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BIT 20: BULLIED
Jacklyn’s laid her head on my chest and sighed. Her warm skin felt good against me. Too many weeks had passed since my party and I had entered the cold zone—The Snow Blood Mountains. It was almost hard to remember what being warm felt like, even though we were previously in the scorching Black Desert. But in those cold weeks of the journey, when we took shelter for a night and slept, it was Zimea who had her head on my chest, or more often I put my head on hers. She was so warm—even through her armor; it was like her intense body heat burned straight through. I missed Zimea, and I wanted nothing more than to be out of the game and to meet her in real life—kiss her in real life.
My thoughts of the girl I loved were interrupted by Jacklyn snuggling against me and throwing one leg across my lower region. she put her arm over my stomach and sighed again.
“You were going to tell me something?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said. “My story, I guess you could say.”
I didn’t feel like hearing a lengthy tale, as I was tired—But it would be rude to say no.
“Don’t judge me, kay?”
She held up her pinky. “Pinky promise?”
I chuckled and rolled my eyes. “Sure.” We wrapped pinkie fingers and nodded.
“So...” she began. “As a little girl, I always watched my big brother play video games—Him and his friends. My brother would never let me play with them. He said I was too young to play such violent games. I guess, they were pretty bad. They played fighting games where the characters killed the one lost in violent ways. They ripped off heads, severed limbs. It was scary... but at the same time, kind of awesome. I really liked watching it all. But I wanted to play. I wanted to the winner and beat him and his friends. I tried so hard to get him to let me play—and he kept saying the same. I was too young.
Then, a year later, they got this game where eight players could fight each other at once in a big battle royale. The game had a lot of famous characters from other games. It didn’t have any blood at all, so I was sure he would let me play.
When I asked him if I could use the fifth controller and play, he laughed. It wasn’t a nice laugh. It was condescending. Like I wasn’t good enough for him and his friends. Regardless, they handed me that fifth controller. It was the happiest moment of my entire life. I chose my character—A pretty princess. The four guys leaned forward in their seats, and then the battle was on. I realized then that I had no idea how to play. I couldn’t even figure out how to jump before...”
She stopped, and I felt a tear run onto my chest. I put my arm around her and hugged her. “Before what?”
Jacklyn sniffled. “They decimated me. I had no chance. All four of the highly skilled assholes came after me. I got knocked off the stage, losing my first life. Then on my second, they tortured me, knocking me around and never letting me get a move off. Then the third time they ran around dodging. I never touched any of them.
One of the guys—Brandon, I think his name was, said he was bored. So my big brother killed me in one hit. All three lives gone, and I was out of the match.
I sat there, sad, and crying, still clutching that purple controller in my hands. Then one of them said, ‘Girls are awful games’. Another said, 'Yeah they suck.’ The third laughed his ass off and said, “What a pathetic little GIRL. GIRLS aren’t REAL gamers.’
My brother finished by saying, ‘Yeah, all they wanna do is show off their boobs on the streaming channels. Not real gamers AT ALL.’
‘Your sister doesn’t even have boobs, so she can’t even be a FAKE gamer,’ One said.
And they all burst into laughter.
I can’t describe the level of anger that was raging inside me by that point. There were plenty of good girl gamers. And they didn’t all want to show their boobs. They deserved respect. They deserved to be great. Guys weren’t allowed to be jerks to us. They just weren’t. I screamed and hurled the controller. It struck the game console, knocking it to the floor, and it bounced, smashing into my brother’s brand new 8K TV. Needless to say the screen was broken—The console too.
All four boys chased me from the basement. I tried to escape, but they caught me and dragged me back to the basement. The all held me down and my brother smacked me across the face. I tried to scream for Mom, but covered my mouth. Then one said, ‘Tea Bag her’. Teach this wanna be gamer a lesson.’
And then my brother did. He squatted over my face. And then he passed gas on me. They let me go, and all I could hear was their laughter. I hated them. And from that day on I hated video games.”
“Jacklyn,” I said low. “I’m so sorry. They are true jerks. No one deserves to have gone through what you did. They’ll get theirs, I’m sure it’s karma.”
“Oh,” she said. “Don’t worry. They all died in a car crash, a few months later.”
My eyes widened. “That’s... oh wow, jeez...”
“It’s okay. I didn’t care. To tell you the truth, I was happy. I still hated video games though.”
I stayed silent at that. She was happy her brother died? Was he really THAT cruel to her? There had to have been more that she wasn’t saying, but I let her continue, anyway.
“So, for years, I never even touched a controller for any game system. Not until I was ten years old, when I had my first boyfriend. His name was Jasper, and we went to school together. He asked me out when we were on the school bus. I was so flustered I didn’t know what to say, so I blurted. ‘Yes, you’re super cute’. I felt so stupid, but he smiled and every day forward we hung out together. After a month, I went to his house, and we had a sleep over. Under watchful parental supervision, of course.’”