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Iridescent | TheSilentWind

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avatar TheSilentWind
Level 42 : Master Enderdragon
131
This, being the first day of something supposedly “special,” feels nothing like that. It just feels… I don’t know how to describe it. It doesn’t feel normal at the same time, but it feels like I’m already used to it. What’s so special about it? This isn’t what all the adults told me. I just wanna shrug at it and go on. No need for adapting. No fears. I’m not bored… I just don’t really feel anything special about it. Maybe I’m numb? First day here. I thought this place is bigger the last time I came to visit. I mean, it’s cool, I guess. Still, meh. I take out everything I need and organize them to places in my dorm room. My two other roommates haven’t arrived yet. This is it, the next few years of my life. What am I supposed to look forward to? I just lost all the friends that I had… even if they weren’t very close to me, to begin with. I guess that’s it. A summer break and I lost all their contact, somehow. I suppose I have my internet friends and my writing.

  I navigate the campus with the map in my hands, looking at the map then looking up to see where I’m going. I walk into the room where I’m supposed to be, and it’s swarmed and crowded with sweaty people. It’s also loud. The speaker has yet to enter, so everyone’s just being… annoying… In the midst of the chatting, I hear something like someone hyperventilating. I hope that person’s doing alright. Man, I guess there are all kinds of people here. I sigh, thinking that people in college would be more focused on their actual studies. I roll my eyes, feeling slightly annoyed, and I put in my earbuds and just trying to tune everyone out. Why am I at this gathering anyway? When the speaker comes in and introduces about the college, nothing she says seems that important. At least, I know everything I need to know, and that’s that.

  My first lecture, Creative Writing, goes as expected. I take out my laptop and turn it on. The students are chatting and going at it just like they did during the gathering. People are shuffling and pushing each other. Sweaty as always. The professor enters (and finally, people are seated and not going around like kids in a birthday party), speaks, everyone takes notes (mostly with laptops, or that one guy at the back scribbling away frantically and hyperventilating, I wonder if he is the same guy from before). Halfway during the lecture, I feel a stare coming at me from the right of me. I couldn’t catch who stared, but I think I caught a glimpse of someone quickly turning around. Whatever, people are weird here, I get it now. When the professor finishes speaking, I close my laptop and sit around and wait for everyone to exit the lecture hall. People… aren’t the most hygienic here, are they now?

  Still, nothing feels different. I’m just kinda tired from dealing with the other students being loud. Yeah, to be honest, I don’t think I can make friends with these people. They’re annoying and kinda inconsiderate (pushing each other around while exiting, yelling and screaming by my ears, just, annoying.)

  I return to my dorm and greet one of my two roommates. I haven’t really gotten a chance to greet them yet, but the other girl hasn’t arrived. The one in front of me is a shy girl who brought an entire RGB gaming setup (a desktop, a keyboard, a mouse, a mic and headphones). I look at her as she continues to plug in her desktop.

  “Hey…?” I giggle awkwardly, not knowing what to say.

  “Hii. Nice to meet you,” she looks up smiling. “I’m Rade.”

  “You too. I’m Intelle.”

  Then a moment of awkward silence falls on us as she continues to focus on setting up her stuff.

  “Um… So… Nice set up you have.”

  “Thanks,” she replied without looking at me, still shuffling around with some wires.

  I take out my laptop and textbooks. I’m a bit envious of her, not gonna lie. My desk looks rather empty but organized.

  I take a shower and lay on my bed and try to review the stuff I learned today with my eyes closed. Somehow, my mind’s kind of unclear. The other girl arrives at the dorm room not too long after. For some reason, I want to meet her, but at the same time, I don’t. Where was I again? Oh right, I was thinking about some Shakespeare thing. Never mind, I can’t be asked to focus right now. Also, Rade’s kinda interesting… She brought her entire setup to her dorm. What specs does it have? Is she into gaming too? What games does she play? Okay, okay, I gotta stop. I’m getting too ahead. I don’t even know her. I kinda wanna get to know her though. I half-hear what Rade and the other girl were saying. They are introducing themselves to each other, but I’m not really paying much attention to their conversation.

  I get up and walk over to her, not wanting to seem rude. After all, I’ll be with them for a while. I probably would want to cooperative with them and not be a bother (unlike most of the people in my creative writing class). Rade is still having a conversation with the other girl.

  “Hey Intelle,” Rade turns to me.

  “Hey, nice to meet you. I’m Intelle.”

  “Eyyy, you too! Nice to meet you. I’m Anne,” she chuckles in a friendly yet excited manner. “Must be exciting to finally experience the college life, hm?”

  “Yeah, haha,” I chuckle along, attempting to hide my awkwardness.

  “Anyways, gonna go unpack my stuff,” she takes out her lip gloss and begins to apply it.

  “Have fun!” I walk over to my desk.

  I take out my laptop and turn it on. As it turns on, I glance over at Rade. I sigh in a mix of curiosity and envy. That setup must’ve cost thousands. Maybe not now.

  I fire up the game Iridescent, an online roleplay game that I’ve played for about three years now. You select your character traits and create your own weapons. You get to design them too. Ah, almost level 87. Just a bit more XP. Every three months, there would be a competitive match for us, and we would have to fight using only level 30 weapons (or lower if you really want to, but it’s not recommended) since you have to be level 30 to enter anyway.

  “Are you able to add the Aerial ability to your staff yet?” one of my online friends, Cobeks, messages me (in game, of course. I don’t have Instantgram).

  “No, I don’t think so. Don’t you have to be level 90?”

  “Err… Dunno. I thought you just have to be 80. You could probably do it now if you want. It costs 3000 light orbs.”

  100,000 light orbs, the in-game currency, is all I have, and it is considered a lot by most people. The richest in the game has around 657,000 though.

  “I’ll check the requirements later. I’m gonna go farm some kills. I don’t need Aerial right now anyway.”

  “Wait, Intelle, also-”

  “Yeah?”

  “Clip said he’s leaving our competitive team.”

  “Leaving, why?” I reply, feeling a bit sadder than when my high school friends and I parted. “Mm… Who are we gonna find as a team member now? We need three people or we’re gonna be disqualified…”

  “Personal issues... and I know, I have a friend who’s possibly willing to join.”

  “Ah, who?”

  “Nevie. In game name: iNVyou.”

  “I’ve seen him around the game. He’s pretty good. He killed some hackers a while back.”

  “Yep. That’s him. He’s a pretty chill guy too. It’ll be fun. I’ll miss Clip though… He’s got too much going on.”

  “Yeah, same, to be honest…”

~ * ~

  Three days later, I’m still rather quiet around Rade and Anne. Rade seems to be focusing on her computer stuff, as she has been since we’ve met. Anne seems to be desperately trying to pick out outfits, as the typical girl she is.

  I’m back on my laptop and firing up Iridescent again. A few minutes before I meet iNVyou.

  “Wanna hop in a call?” Cobeks messages.

  I can only speak quietly on my earbuds now, as I don’t want to annoy my roommates.

  “Um, sure, but I’m not gonna yell or anything. I recently started college.”

  I seldom tell people my personal life situations and whereabouts, but I trust Cobeks and Clip, although Clip is gone now. I hope NV, or Nevie, isn’t toxic, like most of the pros and tryhards. At least this game isn’t quite nearly as bad as some of the others I’ve seen.

  I join the call with only Cobeks for now.

  “Ayy, Intelle. Nevie’s gonna stay muted. He’s shy when talking to around new people. He’ll be typing in the team chat. Hope you understand that he only talks when we’re alone in calls. Don’t worry though, he’s nice.”

  Nevie joins the call muted. I’m a bit nervous using my voice, even though I know this is just a game.

  “Ay Nev,” says Cobeks.

  “Hey, Cobeks,” Nevie replies in the team chat.

  “This is…?”

  “Intelle,” I reply nervously.

  “I’m Nevie. So… you guys are ready for the scrim… right?’

  “Yeah,” I speak softly.

  The match goes on, where we fight the opposing team. In competitive matches, you must kill each other with spells/abilities (and swords are illegal items, although they’re weak and hard to use anyway), and you are only permitted to use five spells. Nevie only uses two spells from what I’ve seen: Sneak and Smack.

  They’re only level 10 spells, so basically most people would’ve added them by now. Sneak is hard, where you don’t do any damage. You can speed pass someone as a hard-to-notice shadow on the ground, but most people have learned to spot it by now. In spite of all that, Nevie has never died once in the scrim match.

  When the match ends, I ask Nevie in a hopefully respectful manner (I don’t like intrusive questions either, to be honest), “Nice. If I may ask, why do you use those two level 10 spells and them only?”

  It keeps saying iNVyou is typing for about a minute or so. He must have a good reason. After all, I can never beat him in this game if I tried.

  “Well… I like to challenge myself. I kinda hate being stuck doing one grind. I get it though, the point of this game is to create and develop your own style and combinations of fighting and such, but I like to limit myself to certain standards. This is just practice. Making this hard will make real fights easier. Of course, I’m not gonna take these risks during the real matches. I don’t like dragging people into my experimentations or expectations either.”

  Me neither, to be honest, but that’s more so in real life. The internet is my social life.

  “I get it.”

  “He’s like that, haha,” teased Cobeks.

  “Mind speaking louder, Intelle?”

  “Ah, sorry. I get it,” I speak up a bit more.

  He doesn’t seem rude like the other pros, and I do admire his in-game ethics. I wonder if he’s just more mature than most of the people here. To my surprise, he unmutes.

  “Hey…” he speaks softly, perhaps softer than me. “Um… Can you hear me…?”

  “Whoa, Nevie. You’re speaking?” jokes Cobeks. I suppose Nevie’s probably comfortable around him, seeing they joke around like that.

  “Yeah, I can.”

  For a brief moment, I hear someone hyperventilate on Nevie’s side… It sounds somewhat familiar as if I’ve heard this before. I couldn't recall from where.

  “You know. You seem friendly. I haven’t really seen much of kind people from level
70 and beyond. It’s just something you gotta accept in most gaming communities, you know…?”

  “Yeah, that’s true,” I genuinely agree, "and thanks. You too!"

  After we chat for a while, Nevie tells me that he’s in the freshman year of college as well, and that he can’t really play on a daily basis, but he will be in our team’s text and calling group despite being absent from the game. I guess I should be focusing on my studies too.

  I shut my laptop off and grab a piece of paper and a pen. I begin writing a random cheesy romance story just so I can get back into the writing stuff. My major in creative writing must depend on me being ready to pour out my creativity. I’ve never had a romantic relationship… or a best friend, other than of Cobeks, I guess… or even a normal friend whom I’d hang out together outside of school back then.

~ * ~

  It’s almost a week here in the college, and I’ve still not fully grasped the campus places. I still have to hold this stupid wrinkled map. I don’t even go outside much (other than places around the campus, to get food, or go to any other places that I’m required to go). I don’t get how I still couldn’t remember it.

  I’m on a sidewalk on my way to…

   “Hey… there…” stutters a somewhat familiar voice, tapping me on shoulders, “I- I-”

  “AH!” I looked behind and jumped, screaming in an embarrassingly high-pitched voice.

  He coughs and bites his lips. “Sorry… to startle you. I- uhh… need help.”

  “Ah, it’s fine!” I reply quietly, still embarrassed. “Um… You sound kinda familiar… Err- never mind, sorry about that. What’s up?”

  “I-” he grabs his shirt and bites his lips harder while hyperventilating hard.

  “No worries, take your time,” I try to be understanding. He probably has anxiety, and I don’t blame him. I used to have social anxiety as a kid (and although I’m probably not as awkward, and I’m calmer now, I’m still not the best at meeting people).

  “Wait…” he gradually calms down. “Do I know you from somewhere?”

  I raise an eyebrow in confusion. His voice does seem familiar… Wait… Could he be…

  “Nevie-?” I blurt out. “Oh! Sorry… I probably mistook you for someone else, haha.”

  “Yeah- I’m Nevie…” he freezes up.

  Should I reveal myself? I know I just met him, but I trust Cobeks that he’s a good person… Plus, he doesn’t seem like a toxic person at all. He seems rather friendly and relatable. I guess I have to… I don’t wanna leave him to panic about how I found out about him.

  “I’m… Intelle…”

  His face turned red and he trembles. “You’re… really Intelle from Iridescent?”

  “Yes… That’s me… I don’t really speak to people much in real life… As you have probably already guessed it… I have social anxiety disorder. You seem different than most other people in both the college… and… the game… I never thought I would meet you here… I know Cobeks is from a different state. Cool! I guess… If you want, we can hang out at the cafeteria sometimes? I’ve never really had real-life friends. I- don’t know… how to approach someone…”

  He stutters and speaks more hesitant than he did in calls. I suddenly recall someone hyperventilating during the creative writing lecture the other day.

  “By any chance are you majoring in Creative Writing session A?” I ask hesitantly, not wanting to scare him. “Um, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”

  I smile at him, hopefully sending the message that I understand.

  “I am. I believe I stared at your laptop the other day.”

  I giggle. “What about it? Hehe.”

  “Well, nothing,” he chuckles, finally loosening up a bit. “I did want to speak up and greet you.”

  “How come?”

  “Just wanted to say that you have a nice gaming laptop. I have one like that as well. I was wondering if you’re interested in games instead of partying and what not…”

  “Well, unsurprisingly, you already know that. I do.”

  We start joking around and talking casually. He seems to have forgotten about his anxiety.

  “Oh yeah, also, what was it that you wanted to ask me?”

  “Well… I got lost… I know that Creative Writing will start soon, and I’m not sure where the lecture hall is. I forgot…” he bit his lips a little and blushed nervously.

  “Hey, same. No worries. It can be like that sometimes. To be honest, I’m lost too. Do you have the map?”

  “Yeah… But it’s so confusing. There are two boxes that look the same. Which one is Creative Writing?”

  “May I have that map? I’ll circle it for you,” I smile.

  He hands it over without a hesitant.

  I take out a pen and circle the location, then with my horrible writing, I write “creative writing lecture hall” with an arrow.

  “I hope that’s not too hard to read.”

  “It’s fine… Thanks,” he takes his map and looks up at me with a smile.

  We began hanging out each day, and he becomes less quiet and has more to talk about. He’s quite funny too. We’d often talk about Iridescent, sometimes computer specs, or the lectures. We always select each other for group projects when possible and such. For some reason, I’m more excited to see him than the actual lectures and such… We eventually decide to tell Cobeks about us going to the same college for the same major. He would often ship us as a joke, but I don’t think I’m up for a relationship right now. I’m not really interested in him, even though I know he’s a great friend and all… At least I think…

  One day, we are given a partner-writing assignment. I’m supposed to choose a partner and choose a genre/plot/theme and write a fictional story with them. Of course, I choose Nevie. Funny thing though, I’ve never figured out what genre he usually writes in. The professor usually lets us pick the genre/format (with the exception of a few assignments).

  Nevie and I meet up in the library. We both agree to bring our laptops. This is the first time I’ve seen his laptop. He usually takes notes with paper.

  “Heyyy, how’s life?” I greet him as he approaches me at the desk.

  “Good good, I suppose,” he takes out his laptop.

  “Oh yeah, by the way… do you take your notes with paper because you wanna challenge yourself?”

  “I guess…” he didn’t smile or look at me, “but not really…”

  I probably shouldn’t have said that. I bite my lips and look away, trying to figure out what to say.

  “Oh… sorry-”

  “No no. I just don’t really trust these people… Um… I had... my previous laptop stolen in high school. I never found the thief, but I think I know who it is. Yeah, it’s the same reason… that I… don’t really talk to… you know, people in real life or even in game for that matter… I initially approached you… because of Cobeks… You’re an amazing person though…” he stutters nervously again. He looks at me for a second. His eyes turn from enjoyment to concern.

  I feel bad for bringing this up. I’ve gone through some bullying for sitting alone at lunch and what not… but his case seems rather serious. Those kids were probably not just toxic… They were probably down right doing illegal stuff.

  I lean closer to him to give him a hug. Startled, he jumps away.

  “Huh?!”

  “Oh. Sorry, sorry!” I feel my face turning red.

  Before he quickly turns his head away from me, I saw his face turn red as well. I’ve probably scared him.

  “Sorry…”

  “It’s fine. I’ve never been hugged. People tackled me down in the past… I guess… I’m weird… Sorry for bringing this up…” he continues to stutter in hesitation and perhaps, embarrassment as he faces the wall.

  “Well… When I was younger, I had social anxiety as well. I just don’t think people here are worth talking to, to be honest. Other than you, of course. You know, you’re an amazing friend. I’m sorry to hear that there were these toxic jerks. They’re missing out on having a good friend, you know?”

  He turns back and looks at me again. He smiles and hugs me this time.

  “I love you, you know? You’re so supportive, but those kids were probably right… I don’t deserve many friendships.”

  We hug for seemingly a minute or two, before finally letting go and starting the project.

  “Alright, let’s start the project,” I giggle.

  We move our laptops to the desk and I share an online document with him.

  “We have the same laptops?”

  “Yeah, haha,” he calms down and jokes around again.

  “So, what genre do you do best? My best genre is romance, even though I’ve never been in a romantic relationship… Uh…” halfway saying that I realize how awkward that sounded.

  “Um, well… I was thinking of doing a story about bullying and mental health, you know?”

  “Your idea is great too! Why not?” I agree to try something new.

  Together, we plan to write a story about a young boy who’s going through bullying, and he wants to incorporate the first-person experiences with the tackling, the stealing, the toxicity and such. Not only that but the effects of bullying. He seems very focused and genuine about it as if he is the boy in the story. In a way, he is. At the same time… this is his story but with a different setting… to be honest. I wonder how we should end it off though.

  Halfway through the story, he takes a pause.

  “Hey… This is your story too,” he turns to me and looks at me. “Why not incorporate romance in the story? Seems like a good place for it here.”

  “I mean, sure. He’s about our age now,” I giggle.

  “I’ve never been in a romantic relationship either. I figure you probably know more though since you specialize in that genre. Go ahead, explain.”

  “You know. Romance is just like any other type of love. At the same time, it usually has a stronger foundation than just friendships. I may have never really experienced it first-hand, but I’ve always analyzed it and what not… It’s hard to explain, but the characters should have a mixture of feelings and a strong foundation,” I explain to him patiently, and for some reason, somewhat nervously.

  For some reason, I think I might like him- no it can’t be. It just can’t. But… I… I don’t understand why I sometimes get a bit nervous around him. I wasn’t this nervous when I met him in-game nor in real life. Why now…

  Back to writing the story… so I've decided to write out the rest, as he took lead in most of the starting half. So the guy meets a girl who finally understands him and is patient. I guess it wouldn’t hurt if I incorporate an aspect of meeting up in a game…? I mean, how else would he approach her as a friend? He wouldn’t just open up…

  “Let’s name this story after the game Iridescent. “Iridescent” seems to match the theme. It means luminous colors that seem to change depending on what perspective you’re looking at it from. That’s the theme of the game anyway. The story has the two completing each other’s perspective, showing each other the light that they had not previously seen,” I suggest in a natural manner. These words just flew out of me.

  “Sounds good,” he nodded in agreement with a smile of excitement.

  When we finish writing and turn it in, we got a 92% back on it. Something about this story makes me proud, and it isn’t just the mark.

~ * ~

  Two Months Later…

  I sit at the cafeteria table waiting for Nevie to come. That’s weird, he should’ve been here by now. He never misses a day of college. He’s usually here by now… Maybe he’s sick today? I message him in the hopes that he would tell me he’s okay.

  An hour goes past and he doesn’t reply… Maybe he’s too ill to get out of bed or something…? I feel a bit unnerving.

  The day goes by and I can hardly pay any attention to the lecture.

  I sit on my bed pretending to be concentrating on my studies.

  “What’s wrong?” Rade comes over and asks. “I can tell you’re not actually concentrating."

  We seldom chat a lot (as I never actually managed to open up to her much), but she seems supportive and kind. Maybe I do need to talk to someone. What’s wrong with me? I wasn’t like this before now. Why am I so emotional all of a sudden? I find myself tearing up and crying a bit.

  I tell her about how my friend might be going through something, and that he isn’t responding to my messages. She tries to cheer me up and tells me to show her Iridescent. For a while, I muted all chats in-game and show Rade the game. She seems rather interested, and not just to cheer me up. It was nice while the pain faded for a while, but it hit me back again. Anne stayed quiet minding her own business with textbooks. I don’t blame her though… I hope I’m not being too annoying or needy.

  Nevie still hasn’t replied to me. I jump into a call with Cobeks. In the midst of explaining to him that I worry about him… I burst into tears.

  “He messaged me that he’ll be taking a hiatus from the game. He didn’t tell me why. Did he not tell you anything?”

  “No… He doesn’t even show up anywhere. I don’t know… what to do… I don’t know why I feel like this either…” I cry harder, wanting to get rid of all the pain.

  “Do you think you… like him?”

  “Wha-?”

  “Do you…”

  “What do you mean ‘like’?”

  “You know… Romantically. You told me you write a lot of romantic stories. You should know, right?”

  “I mean… a foundation, yeah… But I don’t know about the feelings though… I genuinely just don’t know, to be honest. I’m scared and lost.”

  “Ayy, Intelle. If you like Nevie, why don’t you just go for it?”

  “I… don’t really know anymore. It's too late now..."

  Do I really like him that way? How long have I felt this way for?

  “Um… well, if you wanna talk about something else. I understand, Intelle. I found us a substitute for him for now. They will only stay until we get him back…”

  “It doesn’t feel right…”

  “What doesn’t?”

  “The fact that he would come back… What if he doesn’t?”

  “Don’t overthink. He talks about you all the time. I think he cares about you a lot. Side note, Clip just messaged me that he’ll be coming back soon. He said he’ll be informing you that when he gets the other stuff sorted out. As for Nevie, I'm sure that one day he'd come back.”

  Clip? Oh, okay… For some reason, I can’t feel anything but pain grabbing my chest…

  “Why wouldn’t Nevie tell me…? He tells me everything… At least I thought.”

  “Well… he’s the type of person who doesn’t like dragging people into his problems, especially those who he deeply cares about. You know that.”

  “It must be serious…”

  “I’m sure he doesn’t want you to worry.”

  “See ya… I’m gonna go farm some mobs… I don’t wanna chat right now…”

  “Alright, see ya later.”

  Over the course of a week, I finally get a message from Nevie. I open it up immediately. My heart beats fast and I feel slightly nauseous.

  “I’m sorry, Intelle. I have been dealing with some things… Don’t worry about me. Please?” the message reads.

  I spam him a whole bunch times in the hopes that he would reply. He doesn’t. Another few painful days pass by.

  “How are you?” he messages me, dodging the rest of the questions.

  “Nothing much.”

  I guess I couldn’t just bombard him with questions… I couldn’t find out anything. That’s okay… Even though, deep down, it hurts. There never seems to be the right time where I can ask.


~ * ~


  Two years go by, and I stopped trying to figure out what happened to Nevie. He probably doesn’t want to tell me. That’s okay. I respect that. I don’t know what I felt or why I felt what I felt… Maybe it’s best to leave that behind as my past now. He was a great friend while we talked. I still hope he’s doing okay. I wonder if he’d come back some day. Clip came back into our team about half a year ago as a full-time player. Nevie has never gotten out of his hiatus… We seldom speak now… That magical feeling of excitement has faded for me once again. It feels as though I just came to college, and it has felt like that since he left. It keeps feeling like that. Except it seems more apparent… Still, I miss him from time to time. He really taught me to look forward to things and showed me so much more than the past.


  Rade and I become good real life friends. We play Iridescent (she’s level 75, and I’m level 124 now), and she offered to clean out my laptop for me. Anne still prefers to call her friends on her phone, and she’s sometimes a bit loud, but that’s fine. I can tolerate her now. Sometimes I wonder why I get annoyed at people for being in a crowd and stuff. I guess I envy them? I envy them for having these experiences, while I just sit alone in there like that. Somehow, Nevie felt different than them all, though. It just doesn’t feel like the same level of understanding and enjoyment. Clip, Rade, and Cobeks are all nice, but they just don’t seem like the way Nevie and I would relate to each other. Nevie and I seemed so different back then, yet, we were so alike at the same time. Our struggles. Our fears. It’s just, I’m not the type of person to want challenges usually. Occasionally, Nevie would try to start a conversation… It doesn’t feel the same anymore.

  "You know, Rade, I don't know why I can't get over Nevie. I wasn't like this with any previous friendships I've had other than Clip back then He's back now...

  "Maybe you have some special feelings for him," chuckled Rade.

  "That's what Cobeks said back then, but I... I don't get it."

  "From what you've told me, I think he's very special to you. You guys are like a romantic story in some ways."

~ * ~

  A month before the end of Junior year... Nevie messages me, “I’ll be coming back to college and Iridescent next year.”

  My heart begins fluttering. I want to ask what happened… at the same time, I don’t anymore. What’s the point of asking now? College is so dull and colorless… I sigh whenever I look forward. There’s nothing that I really seem to want in life… I keep trying to scan for something to look forward to, but nope, nothing.

  Nevertheless, I care for him like the way I did before, even if it means it doesn’t feel right. All that time we put for each other wasn’t for nothing. I wanted him to be well, and I still do want him to be well.

  Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to challenge me like the way he does. Why not? I can play with him again, even if it isn’t competitively. He's a supportive friend and I wanna support him and return his kindness too.

  “Wanna call?” he asks first in the team chat.

  “Why not?” I reply. It’s as if the roles are switched in some ways. I used to ask him.

  We call and he is no longer so afraid or stuttering, nor as shy to me as we first met, and nor are we awkward like in the times we texted.

  “Nice to meet you, again. I’m Nevie.”

  “You too. I’m Intelle.”

  We begin calling again. We click as we did before.

  “Wanna duel?”

  “Sure!”

  Nevie explains to me about his situation. After all this time waiting and what not. He finally realizes that hiding the truth hurts people more.

  “So… Um… you know there is something I didn’t tell you. My parents were fighting and going through a divorce. My dad told me I was the cause of my social anxiety, and he… um, verbally abused me… I guess. As much as I wish that living away from ‘home’ meant I’d never be touched… that’s not exactly how it works at times. He hated me because I supported mom. He hated me because she didn’t wanna put up with his abuse. I know… My anxiety issues got so bad I had to go to the hospital. This explanation was well overdue. I’m sorry if I hurt you, Intelle. I’ll be telling Cobeks as well.”

  Over the course of a few weeks, Cobeks starts to ship us again. Should I take another risk? I think I’m starting to like him again… and I think if I do something now, it won’t be too late like last time.

  I gather my strength. It’s really as if we switched roles.

  “Nevie… I think… I like you. The romantic way.”

  “You what?”

  “I… love you.”

  “Intelle… I don’t think I’m ready for that. Sorry…” but that’s it. He doesn’t hang up or freak out or act awkward. It’s okay to just respect each other.

  It’s okay… It doesn’t hurt as much this time, just a little disappointed. It’s okay to just remain as friends. It’s enough… As long as I can be with him and care for him. I don’t care if we’re just friends. No point forcing anything.

  We would play each day. I would support him normally. He isn’t ready to come back to competitive matches yet. This goes on, and that’s okay. We are the way we were. That’s all.

  Sometimes, he would seem rather nervous around me. He’s probably still impacted by his situations. I hope that everything is okay. What if he likes m- okay, Intelle, don't you go there now. He's a good friend. If he wants to remain as friends, you know you need to respect that, remember? You need to get that thought out of your head.

~ * ~

  It’s Senior year and the end-of-the-year gathering is coming soon. I usually don't go to them, but this time, I don't want to miss it. I’ll ask Nevie to go with me, as a friend. After all, we’ve been so close to each other for so long. If anyone, he made college special for me. Deep down, I still love him… that way, but I respect his wishes and will only be his friend. I don’t see him as a romantic lover anymore, not unless it is the best for him. As I write in my stories, if you truly love someone well, you want the best for them.

  I walk up to him after class.

  “Hey,” I say casually. “Wanna go to the gathering with me? As good friends.”

  “No,” he replies coldly for a second.

  Then he bursts out into laughter.

  “I want to go as your boyfriend,” he blushes with a smile on his face.

  “Really?” I feel so overjoyed that my knees were twitchy and my heart had an odd squeezing feeling that was, somehow, pleasant.

  We both burst into laughter for a minute or two.

  “Do you ever wonder why my username is iNVyou?”

  “Haha, maybe. You don't seem like the type to envy other people though.”

  “I envy those who are so close to each other, those who have that trust and bond. This is the biggest challenge I took. I’m glad I decided to unmute the mic on that day. You know I would never really reach out to people much though. It was worth all the embarrassment,” he smiles. “I envy them no more. I’m ready now. It’s us against the world, the most competitive match yet.”

  I smile back, smiling so much, it hurts, and he leans in and kisses me. It’s sweeter than the stories. "Same. I envied that too."

  Will we just be like the story we wrote a few years back? Let’s hope so. It’s been that way leading up to now. I’ll take the challenge.









(6115 words)
Credithttp://astrobob.areavoices.com/files/2012/10/Soap-bubbles-iridescence-wiki-commons-400x322.jpg + https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/binaries/content/gallery/mohippo/images/migrated-image/c/cirrus_clouds.jpg for the thumbnail image background (put together)
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Comments : 5

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  • TheSilentWind
  • Level 42
  • Master Enderdragon
  • February 18, 2019, 10:52 am
This is for the Season 2 round 3 of Chiaroscuro's writing contest for anyone wondering.
  • Miickster
  • Level 25
  • Expert Fish
  • February 17, 2019, 7:06 am
this is good T^T
I read the whole thing in one sitting
  • TheSilentWind
  • Level 42
  • Master Enderdragon
  • February 17, 2019, 7:08 am
Thanks! :)

Hope you enjoyed it, haha.
  • Miickster
  • Level 25
  • Expert Fish
  • February 17, 2019, 7:12 am
yes i loved it
ur really talented
  • TheSilentWind
  • Level 42
  • Master Enderdragon
  • February 17, 2019, 7:12 am
That's good, and thanks. <3

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