ft espurr and gum Come on… please be here… I hurriedly slithered past the archway to Serene Village's plaza. Nighttime may have struck, but even in the shade, I knew this place like the back of my… well, slime. I glanced behind me. Good, my goo wasn't leaving a trail on the grass behind. I needed to literally control my body temperature to keep myself cool for times like these. Can't let myself get heated up, especially on a night this important. To me, that is. Past the lake-like area near Serene Village's single dock, I spotted the bright orb of the moon in the sky, radiating its moonlight down onto the area. Normally I'd feel entranced at such a sight as its light glistened on the water, but the mere sight left a tinge of sadness in my little heart. I'm going to miss this place… My attention was then caught by a small furry figure sitting by the edge of the dock, gaze lifted up to meet the night sky. The moonlight was just bright enough to allow me to distinguish her purple fur. Oh, good… I sighed with relief. I steeled myself as I slithered up to her side. "H-Hey… Espurr…" I said, mustering the most out of my weak-hearted rasp of a voice. Her eyes still pointed up at the night sky, seemingly aiming at the moon with no emotion. "Hey Goomy. Nice night, isn't it?" "Y-Yeah…" I took a quick glance at the sky above, briefly taking in the sight of the moon and the stars dotting around it, before lowering my gaze to meet the wooden dock and the glistening outstretched water. "S-So… Espurr… there's actually a reason I told you to come here tonight… Other than, well… stargazing…" "I know." She turned to me with an unreadable gaze. "I couldn't help but notice that it was troubling your mind in the past few days. There was no way I wouldn't have noticed." I mentally kicked myself. Of course my situation plagued me to the point where I forgot about Espurr's mind reading capabilities. Guess it was just me being my timid self, fearing any kind of new confrontation. Even if this confrontation involved talking about this kind of stuff with the Pokémon I've grown closest to in this village. Now that she figured out what I was going to say without me even telling her, I needed to reply. "I was just… scared… of how you'd react…" I tried my best to hold back tears at the thought. "... especially… since… now we'd have to… you know…" I notice Espurr's expression shift to a slight frown. "I guess it really is time…" The sound of sympathy in her normally soft and composed voice reached my ears. "But… we'll still keep in touch, right? As friends?" I nodded. "I… I'd love that…" I sniffled. My fragile heartstrings were already being tugged on. "Even if me and my parents will be moving to another continent… I'll never forget about anyone here… especially you, Espurr…" "I'll miss you too, Goomy… I'm sure everyone else will, too…" She cast a warm little smile at me. "I'm glad I got to know you…" My quivering frown of a mouth formed a smile back. "I'm glad, too…" The two of us really had the history. I was the timid crybaby of the village, and she was the quiet secretive one. All it took was a series of nudges, and here we were. After some explorations where we tagged along with Deerling, Pancham, Shelmet, and the others, Espurr and I gradually grew to the point where one of us would ask the other to go exploring. These duo explorations were just us heading to the various mystery dungeons around Serene Village's area, except for some nice small talk here and there and some Cafe Connection drinks afterwards. Before I knew it, I suddenly realized this routine we did everyday was called 'dating'. The idea left me flustered at first, but at the same time, it gave me this special feeling of warmth and safety inside. I genuinely enjoyed Espurr's company and what she had to say during our conversations. I'd usually be quiet at first during our talks, but I would slowly start to ease up to the sound of her soothingly calm voice. I let out a long, wistful sigh at my brief moment of reminiscing, my gaze dropping to stare at the lake below. "We've gone through a lot, haven't we? It wasn't all for nothing, right?" "Of course not." I turned to face her. There it was. Her soothing tone she'd use to comfort me accompanied by a warm look with the enchanting eyes I'd often find myself lost in. "You've been nothing but good to me, Goomy. Do you think I'd forget everything we went through?" Even if her gentle tone didn't imply any rhetorical tone, I didn't have to answer her question. I certainly wouldn't forget the peaceful moments we had as friends before something called 'Dark Matter' turned us all to stone. Long story short, it was scary, but we all made it out alive. If only the worries ended there. "I guess… that's why memories exist," I replied with a weak chuckle. I really could've used something to lighten the mood. All that did was make me sigh as I dropped the act. "I really hoped I didn't have to leave… but I guess I'll be turning into a Sliggoo soon, so I have to head to some place with more rain… all that weird Dragon type stuff… I guess our splitting up was bound to happen, anyway…" An Espurr and a Goomy. What an unlikely pairing. For good reason. I continued after another sigh. "At least… at least now you have another shot at a future many years from now. With generations of children and all that nice stuff. I can't give you any of that. I'm… just a Goomy." Espurr's sympathetic frown returned. "Well… at least the same can be said for you, too. Maybe you'll find someone else out there you fancy. Besides, if I did really want to have kids, I'd probably just adopt. Considering I haven't even met my departed parents, for all I know I might as well be adopted too." Wait… adopt? My tone perked up with hopefulness. "So… wait… does this mean the two of us can still have a future and have children if we just resort to adoption?" She giggled with a smile and shrugged. "Goomy… I think we're still a bit too young to understand the grand scheme of things." "O-Oh, sorry…" I chuckled. "I'm just… excited for when I get to see you again… er… if I see you again…" Espurr let out an unreadable hum. "You know… Goomy… I know you're constantly worrying about all the 'what if's' on your mind. I understand, having done my fair share of thinking. But you have to learn that you can still enjoy the moment for what it is… so you can fondly remember it as a cherished memory for when it's gone." She had a point. I couldn't just spend all of my time worrying. There was at least something to be worth enjoying at all times, right? Like… right now… the sky is nice… the water too… and… I look back at Espurr, wearing the most casual smile I can muster. Espurr's comforting words were the only things keeping my heartstrings from snapping. I needed to be there for her while I still could. "You're right… I'm sorry… It's just… you know… just me being my worrisome self…" My eyes end up meeting with her serious stare. "Goomy… you're going to be evolving soon, right? Promise me you'll get stronger. You mean more than you think, especially to me. When I learned I was an orphan, you were the one who stuck by my side the most." The mere memory made me blush. "C-Come on… I'm sure the others comforted you as well…" "I know. You know, too. Yet, you were the one who tried to console me until I felt better. You always seem to have a soft spot for those who feel weak and alone, even if you yourself feel weak and useless in some situations. I've spent enough time with you to get to know this side of you, and I don't regret it one bit." "E-Espurr…" These were the comforting words I yearned for during our talks. Everyday I've felt like my mere status as a Goomy made me ridicule fodder, but ever since I've gotten closer to Espurr I felt like I've actually become someone. Someone who was actually worth something special. Someone with something new and positive to look forward to everyday. All thanks to Espurr. I would have to say goodbye to all of that. Only Arceus knows the next time I would be able to actually see her again. I might not even see her again. It became too much for me. My heartstrings snapped. I quivered in place and clenched my eyes shut. Then came the waterworks. "I… I promise! I'll… I'll be stronger! I'll be better!" I slowly opened my eyes, my view of Espurr blurred by my tears. "I'll… never forget you… I promise…" I only had enough time to see a faint smile before she suddenly inched closer to me. She lifted a paw to my face and wiped my tears, the very gesture catching me completely off guard. She actually touched me. It surprised me to the point where her warm touch made me desperately try to lower my body temperature so my slime didn't end up feeling sticky. Fortunately, no residue of the sort was brushed off. With my tears now wiped off, I saw that Espurr's eyes started to tear up as well, even if her smile still remained. "That's the spirit I was hoping for… That's the Goomy I know…" "E-Espurr…" I sniffled. "I know it'll probably take years… but I'll still see you again, right?" She wiped a tear, this time from her eyes. "Well… depending on when we actually see each other, a lot might have changed… but perhaps we can set up a meeting in the distant future. Until then, we can still keep in touch." She giggled. "Pelipper Post Office exists, after all." I mustered a smile. "Even when I'm a Sliggoo… or even a Goodra… will you still recognize me?" "Of course. You'd still be yourself, right?" She chuckled sheepishly. "You know… all this talk about evolution is reminding me that I'll have to do the same soon…" I looked straight into her eyes. "I'm sure you'd make for a beautiful Meowstic." "Goomy…" She suddenly inched even closer towards me, wrapping her paws around me. The sudden physical contact surprised me once more, especially since I immediately recognized this gesture to be a hug. My surprise led my senses to resort to lowering my body temperature, but at the same time, I couldn't help but fall victim to the warm feeling of comfort swelling within me from Espurr's contact. There was no other way I'd rather have spent our last moments together in Serene Village. Even if she was still miles away somewhere on the Water Continent, I would never forget the heart-melting sensation of her little embrace. I still await the day I get to see her again.