Work was dull, aside from when she came in. She always carried the sweet scent of flowers, familiar and exotic alike.
She didn't talk much-- you didn't even know her name! All you knew was her order: Chai tea with milk and extra cinnamon. You always had her order done at 4:35, right as she comes in every day.
She nods and smiles, and shuffles to her usual table in the corner. For months you've had this daily exchange. She started coming in later and later, until she missed a week in a row.
You worried about her. You decided to ask your coworkers about her.
"You mean the gym leader? I guess she's been too busy lately."
She was the gym leader? All this time? You made a silent pledge to visit her after work. As your shift came to a close, you made a tea with milk and extra cinnamon to go.
You strode to the gym, careful not to spill the drink.
The moment you opened the door, the smell hit you like a wall-- not that it was unpleasant! The smell was indescribably sweet, like every flower you'd ever seen in one room.
There she was, alone in the middle of it all, with some young pokemon.
"Shy chai girl!" She stopped and looked up, then began laughing. Tears were at the edges of her eyes as she looked at you.
"Did you really notice that I'd gone missing?"
With a sheepish tone, you affirmed that you had. "I was worried about you." You handed her the tea. "I don't know your name, and I just learned that you're the gym leader, but I missed you."
She giggled. "I didn't mean to worry anyone, I simply had to watch over these seedlings." She motioned to the three small bulbasaurs. They couldn't have hatched more than a week ago.
"I found them on the doorstep of my gym. Someone must have left them there."
"I'd help you, if I could."
She smiled at you. "If you really mean it, I could show you how."
You couldn't help but feel giddy. You'd never cared for a pokemon of your own. "Definitely!"
She showed you the ins and outs, from feeding to walking to putting them to bed. At the end of the night she asked, "Any more questions?"
"Just one: what's your name?"
Again, she laughed. As she caught her breath, she answered. "I'm Erika."