
“I know I’m not Dawn, or Solidad, but you can talk to me, May.” He tried to look into her eyes, but she avoided him like the plague. She let go of his hand to dig into her pocket, and thrust a piece of paper against his chest. He snatched it up and let his eyes drink up the smooth the cursive.
He was silent for a moment, letting the reality of the situation sink in. When he did finally speak, it was with a smile. “So, I guess this means I have start collecting gym badges if I want to battle you now, huh?”
“Drew this isn’t a joke!” Her voice cracked with too many emotions to name. “Tomorrow is the start of my last contest! Tomorrow is the last time I get to battle with my team! I have to start all over tomorrow! Don’t you get it?” She paused her tirade to catch her breath. Softly, she wept, “ If I don’t win this Festival…”
“If you don’t win, you don’t win. Oh well.”
She recoiled back in shock. “Are you seriously saying that to me Drew? You’ve win before. You’ve succeeded where so many other coordinators fail! And you have the audacity to say that-”
“That if don’t win, you’re still one of the best coordinators I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.” He looked around, and spotted exactly what he needed. Plucking a flower, he bent over like a gentleman. “A rose for the prettiest girl here.”
May’s face was a red and the rose. She took in gingerly, staring at Drew as he gave her his dopey grin. “T-thanks. For everything.”
He nodded. “No problem. Try not to stress out, and remember the most important thing about tomorrow.” He left off, and she glared as he remained silent.
“Well!” she shouted. “What is it?”
Pausing for dramatic effect, he leaned in a whispered, “I am so kicking your ass in this Festival.”
It took a few seconds for her to get what he said, and he had already ran away before she could hit him. “You lousy no good brat!” Her screaming scared off a bunch of Dustox. Finding a bench, she sat down with a groan. “I need to wipe the floor with that weenie.”
She sat and stared at a group of migrating Tropius and suddenly remembered the words an old friend had given her.
“Never give up, May! Littleroot needs a new celebrity, and that person is you! Besides, dad is getting really old… He won’t last long.” May laughed at the memory of Brendan’s dad dropping a beaker of Poochyena urine on himself and yelling at him. She smiled at nothing, suddenly feeling calmer than she had in a while.
“…the prettiest girl…”