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Level 31: INTO THE NEXUS
I tried to dry my eyes. Crying was not on my top list of things to do. But that’s what I’d been doing all day. I stared at the pictures I had taped up on all of the walls. They were print outs Wendy had given me; each was a character from our favorite video game series.
A sob built up in my throat. I couldn’t help it. I dove at the wall, and started ripping the papers down. I tore them into pieces and threw them up in the air. They fell down around me like snow, and I fell back into them, crying once again.
Why did I care so much? Why should I? She was just a stupid girl; one that I’d shared my most intimate moment with. Why did I even do such a stupid thing? She was breaking up with me. I fell for her. I was nothing less than a freaking moron.
I thrashed about, throwing the shreds of paper on the floor. I spun on my game console and had serious thoughts of throwing it out the window. Wendy and I had played the damned thing every summer. I loved video games, sure; but it was really Wendy that had opened my world to so many of them.
I didn’t want any memories of her. I glanced at the picture of Wendy floating as a screensaver on my computer. I grabbed the power cord and yanked it out of the wall.
“Dammit!” I cried.
That was it; the console was getting it!
I pulled out the cables and stomped over to my window. Pulling it open, I leaned out and stared into the rising sun. It had only been a couple hours since I’d woken up, but it hurt as if it was the very second I discovered she’d vanished. She’d left before I even woke up.
“Stupid bitch!” I cried, and started to bring my arms forward.
“Jeffrey Aaron Mason!” Mom shouted.
I froze, and slowly turned to face her. She stood in my doorway wearing her favorite gamer tee, and shorts. She walked over to me, and held our her hands.
“The console. Now.” Her voice was threaded with disappointment.
With a sigh, I handed her the console. She set it down on the floor and plugged the cables back in.
“What were you doing?” She asked, looking up at me.
I sat on the edge of my bed, and rubbed my eyes.
“Getting rid of bad memories.” I whispered.
Mom stood and sat next to me on the bed. “Did Wendy break up with you?”
Another sob rose in my throat; that was answer enough for her.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, honey.” She wrapped her arms around me. I put my head against her shoulder and bit my lip, trying to stop myself from crying anymore.
“What happened?” She asked.
I sighed and shook my head.
“Tell me.” She said. “I know you weren’t at Dave’s last night. Or Tiffany’s. Or even Jessie’s. You were with Wendy by the lake weren’t you?”
My small chuckle betrayed me. “Maybe.”
“Oh Jeff.” She said. “You two were a great couple. But if she couldn’t see that, then she wasn’t the girl for you.”
“I know.” I whispered. “But she left without saying goodbye. She just said we were breaking up. When I woke up—Gone.”
“There are other gamer girls out there.” My mom said. “And remember, if she doesn’t game, she should. And if she won’t… keep looking.”
“You’re so weird.” I grinned and wiped away my tears. “Thank you, Mom.”
“You’re welcome.” She said, hopping up and strutting to the door. “I’ve got to go finish a raid with the guild. Don’t throw that console out the window! I could always use a second one of my own!”
I watched my mom leave the room, and I couldn’t help but laugh. She was the greatest mom in the world, and I never thought much about it.
Looking at my desk, I saw an envelope sitting under my keyboard. I cocked my head. I never got mail; where had it come from?
I walked over and pulled it out. The letters, ‘S.W.A.K.’ were written on the back. I cringed; the handwriting belonged to Wendy. When had she left it?
My gut told me not to open it, but my heart told me I should, so I did.
I pulled out the folded piece of paper, and opened it up. Sure enough, there was a full letter in Wendy’s handwriting.
To my love, Jeffy-Poo,
It was dangerous for me to go alone, so I Jeffy-Poo, I chose you.
I always hated the one player game, and feared the two player fighters.
I never had it in me to PvP, so I joined a guild. The guild is where I found my hero.
The guild is where I found out I didn’t need to continue, I still had a life.
My life felt like an RPG, but without a party, I couldn’t make it past level three.
When you pressed start and joined the game, I knew we were the same.
I love you like nobody else, my handsome player two.
Keep your promise, for you see… this is what I leave to thee.
Up Up Down Down, I want you to never frown.
Left Right Left Right, and I need you to fight.
B A Start, you’ve unlocked my heart.
The code is entered, and now you see, G.O.D. Mode stole me.
Turn on the game, turn on the TV.
The opening cinematic you will see… and after, please come find me.
“Huh?” I whispered.