Distance. Love. Online.: Chapter 0.1

The year is 2020… VR games still doesn’t have full dive technology, so we look like a bunch of idiots in a spacious room with goggles and dongles attached to our limbs.

I was just a lonely and boring guy.

My friends are mostly online, and they recommended me to buy this new VR social game, VR Central.

It was relatively cheap and I have my VR set so I bought it in no time.

I slowly gained a lot more friends, slowly detaching myself from reality. Whenever I’m home, I will play the game. It’s like a drug, addictive.

“Hey, Yumiji, wanna join a mixer?”

Me: “What mixer?”

Friend 1: “Like a gathering, but for the purpose of finding your other half.”

Me: “Huh? Not interested.”

Friend 1: “Oh c’mon, I’m just short of one guy… You don’t have to one-to-one with a girl… You can just walk away if you are REALLY not interested…”

Friend 2: “Just join…”

Me: “How many girls are there?”

Friend 2: “Just 3. So its 3-to-3…”

Me: “Okay then…”

Friend 1: “Yeah…”

Me: “When is it?”

Friend 1: “Hmm, tomorrow after dinner!”

Me: “Okay then…”

Friend 1: “Yeah, looks like its set!”

I logged out a few minutes later, was actually lowkey excited about it.

 

After coming back home from school, I did my homework, finished my dinner and then immediately logged in.

Friend 1: “Where is he? We are running late…”

Me rushing over: “I’m coming!”

Friend 2: “Ah he’s here.”

Me: “So sorry, I got delayed during dinner.”

Friend 2: “It’s okay, let’s go.”

 

The three of us then entered a lobby with many rooms.

Friend 1: “I opened this lobby so we can have a bit of privacy. I will send the lobby code to the girls real quick.”

Me: “Have you ever seen the girls before?”

Friend 2: “Avatar or Real life?”

Me: “Either.”

Friend 2: “No… I don’t even know them.”

Me: “Oh okay, I see.”

Friend 1: “Okay, they said they will be in a few minutes.”

I then sat down on the chair: “What’s the plan?”

Friend 1: “All 6 of us will sit at this table. Socialize then we will pick a girl each to bring into a room to talk.”

Me: “Oh… I see.”

Friend 2: “Don’t do anything dirty…”

Me: “I’m not you.”

 

The girls then arrived in a few minutes. My eyes immediately set to a girl with rabbit ears and ponytail…

Friend 1: “What are you staring at?”

Me: “Nothing!”

The six of us talked for about half an hour, with me speaking the least and being the most quiet, so I get bombarded with questions from the girls.

Friend 1: “Okay… It’s time. I think we let the girls pick the guy they wanna have a private session with.”

I wasn’t expecting any girl to pick me, because I ensured that I was as boring as I possibly could.

“I pick you.” and she pointed her finger at me.

Me: “Eh?”

“You, yes, you.”

Me: “M…Me?” and I pointed at myself.

“Mmhmm.”

The rabbit ear girl picked me. We then walked to a private room.

Me: “Why did you pick me?”

“You were being boring on purpose, aren’t you?”

Me: “Eh?”

“You were pretty easy to read.”

Me: “Since you know that I’m not interested, why did you still pick me?”

“I want you.”

Me: “Huh?”

“I want to know more about you…”

Me: “O…kay?”

“My name is Reimi, real name is Kotomi.”

Me: “Username Yumiji, real name Yuji.”

Reimi: “Let’s call each other’s real names in private.”

Me: “Erm… okay?”

Reimi: “Stop being awkward, it’s just the two of us here.”

Me: “I… need to go.”

Reimi: “Eh?”

Me: “Sorry, but I’m really not interested.”

Reimi: “At least accept my friend request!”

Me: “Okay then…” and I accepted the request. I walked out of the room.

I didn’t plan to go into a relationship at all. With the amount of rejections under my belt, I gave up trying to love someone or even get someone to love me. Eventually, I managed to achieve the ability to be numb towards romance.

I believed that there is no girls out there looking for good guys, but they are all looking for rich guys or good-looking guys…

I got my first confession in school a few weeks ago, a girl from another class.

“I’m sorry… if you were to appear a few months earlier… I might accept you. But I have pledged to live a simple life with just me, myself and I, so I cannot accept you. You are great girl, you will find someone better eventually. There are many other guys out there that are waiting to be loved.”

I finally achieved that ability, the ability to not love anyone, no matter how good looking she is, no matter how sweet she is. I don’t mind isolating myself.

I carried on with my peaceful life after the mixer. A few weeks later, I received a message from Reimi.

Reimi: “Let’s meet up and play games! I’m bored.”

I replied: “Okay then…”

I teleported to the lobby she’s in.

Me: “Eh? Where’s everyone?”

Reimi: “This is my private lobby.”

Me: “Where’s your other friends?”

Reimi: “They are all offline…”

Me: “Okay…”

Reimi: “Let’s go play some bowling!”

We played and played, eventually we played for 6 hours. And we drew after so many matches…

Me: “Don’t you feel exhausted?”

Reimi: “No, its fun! Playing with you is a blast!”

Me: “I’m not fun…”

Reimi: “Ah… Let’s have a heart-to-heart talk!”

Me: “Huh? What do you mean?”

Reimi: “I want to know about you. About your isolated nature… Who changed you into such a person…”

Me: “You don’t wanna know…”

Reimi: “I can tell that you used to have a bubbly personality.”

Me: “How do you read me inside out?”

Reimi: “Psychology lessons does help. This can be your therapy session.”

Me: “I don’t need therapy. I’m fine the way I am right now.”

Reimi: “Just tell me…”

Me: “No, or else I will leave.”

Reimi: “Okay, how about this? I will tell you everything about myself and you tell me everything about yourself as an exchange…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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