Sometimes I encounter parents who won't let their children play Pokemon. They often say things like, "It's bad for their eyes," or, "It teaches them to summon demons." I like to respect others' beliefs, but come on; Pokemon? I loved those games as a kid, but I do remember one 'problem' I had with the game.
A few years ago I had a friend named David who suffered from a lot of panic attacks and the occasional asthma issue. I never dug too deep into his actual neurological condition, but I could tell something was up. His parents told me that he doesn't think like everybody else, so I always kept that in mind when I was around him.
David was sheltered as a kid; I mean, very sheltered. He wasn't allowed to watch certain TV shows, or play video games at all. Whenever he came over to my house, we'd play on my Xbox 360 and play games like "NBA 2K10" "Madden 07" I usually played sports games so his panic attacks didn't set in, but what really caught his interest were the games on my Nintendo DS. He was infatuated with the system, almost to a creepy level. His favorite game was Pokemon Diamond Version. Whenever he played it, he got really excited, but I didn't want him to get to excited to the point where his asthma started acting up. So I would constantly have to tell him to settle down. He was only ever calm for a minute at a time, tops.
One week he came over, and asked me if he could borrow my DS, so I asked him
"Can you handle it? What if your parents find out?"
He said "I can handle it! I promise!"
I started to wonder if he really could. If his parents found out he had the DS, I wasn't sure he would ever be able to come over again. But he was sheltered and I thought;
"Eh, why not let him have a little fun?" So I let him borrow it for the week along with Pokemon Diamond and a few of his other favorites.
A couple of days later at the bus stop I asked him if he was enjoying the game.
"I love the game! I play it every night! I even dream about being a Pokemon trainer!" He said.
I was happy that he was enjoying the game, but dreaming about it seemed a bit strange.
"What kind of dreams?" I inquired.
"Well, I dreamed that I started my Pokemon adventure with my very own Piplup!" he said.
"Really now?" I asked him.
"Yeah! I battled wild Pokemon, and I even caught a Geodude!" he said.
I wrote it off as simple imagination.
The next day at the bus stop he told me more about the dreams he had been having. This time he had a dream about him starting his quest to complete the Pokedex. The dreams to me sounded more ridiculous as the days went by. He told me about dreams where he would beat gym leaders, find new Pokemon, and even one where I was his rival. I had a feeling that things were beginning to get out of hand. I tried to persuade him to give the game back a few times, but he always guilt tripped me into letting him keep it a while longer.
As for me, the nights were getting more and more restless as they went on. I stayed up late wondering if David would be OK for one more day. I usually didn't fall asleep before 1 AM. Even then, I could never remember my dreams the next day.
One night he was rushed to the hospital because of a panic attack which caused an asthma attack. He was in critical shape, and the doctors were confused as to what had caused this. The next day I went to visit him after I got out of school. I came in and asked the Nurse what room he was in, rushed over to it, and asked what had happened.
"I had another dream last night." He said in a low, sad voice.
"What happened?" I asked anxiously.
"Well, I was facing a wild Pokemon." he said.
"Do you know what Pokemon it was? What it looked like?" I asked.
"All I remember is my Pokemon were fainted and I tried to protect them, but I failed." He said in a saddened voice as he started to tear up.
I was interested in what happened. I wondered if maybe someone did something to him at school or maybe his parents found out about the game and he just flipped out and had a panic attack. David didn't usually have any issues with school or his parents though.
"Is that all you remember?" I asked him.
"I remember, right before it ended, the Pokemon used Dream Eater on me." he said.
My eyes widened as I started to recall my dream the previous night,
I thought, "But it's just a dream. How could it actually have-
No, there's no way. This has to be a prank. He's joking with me right now, he has to be!"
I got up and told him to take it easy and then went home. On my way home I couldn't shake the thought, "Could we really have had the same dream?" When I got home I sat down and watched TV until it was time for bed. My mind was filling with thoughts of Pokemon and my DS. I couldn't help it. It was like a flood of information rushing into my mind. Every bit hurt more than the last until suddenly, it was all gone.
The next day after school, I went to the hospital to find nobody there. I went in and saw no nurses, no doctors, no worried parents; nothing. I was confused. I went to David's room and found nothing there. Just an empty room. I went home and came back the next day only to find nothing. No hospital, no David, nothing at all. I went home and asked my mom about David and his family.
"Honey, you don't know a David," she said.
"I do! I see him at the bus stop everyday!" I said angrily.
I ran to my room and started to freak out. I sat down and turned on the TV. I didn't really notice what was on until I heard the news anchor said, "Today marks the 4th year anniversary of when the Charles Memorial Hospital was burned to the ground."
It's happened to me a couple times before. Someone just sort of disappears along with any trace they were there. I always justified it as the universe erasing a glitch in it's system. Everyone around me slowly forgot about David, but I didn't. I still remember his face. My DS is still missing.